Need computer help please

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dandxg, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. I hope some of you nice folks, more computer savvy than me, can answer a ram question. I am trying to purchase my new Dell today, deal expires tonight, and I am wondering about Dual Channel RAM.
    I am going to most likely buy

    Dell E521
    AMD 64 x2 3800 2.0 ghz
    1 gig stock dual channel ram
    160 gig HD
    250 external HD for BU
    20" WFP monitor

    I read up about for an hour and I am confused about dual channel ram. I realize I need 2 same sticks, but can I have 4 sticks, 2 x 512 same spec from 1 mfg, and 2 x 512 same spec from another mfg. In other words can I have all the same specs, but 2 complete from 1 mfg, and 2 complete from another mfg? I hope that makes sense. It's about 50% less to buy the 2nd gig of RAM from Also, I am not even sure if I need 2 gigs from the get go. I will be using this computer to offload some of my processes that for trading and surfing that I am running on my current computer.

    On a related note I downloaded CPU-Z which reads memory specs and found that my current computer has 2 x 256 and a 1 gig stick for 1.5. CPU-Z says I am running in dual channel mode, but everything I just read seems to says that is not possible. I am running an Intel MOBO 540 3.2ghz HT. The memory reseller I believe should have sold me 2 x 512 or even 2 x256 not a 1 gig stick. I was real clear that I had dual channel when purchased. I did read that some Intel boards can read memory in dual channel if not perfectly matched. See why I am confused?

    Hopefully one of you can guide me in the right direction. Thanks much in advance.

  2. gnome


    1. Is that one of the Dells with onboard video? If so, best to avoid for multi-videocard trading rig.

    2. Ideally, you want "matched" RAM for proper dual channel function. Best would be all 4 sticks from same maker. Next best would be to be sure all 4 sticks have the same timing and voltage specs. You can determine that with Everest Home v2.20, system info software.

    3. Do you need 2G? Check your Task Manager when running full load of programs. You don't have to be in a hurry to get the 2nd GB of RAM... you can add any time.

    4. Dual channel will spec out a bit higher on some benches, but you probably won't notice the difference in real-time usage... wouldn't put too much effort into it nor worry about it.
  4. gnome


    Being a cheer leader for Dell is OK. Lots of people complain about their tech support, and rightfully so, but their hardware deals are good. I've had several Dells and they have honestly never given me any trouble at all.
  5. Dell tech support told me not to use Vista! Can you believe the honesty? Said it had known conflicts. Yet their sales said it works great, sorry no XP for you. That's alright kill disk or heidi eraser shoud fix that problem.

    This time I am buying the 1 year warranty and not from, like before, with the 3 year warranty since now I know as much as them many times.

    At my last telecom sales job an IT manager told me if it doesn't break in the first 90 days, many times it will last to max MTBF.
  6. gnome


    Pardon me if I'm being a pest about this... but unless Dell also offered XP for that computer, there may not be XP drivers available for your chipset, audio chip, other... did you verify this before buying?
  7. I just sent you a PM Gnome.