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  1. #1
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    Question How to upgrade computer's memory?

    Forgive me for asking this simple question but I am a software guy... I have this hand-me-down desktop system, no docu:
    Dell Studio XPS 435 MT (ca. 2008-2009)
    Service Tag: 1KLCMJ1
    Memory: PC3-8500F, currently installed 4 x 1GB
    Max memory capacity 12GB (according to SIW).

    About all this the Dell web site naturally(?) is quiet like the Northwoods in fresh, deep snow; so here goes.

    I believe to have read that DDR2 memory needs to be paired (size & speed) or you loose speed. Is that true for PC3 (= DDR3) as well?

    Or could I just put 3 x 4GB in the mobo for full capacity without losing speed?

    Any enlightening pointers are appreciated; TIA.
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Eike,

    That's not necessarily so. It all depends whether or not the MOBO supports dual channel memory or not. With dual channel memory yes you need to pair the modules in even/odd numbered slots, e.g. 1&3 & 2&4. However, If you have a MOBO with 3 memory slots my guess is that it is either using single channel memory (in which case you just need to match up the speed ratings of the memory modules( or Tri-Channel memory (very rare and would require 3 identical memory modules for max speed).

    According to Crucial this machine has 6 memory slots in 2 banks of 3 which would be dual channel memory.

    Crucial.PNG

    Notice the * Not to Exceed Manufacturer supported memory. So if Dell says 12Gb and if you only have 3 slots I'd say Dell wired your machine for single channel memory.

    If you use the Crucial Upgrade Advisor and the memory doesn't work in your machine they will take it back so this isn't a bad way to go.

    Here's a link to the Wiki on Multi-channel memory.

    HTH
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2016-03-14 at 23:54.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    2 banks of 3 would make it triple channel memory on a 1366 socket 'board with an i7-920 CPU, same Wiki page as above.

    24GB is the maximum capacity (see the image above) but 16GB is the MS usable limit licensed for W7 Premium: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...mits_windows_7.

    3x 8.8.8.24 4GB @ 1600Mhz looks favourite to me: http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/studio-xps-435/CT2452587 and pass on your original 4x1GB (1066Mhz?).


    EDIT: it looks like the 'board will only use 1066 or 1333Mhz and 1600 should downclock to 1333, not great but better than 1066.
    Last edited by satrow; 2016-03-15 at 00:46.

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    Judging by the original configuration of that machine I'd say it's dual channel memory, so it's pairs of 2 or 4GB RAM.

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    How about a Dell employee's comment based on tested RAM before release of that PC: http://commweb-ps3.us.dell.com/suppo...75951#19475951

    Below is what we qualified to run -

    XPS435MT
    F680F DIMM,1GB,1067MHz PC3-8500,128X64
    Y996D DIMM,2GB,1067MHz PC3-8500,256X64
    TW149 DIMM,1GB,1333MHz PC3-10600,128X64
    P223C DIMM,2GB,1333MHz PC3-10600,128X64

    XPS 435T
    F680F DIMM,1GB,1067MHz PC3-8500,128X64
    Y996D DIMM,2GB,1067MHz PC3-8500,256X64
    N852H DIMM,4GB,1066MHz PC3-8500,512X64

    Memory Modes Supported
    * Triple-channel symmetric mode, in which all channels are populated with the same size memory. This configuration yields peak memory performance as all channels are used simultaneously.
    * Triple-channel asymmetric mode, in which all channels are populated but with different memory amounts. This configuration yields the performance of a single channel of memory with the combined memory size of the three channels.
    * Single-channel mode, in which only one channel is populated.

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    Thanks to ALL responders

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    How about a Dell employee's comment based on tested RAM before release of that PC: http://commweb-ps3.us.dell.com/suppo...75951#19475951
    Thanks so very much, satrow.

    After reading the Dell forum article I just will get 3 x 4GB 1066 and be done with it, have waited too many years already.

    And on a side note, Dell seems to have sold quite a few different versions of XPS435 called machines. The mobo in my box definitely only has four memory slots, go figure.

    Again, my thanks to everyone who replied. IMHO that is Windows Secrets at it's best.
    Eike J Heinze
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  11. #7
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    If your board has only 4 slots, then it is dual, rather than triple channel, so 4x4GB would be the way to go.

    Use the Crucial System Scanner, it should give you further details: http://www.crucial.com/

  12. #8
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    That PC shipped with 4 x 1GB modules, so I can't see it being triple channel. Where are you getting the triple channel specs?

    cheers, Paul

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    This is a slight deviation from the topic of this discussion, but once you know for sure the kind of memory your machine requires, I suggest that you go on Ebay and get the cheapest used memory that you can find. You'll probably pay $30 or less for 12 GB. Usually the memory is good, but occasionally it is not. But for such a cheap price, it's worth the risk.

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    That PC shipped with 4 x 1GB modules, so I can't see it being triple channel. Where are you getting the triple channel specs?
    Motherboard chipset with the i7 (see also Intel Ark), Crucial's 2 banks of 3, multiple other sources, including specific topics on the XPS 435 MT.

    Dell don't always get it right or even close, I used to own a notebook that ran double the memory Dell specced as being the max.

    Dell customer reviews, owner at Bleeping referring back to the Dell site 2011, http://commweb-ps3.us.dell.com/suppo...514/t/19288712, multiple other owners/Dell adisors etc. Plus the 2 references already given.


    Eike, in addition to the Crucial Scanner, can you run the Dell scanner as well to check your current configuration?

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    Intermediate status report:

    The mobo has only four memory slots. Visual.

    Crucial memory advisor recommended three different sets of 3x4GB memory sticks.

    I have ordered from Crucial the one in the middle of the price range.

    If even Dell "don't always get it right" then I don't wonder that I was and somewhat still am confused. The four slots point me to a double channel architecture, Crucial suggests a set of 3 which I associate with triple channel but then the four slots with currently 4x1GB throw me back to dual channel...

    Ah well, I will see and report back before I close this thread.

    Thanks for all your time and effort.
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
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  18. #12
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    It's triple channel, with that chipset/CPU it must be.

    Here's a similar 4xslot 'board pictured, note the comment above it:

    There are two kinds of socket LGA1366 motherboards available: those with four memory sockets and those with six or more memory sockets.

    On motherboards with four memory sockets, you must install the memory modules sequentially, in the sockets with the same color. In fact, it is rather strange that these motherboards have four memory sockets, since if you install a memory module in the fourth memory socket, it will be accessed in single-channel mode.

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    I am not sure why this has generated so much discussion. It is a X58 chipset MB. It supports triple, dual or single channel memory mode depending upon slots occupied. The speed difference between dual and triple is laughable to make it a marketing feature rather than a legitimate speed boost so who cares?

    As to the number of slots Dell (and Crucial) shows there are six slots. The PC does not support 8GB sticks. It does support 4GB sticks of DDR3. Times six for 24GB total memory max. Apparently it also supported 1.35V RAM in addition to 1.5V (I didn't remember that).

    The i7-920's onboard memory controller supported up to 1,066MHz speed. Anything faster was dialed back.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/37147/...-GTs-Intel-QPI

    https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/a...nual_en-us.pdf

    https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/a...ide2_en-us.pdf - p56 onward

    https://www.dell.com/support/home/us...KLCMJ1/drivers
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2016-03-16 at 12:34.

  20. #14
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    As for confusion, when the correct 3 or all 6 slots are occupied the RAM will function in triple channel mode.

    When the correct 2 or 4 slots are occupied the RAM will function in dual channel mode.

    When 1, 5 and potentially other combinations are run the RAM will function in single channel mode.

    Dell's documentation should state different patterns to get different modes. While the X58 supported all three modes different MB makers supported memory channels differently via how they laid out the MB.

    Put a different way, be sure the three slots occupied are the correct ones for triple mode (usually slots are color coded, but not always).

  21. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    FN, the Dell pdf documents linked do not confirm dual channel as being available:

    CAUTION: Do not install ECC memory modules.
    CAUTION: If you remove your original memory modules from the computer during a memory upgrade, keep them separate from any new
    modules*that*you*may*have,*even*if*you*purchased*t he*new*modules*from*Dell™.*If*possible,*do*not*pai r*an*original*memory*module*with*a*new
    memory module. Otherwise, your computer may not start properly. The recommended memory configurations are:
    Matched memory modules installed in DIMM connectors 1, 2, and 3.
    or
    Matched memory modules installed in DIMM connectors 1, 2, and 3 and another matched memory modules installed in DIMM connectors 4, 5, and 6.
    NOTE: If you install mixed pairs of PC3-10600 (DDR3 1333-MHz) and PC3-8500 (DDR3 1066-MHz) memory, the modules function at the speed of the
    slowest module installed.

    6. Ensure that you install a single memory module in DIMM connector 1, the second closest connector to the processor, before you install modules in any
    other connector.
    The Intel Ark page doesn't mention dual channel either, apart from a generic popup:

    Intel® processors come in four different types: a Single Channel, Dual Channel, Triple Channel, and Flex Mode.
    See #5.

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