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I'm reinstalling a friends (very) old laptop with Windows XP. I recommend he upgrade the 512MB RAM in order to keep both sanity and general well-being.

It's an Dell Inspiron 8600, and the manual (sorry, that's a 3,5MB pdf, but check out page 128 for the specs) says it supports a maximum of 2GB 333MHz DDR SDRAM (PC2700) RAM. However it turns out those modules are impossible to find today.

What other newer types of RAM can I safely use in this machine?

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You can probably use PC3200 DDR SDRAM. The motherboard should lower the rate of the RAM to 2700.

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Thanks. What about the clock-speed? I checked, but I can't find any PC3200 DDR-SDRAM, only PC2-3200, and even that doesn't seem to be readily available. –  Jakob Gade Jun 29 '10 at 5:58
    
The rate is lowered by reducing the clock speed. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 29 '10 at 6:10

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