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I have a Dell GX520 optiplex model (mini tower), and I want to upgrade its RAM.
I currently have 1GB RAM and I want to upgrade to 2GB.

All I know about RAM is its capacity, and I've heard about speeds lately like 400MHz, 533MHz, 800MHz, 1333MHz.

I want to know what are the differences among them and can my PC support all those types of speeds or not? And what is the most suitable one for my Dell PC, to avoid any problems or limitations.

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closed as too localized by random Dec 5 '11 at 2:26

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well, according to Dell your current machine has 2 slots, dual channel, taking DDR2 at 533MHz with a limit of 2GB.

So, ideally, you will want two identical 1GB sticks of DDR2 533Mhz. You could get a higher speed (ie, 800Mhz, etc), this shouldn't cause a problem, but if the specs are accurate any faster sticks will simply slow down to 533, and so the extra cost will be wasted.

I'm assuming you probably currently have two 512MB sticks, and you should try to replace them entirely, so you can use two identical sticks to take advantage of the dual channel capabilities.

Also, make sure you avoid DDR and DDR3 memory - you will be unable to connect them to your motherboard (they use different connectors to prevent you connecting incompatible sticks).

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if i purchase ddr2 with higher speed like 800 or 1333 , it will cause any problem in the future or it doesnot work at all?and i think it will support till 4 G not 2 – Anyname Donotcare Jan 4 '11 at 9:36
@user higher speeds are unlikely to cause problems, but will not work faster than the motherboard's limit; as such the extra cost of getting the faster memory will be wasted. It might support more than 2GB; I simply performed a quick web search for that link which states Two Memory slots offering up to 2GB, it does not clarify if this is 2GB each or in total, but I read it as being in total. – DMA57361 Jan 4 '11 at 9:39
@user checking the PDF, it states (for the GX520) 2 DIMM slots Non-ECC dual channel shared DDR2 SDRAM system memory (400 and 533Mhz) up to 2GB, so I'm fairly sure you are limited to 2GB in total. – DMA57361 Jan 4 '11 at 9:41
yeah ,, sorry u are right..i think this upgrade will increase the speed of my computer , if u recommend any type of RAM,or has any advice about my computer i will be grateful.thanks a lot.. – Anyname Donotcare Jan 4 '11 at 9:50
@user as said in my answer, the best you'll get out of that motherboard is using two identical 1GB sticks of DDR2 533Mhz. They should be exactly identical (ie, exactly the same size / make / speed / model / manufacturer) to ensure they will work dual channel (which you want them to). In fact, the safest best is probably to just buy a 2x1GB RAM "kit", to ensure they match. – DMA57361 Jan 4 '11 at 9:54

From what i read, the motherboard supports up to 533 mhz but it could be more. Basically what 533mhz means, is that i can be read by the motherboard 533 million times per second. not exactly the truth but close enough. so, the higher the mhz, the faster the ram communicates with your motherboard. wont mean anything if the front side bus of your processor is lower than the ram you put in, you'll see no extra benefit. the fsb of your processor, which is the speed the processor communicates with the motherboard, is 800mhz. so, i'd go with either the 533, or 800. From what i know, it wont hurt anything to put ram thats too fast into the computer, it just wont start up, so you'll have to return the ram, and get the slower speed, or the mobo will throttle the ram to 533 mhz and you wont notice a thing.

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if you would like to use faster ram, and see the benefits, i recommend a mobo swap. but only if you know someone that can do it, or feel like dedicating your self to learning the ins and outs. – Jasen Jan 4 '11 at 9:30
then i can see that the only one i can bought is ddr2 533mhz, and if i purchase higher speed it will cause problems or will not work? – Anyname Donotcare Jan 4 '11 at 9:34
Not problems per say, but yes it either wont work, or it wont matter. and about the dual channel stuff, yes you should replace both because it will only have the 2 slots, and you'll get a lot more out of the dual channel capabilities. – Jasen Jan 4 '11 at 9:51
thanks a lot... – Anyname Donotcare Jan 4 '11 at 10:02

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