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I am inheriting a Dell Dimension 8200, but it needs RAM to get up and running. I have PC3200 sticks lying around, but I am not sure how to go about figuring out if the RAM is compatible, as RAM has always confused me. Here is the Dell Dimension 8200 Tech Specs: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8200/specs.htm

For RAM, it says: Memory type PC800 (non-ECC)

I don't know if that is just the kind that comes with it, and I can put in PC3200 (I think, if it worked, this would run at the lower rating? Is that true?), or if that means only PC800 is compatible. Any help would be appreciated.

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2 Answers 2

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The PC800 sticks that the Dimension 8200 needs are not from the mainstream DDR family. It is from a technological peculiarity known as RDRAM. There is really no way your PC3200 can be used in the Dimension 8200.

At the time RDRAM was introduced, there were a number of benefits it offered, particularly when paired with the relatively new Pentium 4 family - specifically a memory speed hungry bus that RDRAM could satisfy better than DDR of the time. It was also more expensive and very proprietary and didn't see wide-spread adoption. But enough history.

From a practical perspective, your best option for getting memory for your 8200 is to search eBay or other like sites. There are two things you need to be aware of:

  • Memory needs to be installed in pairs (two sticks at a time)
  • The 8200 can support up to 2048 MB max - so 512 MB sticks are the largest it will recognize
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PC800 memory looks like this:

this

and PC3200 looks like this:

this

How compatible do they look?

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Well, from pictures, not too compatible :) Do you have any more details? Is PC3200 DDR and PC800 is....not? Why do they have different pins? You technically answered the question, but do you have any more information? –  skaz Feb 6 '11 at 15:43

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