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I have a relatively old PC (5 years or more) which has only 1GB of RAM. I'm running on Windows 7 and unfortunately it doesn't like being so senile...

I have a Gigabyte mother board but I have no idea which (I lost the invoice) . I also don't know what type of memory slots it has nor the type of the current memory I have (basically the same piece of information ...).

I tried using Everest to analyze my specs but it failed. Is there any other manner of doing that?

I'm running on 64bits (AMD Athalon, so I'm thinking of upgrading to 4GB. But I don't know if:

  1. The mother board supports it
  2. If I can buy a 3GB module, or replace the current 1GB with a new 4GB

Any ideas?

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Are you talking about RAM or memory cards? Memory cards are for cameras, RAM is for computers... –  Mehrdad May 28 '11 at 17:37
    
Crack open the case and read the board's model number off the board. You will probably need a flashlight, but it is usually visible. You can then look up the stats on that board to see what it will support as a whole and per slot. As a rule, I like to use fewer slots and choose dimms that meet the maximum each slot will hold. It is cheaper in the long run if you will be upgrading again at any point in the future. –  MaQleod May 28 '11 at 17:53
    
what MaQleod said about opening up the case and reading off the board with a torch, but once you get the model number.. and you get it exact.. you can then find the manual for that motherboard which will tell you exactly what RAM fits in it. –  barlop Nov 18 '11 at 12:46

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you open the Device Manager (not 100% how to get there on Windows 7, but on XP it's from System Properties > Hardware tab).

Then open the "System Devices" item and it should list all sorts of stuff to do with your motherboard. Mine (for example) has several starting with "Intel(R) 82801" and "Intel(R) G33/G31/P35/P31". These should give you a good start on finding your motherboard model.

As to what memory sticks to buy - go for 2 matched sticks 2 x 2GB as this will allow your motherboard to access it in dual channel mode as this will be quicker.

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+1 for an approach that doesn't require any 3rd party applications. –  Tomas Lycken May 28 '11 at 18:51

You might try

  • Si Soft SANDRA
  • ultimate boot cd This is a bunch of boot tools which can identify hardware/peripherals, and even benchmark some if you're upto it

Either will identify your motherboard. That should give you a handle to run with (+: GL

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Use HWiNFO32 to find out details about your motherboard model name and the RAM modules you currently have. It provides very detailed information.

To find out the maximum memory your motherboard supports you'd have to refer to the Gigabyte support docs, which shouldn't be a problem once you have the model name.

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You might use CPU-z to get memory information. If it fails to read the information then sometimes even the CPU specification is sufficient to know the right memory type. For example Athlon 64 in Socket 754 and 939 uses DDR memory while AM2 uses DDR2 and AM3 usually is combined with DDR3 (but supports DDR2 from the CPU as well, so there are some mainboards providing DDR2 but most have only DDR3 sockets).

You might post CPU-z output here to clarify.

How many memory sockets does your mainboard have? Hoe many modules are already installed? Can you just take out the module which is currently installed and read the model information on it?

Likely you will find some information like "PCxxxx" (DDR) or "PC2xxxx" (DDR2) which makes it easy to find the right module type.

But when you open your PC anyway just have a look at the mainboard. Typically there is some sticker or print on the PCB stating the concrete model so anyone can find detailed information online then.

Regarding the number of modules: Most CPUs since Socket 939 feature Dual-Channel memory access. This means if modules are installed in pairs it can access them in parallel (2x64-bit bus width) and therefore increase the memory bandwith. If you just install one module or install module with different capacity then either dual-channel feature is disabled or it just works for a part of the memory size.

Assuming you currently have just one module (1x1GB) installed I would recommend to get another 1GB module so you have a pair of 1GB modules installed (2GB total). As long as you don't have any specific programs which demand more memory this should be sufficient for Windows 7 and some office use. It does not make much sense to invest a lot in such an old machine. Getting a single 1GB module should be pretty cheap though.

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You can use Speccy to get all kinds of information about your motherboard and RAM.

It tells you the model of your motherboard, the type of RAM you have, etc.

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