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After looking up the capabilities of the Intel Q45 chipset (stating both 8 and 16GB) and the March 2010 Optiplex 780 datasheet (stating 16GB but not the necessary configuration for the desktop variant) I am tempted to buy 4GB modules just to test it myself. Does anyone have a clue where else I could look for such information? The current configuration includes the Q9550 processor and 4 2GB RAM modules.

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If you have the desktop you could just use Crucials Memory scanner to check the maximum ammount of supported memory for that machine.

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Thanks a lot for the quick answer, Joe! I've come across that site before, but am still not sure whether or not the configuration is an essential factor regarding the maximum amount of memory possible. In a few forums people were at odds with each other. –  cfricke Apr 4 '12 at 8:31

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