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I am looking to up the RAM on my HP Pavillion A6000n desktop machine. Looking at CPU-Z, it seems as though the current memory in there is DDR2 PC2-4300 (266 MHz).

My question is, can I go with any DDR2 memory that I find? In other words, does it have to be PC2-4300 or can that vary?

Thanks in advance!

EDIT:

For instance, can this DDR2 PC2-6400 RAM work in my machine with no problems?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

a DDR2 module will downclock in the event of inserting a higher-frequency DIMM than is supported. Also, if the clock speed of the DIMM exceeds the maximum supported frequency it will underclock accordingly.

If you're running in dual-channel mode, the RAM will run at the lower clock speed of the two DIMMS. (e.g. PC2-5300 & PC2-6400 = PC2-5300)

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Wouldn't PC2-5300 be the lower clock speed? And also, how do I check if I'm running in dual-channel mode? –  Thomas Stringer Apr 14 '12 at 17:43
    
Yeah, it's definitely PC2-5300. Sorry @Shark, I had a long night last night. –  Delete Apr 14 '12 at 17:51
    
CPU-Z -> Memory -> Channels # (e.g. Channels # Dual) –  Delete Apr 14 '12 at 17:54
    
I'll check that channel in a bit. So you're saying as long as its DDR2 I should be good? Even with 6200 when I currently have 4300? Just want to verify. –  Thomas Stringer Apr 14 '12 at 17:56
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Yes, you should be fine. When purchasing, match the CAS latencies as well. If they are different, will use the highest CAS latency. –  Delete Apr 14 '12 at 17:59
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There were several different motherboards used in that model, yours uses the M2N68-LA (narra)

There were 7 different Narra motherboards used by HP, your model specifications are not specific enough to determine which narra board you have, here is a link to a page with all the nara boards, they have nice pictures of each, so you can determine which one you have and exactly what memory is supported. It may support faster memory than what was installed at the factory.

I think this is your board but since you can take a look at yours, double check to be sure. If it is your board it Supports PC-4200 (533 MHz), PC2-5300 (667 MHz), and PC-6400 (800 MHz) DDR2 DIMMs

Original part number for your exact motherboard model is HP pn RX885-69002

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Is there any way through Windows or BIOS that I can find out which narra board I have? –  Thomas Stringer Apr 15 '12 at 1:11
    
There might be a motherboard number in the bios but I don't know of any way to cross that number to anything useful, is best to use the HP pictures and compare yours. I am confident the one I posted is yours. –  Moab Apr 15 '12 at 13:02
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You should be fine with PC2-5300 RAM, it should simply downclock to the lower frequency. I'm not sure about PC2-6400, though.

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A DDR-2 module should work even if with higher clock frequency, the BIOS should downclock the module at the maximum frequency supported ...

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I really like using Crucial.com for memory upgrades - they have an app you can run which tells you exactly what memory part you need.

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