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I went to the Corsair web site and keyed in "Dell Studion Slimline 540S", and it responded with maximum memory = 4slots x 2GB = 8GB DDR2.

The OS I am using is 64 bit Vista Home Premium and 64 bit Ubuntu 12.04.

My questions are:

  1. Is it true that I could use DDR3 rather than DDR2 memory?

  2. Would the 240-pin slots be able to support 4 x 4GB DDR3 sticks?

  3. Would the 240-pin slots be able to support 4 x 8GB DDR3 sticks?

  4. Would the 250W PSU buckle under 4 x 4GB DDR3 sticks? I currently do not have any additional cards installed. What about 4 x 8GB DDR3?

  5. Does any of the 4 x 4GB or 4 x 8GB DDR3 require mother board BIOS upgrade?

Thanks.

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

According to Dell's specifications (see the Setup Guide document available here), your system only supports DDR2-800 RAM. Since DDR2 and DDR3 are physically and electrically incompatible, this means the answer to questions 1-3 is no.

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As for question 4, the power draw of the RAM modules is negligible compared to other components like the CPU and GPU, so you don't have to worry about having to replace the PSU when upgrading RAM.

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So, should I presume that I could use DDR2 4GB sticks? –  Blessed Geek Jun 18 '12 at 6:26
    
@BlessedGeek You shouldn't presume that. According to the specs, your system supports up to 2 GB RAM modules. This might mean that Dell simply haven't tested it with larger modules, or it might mean that there actually is a hardware or firmware limit and it won't work with modules larger than that. So if you want to experiment with 4 GB sticks, make sure the place you get them from has a no-questions return policy. –  Indrek Jun 18 '12 at 7:57
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  1. No, DDR3 and DDR2 slots differ see here
  2. The answer to your 2nd a 3rd question are answered in the first. You cannot put DDR3 ram into a DDR2 slot
  3. You can still upgrade your ram just not to DDR3. 250 would be ok if you don't have any additional cards installed, like a GPU. You can get an estimate of how big your power supply should be here
  4. Typically no BIOS upgrade after you install ram. Just make sure the BIOS registers it.
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So, should I presume that I could use DDR2 4GB sticks? –  Blessed Geek Jun 18 '12 at 6:26
    
It depends on whether or not your motherboard can support that configuration. You can check your maximum capability of ram here: crucial.com/systemscanner –  Mr.X Jun 27 '12 at 22:23
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