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Besides , I want to upgrade my RAM of my Laptop which is a Compaq Presario v 2000 model . I already have a 512 MB RAM in it and the performance of the Laptop is decent for my browsing work etc . Should I go for a new 1 GB RAM or would a additional 512 MB ( new ) give good performance ? I dont want to spent much on old laptops , just need decent performance . Just want to know ur opinion .

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you seem to have a couple of other questions about this laptop, migrated from serverfault. if you'll associate your accounts (see the Accounts tab on your profile page) you can take control of those questions (to edit or accept an answer on them). and – quack quixote Dec 6 '09 at 15:03
and ... – quack quixote Dec 6 '09 at 15:05

If you have 2 x 512MB sticks of RAM you may see some improvement in terms of memory speed over 1 x 1GB stick as your system may support Dual-channel which can in some situations offer a performance increase. Generally the increase is only seen in highly memory intensive situations and you won't really notice the difference in just casual browsing / word processing.

You'll probably notice a difference going from 1 x 512 to a total 1GB of memory more than you would if you had 1GB and were going to a dual channel configuration.

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This depends on a few things.

If the 512MB DIMMs are the same speed as the 1GB DIMM, and can be run in dual channel, you may see a performance increase.

If the 1GB module has significantly better speeds, it could outperform the 512MB modules.

If all modules have the same speed, and dual channel is not an option, the fewer memory modules the better as there is less strain on your motherboard's northbridge.

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if the motherboard supports hyperchannel, there would be a slight better performance having 2x512mb memories but, if you can get a 1gb memory with faster bus speed, it is better ;)

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Typically you can tell if this will help by looking at the motherboard and observing whether there are any obvious markings on the memory slots. These can either be labelled or sometimes the slots themselves are color coded by channel and for best performance you want to populate each channel evenly.

For a laptop you likely only have two slots available so simply populating both slots should enable dual channel memory if supported. Always try to populate the slots with two modules of the same speed, if not the faster one will be forced to run slower.

A page with more information on dual channel memory

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"...if you can get a 1gb memory with faster bus speed, it is better"

A faster memory speed is useless to a computer that isn't able to take advantage of it. Minimal research will let you know what RAM speed your machine can make use of. If you install something other than what the machine can use, it will default to it's ordinary speed. On the other hand, some machines will completely reject RAM that is outside of it's ability and blue screen.

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