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Having a Lenovo N200 notebook I decided to upgrade my memory from 2×1 Gb to at least 4 gigs.

Due to an advice from a friend of mine I almost picked up 2×2 Gb memory for like a hundred bucks, and I'd be good to go.

But, after visiting some webshops I came to the conclusion it'd be a better idea to purchase one 4 Gb memory and replace only one of the old ones.

So I'd end up with 25% more memory for a little less money.

Is this combination safe? Is there anything I should consider? (Already running x64, no need to remind me about that.)

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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The Lenovo 3000 N200 has 2 memory slots.

Each memory slot can hold DDR2 PC2-6400 or DDR2 PC2-5300 with a maximum of 2GB per slot.

so, you will only waste your money on a 4 GB chip.

more info from crucial.com

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1  
Good lookin' out on that one. –  rodey Dec 23 '09 at 15:45
    
Molly brings up a valid point on the maximum slot size, you might end up with only 2GB of the 4GB usable, and therefore only have 3GB total in the end. Not the 5GB you wanted, also make sure to account for what OS you would be using, as a 32bit OS will not address more than ~3.4GB. –  Jakub Dec 23 '09 at 15:47
    
Many times the documentation is wrong. It may have been written before larger SODIMMs were available, and they might allow access to all the RAM. Or, it might only access 2GB. Or, it might (fairly uncommon, but I've seen it happen before) refuse to use any of it. –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 23 '09 at 15:54
    
your 'many times', Brian, does not include the gazillion of netbooks out there, 4 GB modules simply don't work, 'despite' the bloody documentation saying, they wont. :) if you're of the experimental type and got some money to waste, then go ahead and do it. from me, however, you will only get sound advice and that is: go and get 2x2GB DDR2 PC2-6400 and all is well. happy christmas. –  Molly7244 Dec 23 '09 at 16:22
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@Molly, I appreciate your research and detailed answer, but remotely evaluating your fellow superusers is not truly valued. Happy christmas. –  pestaa Dec 23 '09 at 17:13

It is recommended to not mismatch memory due to potential for decreased performance. However, it is completely safe and will not cause damage to the computer.

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May result in system crashes though. My desktop system, when running graphics intensive games on the internal video, will occasionally crash if in single-channel mode, but with matching RAM and dual-channel enabled it doesn't crash. –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 23 '09 at 15:52

2 x 2GB will run in dual-channel mode, and it will be slightly faster. So if most of your use is the time, you have less than 4GB of RAM used, the 2x2GB of RAM will be a better option. On the other hand, if you frequently max out 4GB of RAM, the 4+1GB may be a better option. IIRC, some motherboards require RAM to run in dual-channel mode, so you might want to check with your manufacturer.

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Some machines (commonly laptops) don't support dual-channel at all anyways. –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 23 '09 at 15:51

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