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Old 02-17-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
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Default RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

Hi

I am buying some RAM for someone else's computer. It's a Dell Dimensions 3100.

It currently has only 512 Meg Ram in it but It can take up to 2Gig of Ram.

I have used the Crucial Scanner website to find the right ram for it but I have some questions about RAM speeds.

I am buying 2 x 1GB sticks but want to get the fastest I can. What aspects of the below specifications indicate a faster type of RAM?

Is it 'Unbuffered' or is it the 'CL' number for example.

Or is RAM which is claimed to be 'Low Density' or 'High Density' more important for speed? Basically I'm looking for the fastest RAM for the Dell Dimensions 3100 computer.

Thanks very much. Specs below.

DDR2 PC2-5300
CL=5
Unbuffered
NON-ECC
DDR2-667
1.8V
128Meg x 64
Part #: CT908192


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Old 02-17-2013, 10:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

tell him to throw that PC out the window because he is better off plugging a potato into the wall.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

The RAM will only be as fast as the slowest component, whether it be another stick of RAM or the memory controller itself.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

So in other words, you don't know the answer to my question?
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominover View Post
Hi

I am buying some RAM for someone else's computer. It's a Dell Dimensions 3100.

It currently has only 512 Meg Ram in it but It can take up to 2Gig of Ram.

I have used the Crucial Scanner website to find the right ram for it but I have some questions about RAM speeds.

I am buying 2 x 1GB sticks but want to get the fastest I can. What aspects of the below specifications indicate a faster type of RAM?

Is it 'Unbuffered' or is it the 'CL' number for example.

Or is RAM which is claimed to be 'Low Density' or 'High Density' more important for speed? Basically I'm looking for the fastest RAM for the Dell Dimensions 3100 computer.

Thanks very much. Specs below.

DDR2 PC2-5300
CL=5
Unbuffered
NON-ECC
DDR2-667
1.8V
128Meg x 64
Part #: CT908192


CL = 5 is the CAS timing. Generally, the lower this number the better (and "faster" it can be, though with DDR2, you won't notice much these days)

Unbuffered = Not ECC RAM, which is fine for this system

DDR2-667 is average for that system type. You could throw in some DDR2-800 and it would do fine - DDR2-800 is pretty speedy stuff, and if the board can't run it at that speed, it'll clock it down to DDR2-667 which is fine as well.

128 Meg x 4 is the chip density. Not really a concern these days either. Back when a module needed to be either single or double sided (SS vs DS) it was a big deal. I wouldn't read too much into it.

2GB of DDR2 isn't going to be cheap, but it's not outrageous either.

The point about the potato was a thinly veiled reference to what people believe a PC's obsolence point is reached by.

My belief is that as long as the PC is doing what the user needs it to be, it's not obsolete.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigo View Post
CL = 5 is the CAS timing. Generally, the lower this number the better (and "faster" it can be, though with DDR2, you won't notice much these days)

Unbuffered = Not ECC RAM, which is fine for this system

DDR2-667 is average for that system type. You could throw in some DDR2-800 and it would do fine - DDR2-800 is pretty speedy stuff, and if the board can't run it at that speed, it'll clock it down to DDR2-667 which is fine as well.

128 Meg x 4 is the chip density. Not really a concern these days either. Back when a module needed to be either single or double sided (SS vs DS) it was a big deal. I wouldn't read too much into it.

2GB of DDR2 isn't going to be cheap, but it's not outrageous either.

The point about the potato was a thinly veiled reference to what people believe a PC's obsolence point is reached by.

My belief is that as long as the PC is doing what the user needs it to be, it's not obsolete.
Indeed I get irritated by people that say things like that.
For all they know the PC may be used by someone (and is likely by the sounds of it) who doesn't game, doesn't run photoshop or any other intensive applications, is probably still on Windows XP.

And I can 100% confirm that a windows XP machine even with a very low end dual core like a Pentium D and 2GB DDR2 RAM will run absolutely fine for browsing the internet and checking emails and using office applications.

Don't listen to every "rich kid" who apparently has money to buy a new i7 machine every time it comes out.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

Thanks Indigo and SSC456, excellent. This really helps allot. Serves as a good reference too for the future.

The computer is being used by an elderly person so what she has is more than enough. The extra memory won't go astray.

Cheers and thanks again for the response.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

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Originally Posted by dominover View Post
So in other words, you don't know the answer to my question?
...wow

This is what I get for offering insight. If that's how you're going to respond to people, don't expect them to be willing to offer advice.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

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Indeed I get irritated by people that say things like that.
For all they know the PC may be used by someone (and is likely by the sounds of it) who doesn't game, doesn't run photoshop or any other intensive applications, is probably still on Windows XP.

And I can 100% confirm that a windows XP machine even with a very low end dual core like a Pentium D and 2GB DDR2 RAM will run absolutely fine for browsing the internet and checking emails and using office applications.
both of my parents had computers that are way better than his yet both of them complained about how slow they were. The most intense thing on there computers was the anti-virus. All they did was web browse (one used quickbooks). I don't blame them, I have used them before as well and it's quite bad. When the anti-virus goes off then it goes from bad to completely unusable.

You can buy a PC that is 1000x better than this one for $250 (if you know a little about processors), I see no point on trying to keep alive something that is already dead. Unless you are homeless or living in some random country, $250 isn't hard to get.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: RAM Speeds. Specifications Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSnapWord View Post
...wow

This is what I get for offering insight. If that's how you're going to respond to people, don't expect them to be willing to offer advice.
I think it was more directed at another user here, but only the OP knows. It's not worth getting bent out of shape over however.

Quote:
both of my parents had computers that are way better than his yet both of them complained about how slow they were. The most intense thing on there computers was the anti-virus. All they did was web browse (one used quickbooks). I don't blame them, I have used them before as well and it's quite bad. When the anti-virus goes off then it goes from bad to completely unusable.

You can buy a PC that is 1000x better than this one for $250 (if you know a little about processors), I see no point on trying to keep alive something that is already dead. Unless you are homeless or living in some random country, $250 isn't hard to get.
And this is where my experience with computers kicks in and says that if you're going to blow "merely" $250 on a computer, you're better off just using that cash to upgrade an older system. $250 won't cut much mustard even today. My low end PCs are $400-$500 but I use name brand parts and I don't skimp out on the power supply.

But if you're comfortable building or buying a $250 PC, you probably like fixing them just as much.

I recently had the "pleasure" of installing Windows 7 on a Pentium D with 2GB of RAM on an older 200GB hard drive. It was definitely acceptable performance in basic Windows tasks, and I threw in an old Radeon HD 3450 so that he could play a few games too.

I think I dropped $80 worth of hardware into it. It's at the end of the line after that, but $80 to help his kids out... totally worth it.
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