DDR2 memory speed

    I've got an old Dell desktop to use as a backup/spare. It's running desperately slow on win 7 with just 1 gig of ram. I'm going to put some more in. It currently has 4 X 256 ddr2 400mhz. can I use higher speed ddr2 ram, 667/800 mhz etc and it'll default to the 400mhz as per the the system spec? I'm probably looking to put in 2 X 1 gig.


    Yes, it will default, although are you certain the board wont take 533Mhz or 800Mhz??

    I have an ancient Intel DDR2 board that runs DDR2 800.

    What to watch for is the maximum RAM per slot; not sure if DELL will keep the info still, but some boards had limits, 4 x 1GB or 2 x 2GB for example, and a maximum RAM per board.

    Original Poster's a GX280. ..I had a quick look for the spec and it said it used the 400mhz. Not sure if the board could take higher, I don't have a manual. As far as i can tell it has a 4 x 1gb limit. Just been looking on ebay and there seems to be quite few 667mhz sticks on there.

    never mind comment void..
    Edited by: "Teezgaff" 11th Dec 2016

    I'll suggest to run a scan on Crucial Uk web site and see the result for the compatible parts. If your Windows 7 OS is 32bit, it won't read above 3.5GB of Ram anyway.
    Edited by: "faktarus" 11th Dec 2016

    Original Poster

    A bit more digging...The board accepts 533/400mhz speed. I ran that scan and it suggested 667mhz so it must default to 533. It is 32 bit win 7, I might just get 2gb that should make a big difference. I could always add a 2 X 256 pair I already have in there and have 2.5gb in total but would run at 400mhz I'm guessing?

    I had the SX280, which was the USFF version, the RAM will help, but not much, and you are limited to a few Pentium 4 upgrades only.

    Specs site says max module size 4GB, but also says max board capacity 4GB, so be careful with any module bigger than 1GB .
    It also says 400MHz RAM speed, so the scan is just suggesting the nearest they have to stock, rather than matching the original spec; put 400, 533, or 800 in there - it will all run at 400MHz.

    The biggest improvement was fitting a cheap SSD for the OS, and throwing away the original HDD.

    Original Poster

    Thanks for your help. You're right I don't reckon each slot will take no more than 1GB. The 667mhz seems to be cheaper for some reason than the others on ebay.

    From the manual I found, it appears to be Intel Grantsdale chipset, which is DDR2 400/533 - though if you have 400 in then additional memory will be locked to 400.
    For an 800 FSB CPU, dual channel 400 would be nicely balanced, not sure if you'd gain anything by going to a full set of faster.
    Could treat it to a set of 4 of these…DHD

    If your CPU is 533 FSB and they run at 533, good. If your CPU is 800 FSB and they run by default at 533, it may be worth adjusting to 400 and benchmarking that in comparison - if the lame OEM BIOS actually has memory settings open.

    NB. If it's using onboard graphics and does go to 533 RAM, it should improve the graphics performance, not that the Intel GMA900 had much to start with
    Edited by: "matth9999" 11th Dec 2016

    Original Poster

    wow that memory is cheap!! I've switched off now, but the processor is 3.4ghz... not sure what the fsb is... 8.5 x 400?
    Edited by: "GB99" 11th Dec 2016
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