Upgrading the RAM on my Vostro desktop - HELP PLEASE!


I currently have a DELL Vostro 400 - Quadcore Q6600 2.4GHZ with 3GB RAM DDR667 - (3072MB 667MHz (2x1024 + 2x512) Memory which came with the machine)

I seem to have some problems with it at the moment - stuttering on some music making programs. I am assuming it's a memory problem not the cpu...or at least I hope so!

What would be the best way of upgrading to get best performance without a hefty price?

Should I just remove the 512mb chips and buy 2 new 1gb chips? Or should I replace all chips with 4 new 1gb matching chips or 2 x 2GB chips? Or should I opt for a faster DDR speed altogether? And do these things really make much of a difference???

Finally, might be important...I have to run windows XP and not Vista - so am I right in thinking i'm limited to 4gb right? or does windows simply not see it but still uses more if it's available?

Many thanks in advance for your help!


PS. If you have any links for chips that would be really great too! thanks



if your xp is 32bit then you will be limited... if it's 64 then no probs.

run memtool to see if the ram is faulty. stuttering in what sense? do you think your ram is too slow? try overclocking it... there were people on here that said that slow ram wont go well with a Q6600...

to know which ram to upgrade to you need to find out what motherboard you have... or does dell only take dell ram? i dont know?

i have a Q6600 but have 4gb of 1150mhz ram (running at 1066mhz :-()...well fast and can tell a massive difference between my machine and my bro in law who has identical spec but 800mhz ram speed. but i think one has a defect causing blue screens here and there.. so will sort it out after my exams!

I'm no expert in music making programs but I'd strongly suspect that the stuttering is caused by a software problem or an incompatibility rather than the speed of your very fast hardware.

And yes, windows XP and vista32 are limited to

Did you format your dell when you got it first? Dell fill systems with **** so no doubt there are any number of hidden programmes running in the background, i suggest you check which codec the music is being run on, if you are using FFD show i could be that codec causing the stuttering problem, just switch it back to the WMP codec.

Original Poster

Thanks everyone for the answers so far. I'll leave some good rep shortly!

Yes I did think about formatting the drive but it didn't seem like there was too much rubbish on there at the time and now I regret not doing it - having installed all my programs on there. Sigh. Is there any of the DELL software you would definitely recommend I remove at this stage or is it a matter of too little too late?

And thanks to everyone else for the advice too - maybe I'll go for the faster RAM. Not sure what motherboard I have though. I'm guessing it's a generic DELL one?



i would suggest removing all the dell software that aren't necessary for external devices an such as well as the extra added value software dell are paid to fill new systems with from purchase, as for the ram i did upgrade my Dell system (dimension 9150/xps400) with the stores brand generic ddr2 800 mhz which worked without problem. If you post your system model i will find out which type of ram you need.
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