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This is my first time dealing with RAM or any system internals for that matter (besides fans), so I've got a few questions. I'm sorry I've got so many. I just want to make sure I don't destroy my computer or anything, lol.

1.) Bugs?
I read on a forum that Windows98 Second Edition acts up when adding more than 512MB RAM. Is this true?


2.) Best performance
I can reach a max RAM of 768MB. Is it really worth going beyond 512MB RAM, performance wise? I currently have 128MB RAM and at this point my computer c r a w l s when doing anything, so I want to make it as fast as possible.


3.) Specs don't match?
I probably should have waited and done more research, but I ended up ordering two RAM modules from Dell. The specs on the parts they sent appear to conflict with what my manual says, but I'm not sure...

Received:
Quantity of 2: Item #A0118506 DIMM. 256MB. 400MHz. 32X64. 8K. 184 PIN. (Dell/Samsung)

Computer Specs:
* Dell Dimension XPS T500. Windows98SE, IE6, Intel Pentium III.
* Original module installed: "Part # 25515, DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 128, 100M, 16X64, 4K, 168"
(which I haven't changed yet.)

Dimension Txxx Manual says...
* Maximum Memory: 768 MB.
* Number of Slots: 3 slots AKA 3 banks of 1
* Combo of 3.3V 32-, 64-, 128-, & 256- MB dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) in the three DIMM sockets on the system board.
* Only 100MHz DIMMs are supported.
* CAN mix DIMM sizes & install in any order in the memory bank.
* 72-PIN 100MHz ECC or non-ECC SDRAM DIMMs.

Some conflicts (I think) I've noticed are with the MHz and the PIN. Does it look like the modules Dell sent me are a match? I'd really hate to install them only to find out that they aren't right.


4.) Installation
Note: I still have the original 128MB module installed, while the other two slots are empty.

* When I upgrade my RAM, will I need to alter any other parts (jumpers, dip switches, etc.), software, BIOS, etc., as a result?

* If I eventually replace the 128MB module with a third 256MB module, do I simply remove the old and fill with the new?

* In the mean time, can I install the two 256MB modules in the empty slots while leaving the 128MB in the slot that its currently in? Or will I need to move the 128MB module to a different slot or is it unsafe having different sizes mixed in there?


I really need some help. Many, many thanks to y'all. :D Have a fantastic holiday everyone.

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Last Post by danwalk
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The two 256MB, 400MHz, 184 pin modules are not for your board, you need to stick to the modules described in the specs, 256MB, 100MHz, 168 pin modules. See the link below. Did Dell suggest the two modules that you purchased?

http://www.memoryx.net/dedixpst5nme.html

By adding 512MB of RAM will make a large difference in your computers performance, this will give you a total of 640MB of RAM which for most applications will be just fine. You should be able to just install the two new modules in the empty sockets, and that should be all you have to do. The link below will explain how to make the installation, the only thing I would add is about grounding yourself, a static discharge from your body can damage the modules, so it's important to ground yourself before you handle the modules, you can do this by touching a metal surface, like the metal of your computer case.

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/buying_guide_memory?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~section=006

This site will take you through the installation step by step, and it does mention leaving the lower number or RAM in the first slot.

If you haven't opened the modules Dell shouldn't have a problem taking them back, see if you can get your money back, there are less expensive places on line to purchase your RAM, and you don't have to use the same manufacturer as Dell, most manufacturers have a means of providing you with memory that will be compatilble with your computer.

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Thank you sooo much for your time. :D

The installation links you gave are awesome. I had looked around the Dell website before but had trouble finding any tutorials.


Error
:rolleyes: Argh. I had a feeling Dell would mess up. The only reason I even contacted a Dell rep was to order a CPU fan replacement (which is another horror story). It was then that the rep suggested I upgrade my RAM, so I went along with what she suggested. She had my computer service tag number so she must have checked my computer configuration to determine a match. She was foreign and very hard to understand, so it's possible that she made an error somewhere. Or perhaps Dell no longer makes the kind I need? She did tell me that they may no longer have the modules if I were to wait on buying them (which I suspect is just a sales tactic)...which may mean discontinue or sell out, I'm not sure which.

I find it strange that the Dell website also contradicts my manual. When I looked at their memory modules using my service tag, under Dimension XPS-T (they don't have my T500 listed), it reads:
Your Current Selection:
DELL Dimension XPS
Maximum Memory: 4096 MB.
Number of Slots: 4
[Although your system may currently have 333 MHz module(s) installed, the 400 MHz module(s) are also compatible]

They goofed on my number of slots and MHz. And in the list of modules that they came up with, I don't see modules with the specs I need anywhere.

In contrast, I used the www.crucial.com Memory Selector scan, and they managed to recommend the correct 168-pin with 133MHz. So I don't know what's wrong with Dell. How they could make such a HUGE mistake, I have no clue.


Return
As for returning, I ordered it on 12/4/05. Do you happen to know what Dell's return policy is for RAM?
If it's too late, I wonder if there is still some way I could return it, especially being that it's their mistake.


New order
When I order the correct ones, do you think I should I go for three (rather than two) modules of 256MB? I would like to go for three modules (768MB total) but I don't know if Win98SE is buggy or won't read RAM when going over 512MB, as some say.

I would like to buy RAM from elsewhere, as you suggested. Except, I'm a little weary about doing so as I've heard that problems can arise when installing RAM from different manufacturers. (I'd imagine that problems are even more likely with Dell pc's since just about everything in their computers are proprietary.) Also, doesn't it void Dell warranty when you install non-Dell parts?

Do you happen to know if people have had success using RAM from other manufacturers in Dell computers? If so, do you know of any places with good quality, low priced RAM?


Altering
Will I have to alter anything besides the modules when going up to my max RAM of 768MB?


You have been a life saver--or shall I say, computer saver. Much appreciation to you!

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Dells reputation continues to spiral down the drain in my opinion, there are cases where PC133 will underclock down to PC100, but there is no way in h!ll a 184 pin module is going to fit in a slot that only holds 168 pins.

Dell screwed up, get you money back from them! Crucial is one of the better manufacturers out there, they may be a little more expensive, but you can depend on them. One of the things you are going to find is that older memory is going to be more expensive. Bthw...they say you can use ECC memory, error correcting memory is usually religated to servers, it's slower than non-ECC.

I would try adding just the two 256MB modules to the one 128MB, this should make a noticable difference in speed of operation and multitasking, you can always add the third later if you want. As far as buying from someone other than Dell, there many manufacturers out there that sell modules that will be compatible with your motherboard, jsut make sure to check with the manufacturer for compatibility. Some of Dells other parts need to be replaced by them as they have their own "special" parts, you dont' want to go there!

If you machine is operating on PC100, it is an older model, and it might be worth considering building or purchasing a new one rather than invest another $120. One way to look at computer age is to compare it to cars technology, for every year of a computer's life, it is equal to five years of a cars.

You shouldn't have to alter anything when you add the RAM, you BIOS should recongnize the additional RAM automatically. If for some reason you do have a problem, post the exact results, error message, response of the audibles from the motherboard (beeps, and in what order and number), or anything else unusual...there shouldn't be any of these in normal circumstances.

Good luck,
dcc

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I'm wondering why Crucial.com suggests I get RAM with 100MHz and some with 133MHz. I can only use 100MHz, is that correct?

Bthw...they say you can use ECC memory, error correcting memory is usually religated to servers, it's slower than non-ECC.

My computer is just a home pc, so I should just stick to non-ECC?

If you machine is operating on PC100, it is an older model, and it might be worth considering building or purchasing a new one rather than invest another $120. One way to look at computer age is to compare it to cars technology, for every year of a computer's life, it is equal to five years of a cars.

I'm not sure what PC100 is or how to tell if I have it. You suggest buying a new...computer, motherboard, or...? My dino gets the job done. Why might it be better to buy a new one?


Thanks. : )

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Motherboards with a FSB of 100MHz may be able to underclock from 133MHz down to 100MHz, what this means is that you motherboard wants to see pc100 (100MHz RAM modules), but depending on the motherboard may be able to operate pc133, the RAM will work, but the motherboard will only recognize its speed as 100MHz.

Once again, yes...stick with non-ECC modules, they're faster.

As for your computers age, I was only suggesting that if you were going to invest another $120. in it, I would think about up grading to a newer computer, for another $180 you could have a new computer that will be faster, less expensive to add RAM to, new CD/DVD drives, new oprerating system (Windows XP), and will last longer. The problem with older computers is that you don't know how long the motherboard or CPU are going to last, and when either of those dies it is going to be more expensive to replace than it's worth. The other option is to rebuild or build new, unfortunately, rebuilding a Dell isn't practicle, like some other manufacturers they have components made to their spec to fit their needs, and this translates to a PSU that will fit in the space they want rather the the industry standard...this means that you have to use their parts in most cases to make repairs or upgrade...RAM is one of the exceptions. From what little I can tell about your level of computer knowledge, I wouldn't suggest jumping into building your first computer unless you have help, or are taking a class with this as a project.

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Here's one thing to consider.

If your board says it needs PC-100, I try to stick with PC-100. I've had incidents where systems would not underclock the PC-133 like they're supposed to. In your case, I can say authoritatively that the P3-500mhz processor in that system only uses PC-100 SDRAM. The reason why the Dell rep might have given you the wrong memory type is because at one point, there was a REALLY old line called XPS (yours, no offense), and now there is a new, revamped line called XPS. As far as running Win98 is concerned, I personally don't see a need to go further than 512MB of RAM.

By the way, I just want to comment upon something here. The computer in question is OLD, like really old in terms of manufacture date. More than likely, the warranty on parts like fans, etc, have long since expired. In the case of your XPS T500, it's also quite likely that everyone who has one also now has an expired warranty. In that case, it doesn't make any sense to keep spare parts in stock for a system like that, because you're not fulfilling any warranty obligations by doing so, and you're certainly not making a profit by keeping stock on hand that may or may not get ordered, ever.

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Hi

Hope I'm not too late to add my contribution. I have been doing some investigation into upgrading my XPS T500 I use recently, and you might Ifind it usefel.

've had the same model now for 2 1/2 years, second hand then.
Originally it had 256K (2 x 128) of RAM, but I recently added another 256K chip without any major problems. (Apart from the first chip I got was not compatible). I added a KTD-XPSRN/256 I got from http://www.it-discount.ch/ here in Switzerland, but you may find a cheaper price that takes credit cards at http://en.toppreise.ch/index.html.

I've always had it running with Win XP without problems, until recently. My flatmate picked up a virus, and after spending several weeks getting rid of that completely, the system was still running slow. Increasing the Ram has worked wonders and restored my sanity.

Regarding the CPU you might find this useful:-
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dkub/specs.htm
NOTE the external processor speeds. Dell are saying that anything else won't work. I've seen one forum thread where a guy reckoned he had one working with 1.2Gb, but he has not got back to me to verify that. http://forums.support.xandros.com/viewtopic.php?t=10593&sid=5c7463e4cfa62b26814eea2dbf22a732

The best I've found is via this guy at Ebay. It's very difficult to get CPU for the XPS T500, certainly here. This guy has taken them from old machines, and even provides a new fan. Here are his Pentium III chips. http://stores.ebay.ch/Bens-Computer-Products-Store_Pentium-III-CPUs-1000-450mhz_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZQ2d1QQftidZ2QQtZkm

Look out for the 3rd number here, 850/256/100/1.70V S1 (850MHz internal, 256k on-die L2 external ATF cache, 100 MHz external, and Vcc +1.65V Slot 1), and also SECC2

Hope that helps. Feel froo to drop me a note off forum if you have a question.

Kerry

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Oh, one thing I forgot to mention about the RAM. When I put the new 256K in slot 3, it wasn't recognised, I put it in slot 1, and the existing 2 x 128K in 2 & 3 and it worked fine. Might be that I didn't put it in right, but it seemed slotted in fine to me when I checked.
If you try that site to buy, and need to call them, they'll probably speak English, most Techy Swiss do.

Also found this Kingston site useful.

http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configurator/modelsinfo.asp?SysID=7499&mfr=Dell&model=Dimension+XPS+T500&Sys=7499-Dell-Dimension+XPS+T500&distributor=0&submit1=Search

NOTE:
"The system can take either Non-ECC(KTD-XPSRN/xx) or ECC(KTD-XPSR/xx) memory. ECC and Non-ECC modules can be mixed but will not perform ECC function. To have ECC function, ALL modules MUST be ECC."

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I'm also trying to upgrade an older dell machine XPST550, and my manual also says I need 72 pin 100mhz memory. So far I've only found 168 pin memory suggested as an upgrade.
Will 168 pin modules work in place of 72?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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