Hi there.
I was wondering if somebody could help a noob out.

I own a Dell Dimension 5100 with 512MB Ram.
Using CPUz, it tells me that I have two 256MB PC2-3200 (200mhz) sticks in place.

Can I remove these and boost it to 2gb with 4 512MB PC-4200 sticks, or do I have to stick with PC-3200?

In case it's relevant, the core speed reads 2793mhz,
Bus Speed 199.5mhz
Rated FSB 798mhz

Like i said, a noob, but all I want to know is if it's safe for me to buy a few PC2-4200 sticks and safely use them without blowing up my machine or frying the chips out of the motherboard!
I know the PC2-4200 is for 533mhz, but would it damage my system if I used them?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Recommended Answers

All 7 Replies

below is a short discription off the net ,it shows the ram in this 5100 as DDR SDRAM and not
ddr2,are you sure cpu-z shows pc2 3200 and not just ddr3200,so you will need to check with Dell or your motherboard specs to find out if its ddr2 compatiable ,also you could only repplace the 2 /256 chips with 4 chips if the board has 4 memory slots \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

, Dell Dimension 5100 for Home (Pentium 4 2.80GHz, 512MB, 80GB)
Manufacturer: Dell, Inc.
Part number: D51L1

Product Short Spec:
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 (2.80 GHz)
RAM installed: 512 MB DDR SDRAM
Hard drive: 80 GB
Display (projector) diagonal size: 17 in
OS provided: Microsoft Windows Media Center 2005


My name is Mike, I’m a Technical Analyst located at Dell corporate headquarters in Round Rock, TX. I’m part of an internet outreach team developed to interact with the online community regarding technical questions and issues that customers face with Dell products. I read your question and wanted to chime in.

The Dimension 5100/5100c systems support up to 4 sticks of 400 MHz or 533 MHz DDR2 memory. The system will accept memory sticks of 256MB, 512MB, and 1 GB in size with a maximum memory configuration of 4GB total.

For help with installing the memory (or any other component) or running the chips in dual channel mode, look at the online manual for the 5100 here. I hope this information is helpful.


Dell customer advocate

Thanks a lot for your help and input guys.

I'm adding a screenshot from CPUz just to show what I have.

Going by Mike's post, I think it's ok if I get 2GB's worth of sticks at either 3200 or 4300.

Caperjack, here's a couple of screenshots from CPUz so you can see exactly what I have.



It's definitely DDR2.
I'm not sure what the 200MHZ relates to; the stick speed or PC speed and would it be ok to use either 4300 or 3200 stick?

Thanks again for you helps guys. Much appreciated.

There does seem to be a lot of confusion about RAM upgrades for the Dell Dimension 5100. I went out and bought one 2 gig stick, removed my old 256 mb sticks and installed the single 2 gig in bank one, slot one. It doesn't work. Now I find out that in order to get 2 gig you must buy two 1 gig sticks and make sure you are installing both in the same bank of two slots. One gig per slot is the max. OK, back to the store sometime soon but, before I go I still need to know if replacing my old PC2-3200 sticks with PC 2-4200 or higher will be of any benefit even after updating the Bios settings. The more basic question is will a PC2-4200 run at that higher speed with two of the same RAM sticks at that speed or is the maximum default speed PC2-3200 no matter how high the RAM is capable of? Please don't refer me to my Dell owners manual. It is not, at all, clear on this.

Please chime back in Mike.
I'm sure we'd all appreciate it.

After 4 years I wouldn't hold your breath :)

After 4 years of what? I really hope your not referring to my computer being 4 years old and thus "obsolete" and therefore I need a new one. That is not smart. Anyone with the cash can keep buying new computers and wind up with the latest and greatest software/hardware. I find it interesting to keep an old computer working it's best as long as I can without spending $800 or more every few months. 4 years is nothing. I have an antique Dell server with Linux Ubuntu 11.04 and the Firefox brouser that runs circles around the Dell 5100 with XP my friend has or any other Windows OS I've seen. In the next month or so maybe you should try Ubuntu when your current "newest" computer takes a crap from all the spyware you no doubt have stored on your system. What? Do you mean Norton didn't find it? Shazaam! Us computer geeks love you guys with money.

Thank you in advance

First post was made in 2007. 4 years ago.

Stefi is long gone.

commented: Where did she went? Or is it a he;) +10
Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, learning, and sharing knowledge.