Slow PC? Get additional SDRAM Memory! A cautionary tale

Views 5 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful

PC so slow you find yourself losing the will to live between Windows or HTML pages...?  Then you need to speed things up!

SDRAM memory for PCs is widely available on the internet and more specifically on eBay.  It offers an increased potential functionality to flip quickly between open windows, be they MS programmes or internet pages, without incurring an undue delay.

However,  the specific nature of the SDRAM required is directly determined by your PC's motherboard.  Similarly, the maximum capacity of SDRAM memory is governed by the motherboard and the chipset therein.  Irrespective of whether you are a novice or consider yourself quite handy at PC upgrades, it is worthwhile obtaining a download from a reputable computer memory supplier which can instantly evaluate your PC's internal components and provide details of the identity of the motherboard and also advise of compatible products, importantly revealing details of their specification.

Worthwhile evaluation tools can be downloaded from crucial or orcalogic that said - their prices are frightening, most particularly the latter but they each claim to guarantee compatibility, something eBay vendors just cannot provide.

Some motherboards are known to be picky, this being true of my ASRock P4i65G which, for the purposes of illustrating specification, has two slots in which memory may be installed and a maximum capability of 2GB.  As memory is ALWAYS best obtained as matching pairs it was logical for me to obtain 2 x 1GB sticks PC3200 400DDR 400Mhz DIMM.  Certain motherboards have likes and dislikes, mine disliked HIGH density memory modules and would not boot properly following installation.  

HIGH Density memory modules have been demonstrated as being considerably cheaper than their LOW density peers, despite the overall specification being exactly the same.  As I have said, there may well be compatibility issues in respect of these HIGH density options; some may be insurmountable but others may be corrected by virtue of updating the PC's Bios settings via a download from a reputable source, usually the manufacturer of the motherboard.  In the instance previously described, HIGH density modules may function adequately but register as one half of their actual stipulated capacity, i.e. a 1GB SDRAM may operate as only 512MB and albeit, adequate the SDRAM will not serve to enhance PC performance as radically as had been intended.

However, HIGH density modules are approximately 50% cheaper than their LOW density peers and compatibility issues don't always arise.  It is a bit of an educated gamble, where it goes wrong you have a play-off between economy and performance - OK, you may achieve only 50% performance (if Bios updating is fruitless) but you pay 50% less. 

I found that sellers on eBay could not advise me of suitability of their products with my ASRock motherboard and even though many of the requirements specified using evaluation tools were satisfied by these eBay vendors' products, it is VERY important to read advertisements and specification fully.  The small print or an unfamiliar term or reference can be sufficient to ensure the SDRAM they supply will be unsuitable for your PC.  *NB* most sellers will refuse a whole or partial refund or deduct a sizeable chunk of the purchase price due to unsubstantiated, "handling and re-stocking fees".  Be mindful of the fact that these deductions are aside from the cost you must bear to return the item to the vendor.   

Evidently, this is one to be aware of when dealing with international sellers...

I am unconvinced that SDRAM sold by the majority of larger eBay vendors is of high quality; most sellers are a little reticent about divulging details of the brand or manufacturer.  Hmmm, that's not good is it folks?!  

I guess, it is a case of an adage and a caveat; the adage is, 'you get what you pay for' - namely guaranteed suitability and quality components from a recognised supplier of branded merchandise and the caveat is, 'caveat emptor' - buyer beware, for what may seem a bargain will cost you dear in terms of time, money and effort.  

I hope this may help you somewhat.


Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides