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I ordered a stick of 256MB PC-133 DIMM for my daughter's Dell L866r and it's not the right stuff. It does have the 168 pin and it'll fit into the ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Finding the right PC133 Memory.


    I ordered a stick of 256MB PC-133 DIMM for my daughter's Dell L866r and it's not the right stuff. It does have the 168 pin and it'll fit into the slot but the machine doesn't see it at all. It only has a single side of chips on the stick, the stuff that's in it has both sides with chips. So what in heck do I need to order for this old machine? Is there a single density vs double density or some such or what am I missing here? Thanks.

    P.S.
    I did find this info by doing a little digging:
    Dell Dimension L866R Computer Memory. The Dell Dimension L866R Computer takes the PC100 SDRAM DIMMs Memory Type, and comes installed with 64 MB (removable) of Memory. You can upgrade your Dell Dimension L866R Computer to up to a maximum memory capacity of 512 MB Memory, the system has 2 sockets to install Memory, already with 64 MB (removable) standard Memory installed. For best Dimension L866R Computer performance use the maximum amount of allowed Memory per slot for your Computer.
    So, should it take PC-100 instead of PC-133? The PC-133 out of my old iMac worked fine in it and the computer "saw" it without issue but then again it has chips on both sides of the stick too.

    P.S.S.
    I did some more digging on Newegg and found two sticks of PC-100 and two of PC-133 that were described the same but when you looked at the pictures one had chips on a single side and one had them on both sides. How does this make a difference? Why won't the memory with the single side of chips work in this older machine? Seems like I did pull one stick out with just a single side of chips and it was working but the 256MB single side sticks won't work at all.
    Last edited by TNFrank; 09-11-2013 at 01:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hey,

    I seem to remember that you need to make sure that the RAM is "packaged" in the proper format (or something like that, I don't remember the lingo). but i think you are on the right track with double-sided/singles-sided memory.

    anyway, i always use a reliable website that lists specific compatible memory sticks for a specific model type. for example, check out this website and link for your dell laptop:

    Dell Dimension L866R Computer Memory Upgrades - Guaranteed Compatible | 4AllMemory.com

  3. #3
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    Low density ram came with that Laptop. Low Density means more chips. Hence the chips on front and back side of original ram stick.

    Some early motherboards can't handle high density ram. Search ebay for the info and here is what you get.

    In summary:-

    LOW DENSITY modules have 100% compatibility with ALL systems and ALL chipsets as it fully follows JEDEC guidelines.
    HIGH DENSITY modules only have 10% compatibility and are VERY SLOW as it breaks all JEDEC guidelines.

    This is also why almost all Branded-Name systems such as Apple/MAC, Compaq/HP, Dell and IBM only uses LOW DENSITY modules.

    How to tell if your 512MB module is a low or high density module?

    All low density 512MB modules are made with 16 chips (8 chips on each side) using 32Mx8 device.
    Some low density 512MB modules are made with 16 chips (8 chips on each side) using 16Mx16 device.
    All high density 512MB modules are made with 8 chips (8 chips on one side with the other side blank OR 4 chips on each side) using 64Mx8 OR 32Mx16 device.

    How to tell if your 256MB module is a low or high density module?

    All low density 256MB modules are made with 16 chips (8 chips on each side) using 16Mx8 device.
    Most high density 256MB modules are made with 8 chips (8 chips on one side with the other side blank OR 4 chips on each side) using 32Mx8 device.
    Some high density 256MB modules are made with 8 chips (4 chips on each side) using 16Mx16 device.
    Some even higher density 256MB modules are made with 4 chips (4 chips on one side with the other side blank OR 2 chips on each side) using 32Mx16 device.

    In this case, it still costs memory manufacturers almost the same to produce all versions of these chip, but low density module always requires DOUBLE the amount of chips to make the same 256MB module than high density. Hence low density modules are usually double the price of high density modules of the same capacity.

    So for sure, since you said

    The PC-133 out of my old iMac worked fine in it and the computer "saw" it without issue but then again it has chips on both sides of the stick too.
    So it was probably low density. PC-133 is backwards compatible , (in least in my experience) with PC-100. Density is what actually matters here more than that. You shoulda made sure through the seller he was selling low density ram either through the description or email.

    256MB module: total Module layout is 32Mx64
    High density - each Chip is 16Mx16
    Low density - each Chip is 16Mx8

    512MB module: total Module layout is 64Mx64
    High density - each Chip is 32Mx16
    Low density - each Chip is 32Mx8



    1GB module: total Module layout is 128Mx64
    High density - each Chip is 64Mx16
    Low density - each Chip is 64Mx8

    2GB module: total Module layout is 256Mx64
    High density - each Chip is 256Mx16
    Low density - each Chip is 256x8

    256MB PC100 SODIMM Low Density
    Kingston KVR100X64SC2/256 KVR100X64SC2L/256 KTM-TP390X/256
    Micron MT16LSDF3264HG-10EB1 PC100-222-620

    256MB PC133 SODIMM Low Density
    Kingston KVR133X64SC3/256 KVR133X64SC3L/256
    Micron MT16LSDF3264HG-133 MT16LSDF3264HY-133 MT16LSDF3264HY-13E

    If ya wonder how I know this stuff

    http://www.smartestcomputing.us.com/...rt-686-laptop/
    Last edited by rokytnji; 09-11-2013 at 02:48 PM.

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  5. #4
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    This isn't a laptop, it's a desktop but I do think you're on the right track there with the Low Density vs High Density deal.
    Thanks for the link atreyu, that looks like what I'll need and the price isn't too bad either. I just really would like this desktop up to it's full 512MB since that seems to be kind of a "magic number" for running stuff. Looks like I need to place another order now.

    P.S.
    Well, just got a 256MB stick of PC-100 LOW Density ordered. Hopefully this'll do the trick. Thanks again guys.
    Last edited by TNFrank; 09-11-2013 at 04:20 PM.

  6. #5
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    If it's desktop SDRAM you're after, I've got a zillion sticks of the stuff. I don't know the subtleties of determining compatibility or even identifying what exactly I have, so I just use trial and error.

    But most of it is 128 MB sticks. I only have two sticks of 256 MB, and I'm keeping them for myself.

    Still, if it's something you're interested in I could mail a bunch of the 128 meg sticks to you; just mail back whatever you don't use (or doesn't work).
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  7. #6
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Thanks for the offer but 128MB are the sticks that I have and are replacing. The link that atreyu provided worked out great, plugged in the PC-100, 256MB stick and it's up and running so there's a full 512MB available and man, it needs every meg, LOL.

  8. #7
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    that's great, TNFrank. glad your rig is rockin!

    closing as Solved.

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