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My Dell D420 has 512MB of RAM on the mother board and there's a single slot on the back for one SODIMM. It had a 1GB DDR2-533MHz stick in it ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Dell D420 RAM question.


    My Dell D420 has 512MB of RAM on the mother board and there's a single slot on the back for one SODIMM. It had a 1GB DDR2-533MHz stick in it and as expected I had 1.5GB of RAM. I ordered a 2GB DDR2-667MHz stick and got it in today. After install the laptop had to run a test before it'd boot. Guess Dell does it differently then HP/Compaq because HP only tells you that the amount of RAM has changed and if it's now correct to which you answer YES and SAVE SETTINGS but Dell wants to dig a bit deeper.
    Anyway, I digress, after letting it run a few memory tests I was ask it I wanted to run more and said "No" and exited out of the tests and on reboot I hit F2 into BIOS to see how much RAM would show up.
    It says that there's 2560 installed but only 2GB can be used because it says something to the effect that some of the RAM is being used by system resources or some such.
    Anyway, I checked with Hardinfo and it only shows 2048MB as being installed.
    I was pretty sure that the mother board would "see" the full 2.5GB of RAM and I really don't think that the different between 533MHz and 667MHz would matter because I"m running 667MHz in my HP's and all the RAM shows up unless maybe it has to be the same as the 512MB that's on the mother Board in which case I'll need 533MHz but I still don't see why that would make a difference since the bus speed would just throttle back the 667MHz to 533MHz anyway so they should work together.
    Anyway, can someone shed some light on this, do I need to get DDR2-533MHz in order to max out my RAM to 2.5GB or can the mother board really only use 2GB or what??
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
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  2. #2
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Ok, so I put the 1GB stick of DDR2-533MHz back in and let it do it's little test then booted into BIOS. It shows 1536MB of RAM installed and 1527MB available. Still Single Channel which is odd since I could have sworn that the D420 supported Dual Channel memory. I wonder if they have to be totally identical in both size and MHz to go dual channel?
    Also, I wonder if I have to have the same 533MHz in the installed RAM so it'll match the stuff that's hard wired to the mother board?
    I was going to need a 2GB stick of DDR2-667MHz anyway to bump the D630(which is 667MHz) up from 3GB to 4GB so I'll just use the one I have and order a 2GB stick of DDR2-533MHz if you guys think it'll make the D420 use all 2.5GB of RAM. If there's some reason that I'll be stuck at 2GB max like the mother board or something then I'll just stick with the 1.5GB that I have installed now and not bother.
    Computers can be such FUN at times.
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
    Wanna be hackers? Code crackers? Slackers
    Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers?
    9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?"

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Ok, got my answer.
    "Memory is extremely important in today’s computing. The D420 offers up to 2GB of DDR2-4200 (533mhz). This, however, is an extremely expensive option. 2GB is achieved by using a 2GB stick in addition to the 512MB soldered onto the motherboard. Due to motherboard limitation only 2GB instead of 2.5GB is addressable. A more realistic upgrade is 1.5GB of RAM. This is highly recommended for running this system under Windows Vista due to the integrated GMA950. 1.5GB will cost an extra of around $90 if upgraded aftermarket which is a very reasonable price."

    Dell Latitude D420 with Core Duo and Windows Vista Review

    Looks like the MoBo only supports 2GB of RAM so adding a 2GB stick will "waste" 512MB of RAM. Guess I'll just keep it at the current 1.5GB unless someone can come up with a 1.5GB stick then I can bump it up to 2GB, LOL
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
    Wanna be hackers? Code crackers? Slackers
    Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers?
    9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?"

  4. #4
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    I thought the dell latitude d420 max supported ram was 1.5 gig with one slot so you were already at max with a 1gig stick in the slot.

    Dell Latitude D420 Specs - CNET

    link would confirm but perhaps you can squeeze another 512 with ram testing.. I would leave it at 1.5 and use the 2 gig in another unit but your call

  5. #5
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmy View Post
    I thought the dell latitude d420 max supported ram was 1.5 gig with one slot so you were already at max with a 1gig stick in the slot.

    Dell Latitude D420 Specs - CNET

    link would confirm but perhaps you can squeeze another 512 with ram testing.. I would leave it at 1.5 and use the 2 gig in another unit but your call
    I could have sworn I read where max was 2.5GB but after the 2GB of RAM that I installed only 2GB was available so the 512MB on the mobo was essentially wasted. I just went a head and used the 2GB stick in my new (to me) Dell D630 which gives me 3.9GB(not sure why it's not 4GB, go figure) so that'll work well enough I guess.
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
    Wanna be hackers? Code crackers? Slackers
    Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers?
    9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?"

  6. #6
    Linux Newbie arespi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFrank View Post
    I could have sworn I read where max was 2.5GB
    It is the D430 that supports the 2.5 gb, it also has 0.5 gb at the motherboard.

  7. #7
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arespi View Post
    It is the D430 that supports the 2.5 gb, it also has 0.5 gb at the motherboard.
    I wonder why only 2GB is showing up with a 2GB stick and 512MB on the MoBo?
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
    Wanna be hackers? Code crackers? Slackers
    Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers?
    9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?"

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