On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 08:04:21AM +0200, Pasqualino Imbemba wrote:
in my spare time I'm helping people switch from Windows (mostly XP) to Linux. In this case, I'm helping a guy with a quite dated Dell Dimension 5000. The PC is using a single slot with 2GB memory (Samsung m378t5663qz3-cf7). Accoding to the Dell manual this PC supports 400- and 533-MHz DDR2 unbuffered SDRAM, with 256 MB, 512 MB, or 1 GB non-ECC capacity and mounts max 4 GB.
So I wonder that a single module of 2GB (800MHz) actually works!?
Well ... in SDRAM S stands for "syncronous". Syncronous chips are known to be able to downclock as low as 1Hz or less (RAM refresh problem apart...) so it is not so strange. Usually incompatibilies in different RAM technology involves different voltage / connectors but if these are the same ... well you are fortunate! :-)
Sometimes there are "double face" modules. If this is the case you will find that that 2G module acts as two 1G module and you will never be able to install another in the adiacent slot but you will have to jump a slot and effectively being able to use just two slots. The very same as to fill up all four slots with 1G modules but with just two 2G modules.
I'd recommended this guy to switch to 4 x 1 GB, i.e. upgrading his machine to 4 GB, he saw also the Dell manual, but he said he'd like to try adding another 2 GB of the above Samsung.
Should he do so or stick to the manual recommendations?
I think that if it is like I have supposed above it is perfectly ok to do so. Since you are out of specifications the only way to know if it is going to work is to try...