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Memory Question - outcome of exceeding the memory limits of a machine.



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 3rd 03, 12:26 AM
John B.
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Default Memory Question - outcome of exceeding the memory limits of a machine.

This may be just a stupid question, but I've never seen it asked before and
I don't know the answer.

I have an emachine (etower 667ir) that I just bought used (it's three years
old). It has only two memory slots built onto the motherboard that is
suppose to have the ability of handling up to a combined total max of 256mb
in PC100 SDRAM. I taking it for granted that number is a max of 128mb per
slot.

The machine currently has only one128mb stick installed, and I decided to go
ahead and expand the memory to the max
of it's limit by adding a second 128mb stick. This was when I had a thought
and came up with a question that I have never really seen asked before.

My question is what would really happen if I went against the rules and
placed two separate 256mb PC100 SDRAM sticks (combined total of 512mb)
inside the machine, exceeding the 256mb max limit.

Would the computer:
1. just not work and/or freeze up, or
2. just be able to access the first 128mb in each stick, or
3. just be able to access the first 256mb in the first stick and ignore the
second, or
4. nobody knows?

Anyway, it was just a thought, since a person can over clock a some
machines, it just seems a bit logical to be able to exceed the memory limits
to some level or degree.



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  #2  
Old November 3rd 03, 07:48 AM
Wuahn
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On Sun, 2 Nov 2003 19:26:13 -0500, "John B."
wrote:

This may be just a stupid question, but I've never seen it asked before and
I don't know the answer.

I have an emachine (etower 667ir) that I just bought used (it's three years
old). It has only two memory slots built onto the motherboard that is
suppose to have the ability of handling up to a combined total max of 256mb
in PC100 SDRAM. I taking it for granted that number is a max of 128mb per
slot.

The machine currently has only one128mb stick installed, and I decided to go
ahead and expand the memory to the max
of it's limit by adding a second 128mb stick. This was when I had a thought
and came up with a question that I have never really seen asked before.

My question is what would really happen if I went against the rules and
placed two separate 256mb PC100 SDRAM sticks (combined total of 512mb)
inside the machine, exceeding the 256mb max limit.

Would the computer:
1. just not work and/or freeze up, or
2. just be able to access the first 128mb in each stick, or
3. just be able to access the first 256mb in the first stick and ignore the
second, or
4. nobody knows?

Anyway, it was just a thought, since a person can over clock a some
machines, it just seems a bit logical to be able to exceed the memory limits
to some level or degree.


In my experience, the specified memory limitation is often just what
the motherboard manufacturer was able to test before the model began
shipping. Your computer may only three years old but the motherboard
might have been designed much earlier, before 256-meg SDRAM was
common. They may be just covering their asses by saying you can't
exceed 256-megs total.

If it is a true limitation, my guess is that you will not be able to
boot the system and you will get memory error beeps -- just like
there's no memory in the system at all. Remember, I'm just guessing.

The good news is that trying larger SDRAM is very unlikely to damage
either the motherboard or the memory. Put it in there and see what
happens. Maybe you don't have the memory laying around and don't want
to speed money on chips that might not work. If you've got a good
computer store in your area that isn't fussy about returns, pay the
extra money and buy from them instead of online. Those restocking
fees can reach criminal proportions.

I should point out that some motherboards (particularly in name brand
computers) are EXTREMELY picky when it comes to memory. Some good
friends of mine have a Dell OptiPlex that they asked me to upgrade and
I've tried every stick of SDRAM I can find, both with their original
memory installed and without, and not a single chip will boot the
computer. Dell technical support says it's just regular old PC100,
but I'll be damned if I can make any other memory chip work besides
what came with the system originally.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

-Wuahn


  #3  
Old November 3rd 03, 09:00 AM
kony
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Posts: n/a
Default

On Sun, 2 Nov 2003 19:26:13 -0500, "John B."
wrote:

This may be just a stupid question, but I've never seen it asked before and
I don't know the answer.

I have an emachine (etower 667ir) that I just bought used (it's three years
old). It has only two memory slots built onto the motherboard that is
suppose to have the ability of handling up to a combined total max of 256mb
in PC100 SDRAM. I taking it for granted that number is a max of 128mb per
slot.

The machine currently has only one128mb stick installed, and I decided to go
ahead and expand the memory to the max
of it's limit by adding a second 128mb stick. This was when I had a thought
and came up with a question that I have never really seen asked before.

My question is what would really happen if I went against the rules and
placed two separate 256mb PC100 SDRAM sticks (combined total of 512mb)
inside the machine, exceeding the 256mb max limit.

Would the computer:
1. just not work and/or freeze up, or
2. just be able to access the first 128mb in each stick, or
3. just be able to access the first 256mb in the first stick and ignore the
second, or
4. nobody knows?

Anyway, it was just a thought, since a person can over clock a some
machines, it just seems a bit logical to be able to exceed the memory limits
to some level or degree.


The chipset appears to be Intel 810, which supports 512MB of memory,
IIRC, so I would GUESS it can support 2 - 256MB modules.

As as the previous poster suggested you might take it to a shop and
ask them to try 512MB as two 256MB PC100 modules, but be sure they
realize it needs 16 x 8 density PC100 memory. If it's an
unknowledgable technician they might try newer common PC133 memory
which would not work, might not POST if 128MB modules were tried, or
might show as half-capacity of each module, with 256MB modules.


Dave
  #4  
Old November 3rd 03, 02:13 PM
Mike Walsh
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Posts: n/a
Default


2. just be able to access the first 128mb in each stick


"John B." wrote:

This may be just a stupid question, but I've never seen it asked before and
I don't know the answer.

I have an emachine (etower 667ir) that I just bought used (it's three years
old). It has only two memory slots built onto the motherboard that is
suppose to have the ability of handling up to a combined total max of 256mb
in PC100 SDRAM. I taking it for granted that number is a max of 128mb per
slot.

The machine currently has only one128mb stick installed, and I decided to go
ahead and expand the memory to the max
of it's limit by adding a second 128mb stick. This was when I had a thought
and came up with a question that I have never really seen asked before.

My question is what would really happen if I went against the rules and
placed two separate 256mb PC100 SDRAM sticks (combined total of 512mb)
inside the machine, exceeding the 256mb max limit.

Would the computer:
1. just not work and/or freeze up, or
2. just be able to access the first 128mb in each stick, or
3. just be able to access the first 256mb in the first stick and ignore the
second, or
4. nobody knows?

Anyway, it was just a thought, since a person can over clock a some
machines, it just seems a bit logical to be able to exceed the memory limits
to some level or degree.

--
Change [comcast.non] to [comcast.net]


--
Mike Walsh
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.
  #5  
Old November 4th 03, 12:25 PM
John B.
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Posts: n/a
Default

A somewhat diverse group of answers.

An implied consensus appears to be that trying it out probably won't hurt
the mobo or the memory. That was one thing that I was hoping to hear. I
think that I might take a chance and get two sticks, and give it a try.
It'll be sometime next week before I get an order shipped to me and placed
inside the machine, so I'll try to remember to post my results when that
happens.


 




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