Increase RAM

Started May 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Expensive to upgrade that model

Sorry for the delay, as I missed your post with specifications.

I think the cost would be too high to upgrade that model.

That's a Packard Bell Media X2416 with a Core 2 Quad 8200 using 32 Bit Vista.

The Motherboard in that PC Model only has 2 memory slots and uses non-ECC DDR2 memory.

In order to bring it up to 8GB of memory, you'd need to replace the memory in it (unplug the old memory, plug in new memory) with two 4GB modules that would be very expensive.

That system was specified for 4GB Maximum Memory (2x4GB) from the manufacturer.  But, Crucial makes an 8GB set of memory (2x4GB) that is guaranteed compatible with it.  This set:

You may be able to find another set of 2x4GB of PC2-5300 or PC2-6400 (and it would need to be non-ECC) that *might* work with it.   For example, one of these:

But, because that type of memory is very rare (4GB DIMMs of DDR2), and that system was only designed for 4GB maximum (2x2GB which is what you have now), I'd stick with Crucial (since their set of 2x4GB for 8GB total is guaranteed to work in it, and it's approximately the same price as the other options).

However, you would also need to install a 64 Bit Operating System before the 8GB of memory would be recognized.     That would require a fresh installation of Windows (since you can't do an in place upgrade from a 32 bit version to a 64 bit version).

So, you'd want to buy something like 64 Bit Windows 7 (around $100 for an OEM version, or a a little more for an upgrade version), and install Windows and all of your programs again before the extra memory could be used (since 32 Bit Vista won't use more than about 3.2GB of what you have installed, and a 64 Bit Operating System is needed to utilize more of it).

In other words, you'd need to invest approximately $300 to upgrade it to 8GB of memory and 64 Bit Windows 7 (or 64 Bit Windows 8) so that you can use 8GB of memory.   Because it only has 2 memory slots, you could never go with more than 8GB total in it either.

Personally, I think I'd just buy a new PC instead, as newer PCs will already have a 64 Bit Operating System installed, and would use far less expensive DDR3 type memory.   For example, you could buy 16GB (for example, a set of 2x8GB) of fast 1600Mhz DDR3 for approximately $100 for use with a modern PC.    So, you're spending 4 times as much money for half the memory trying to upgrade an older model like that Packard Bell.

Plus, a newer CPU is much faster.   For example, you could buy a new system with a newer Intel Core i5 3xxx CPU (Core i5 3550, 3470, 3570K, etc.) or even newer Core i5 4xxx CPU, and have a system that's going to be approximately twice as fast for use with applications like Photoshop, and you could more easily add additional memory.

Unless you're on a very tight budget, I think I'd just spend $500 or $600 on a newer PC with something like a Core i5 3xxx CPU model, 64 Bit Windows 7 or 8, and 8GB memory already installed,  versus spending around $300 to upgrade your old one, since a newer PC like that would be *much* faster and allow you to add more memory for far less money (since newer PCs use a less expensive type of memory).   If you're on a tight budget, you may want to look into refurbished machines (for example, Dell, HP and others sell refurbished computers for good prices on sale).

That way, you could get a much faster PC with a  newer 64 Bit Operating System and more memory, versus trying to spend a lot of money to upgrade an older model like your Packard Bell, especially, since you are limited as to how much memory you could add, and the CPU in it is not as fast as the newer Quad Core models.

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