Upgrading your computers Memory
If you're upgrading your old computer you might want to use the crucial.com memory configuration tools.
But, if you are upgrading your QPI based systems you might want to avoid reading what the manufacturers (HP, DELL) recommend and follow the motherboard and CPU manufacturers design guides.
Here's what I mean, HP recommends a memory configuration of 2x2GB = 4 Gb of total.
Intel recommends that 3 slots of the 6 slot motherboard need to be filled so the QPI channels are in balance.
I recommend filling all 6 slots with the max memory now because it's so cheap but that's me, spend $100 more for 28Gb more means no memory issues later when they discontinue your module or jack up the price higher than your computers worth.
When Intel started talking about the QPI replacing the FSB they also talked about CPU and Memory Channel Banks.
The design of your computer which typically started with your motherboard now starts with your CPU.
I was upgrading a QPI Workstation from HP and reading the manual didn't help. Actually it was taking away from the design by recommending a 2 DIMM configuration in a system that requires 3 memory modules per memory channel bank.
The units shipped with 3GB and I ordered 2Gb replacement modules.
I wanted to find out if I could mix the module size keeping the speed and type the same.
HP's quick guide shows a mix of 2 and 4Gb / 4 and 8Gb so why not 1 and 2Gb.
Well, if you place the larger memory in the first slot (outside each I believe) then the smaller modules in the remaining channel slots you have a working system.
One why to test if your memory upgrade really worked is to check what the 64bit OS reports.
Open your computer properties (Right click Computer > Left click Properties)
Look at the memory line. If you see, 4Gb (using 2.99Gb) then your memory is not being read or used correctly.
Windows 7 will report available memory and total. If you mixed your memory types or placed them in the wrong order Windows 7 (from what I have seen) will offer you a simple line 4Gb installed 2.99Gb useable.. Or something like that.
Change the location of your modules (turn off your computer unplug it etc.) and see if that helps.
Now you can use that old 1GB memory in your system until you purchase the max memory per DIMM and fill all your channel slots. Until that time, you are not completely using the workstation to the top level of it's design.
Buying Memory in today's world.
I've seen memory names come and go over the last 20 years but chip manufacturers of the good stuff seem to have what it takes.
If I was to recommend a computer memory chip I'd say it was Micron and Samsung.
Even more today based on the new old memory modules that might make computers in the next generation.
It seems to be a bubble hybrid layered module. But not to worry, we will see them on servers before a laptop. But, if it's what I think it is (Grid computers 1985) it should be something to look for.
The Crucial Memory Advisor tool can quickly help you find the perfect memory (Micron) for your computer.
You can order directly from them or copy the model number and search for other prices.
There are other memory manufacturers but because some of my servers build in the late 1990's are still running on the Samsung chips and workstations built with Micron chips are all up it is good to know the life time warranty they offered years ago still has a place to be honored. Not only that, more motherboards work with them as well.