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 Post subject: Question about ram and video card
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:41 pm
Posts: 66
Working on an HP Pavilion a6130n which has 4 ram slots. Two are beige with 1GB total and the other two are blue with 2GB total. The specs for this machine say it takes PC2-5300 DDR2 ram. What does the color difference in the slots mean? One of the blue 1GB sticks is bad and causes the machine to spontaneously shutdown. Can I still use the remaining 1GB blue slots stick or do they have to be paired?

This machine has a PCI Express slot as well. What would be a good all round video card?

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/docu ... =c01050235


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 Post subject: Re: Question about ram and video card
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:50 am
Posts: 508
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
ronco1000 wrote:
...has 4 ram slots. Two are beige with 1GB total and the other two are blue...What does the color difference in the slots mean? One of the blue 1GB sticks is bad ... Can I still use the remaining 1GB blue slots stick or do they have to be paired?

This machine has a PCI Express slot as well. What would be a good all round video card?

1. Dual channel memory. One color is one channel, the other the other channel (I assume). RAM access will slightly run faster paired in dual channel mode than run in single channel mode. Since HP occupied the Blue channel slots I assume this is the first channel. Unfortunately the manuals for the system were not terribly informative. Perhaps the small writing in white on the motherboard around the RAM can shed more light if you are interested. The program CPU-z can tell you if your RAM once set up is running in dual or single channel mode. But without a second stick you cannot test this.

2. No a single stick will run just fine.

3. If you want to pair that working stick back up match its speed and timing (CAS) with the working stick. Or consider upgrading to 4Gb of 800MHz DDR2 with a 2x2Gb arrangement. Or 8Gb with a 4 x 2Gb arrangement if operating a 64-bit OS. [note: A 32-bit Windows OS can only use between 2.8 - 3.5Gb of a 4Gb arrangement.]

4. As for graphics card, HP specs do not supply power output specs of the power supply. I would have to assume it is somewhere between 220W - 305W. And depending upon who made it and the +12V output could limit your choices. Still there can be a lot of improvement over the nVidia 6150 onboard graphics. Depending upon your budget you can install modern discrete GPUs ranging from a $30 HD5450 to a $180 GTX 750Ti that use at most between 18W - 65W (1.5A- 5.4A) on the +12V rail. For general use I might recommend a HD6450 (18W; this one fanless and 5 yr warranty). Improve video playback and reasonably good at low powered gaming which meets most consumers needs. If you are gaming at a medium level I'd push for the GTX750 [55W plus a factory OC bump, 3 yr warranty].

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/prod ... ct=3436817


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 Post subject: Re: Question about ram and video card
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
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I concur with what FN has posted above, except I would like to clarify the memory options. According to what I see from the specs for your motherboard it has 4 DIMM sockets arranged in two channels:

Image

The blue colored sockets represent channel 1, the black (or beige in your board) sockets represent channel 2. You can use 1, 2, 3, or 4 total modules, however if you use only 1 or 3 modules some or all of the memory will be running in single-channel (half-speed) mode. The modules installed in an individual channel should match in capacity and voltage (1.8V only in this case), however they don't have to match speed, mfr., etc. as long as they are rated equal to or faster than the 667MHz PC2-5300 speed that the sockets actually run. In otherwords you cold install 800MHz PC2-6400 (or faster) modules, however in this system they will always run at the slower 667MHz PC2-5300 speed.

To upgrade the memory in your system, given that one of the 1GB modules has failed I would recommend installing 3 of these 1GB modules (or similar) along with the remaining good 1GB module for a total of 4GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820134634

In that case all 4 modules will run at 667MHz even though three of them would be rated for up to 800MHz.

For video I would also recommend a low-power draw card like the HD6450 that FN suggested above. The low-power draw and fanless operation will not require a power supply replacement and will still greatly outperform the integrated video you have now. It will also support multiple displays, including those with DVI and/or HDMI digital connections. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about ram and video card
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:41 pm
Posts: 66
If I replace the one bad ram stick with another that has the same specs, I don't have to worry about make do I? I see people selling them for as little as .99 cents used on eBay.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about ram and video card
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:54 pm 
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As long as it is 1.8V and 667MHz or faster (and not defective <g>) then it should work fine. Scott.


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