Ram capacity of the computer

dell-dimensionmemorypower supply

2 years ago I bought a Dell Dimension 9200 desktop computer as a high end gaming computer (at least, back then it was a top of the line computer). The computer was ordered with 4GB of RAM, but came in 4 1GB sticks.

2 years later I am actually finding that my computer does not have enough RAM (I have some analysis programs that will chew up any bit of RAM/CPU power you throw at them) thus I need to upgrade.

Here's the problem:

After a bit of digging around to find out what type of RAM my computer supports, i found out that my computer is supposedly already maxed out in terms of RAM. I have 4 RAM slots and the manufacturer (Dell) says that the system can only accept 1GB RAM sticks. All other sources on the internet also say that my desktop is only capable of handling 1GB RAM sticks.

However, I ran Lavalys' EVEREST program and it says my computer is capable of handling up to 2GB RAM sticks, for a maximum of 8GB total.

I have confirmed that my computer does indeed handle 2GB sticks. Unfortunately I only had 1 stick on hand and was only able to test the computer in single channel mode.

My question is, is my computer actually capable of handling the full 8GB of RAM despite what the manufacturer, and pretty much everyone else says? Should I go ahead and spend that $100 on the RAM?

A side question, I hear about RAM requiring about 15W of power per 1GB, should i be worried about my system not having enough power if i upgrade? I run a Q6600 (TPD 140W), 1 hard drive, an 8800GTX (peak 290W) and 1 DVD burner. Nvidia recommends at least a 500W power supply when running an 8800GTX, but Dell cheaped out on me with a 450W, will the extra 4GB of ram (possibly adding an extra 60W of load) cause me any problems?

Thanks in advance,

-Faken

Best Answer

Have you tried Crucial's scanner? I'm sure it will give you a more definitive answer. Alternatively, try booting with only the 2GB stick, and run memtest to check stability. Most linux distributions with a LiveCD come with memtest on the disc as well.