Is there any harm in installing too much RAM?


W

wylbur37

I'm aware that you can use RAM that's of a higher or lower speed
than the computer expects. (It'll just run at whatever
the lower speed is).

But what if you put in a higher *amount* of memory
than the computer expects?
For example, suppose you have an old desktop computer
that has 2 slots, each with a maximum capacity of 128MB each.
If you put in 2 RAM modules, each with 512MB, the computer
will likely still work (although it'll only recognize and use
the first 128MB of each module).

But besides wasting RAM, is there any actual harm in doing this?
For example, can this cause the operating system to malfunction
or for data to be corrupted?

....
 
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P

pjp

wylbur37 said:
I'm aware that you can use RAM that's of a higher or lower speed
than the computer expects. (It'll just run at whatever
the lower speed is).

But what if you put in a higher *amount* of memory
than the computer expects?
For example, suppose you have an old desktop computer
that has 2 slots, each with a maximum capacity of 128MB each.
If you put in 2 RAM modules, each with 512MB, the computer
will likely still work (although it'll only recognize and use
the first 128MB of each module).

But besides wasting RAM, is there any actual harm in doing this?
For example, can this cause the operating system to malfunction
or for data to be corrupted?

...

Other than I can't see why you'd want to put more ram in a pc than the specs
say it'll take maxed out, I suppose if you got the spare ram around give it
a go. Sounds like it'd be very motherboard dependant though. Only thing I
can recall might be any kind of a problem is something to do with 98/98SE
and more than 512 megs ram.
 
B

Brian Cryer

wylbur37 said:
I'm aware that you can use RAM that's of a higher or lower speed
than the computer expects. (It'll just run at whatever
the lower speed is).

But what if you put in a higher *amount* of memory
than the computer expects?
For example, suppose you have an old desktop computer
that has 2 slots, each with a maximum capacity of 128MB each.
If you put in 2 RAM modules, each with 512MB, the computer
will likely still work (although it'll only recognize and use
the first 128MB of each module).

But besides wasting RAM, is there any actual harm in doing this?
For example, can this cause the operating system to malfunction
or for data to be corrupted?

There might be some computers where it won't start if it has a ram
configuration that it doesn't recognise. In this case the BIOS will tell you
it doesn't like the memory configuration. But I'd expect that the BIOS will
just limit the amount of memory you can use - I had a laptop which had 768MB
of RAM installed but the BIOS would only ever see 512MB. I also had a
Windows Vista (32bit) pc which briefly had 6GB of RAM installed, the BIOS
would see all of it but Vista would only let me use 4GB (3.5GB really), so I
ended up taking the extra RAM out and using it elsewhere.

So, worst case, the BIOS will complain. If it won't start then take out any
excess RAM, but beyond that it shouldn't harm anything (not as far as I
know).
 
D

Desk Rabbit

I'm aware that you can use RAM that's of a higher or lower speed
than the computer expects. (It'll just run at whatever
the lower speed is).

But what if you put in a higher *amount* of memory
than the computer expects?
For example, suppose you have an old desktop computer
that has 2 slots, each with a maximum capacity of 128MB each.
If you put in 2 RAM modules, each with 512MB, the computer
will likely still work (although it'll only recognize and use
the first 128MB of each module).

But besides wasting RAM, is there any actual harm in doing this?
For example, can this cause the operating system to malfunction
or for data to be corrupted?

...
What a pointless exercise.
 
M

Meat Plow

I'm aware that you can use RAM that's of a higher or lower speed than
the computer expects. (It'll just run at whatever the lower speed is).

But what if you put in a higher *amount* of memory than the computer
expects?
For example, suppose you have an old desktop computer that has 2 slots,
each with a maximum capacity of 128MB each. If you put in 2 RAM modules,
each with 512MB, the computer will likely still work (although it'll
only recognize and use the first 128MB of each module).

But besides wasting RAM, is there any actual harm in doing this? For
example, can this cause the operating system to malfunction or for data
to be corrupted?

...

Probably wouldn't boot if anything.
 
H

Hugh Jorgan

~BD~ said:
OT - Message for Brian Cryer
***********************

Just thought you'd like to know what 'Peter Foldes' says about *you* in
another group!

"And especially Brian Cryer who gives some really idiotic crap advice."

Ref:
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/alt.politics.scorched-earth/msg/f254fc61411591c9?hl=en


You might also wish to know about this thread too, Brian.

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/al.../browse_thread/thread/08458e9fd3435823?hl=en#

I recently followed your advice and upgraded my wife's laptop by
installing a 1GB card from Crucial!

Thanks for your good and valued advice.

David B.
 
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B

Brian Cryer

OT - Message for Brian Cryer
***********************

Just thought you'd like to know what 'Peter Foldes' says about *you* in
another group!
<snip>

Interesting, thank you. We all know that there are many imature people on
the internet. Perhaps he was having a bad day, because his advice in this
thread was quite reasonable. I'm not going to play the flame game, too many
more constructive things to do.
I recently followed your advice and upgraded my wife's laptop by
installing a 1GB card from Crucial!

Thanks for your good and valued advice.

Glad you found it useful. Thank you.
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

Desk Rabbit said:
What a pointless exercise.

(And to pjp who was more politely wondering why you'd want to do this:)
I can think of two possible reasons why the OP might "want" to do this:

1. He wants to add to what's there, but has been unable to source RAM
modules of the correct physical type but of small enough capacity; or
2. He wants to see if the stated maxima are genuinely the most it can
take, or are just the most the mobo manufacturer thought would ever be
available in that size (but have actually made provision for larger).

2. prompts a side thought: have memory modules always gone in powers of
two, or were there ever (e. g.) 768M ones? I've encountered mobos with
this sort of limit (I think with three slots rather than two slots with
different maxima), but I don't _think_ I've encountered RAM modules. (Of
course, with much older PCs, you could use a RAM module with a fault,
and the power-on test would detect that and only use the RAM below that,
but I don't think modern PCs do anything like such a thorough test at
powerup, just reading the data from the mask instead; with modern memory
sizes, testing it would take too long, for a start.)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G.5AL-IS-P--Ch++(p)[email protected]+Sh0!:`)DNAf

.... more doomed than a busload of ... enthusiasts on their way to a Private
Frazer convention on a bus whose brakes have just failed as it heads towards a
cliff. - Eddie Mair, Radio Times 20-26 November 2010
 

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