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2gb RAM Upgrade Guide
Published by acabtp
09-29-2008
Default 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

Maxing out the memory (RAM) on your Dell Mini is easy, cheap, and effective. Do it today!

Frequently Asked Questions
I thought the max was 1 gb? Why doesn't Dell offer it with more? - In order to ship the Mini with Windows XP instead of Windows Vista, there are some hardware specs that the Mini needs to be below, one of which is a maximum installed memory of 1 gb. This is just a restriction at the time of sale... the Mini hardware and the version of XP Home preinstalled on the Mini both work just fine with more than 1 gb RAM.

Will this void my warranty? - No, as long as you are careful and do not break anything.

What kind of memory can I use? - Any DDR2 SODIMM (laptop memory chip) that runs at 533 MHz (DDR2-4200) or faster. 2 gb chips are big and cheap, so it is the only size that makes sense to buy for now.

Where did you get your memory? How much did it cost? - You can get it anywhere, DDR2 SODIMM chips are standardized, and it is not specific to the Mini. Expect to pay between $30 (online) and $50 (brick and mortar).
Buy the memory from Crucial for just $28 USD or 22 for Europe/UK


Can I use a RAM chip with tighter timings? - Yes, you can. As long as the memory you are using has its performance timing value stored in the SPD, the Mini will use them. You cannot however specify the memory timings manually in the BIOS; they must be stored in the chip's SPD.

Does the Mini support RAM speeds greater than 533 MHz? - No.

On to the installation...

Swapping out the RAM
Start by turning the Mini over and removing the two screws indicated by the red circles.



Use your finger to gently pry the module cover up at this area and pop it out

and remove it


Gently pull the two metal tabs indicated by the circles to the sides, away from the center of the memory chip.

The chip will pop up to about a 25 angle and you can remove it.


Insert the new chip into the socket, making sure it is fully seated. Note that you cannot see the gold contacts at the bottom of the chip when it is fully inserted in the socket.



Gently press down on the chip until the two metal tabs you moved before lock into place on the new chip. This does not take much effort at all (one finger) so if there is any resistance, make sure you have the chip seated properly.



Replace the module cover, starting with the edge closest to the front of the laptop. Gently bend it like so to help the side clips snap back into place.



Once the cover is snapped back on, just replace the two screws you removed at the start and power the unit back up! No configuration steps are necessary, and you should see your newly installed memory available in your OS.
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  #1  
Old 09-29-2008, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

Hey, that is a great how-to!! Ive been building computers for years so that is very elementary to me but great for a novice, very nice pictures and very well written!


We need more of these...

mark
  #2  
Old 09-30-2008, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

does this mod void the warranty????
  #3  
Old 09-30-2008, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfcArtie
does this mod void the warranty????
No. In fact, you can completely disassemble and put your Dell back together, and as long as you haven't broken or damaged anything, you haven't voided the warranty.
  #4  
Old 10-01-2008, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

This is a great mod, and helps performance quite a bit!
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2008, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

Thanks Strider! That's the FIRST mod I'll make. I'm assuming Ubuntu will like it just as much as Windows does. The pain is that I won't know for sure until October 24th.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2008, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

What improvements can one expect to see with 2GB of RAM?
  #7  
Old 10-02-2008, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by blooker
What improvements can one expect to see with 2GB of RAM?

nothing... if say you already have 1 gig and have plenty of headroom... then absolutely nothing... but i installed 2 gigs any way :ugeek:
  #8  
Old 10-02-2008, 02:09 AM
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Arrow Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

I'd be perfectly willing to believe it's all in my head. :|
Still cool to do nonetheless.
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2008, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: 2gb RAM Upgrade Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by acabtp
No. In fact, you can completely disassemble and put your Dell back together, and as long as you haven't broken or damaged anything, you haven't voided the warranty.
One of the things I really love about Dell is that you CAN take your machine apart. I was looking at a Gateway at Costco and it had QA seals all over the back so you can't open it up without losing your warranty.
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