RAM Question
March 20, 2004 8:53 PM   Subscribe

RAM question. PC100 ram comes in two flavors, low density where each chip on the stick is 16mb, and high density where each chip is 32mb. Someone told me that name brand laptops never use high density. This meshes with my experience, but what I want to know is: why? The high density stuff tends to cost half as much.

And while I'm at it, does anyone have a stick of 256mb low density with CL2 they'll let go for $40? I'm a starving student
posted by Grod to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
That seems unlikely -- SODIMMS (standard laptop RAM) can only hold 8 chips, so unless they're double-stacking them (which would probably make them too thick) any 256MB SODIMM is going to use 32+ MB chips.

(and good luck getting your RAM -- I too starve, and I found my 256MB DIMMs for $55 on sale from Dell, and that was the cheapest I've ever seen.)
posted by j.edwards at 11:43 PM on March 20, 2004


Bleh....getting any RAM from your manufacturer is a terrible idea, they always mark them up a ton :( I've had good experiences with a small online store called MemoryX (I think it's just memoryx.com...it's a Yahoo store in reality), their RAM is quite cheap but has served me well and always arrives promptly.

Otherwise, a combination of www.pricewatch.com and checking any good-looking dealers there on www.resellerratings.com is a great way to get cheaper (but not necessarily lower-quality) computer parts :)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 8:41 AM on March 21, 2004


Correction, they USED to be a Yahoo store...guess they outgrew Yahoo. Still seem to have fairly decent prices, though, and as a nice plus they sort everything by computer make and model number so you still know it's the type that will work in your particular machine.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 8:43 AM on March 21, 2004


No. 256mb of low density ram has 8 chips on either side, making a total of sixteen chips. 16x16=256, each chip is 16mb. I know this for a fact because I have a (recently deceased) stick in front of me right now. Here is a picture
both sides of the stick look like that. Note the price. It's the lowest I've seen online, although I once got a stick for $50 from a shop, still works too.
posted by Grod at 10:47 AM on March 21, 2004


This meshes with my experience, but what I want to know is: why?

"The candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long... And you, my child, have burned oh so brightly."
posted by kaibutsu at 11:25 AM on March 21, 2004


I know this for a fact because I have a (recently deceased) stick in front of me right now.

How odd! I've never seen square chips doubled up like that before. My Dell-brand RAM is eight-chip 256 modules (PC133) and the Crucial PC133 256MB my friend has is the same.

I don't see any reason to prefer low- to high-density -- a lot of older computers won't take high-density, but if it works with one's laptop I'd say get it. The increase in cost could just be due to demand for that module. I've never noticed a quality/lifetime decrease due to low- or high-density.
posted by j.edwards at 2:14 PM on March 21, 2004


Check eBay for RAM; you might get lucky. I sucked it up and bought my 512MB from crucial, however.
posted by Lynsey at 3:39 PM on March 21, 2004


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