JacquesAssert
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Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

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Two Vostro 3300 shipped with 4GB (2x2GB v1.5). 
Attempting upgrade to 8GB, so far without success.
Latest Bios A12

Crucial.com memory selector claims support for 4GB DDR3-12800 CL11 1.35v

I've tried three G-Skill and Samsung products with identical results:

1) G-Skill F3-1600C9D-8GBSL (PC3-12800, CL9, 1.35v)

2) G-Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBSQ (PC3-12800, CL9, 1.5v)

3) Samsung 4GB 1Rx8 PC3L 12800S-11-13-B4

None boot normally, either as a single device or in combination with existing memory (at same voltage). All devices are recognized in the BIOS (as 1066MHz). Following BIOS splash screen, attempts to boot Windows result in video corrupted in repeated interlaced block pattern and system freezes.

F5 MATS fails with corrupted graphics after several minutes. System is unresponsive.
Memtest 86+ fails almost immediately (Fail-Safe or not) with a spattering of black character cells

These specs appear to be compatible, yet don't work.
Any compatibility suggestions (ideally based on actual experience) would be appreciated.

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JacquesA
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RE: Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

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The problem was simply that the Vostro 3300 (and presumably 3400) require low density parts, and all the tested examples were high density parts.

The high-density/low-density distinction is not explicitly indicated in any literature that I can find.

For Crucial parts at least, the last two digits of the product code will indicate the density.

For example, CT51264BF160BJ is a high density part (ends in BJ), while CT51264BF160B is a low density part (ends in B). It appears that G-Skill and several others may only use high-density parts.

GeorgeTheThird
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RE: Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

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The answer by JacquesA is correct.

An answer describing the high-density/low-density distinction between CT51264BF160B and CT51264BF160BJ is here:

www.tomshardware.co.uk/.../ct51264bf160b-ct51264bf160bj.html

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RE: Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

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Hi JacquesAssert,

Dell Vostro 3300 supports DDR3 1067/1333 MHz SODIMMs only. The PC3-12800 is not compatible since the clock speed is 1600 MHz. The maximum memory supported is 8 GB 

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JacquesAssert
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RE: Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

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The Vostro 3300 will only run the memory at 1066MHz (i.e. PC3-8500) regardless of what you put in, but all the above SODIMMs are recognized as supporting 1066MHz by the BIOS. The SPD information also allows them to run at 1333 & 1600, so they are sold as PC3-12800 (1600MHz)  but that's irrelevant here.

So the SPD information as read by the BIOS reports all these devices as PC3-8500 (1066MHz) compatible, and yet they fail in actual use.

Though I have had finicky Apple systems, this is a first for me with Dell.

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RE: Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

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Hi JacquesAssert,

1066, 1333 & 1600 MHz belong to DDR3 family. Dell Vostro 3300 is compatible only with DDR3 1066/1333 MHz SODIMMs and has been tested with only DDR3 1066/1333 MHz SODIMMs type memories. By using incompatible memories on the computer the system board may malfunction.

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JacquesA
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RE: Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

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Technically accurate but also technically irrelevant.

DDR3 runs at various speeds. It is however sold based on the FASTEST speed that it can run. The other speeds are specified in the SPD information. So PC3-12800 usually also supports PC3-8500.

The BIOS recognizes all three of the above mentioned DDR3 SODIMMs as functioning at 1066MHz (i.e. PC3-8500). In spite of this, the system fails to operate normally.

If there is a compatibility issue, it is unlikely to be the speed of the device. Like a car, if it can go 60 then it can usually also go 40. It might however be the RAS/CAS timing, which I could imagine might be too *fast* for the MCH or some other subsystem.

But I don't really care why this is failing, unless it points me to what would work correctly. Ideally answered by someone with a Vostro 3300/3400/3550 etc that is running with 4GB SODIMMs.

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JacquesA
1 Nickel

RE: Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

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The problem was simply that the Vostro 3300 (and presumably 3400) require low density parts, and all the tested examples were high density parts.

The high-density/low-density distinction is not explicitly indicated in any literature that I can find.

For Crucial parts at least, the last two digits of the product code will indicate the density.

For example, CT51264BF160BJ is a high density part (ends in BJ), while CT51264BF160B is a low density part (ends in B). It appears that G-Skill and several others may only use high-density parts.

GeorgeTheThird
1 Copper

RE: Vostro 3300 memory upgrade problems

Jump to solution

The answer by JacquesA is correct.

An answer describing the high-density/low-density distinction between CT51264BF160B and CT51264BF160BJ is here:

www.tomshardware.co.uk/.../ct51264bf160b-ct51264bf160bj.html