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Rbobby
2 Bronze

XPS 8930, use that third 8GB memory stick?

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Just got the 8930 a few weeks ago. Trying to keep the price down to wifely acceptable levels, I went for 8GB of memory. I was surprised that it came as a single 8GB stick, which isn't a "legal" configuration, according to the manual.

I just bought two more to make a proper 16GB system, but wonder if also plugging in the original 8GB stick would work at all, and how it would impact performance. Having 24GB would be nice.

I'm planning on installing the new memory tomorrow. Since accessing the memory sockets practically requires disassembling the machine, I don't want to do this twice, so time is of the essence. 

Do it, or no?

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Dell630i
3 Zinc

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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@Rbobby wrote:

Just got the 8930 a few weeks ago. Trying to keep the price down to wifely acceptable levels, I went for 8GB of memory. I was surprised that it came as a single 8GB stick, which isn't a "legal" configuration, according to the manual.

I just bought 2 more to make a proper16GB system, but wonder if also plugging in the original 8GB stick would work at all, and how it would impact performance. Having 24GB would be nice.

I'm planning on installing the new memory tomorrow. Since accessing the memory sockets practically requires disassembling the machine, I don't want to do this twice, so time is of the essence. 

Do it, or no?


Accessing the memory slots is super easy. Just lay the case on one side and open the PSU swing out contraption. That is all.

Open the door and walk right in.IMG_3610.JPG

My understanding (such as it is) is that memory sticks must be installed in 'matching pairs'.

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Dell630i
3 Zinc

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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@Rbobby wrote:

Just got the 8930 a few weeks ago. Trying to keep the price down to wifely acceptable levels, I went for 8GB of memory. I was surprised that it came as a single 8GB stick, which isn't a "legal" configuration, according to the manual.

I just bought 2 more to make a proper16GB system, but wonder if also plugging in the original 8GB stick would work at all, and how it would impact performance. Having 24GB would be nice.

I'm planning on installing the new memory tomorrow. Since accessing the memory sockets practically requires disassembling the machine, I don't want to do this twice, so time is of the essence. 

Do it, or no?


Accessing the memory slots is super easy. Just lay the case on one side and open the PSU swing out contraption. That is all.

Open the door and walk right in.IMG_3610.JPG

My understanding (such as it is) is that memory sticks must be installed in 'matching pairs'.

Vic384
4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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My Dell XPS 8910 with 16GB of memory also came with a single memory module. With a single module the memory will operate in single channel vs dual channel mode. You can see that if you run a program like CPU-Z. A match pair installed in the proper slots should operate in dual channel mode. There some improved performance in dual channel but you will probably not notice the difference. I am not sure what will happen if you install a third memory module or if it will work. If you only wanted 16GB you could have just purchased a single 8GB memory module, or if you have already purchased a pair of 8GB modules you could purchase a single 8GB module and have 32GB.

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Rbobby
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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That's good to know; I haven't examined the interior beyond installing a 2nd disk drive. The service manual would have me completely removing the power supply to get access to the memory, including unplugging a handfull of cables.

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Rbobby
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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Other articles in the forum warned to be certain that pairs of memory sticks be identical and recommended either buying the 2nd stick from Dell or to buy a pair from another source. Since Dell's price for a single stick was more than the cost of a pair from Crucial, I went with the pair.
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Vic384
4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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@Rbobby wrote:

That's good to know; I haven't examined the interior beyond installing a 2nd disk drive. The service manual would have me completely removing the power supply to get access to the memory, including unplugging a handfull of cables.


The procedure for removing and replacing the memory modules calls for only performing steps 1 & 2  of "Removing the power supply unit". You should not go beyond step 2; step 3 is where you start disconnecting cables. Look at the procedure again on page 72 and you will see the part about following the procedure from step 1 to step 2.

Vic384
4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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@Rbobby wrote:
Other articles in the forum warned to be certain that pairs of memory sticks be identical and recommended either buying the 2nd stick from Dell or to buy a pair from another source. Since Dell's price for a single stick was more than the cost of a pair from Crucial, I went with the pair.

I was able to purchase a compatible memory module from Crucial to work with the single 16GB module that came with my Dell. The risk with Crucial is very low, they guarantee the memory they sell is compatible.

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Rbobby
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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Thanks again, that was exactly right. Up and running in no time.

Why in the world would someone have written the manual that way?

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Rbobby
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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You are, of course, exactly right. This has been my curse since I was a kid; I don't read all the words, just the ones I think are important. I ruined more model airplane kits than i care to count.

In the manual section "Removing the memory modules," I saw the link to "Removing the power supply unit," and carefully ignored the "Follow the procedure from step 1 to step 2."

Fortunately, someone replied earlier with a photo of the interior of the machine, saving me from a lot of grief. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and pay attention.

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Rbobby
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930: Use that third 8GB memory stick?

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That lurked in the back of my mind, when I ordered the pair of 8GB sticks from Crucial.

Since I now have what's an otherwise useless 8GB stick, and my wife seems to be OK with me spending even more money to bring this machine up to speed, another $30 or so to move up to 32GB of memory might be fun.

Thanks for this too.

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