RAM brand/inquiry

May 14, 2009 at 11:40:51
Specs: Windows 98se, 700MHz/64MB
I would like to upgrade my old desktop from windows 98se to windows xp.

However, I don't know what is the name brand of my RAM.

I used CPU-z, crucial.com and memory ten to scan my system's specs.

Eventually, I removed the case and took out the RAM and had a look at it.

All I saw on it was like......a barcode with MS3864UPS,
and PC-133-T86A301B2
and PQ3S816S750114
and something on it with "PQI"

I have no idea what the brand is at all, or do I even need the exact brand to get an upgrade ?

My motherboard model is 693A-686A
My computer make: VIA Technologies Inc.
My computer model: VT82C693/A
CPU: Intel Celeron 700MHz

Installed memory: 2 slots, 64MB and none
ECC: no

Would I need the same brand of RAM to upgrade ?
Please help.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Thank you.

See More: RAM brand/inquiry

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May 14, 2009 at 11:55:43
Go to crucial.com and use their online scanner to determine what type and how much RAM you can use. You don't need to use the same brand. If you RAM uses non standard voltage for the type of RAM then you could have problems. You don't need to buy from crucial, although their RAM is excellent but somewhat more expensive.

Download and run SIW.exe to determine what RAM type and voltage you currently have. May even yield the brand. I still recommend using crucial's scan because you need to determine the density and total amount your board can handle. Links below for SIW and an online RAM source.



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May 14, 2009 at 13:37:56
You don't need to know the brand name, you need to know the type & capacity. Apparently you have PC133 RAM & your board has 2 memory slots. How much does Crucial say is the max amount your system can handle? If you can't run at least 512MB, don't waste your time with WinXP.


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May 14, 2009 at 18:02:50
Hello, Thank you both for your replies.

I went to crucial.com and my system scanned again.
It says:

We were not able to determine the manufacturer and/or model of your PC, but we were able to complete our scan with information from your motherboard.

Memory upgrades: According to our scan, your system already has the maximum amount of memory installed.

Maximum Memory Capacity:
Currently Installed Memory: 64MB
Available Memory Slots: NaN
Number of Banks:
Dual Channel Support: No
CPU Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
CPU Family: Intel Celeron processor Model 8, Stepping 6
CPU Speed: 702 MHz

1) Q: Will my system recognize the maximum upgrade?
A: Possibly
How much memory your Windows OS will recognize depends on which version of Windows you are running. 32-bit versions of Windows will see (and utilize) only 3GB or 3.5GB. To utilize more memory, install a 64-bit version of your OS.

2) Q: What memory goes into my computer, and can I mix speeds?
A: memory with support for speeds.

3) Q: How much memory can my computer handle?
A: Adding the maximum amount of memory will improve performance and help extend the useful life of your system as you run increasingly demanding software applications in the future.

4) Q: Do I have to install matching pairs?
A: No, you can install modules one at a time, and you can mix different densities of modules in your computer. But if your computer supports dual-channel memory configurations, you should install in identical pairs (preferably in kits) for optimal performance.

5) Q: Does my computer support dual-channel memory?
A: No. Your system does not support dual channel.

6) Q: Does my computer support ECC memory?
A: No. Your system does not support ECC. Because ECC and non-ECC modules should not be mixed within a system, install the same type of modules that are already in your system.

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Related Solutions

May 14, 2009 at 18:17:03
I am not sure that you are interpreting the scan results correctly. 64MB of RAM on a 700MHz system sounds too low to be the max.

Do you know what the brand and model of your computer is? If not, then download SIW.exe from the first link below and run it to try and determine the motherboard specs so we might be able to figure out haw much RAM your system should be able to handle.

The second link is for the minimum requirements to run WinXP. Keep in mind that running XP and having a decent computing experience are not necessarily the same.



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May 14, 2009 at 18:24:08
I also installed SIW and scanned my system's specs.
Under Hardware:
Memory: L3Q8Z7 (VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C693/A
Memory Summary:
Maximum Capacity: 0 MBytes
Maximum Memory Module Size: 256MBytes
Memory Slots: 2
Error Connection: None
Memory Timings: 3-2-2-5 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)

Device Locator: Slot 1
Capacity: 64 MBytes
Memory Type: SD RAM (PC133)
Speed: 133MHz
Supported Frequencies: 133 MHz
Memory Timings: 3-3-3-6-0 at 133MHz, at -1.0volts (CL-RCD-RP-RAS-RC)
Data widths: 64bits
EPP SPD Support: No
XMP SPD Support: No

Does that mean that I have to get SDRAM PC133 RAM types ?
and does that mean that my system only supports upgrades up to 256MB only ?

Why must it be 512MB ? How about 256MB ?

Sorry, because I'm not very computer literate.

I was just thinking to do the upgrade because I'd like this desktop to be networked with my laptop for internet connection.

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May 14, 2009 at 19:09:52
If the information is accurate you can fit TWO 256MB modules on that motherboard. The specs you posted may or may not be accurate. I know the voltage specs are wrong.

You will need to use low density chips on the memory modules. Look at the link below for RAM that should work if the information you got from SIW is correct.

I suggest you get the motherboard model or specs from SIW and post before buying RAM.

You are looking at the wrong things in SIW. I said to find the motherboard specs.


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May 14, 2009 at 21:16:17

Thank you for your above link. It does give me a rough idea.

After having SIW scannings, my motherboard model is as follows:

Manufacturer: Giga-Byte Technology Co, Ltd.
Model: 693A-686A
Serial Number:
North Bridge: VIA Apollo Pro Revision44
South Bridge: VIA VT82C686 Revision 44

CPU: Intel Celeron
CPU socket: Socket 370 FC-PGA

System Slots: 3 PCI, 1 AGP

Memory Summary:-
Memory Capacity: 0 MBytes
Maximum Memory Module Size: 256MBytes
Memory Slots: 2
Error Connection: None

Warning ! Accuracy of DMI data cannot be guaranteed

This is the info I have.

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May 15, 2009 at 05:48:53
We've pretty much determined the RAM capacity...2 memory slots that accept up to 256MB each, so the max your system can handle is 512MB. And we've also determined the type of RAM...168-pin SDR-SDRAM, aka PC100/PC133. And as OtH stated, you will have to get low density RAM.

It would really help to know the exact model of your motherboard though because if/when you install WinXP, you will need all the drivers. What kind of system do you have? Is it an OEM such as Dell, Gateway, eMachines, HP/Compaq? The reason I'm asking is because I looked at the Gigabyte website & there are only a few socket 370 boards based on the VIA 693A chipset, but all of them have 3 memory slots, not 2. That leads me to believe that this is not a retail board. If that's the case, all we would need is the make/model of your system.

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May 15, 2009 at 06:47:40
Yea, I came up with the same thing as jam. Aren't there any markings on the case? Also if you open the case you could see how many memory slots you have and possibly find a model number on the motherboard.

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May 15, 2009 at 06:48:43
Yea, I came up with the same thing as jam. Aren't there any markings on the case? Also if you open the case you could see how many memory slots you have and possibly find a model number on the motherboard.

jam, I am heading out of town for the weekend so I won't be logging in here until Sunday evening.

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May 15, 2009 at 09:21:01

I opened up the case again.

I saw the RAM on one slot and the other slot is empty......so, 2 slots.

I looked at the motherboard. On it, I saw the numbers like,
6A-6VM7A+ REV 1.0

There's also a chip with:
0025CG Taiwan

There's another smaller chip:
i Award 1998

I don't know if these are the model numbers

but, once again, thank you so much for both of your help, at least, I understand the maximum amount of RAMs the CPU supports.

Also, I bought the whole set from IPC. But, one time, I had some problems with the CPU, and I took it to a shop, so they asked if I wanted to trade in for a newer CPU (this current one) for a lesser price. Everything, monitor, speakers, keyboard were original, except for the CPU.

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May 15, 2009 at 11:13:52
That's the model info we needed, but it's actually GA-6VM7A+. Here's your board:


According to the above, your board accepts up to 512MB per slot.

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May 15, 2009 at 12:58:50
Thank you very, very much for looking up the specifications for me.

Does that mean that, I can buy any brand types, but that, it has to be 168-pin, SDRAM, PC-133 types ?
and even if I were to get at least 128MB or 256MB, will that be enough for me to upgrade to windows xp ?

The purpose of my doing so, is to hopefully be able to network the desktop to my laptop to share DSL connection.

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May 16, 2009 at 21:03:58
"Does that mean that, I can buy any brand types, but that, it has to be 168-pin, SDRAM, PC-133 types"

All PC133 is 168-pin SDR-SDRAM, so all you need to know is "PC133"...the rest is automatic. If you're gonna keep the 64MB & add another stick, I wouldn't go with less than 256MB, that would give you 320MB. The performance *should* be OK, but it won't be great. You'd be better off with Windows 2000 unless you're willing to upgrade the CPU as well as the RAM? Frankly, the Celeron 700MHz CPU sucks, especially since it only runs at 66MHz FSB.

Here's a Pentium 3 1.0GHz/133MHz FSB CPU for just $8:


Add a 256MB stick of PC133 for $9.50 & you'll be all set for WinXP:


"The purpose of my doing so, is to hopefully be able to network the desktop to my laptop to share DSL connection"

If you don't already have a network card for your desktop, you'll have to get one...it's preferable to a USB connection. To be able to hookup both the desktop & laptop, you'll probably need a router.

I have 5 PCs on my DSL. The main desktop is hard-wired, the rest are wireless...at least 2 are in use at any one time.

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May 19, 2009 at 15:52:11
So, just about any of the following will be fine ?



These are all 256MB, and adding it to my current 64MB.

What if I were to buy a stick of 512MB and add it to 64MB, it will be better though, right ?

I don't think I'll be upgrading the CPU just yet, maybe one day....because that's another area that I will not be familiar with yet, but thanks for the suggestion.

Jam, Thank you very much for taking the time to guide me through.

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May 19, 2009 at 18:54:33
I haven't heard of the second brand so I would recommend Mushkin. Look at the link below.

jam may know of a sale somewhere on PC133.


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May 20, 2009 at 13:33:17
Alright then, I'll proceed to buying that.

Thank you very much, Othehill and Jam for taking the time to help me and guide me through.

I really appreciate it :)

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