Don, I do Mac and PC Support for a living and I'll throw my 2 cents in. Kingston.com and Crucial.com both report 2GB (gigabytes) as the maximum amount of RAM supported by its motherboard. As mentioned earlier by Don KA9JLM, there are no further ROM BIOS updates to get it to support any larger RAM capacities. Add to this that any flavor of Windows XP 32-bit will address up to 3.5GB max; any more will be addressed for video memory.
Originally Posted by WD5JOY
So, in short, you've got several options:
(A) The quick and easy would be to replace the tower with a new one. It will surely allow you to add more RAM further down the road when you need to. Also, it will meet or exceed the requirements for running the latest version of Windows (7 or 8).
(B) Another option would be to replace most of everything in that Acer desktop; that means new motherboard, new processor, new RAM, but keeping all of the drives, power supply and tower case. There will be no doubt you'll also need to do a possible reinstall of Windows. I say this because when you install Windows on a computer, it generally doesn't like it if you change motherboards; something tied in with the copyright and wanting to be registered to one machine, one motherboard...no exceptions.
Before you choose option B, check with your local computer technician to see how much it would cost. Figure in also for them to do a data backup (just in case) so you don't lose any of your personal files (documents, pictures, music, movies, etc.). They will make sure the motherboard matches the power supply (this part will only get replaced if underpowered or doesn't match up), the CPU Processor chip and RAM match the motherboard and along with the drives. It could be costly, but maybe a bit less expensive than buying a whole new desktop computer. Your choice.
73s de KC8RLU
To follow on to RLU... why buy new?
But ah, for the days of the AST sixpack.
hybrid hard disk drive
What a person could do with a limited amount of Mother Board system ram is to buy a solid-state drive (SSD).
Windows uses the hard drive for virtual memory anyway, unless you have enough RAM to disable virtual memory.
You could just point the Windows Pagefile.sys Swap file to use the solid-state drive.
The solid-state drives are fast and just about any system can gain great speed over a mechanical HDD.
If you use a solid-state drive for the system disk, it will boot in seconds. Also great for Video Rendering.
The prices are coming down on the solid-state drives and they are kicking butt, If you want or need serious speed.
Many people buy Windows 64 machines when most software is running x86 and WOW64. The only gain in most cases is more system ram. You still have a pagefile in use unless you disable it, and have compatibility issues to deal with. (Drivers mostly)
Speaking of AST, I think AST was the first to use Swap/Page Files in the day using a software utility, worked good.
Double RAM was a software utility that appeared to double system ram but was very slow on a 286.
Double Disk was popular Windows Screw up in the age of 20 and 40 meg hard drives and was very slow also.
"Theory only works perfect in a vacuum." KA9JLM Don
In my experience, DDR2 systems can handle as much memory as you can shove in there, no matter what the specs claim.
And, the ~3.5GB limitation is an interesting subject. Modern 32-bit CPUs have Physical Address Extension, which means it can actually access ~64GB of memory space. 32-bit Windows can't do it, but that is due to a "licensing policy", not physical limitations. Linux, on the other hand, will do it.
Last edited by AB0TJ; 07-06-2012 at 10:44 PM.
Agreed, Windows XP has a 3.5 GB limit; it's a software limitation, not a limitation of the processor. However, many motherboards are not (or were not) designed to accommodate more than 4 GB of physical memory, of which Windoze uses only 3.5 GB. But squeezing the last bit of memory into a Windoze XP machine, doesn't improve most applications, and you reach a point of diminishing return. (In fact, some (now older) mobo's choke at anything over 2 GB, and attempting to add memory above that amount causes the system to report even LESS memory. (e.g., the Soyo Dragon Ultra Platinum motherboard.)
Originally Posted by AB0TJ