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Q: determine chip specs to expand ram on emachines S1940 computer ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: determine chip specs to expand ram on emachines S1940 computer
Category: Computers
Asked by: yataylor-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 19 Jan 2004 11:45 PST
Expires: 18 Feb 2004 11:45 PST
Question ID: 298053
I want to expand the 256mb ram I have on my emachines S1940. I want to
make sure I expand as much as possible.  What type/specifications of
chip should I buy?   Generally, is installing the chip easy enough for
most folks who can remove the CPU shell?
Subject: Re: determine chip specs to expand ram on emachines S1940 computer
Answered By: haversian-ga on 19 Jan 2004 17:48 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello yataylor-ga!

I've installed a ton of memory, but I still remember the first time I
installed a DIMM (the type of memory you'll be dealing with).  It took
about half an hour with me being quite nervous that I was going to
break something (you have to push quite hard).  It's not difficult in
any technical sense, but experience helps.  A first-timer is unlikely
to press too hard or otherwise screw up, as you'll be nervous and very
careful, so I wouldn't worry about breaking anything.

The procedure is fairly simple.  Locate your current stick of RAM
(likely to the top right of the CPU, mounted vertically).  There will
be an empty socket next to it that your new RAM will fit into.  At
each end of the slot there are movable tabs; move these outward (they
eject memory when it's installed).  Slide the RAM  between the guide
slots in the tabs at each end, being sure to line up the DIMM
properly.  The memory will have some notches along the bottom edge
where the gold contacts are.  The DIMM socket has matching bumps to
prevent you from sticking the memory in backwards.  When you've got
the memory lined up right, push.  It helps to rock the memory end to
end as you press it in, especially the first time a DIMM socket is

As for your machine in particular, you have two memory slots that will
accomodate up to 1GB each in PC2100 (also known as DDR266) or faster
RAM.  There is no increase in speed with faster memory, as your
computer will automatically slow it down, but it will work fine.  You
currently have either 128 or 256MB of RAM in your machine.  You can
buy one more stick (of any size up to 1GB, or 1024MB) and install it
in the free socket, or you can remove the stick you have and install
two, one in each slot.

Reliable companies to buy memory from are Crucial and Kingston, among
others, though these days pretty much any RAM vendor (except those
with suspiciously low prices online) sells perfectly serviceable

Good luck with your upgrade!

If you have further concers, don't hesitate to ask.


  Emachines page to check your system specifications.

Two reputable online memory vendors.  Walking into best buy or fry's
also works, but memory online is likely cheaper.

Request for Answer Clarification by yataylor-ga on 20 Jan 2004 03:24 PST
Wonderful response there haversian-ga!  One thing I am puzzled about,
you stated, "There is no increase in speed with faster memory, as your
computer will automatically slow it down, but it will work fine"  I
thought increased RAM did speed up processing of applicatons.  I am
working on photo/music and slideshow software that uses quite a bit of
memory. I am seeing wildly varying available memory on the norton
systemworks sensor chart I have running.  The available ram is
generally at about 40 MB but sometimes is at 100 and I have nothing
apparently running except Norton Sys Dr. and windows XP iteself.  Of
course when I am running the multimedia software (Picture It, ProShow
Gold, etc) the 40MB gets really low and I have shutdowns and
slowdowns.  Am I going in the right direction with what I am doing to
help this problem? What is your best guess as to why I am having these
varying numbers of available ram, could it be Norton or windows doing
something behind the scenes or might something else be wrong.  I know
I am asking alot, but do your best.  thank you so much!

Clarification of Answer by haversian-ga on 20 Jan 2004 05:55 PST
'Morning yataylor!

You're quite right that *more* RAM will speed things up.  The more
applications you have running, the more memory you'll need.  You've
already noticed that with the Norton utilities, it seems.  When you
reach 0MB free, (actually, before that, but that's a bug in Windows),
your computer will start using your hard drive as memory.  This is
workable, but extremely slow (perhaps you've heard your hard drive
"chattering" as you're running out of memory?), and when it starts
happening more than rarely, you should add memory.

Your computer is rated for PC2100 or DDR266 memory.  You can buy
PC2700 (also called DDR333), PC3200 (DDR400), and even faster memory. 
If you can get PC2700 at the same price as PC2100, you should buy that
as it may be useful in a new computer, should you upgrade at some
point.  In your current computer however, it will run at the same
speed as PC2100.  So, if there's a price premium on PC2700, pass it
up; otherwise that's your best bet.

So more is definately better; faster is really a hedge on the future as it were.

yataylor-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Absolutely awesome and exceeded even my highest expectations.  What a
wonderful service and I am confident I will be using Google Answer in
the future!

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