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motes of reality
to live a sweet lie or accept the bitter truth that is reality
dx2450 RAM 
2012-04-24 14:53
rebel
Just because I couldn't find anything solid on this anywhere online when I was searching...

TL;DR - the dx2450 (and, I imagine, similar business class compaqs) can support more than 4GB RAM - at least 6GB, though possibly 8GB.

I have an old HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower that I picked up a few years back. It's a business-class machine that I threw a cheap gfx card into (Radeon HD 4670 passive) and used for playing WoW so as no to stress my macbook pro. (For web searchers, the model is d2450sM/A4450/160hnqm/1T/16rf UK - gotta love those catch HP model numbers ;)

Anyway, the point. This had been running away happily on 4GB RAM (4x 1GB DDR2) for some time. I had contemplated increasing this, but any specs I could find reckoned the machine maxed out at 4GB, even though they also stated it would recognize 2GB sticks. creatorofsplab recently gave me a pair, allowing me to test.

The BIOS immediately recognized a total of 6GB (2x2GB + 2x1GB). Windows XP didn't (obviously), so I upgraded to 7 Enterprise, under the incorrect assumption that MS would not release a 32-bit version of their 'enterprise' class OS. *sigh* A few days later, after getting hold of an actual 64-bit install of 7, I confirmed that the full 6GB of RAM were recognized and useable. (I stressed the machine to using over 4GB of active memory by loading a ton of apps simultaneously just to be sure.)

The type of RAM used is a mix of crucial and corsair - a matched pair of 1GB and a matched pair of 2GB. I have no way currently of checking if it will support 8GB correctly, but will update here if I ever do.
Comments 
2013-09-25 18:40 (UTC)
Seems I had forgotten about this post (comment email alerts ftw).

Yes, another friend of mine gave me an additional 2x2GB sticks later. The dx2450 fully recognised 4x2GB without any trouble. Two matched pairs - Corsair xms2 and Kingston HyperX (KHX6400D2D2/2G).

fwiw, while there was some improvement with switching apps after going 4->6GB, moving up to 8 didn't make any difference (it wasn't using the full 6 anyway). I guess if you have many large apps open it might. But if you do, you're probably doing something that would benefit more from looking at a new system anyway.

And since we're digging up an old post, and I've moved on from this system, I'll make a few other notes. The 2.3GHz 4450B can't handle anything better than the Radeon HD4670. I swapped in a GTX 550Ti later on and saw almost no improvement in WoW. CPU maxed out, GPU sitting at 30-50%. Swapping out the HD for an SSD did make a pretty hefty improvement to boot and load speeds though.

Edited at 2013-09-25 06:47 pm (UTC)
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