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I have been trying to upgrade the RAM on my Dell PowerEdge 2800 unsuccessfully, likely because I do not know enough about RAM.

The RAM I got a hold of is labeled 2GB 2RX4 PC2-5300P-555-12-xx. When any of these new sticks are installed (in pairs, or singles, in any conceivable combination) I receive a 1-2-3 1-2 beep, and the screen stays black and my machine won't boot.

The RAM that presently works is labeled 1GB 1RX4 PC2-3200R-333-12-xx. After reading online, and talking to my friends, I think the issue is that I was trying to run 555 MHz RAM in this machine.

Honestly though, I have no idea if 5300P and 3200R are actually compatible types of RAM. Are they?

I've been reading about single and dual ranked RAM as well, but I don't think I've progressed far enough to even worry about the ranking yet...

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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The PowerEdge 2800 requires registered ECC memory. That's the R in 3200R. Your non-registered RAM won't work.

144-bit ECC registered PC2-3200 DDR2 SDRAM DIMMs -- 2800 manual

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Thanks! Where did you actually see that in the manuals? I looked through them, but the collection of 15 PDFs did not facilitate easy searching. –  Brian Stinar Mar 4 '13 at 18:49
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The technical specifications are in the User's Guide. –  David Schwartz Mar 4 '13 at 19:38
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5300P is ECC registered, the P stands for parity a.k.a. registered. However it is not compatible with the PowerEdge 2800 which requires 3200 speed. For some reason the 5300 speed is not backwards compatible with any machines in the generation before that use 3200 speed.

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