Memory upgrade: PC2100 vs. PC2700 vs. PC3200?

I’m looking to upgrade the RAM in a Dell OptiPlex GX260 from 256MB to 2GB.

The specifications call for “200- and 266-megahertz (MHz) double-data rate (DDR) synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM).” From what I can tell 266MHz means PC2100. Here’s the thing:

Kingston 1024MB PC2100 DDR 266MHz Memory, $49.99
Kingston 1024MB PC2700 DDR 333MHZ Memory, $39.99
Kingston 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHZ Memory, $39.99

So, the obvious question is, can I put memory that’s rated faster than the spec in with no ill effect? I’m not expecting any performance boost, I’d just like to save the $20.

According to, your computercan use pc2700 or pc3200. I’m not sure that the pc2100 is compatable.

I’m comfortable that it’s compatible, because it is what Dell calls for. Judging from this page, I think it more likely that Crucial just doesn’t sell PC2100 DDR any more. :slight_smile:

However, that does seem to address the basic question. Thanks!

Yes, you can put the 2700 or 3100 RAM in with no ill effects. It’ll just run at the slower rate.

It should work all by itself but in my experience if you mix with other modules you may have problems - - and then again you may not. I have several modules I am not using just because they will not work with others although they work find by themselves. I am also looking at buying PC2100~2700 and I will probably just have to take out all the old memory (in 256 MB modules) and replace with the new one. Otherwise you just never know how it might go.

Oh, believe me, I’ve learned my lesson about mixing and matching. I upgraded my main PC from 1GB to 3GB in the summer of 2007. The week before Thanksgiving, it suddenly wouldn’t boot up. At. All.

As a former front-line tech support guy, it chagrinned me immensely to have to take it in to a shop, but it was even worse when all he did was yank the original 1GB sticks out and hum ta-da.