Inspiron 531 max memory


Jan 14, 2009
Hi all. Noob here . Have a dell Inpiron 531 ( ok so I'm not a gamer/power user). I can just imagine what some may be thinking! :sleep: But hey it's alright for some light office multi tasking and general web surfing, isn'it? Cpu's a athlon 64 x2 5000+.Chipset's nVIDIA mcp61.I have a dedicated video card, so not using the onboard graphics. I just installed vista business x64. Every source I've been able to find states that max memory is 4GB(4 x 1GB DIMMS).But this pc came oe with vista 32bit so I'm wondering since I'm now running x64 OS whether or not I'm still relegated to the 4GB. From what I've been able to ascertain,this is depedant on several factors(mobo architecture, OS,chipset...etc.) I've thus far been unable to find any relevant info on the mobo or chipset that gives any indication about their respective physical memory limitations. I realize I could 'buy & try', but finances negate that option. I'm wondering if perhaps a free utility to test the system exists? Any way to tell from bios(and if so how?) It's not a 'big deal' but I'd still like to know (if for nothing else than what I can learn in the process). Any really relevant info appreciated.


Oct 13, 2008
Go to crucial and scan your system:

Different hardware (i.e. Motherboard / chipset) determine the maximum memory you can have installed.

If your motherboard will only support 4GB max installing a 64 bit operating system won't be much, if any benefit.

A 32 bit operating system can have more RAM installed, as much as you want, but only 4GB will be recognised. Once this is shared with the graphics it might only show 3.5GB.

Crucial will give you the best / most accurate options for your upgrade.


Mar 18, 2011

Dell and Crucial say this Inspiron 531 only handles up to 4 GB RAM, but we've proven the motherboard will recognize and operate with MAX RAM of 8 GB using 4x2 GB DDR2 PC2 cards and Windows 7 x64.


Feb 9, 2012
tmgirvin, so then if i were to run 2X2GB while i wait to aquire my 64-bit OS(at which point i'll drop in another 2X2), will it run at or near 4GB at the rated speed?

And will it make a difference if it is 6400 or 8500?

thanks. i know this thread's been away for a while but any help would be appreciated.


Feb 5, 2014
I have an Inspiron 531S and I gave a try to installing 8 Gig of RAM, as I had read on these pages that 8 Gigs are possible.

About two years earlier I had upgraded to 4 gigs RAM earlier (big improvement from the original 2), and the system was running well with 4 Gigs. This 4 gig upgrade delivered speedy regular apps and web browsing, however modern games were clunky.

With the 8 Gigs, the system does appear to recognize the RAM in the system detection applications. That said, at least in regular use the visible performance improvement is not especially noticeable for me. I use this mainly for routine stuff, but do like to run an occasional game.

Before installing the 8 Gigs, I installed an SSD and Windows 8.1 (which is lighter than the original Vista). The SSD made a big difference in performance, as did upgrading from Vista to Windows 8.1.

I very recently upgraded the CPU to a 3.1 GHZ chip ($45 on ebay) from the original 2.1 GHZ chip. Many Steam games state they require a minimum 2.2 GHZ processor. At the old 2.1 GHZ, I did see lots of problems with games, and some games simply were not playable, even with a better GPU (described below).

Before upgrading the CPU, I installed an inexpensive but not bottom-end graphics card, in a $60 2 Gig GeForce Nvidia GT 630. My old card was an 1 Gig GeForce Nvidia
8400 GS. (I obviously try to keep things cheap!)

The combination of better CPU and GPU now has Steam games playing acceptably with little stuttering or tearing.

I don't think it's possible to turn this into a true high-end gaming rig, or that it even makes sense to try, but now in 2014, with these upgrades games are now fun and playable, without much stutter. Team Fortress 2 plays very well, as does Spore. I notice some tearing in Dota, but it is playable.

If you're trying to stretch out the life of this model PC, the 8 Gigs of RAM can't hurt, but you might also try an SSD, CPU upgrade and GPU upgrade. Get off of the original Vista if possible, although that upgrade is probably the most expensive at $100 if you buy an OEM disk off Amazon.


Mar 29, 2014

What CPU did you purchase? I am going to purchase the RAM and knowing what CPU you purchased would be most helpful. Please let me know. Thanks!