No need to buy the same brand. If you have four slots, it makes me suspect that the mobo provides support for Dual Channel memory. Are the four slots all the same color. Maybe tell us what mobo you have.
Do you have the manual for the mobo? That should tell you the maximum amount of memory the mobo will support and the largest size stick that you can put in one slot.
For me, re Dual Channel, I don't know if the Sempron's support Dual Channel. Possible the mobo supports it for the big brother CPU but not for the reduced capability Sempron.
What Type CPU socket does the mobo use, 754, 939, or 940???
The 30 MB memory issue is referring to memory not in use at that moment. The Operating System will use as much memory that it needs at any moment. When it runs low it uses Virtual Memory [page file][the hard drive] which then slows things down a little.
You can always check in task manager to see how much of each is being used.
How is it going, my PC is making me ponder.
I have a 256 MB DDR 400 CL3 stick in a 3000+ AMD Sempron, my Q is why is my available physical memory only showing 30MB yet my total physical memory is 256MB. I am running XP but the computer is only 1 month old and I am only running internet explorer on it, also if I want to upgrade my ram to hopefully solve that issue and have it run quicker, do I have to buy same brand or can I get any other brand as long as it is 256MB DDR 400 . I have 4 slots on my memory area how much can I upgrade to?
a million thanx for being there...
PS: Is there ever going to be the perfect computer?