Upgrading RAM, what to buy? [compatability]

vbimport

#1

That’s my question. It seems simple, but I’ve got three different pieces of information that all seem to contradict eachother.

According to to a Windows app called System Information Worker, I have 667Mhz DDR3 RAM. However, the “lshw” tool that comes with most Un*x systems (I frequently use Ubuntu), I have 1067Mhz DDR3 RAM. So, as a tie-breaker, I decided to look up my computer’s manual (I didn’t receive a manual when I bought the machine, so I downloaded one from my manufacturer’s website). It said 1066Mhz DDR3 RAM. So that much for a tie breaker.

I’ve tried looking up the model of my machine’s current RAM sticks, to see what exactly they are, but that lead me to a dead end, as I couldn’t find anything about them.

So, all three sources of info tell me that I have DDR3 RAM, so that’s pretty much undisputed. The majority of RAM I’ve found on Amazon is 1066, so that makes me think maybe the manual is right.

However, if 1067 is correct, I do have one question: If I put 1066Mhz RAM into a 1067Mhz machine, will the RAM work? Will 1Mhz make any difference as far as compatibility goes?

Any input is appreciated.


#2

1066MHz is the correct one, your reading of 1067Mhz just means the system bus is running slightly faster than 100Mhz and is nothing to worry about.

More important is the DRAM voltage, and that will depend on the CPU if its an Intel CPU.

For Haswell, its 1.35V, for earlier CPU’s 1.5V to 1.65V.
Which CPU do you have?
If you don’t know, CPUZ will tell you.


#3

I don’t have access to Windows right now (I do believe CPUZ only runs on WIndows), so I’ll take a look later at a time.

In the meantime, the lshw command says I have an Intel® Core™ i5 CPU M 520 @ 2.40GHz CPU.


#4

What are you wanting to do? Add extra RAM as in 2 extra modules, assuming you have 4 slots and only 2 contain RAM at present? Increase the amount of RAM by replacing all the present modules?


#5

According to Intel the Intel® Core™ i5 CPU M 520 is a mobile processor. Is this a laptop?
Can you give us the make and model of the PC?


#6

[QUOTE=biggles77;2783992]What are you wanting to do? Add extra RAM as in 2 extra modules, assuming you have 4 slots and only 2 contain RAM at present? Increase the amount of RAM by replacing all the present modules?[/QUOTE]I have 2 RAM slots, each with a 1GB module installed. I would like to upgrade one of those modules to a 2GB module for a total of 3GB. (I don’t need a whole lot of extra RAM, which is why I’m planning on only upgrading to 3GB. 4GB may be better, but it’s also more expensive.)

[QUOTE=Dee;2783994]According to Intel the Intel® Core™ i5 CPU M 520 is a mobile processor. Is this a laptop?
Can you give us the make and model of the PC?[/QUOTE]
You are correct, this is a laptop. More specifically, it’s a Dell Latitude E6410.


#7

The various Dell documents for the laptop say it is merely DDR3, and a separate Dell article notes that DDR3L (low voltage) memory was only supported for 4th gen & newer Core i5/Core i7 (and related) mobile processors.

As your system uses a 1st gen Core i5, getting a ‘plain’ DDR3 SODIMM will work, but going for a DDR3/DDR3L SODIMM will be fine, too. (DDR3L modules are inherently backward compatible, supporting 1.5V and the lower 1.35V. Plain DDR3 SODIMMs support only 1.5V.)

Dell’s documents confirm that the system bus (and memory speed) are operating at 1066 MHz. That’s your target for you search, and should be your only concern (as long as you make sure you’re getting an SODIMM rather than a desktop-type DIMM).


#8

^
Also 8GB is the maximum RAM supported, across 2X 4GB SODIMM.
You can probably buy faster memory than 1066MHz, but it will still run at 1066MHz.


#9

[QUOTE=Albert;2784028]The various Dell documents for the laptop say it is merely DDR3, and a separate Dell article notes that DDR3L (low voltage) memory was only supported for 4th gen & newer Core i5/Core i7 (and related) mobile processors.

As your system uses a 1st gen Core i5, getting a ‘plain’ DDR3 SODIMM will work, but going for a DDR3/DDR3L SODIMM will be fine, too. (DDR3L modules are inherently backward compatible, supporting 1.5V and the lower 1.35V. Plain DDR3 SODIMMs support only 1.5V.)[/QUOTE]

So basically, I can get any DDR3 SODIMMS at 1066Mhz, as long as it supports 1.5V. Is that what you’re saying? Also, it sounds like [B]all[/B] DDR3 cards are backward-compatible with 1.5V slots. Yes? No?

Dell’s documents confirm that the system bus (and memory speed) are operating at 1066 Mhz. That’s your target for you search, and should be your only concern (as long as you make sure you’re getting an SODIMM rather than a desktop-type DIMM).
I know what the documentation says. In fact, I even mentioned that in my original post. However, I had some confusion about conflicting reports from two different programs (neither of which said quite the same thing as the documentation), which Dee rather nicely cleared up.

[QUOTE=Dee;2784030]Also 8GB is the maximum RAM supported, across 2X 4GB SODIMM.
You can probably buy faster memory than 1066MHz, but it will still run at 1066MHz.[/QUOTE]

In other words, each card can have <= 4GB, and must be able to run at >= 1066 MHz, right? Before you answer, I’d like to mention that I’m not really interested in having the fastest RAM in the world. I just want to make sure the RAM I get works on my system.


#10

So basically, I can get any DDR3 SODIMMS at 1066Mhz, as long as it supports 1.5V. Is that what you’re saying? Also, it sounds like all DDR3 cards are backward-compatible with 1.5V slots. Yes? No?
Yes, and yes. It seems painfully easy to get memory for computers these days, thankfully.

In other words, each card can have <= 4GB, and must be able to run at >= 1066 MHz, right?
Also yes.


#11

I have refurbished and sold many Latitude E6410’s. They can take 2x 4Gb PC3-10600S DDR3 RAM sticks(1333Mhz). I usually prefer Hynix or Nanya or RAM sticks with Elpida RAM chips, but E6410’s aren’t too picky about RAM stick brands. I’d buy 2x2gb PC3-10600S or 2x4Gb PC3-10600S sticks before I’d get PC3-8500 RAM. Also, if memory serves, PC3-10600S RAM is recognized as 1333Mhz by the laptop(Press F2 at startup to go into the BIOS setup, look in BIOS under System Information-Memory.)

Be careful in how you insert the RAM sticks, as some E6410 RAM slots are very stiff, requiring insertion at a narrow range of angles. Improper insertion will result in the laptop not booting up, a error light appearing, and a beep.

I don’t remember ever trying PC3L RAM sticks in E6410’s, but I have tried them in other systems and their compatibility varies.


#12

[QUOTE=Albert;2784044]Yes, and yes. It seems painfully easy to get memory for computers these days, thankfully.

Also yes.[/QUOTE]

Thanks a lot. :flower:

[QUOTE=yojimbo197;2784045]Be careful in how you insert the RAM sticks, as some E6410 RAM slots are very stiff, requiring insertion at a narrow range of angles. Improper insertion will result in the laptop not booting up, a error light appearing, and a beep.[/QUOTE]

Too late, that already happened!:frowning: Long story short, everything’s fine now.:flower:

Short story long:
When I removed the RAM sticks (to look up their model numbers online), my machine suddenly decided it didn’t like one of my cards. It took me a good ten minuets to get the machine to boot, mostly because I didn’t know what the issue was. Apparently, the e6410 [I]doesn’t[/I] beep when there are memory errors. Instead, the Num Lock and Scroll lock lights on the keyboard turn on, and the Caps lock light blinks… all without making a sound. After figuring out what the issue was (thank goodness the manufacturer’s documentation is available for download), I frantically tried removing and re-inserting the RAM cards, hoping like crazy none of them had gone bad. Eventually, the system decided it like the card after all, allowing me to start this thread without constantly waiting for my system to finish thrashing. So yeah.:cool: