What Features to Check Before Upgrading your Laptop RAM
Any laptop, old or new will undoubtedly give you a performance boost when you upgrade the RAM modules, or upgrade your spinning HDD to a Solid State one (SSD). Not all laptop support all types of memory modules, and most will not have en empty slot to accommodate the extra memory. Even worse, no memory slots at all! The RAM chips might be soldered on-t0 the motherboard. To help you decide, in this post, I am going to talk about What Features to Check Before Upgrading your Laptop RAM.
Things to Check Before Laptop Purchase
If you are planning to upgrade your RAM modules, the best thing to do is check for a Laptop which provides you an empty memory slot for an upgrade later. For example, this Asus Laptop provides you an empty RAM Slot which you can upgrade later. However a higher end Asus Ultrabook does not. Verify from the manufacturer by checking the detailed system specifications or call their customer care if that helps. Here are the things to check before buying:
- Check if the Laptop has an empty Memory Slot
- Check the supported memory type, i.e. DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR3L
- Check for a compatibility list of supported memory modules from the manufacturers website.
- Check if the laptop uses a dual voltage SoDIMM which is capable of supporting both 1.5V and 1.35V. DDR3L is supported on the same slot as DDR3, but DDR3 supports fixed 1.5v for operations.
- Memory modules not to be confused with Desktop Memory. Laptops use SoDIMM’s vs. Desktop uses full size DIMMs
- Older laptops does not support DDR3 and DDR2 or earlier compatible version needs to be purchased in order to fit.
- DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 are not pin compatible and should not be forced into the memory slots. Here is a Picture of the three memory types:
- I recommend downloading CPUZ in order to check the correct RAM Type.
In this example, this Laptop is using a fixed voltage DDR3 RAM modules and the RAM type is PC3-12800 or 800 Mhz Dual channel memory.
- You can mix memory modules with different memory bandwidth, but the PC will support the bandwidth of the the lowest RAM module with the lowest speed. This should however be avoided and same RAM modules are recommended to be used to avoid any OS crashes.
- The DRAM frequency and CAS latency timings also differs for different RAM modules and does not create any issues in most cases.
I hope this was helpful. Good Luck with your memory purchase.