Question about Upgrading a Laptop

Started Oct 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield
Forum ProPosts: 14,501
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My gut feeling is that it would work
In reply to GegeNY, Oct 13, 2012

My gut feeling is that it would probably work, because someone stated that the Crucial set I mentioned worked in the DV9700, which uses the same Intel PM965 chipset as your  HDX9494NR.

See the feedback tab for this set of 2x4GB, and you'll see feedback from 2010 indicating that it worked in a DV9700 then:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148275

Note this review of one showing a PM965 chipset (shown under the specs tab for it)

http://asia.cnet.com/product/hp-pavilion-dv9700-core-2-duo-t7300-processor-2-0ghz-2gb-ram_specs-42811521.htm

Your laptop uses the same PM965 chipset (see the specs tab):

http://www.cnet.com/laptops/hp-pavilion-hdx9494nr-entertainment/4507-3121_7-33392163.html

Plus the last BIOS update available for your laptop is dated more recently than the last BIOS update for the DV9700 models HP offered using the same Intel Chipset (the last update for the DV9700 was in 2010, and it apparently works with 4GB modules based on that newegg feedback, even though it only "officially" supports 2GB modules (2x2GB for 4GB total).

Basically, those types of memory modules were probably not available at the time your laptop was designed, but it's common for BIOS updates to add support for newer memory types later in a product's life cycle. So, if  you've updated your BIOS to a later version since you got it, it might work (but, I'd update it to the latest version available).   Even if you don't upgrade your memory, it's probably a good idea to update the BIOS in it, as new updates often fix issues.  This update:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=ob-91708-1&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&os=2100&product=3747924&sw_lang=

Manufacturer's like HP don't usually publish new memory types that the BIOS updates include, so someone has to be the "guinea pig" to find out if newer memory types work in one or not (and I could not find anyone that has tested larger 4GB SODIMMs in your laptop model.

But, since I did find someone saying that it worked in a different HP model using the same Intel PM965 chipset (even though HP and Crucial also say that model is limited to 2x2GB), and the latest BIOS update for your laptop is newer (dated January 2011), I think it's more likely that the same set of 2x4GB of PC2-5300 would work in your laptop, too (provided you update the BIOS using the download I mentioned earlier).   It's also possible the original BIOS supported larger modules.  But, I'd update it to the latest version.

Again, even though the BIOS update .exe says Vista, it should install fine from Win 7, too (they just don't have a download for Win 7 because they never offered it with that laptop with Win 7).   The underlying kernel is identical between Win 7 and Vista.  So, if a program runs OK on one OS, it should run fine on the other.  Basically, it's just a simple program that flashes your BIOS firmware to a newer version and they used the same .exe for the BIOS update on multiple Operating Systems (XP, 32 bit and 64 Bit Vista).

So, it might be worth taking a risk getting that 2x4GB set if you update your laptop's BIOS, and *if* the vendor would let you return the memory if it doesn't work (just in case it's not recognized).

Again, that is a pretty steep price for 8GB of memory though.  4GB SODIMMs of PC2-5300 or PC2-6400 were not widely used, and so the prices for them are rather high.

In contrast, you could buy 2x4GB of (much faster) DDR3 SODIMMs for  newer laptop model for less than $50 now.

So, you'll need to decide how much you really like that laptop and if it's worth it to spend that much money on it to upgrade from 4GB (2x2GB) to 8GB (2x4GB) by replacing the 2GB models in it with 4GB modules like that set of 2x4GB of Crucial PC2-5300 that someone said worked in a DV9700 that uses the same PM965 chipset that your laptop uses.

It is interesting with it's display size.   But when you get into multi-year old laptops, the chances of having problems are going to increase as time passes (fans failing, display issues, battery issues, etc.); and you may be better off putting that money into a new laptop instead.   Of course, it's cheaper to spend that much on memory than it is to buy a new laptop, especially if you're already gone to the expense of upgrading the OS, etc.    Pros and Cons... it's like deciding if you want to do a major upgrade to a used car (engine, transmission, etc.) versus putting that money into a newer one. 

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JimC
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