OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?

Started Jan 17, 2013 | Questions
SMSab
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OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
Jan 17, 2013

Hello Guys

I am using my Sony Vegas Pro 12 on my Dell 3450 (i5 + 6GB RAM + Two basic level built in Intel and AMD graphic cards) for the HD Video Rendering though the computer becomes very very slow and sluggish during the process and I want to upgrade the RAM.

Dell website says the max amount of RAM for this laptop is 8GB and I stumble upon one we blink from DELL Online Community Forum in which one guy said that INTEL website says Dell 3450 can take 16 GB MAX though Dell insist on 8GB Max and then later in same blog one more guy said that he is using 16GB with his Dell 3450, its working for him.

It sounds tempting and yes I would really like to upgrade the RAM to 16GB so I can do some HD Video Rendering smoothly for another year or so though really want your advice and opinion on this upgrade - is it safe to over juice the machine? any technical issues or conflicts that can occur?

I know that most of the times companies want to hide the max limit of their products from their customers to protect their future sales/profits though if I can upgrade to 16GB with intel 2nd Gen i5 then I think I am good for another 3 or 4 years BUT really want your advice on both matters promptly.

Thanks.

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Sean Nelson
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to SMSab, Jan 17, 2013

I can't tell you whether or not your system can take the extra memory.   But I can tell you that it's standard practice to list the maximum RAM size for a system based on the maximum capacity of the DIMMs available when the system was made.   For example, if your motherboard has four DIMM slots and if the biggest DIMMs that were available when it was made were 2GB apiece, then the specs would likely be spec'd as being capable of taking 8GB of memory.   Manufacturers do this because they come under fire if they list a maximum capacity that isn't actually possible with existing parts at the time the system is sold.

In most cases that I've seen, if larger DIMM modules of the same type (i.e., DDR3 modules in DDR3 slots) later become available, they'll work just fine.

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Tom_N
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to Sean Nelson, Jan 17, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

Manufacturers do this because they come under fire if they list a maximum capacity that isn't actually possible with existing parts at the time the system is sold

In the scenario you describe ("higher-density parts are not available period, at design time"), there is another consideration.

It's pretty easy to hook up another address line (within the limits of the CPU / memory controller).  But without higher-density parts, how would a vendor test this before touting it as a supported feature?

Once it's advertised as a supported feature, and 100,000 customers have bought the laptop, and THEN someone discovers that the "higher memory capacity" feature that the designers thought SHOULD work, but that they couldn't test, is broken, you're talking $$$$$$ and lots of recalls to fix it.  Not exactly the sort of thing that product managers or engineers like to risk.

Whereas if a vendor just puts it in, makes sure it doesn't break operation with low-density parts, and doesn't advertise it as a supported feature, there's a lot less risk.  If customers put high-density parts into the machine and they don't work, the vendor can say "that's not supported" and that will be the end of that.  But if they do work (which seems likely), the customers can install more RAM, the vendor avoids a support risk, and everybody is (mostly) happy.

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Jen Yates
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to Tom_N, Jan 17, 2013

Tom_N wrote:

It's pretty easy to hook up another address line (within the limits of the CPU / memory controller). But without higher-density parts, how would a vendor test this before touting it as a supported feature?

Because that while a high capacity memory module isn't in mass production, it doesn't mean it isn't being produced in small engineering samples (Or even built by hand using larger non retail board design).

Any mobo manufacturer worth their salt will have a solution to this, they won't be waiting for Best Buy to get the retail units in stock.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to Sean Nelson, Jan 17, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

I can't tell you whether or not your system can take the extra memory. But I can tell you that it's standard practice to list the maximum RAM size for a system based on the maximum capacity of the DIMMs available when the system was made. For example, if your motherboard has four DIMM slots and if the biggest DIMMs that were available when it was made were 2GB apiece, then the specs would likely be spec'd as being capable of taking 8GB of memory. Manufacturers do this because they come under fire if they list a maximum capacity that isn't actually possible with existing parts at the time the system is sold.

In most cases that I've seen, if larger DIMM modules of the same type (i.e., DDR3 modules in DDR3 slots) later become available, they'll work just fine.

Not correcting you, just adding to:

While this is true, in the past it was also set to a "lower ceiling" due to possibly lower quality parts on the motherboard.  Another thing: If the manufacturer never thoroughly tested the board for 16GB compatibility despite the hardware supporting it, they won't list it as 16GB capable despite it being so.

Also, in the past, the motherboard chipset was responsible for the memory controller and was thus the limiting factor to what could be supported.  But today's processors have the memory controller built into them and so the memory limitations, barring motherboard quality issues, is based on the CPU's accepted specifications.

If the CPU is designed to handle 16GB of RAM, then the biggest thing to be concerned about is to make sure to acquire RAM that meets the voltage specs.  RAM with too high a voltage can damage the CPU.  If you can find lower voltage, aka power efficient, RAM then it is much safer to use while also consuming a little bit less power and producing less heat.

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Jim Cockfield
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to SMSab, Jan 17, 2013

Just should work fine in it:

This memory is reported to work fine in Dell Models (Vostro, Latitude, XPS, etc.) using Sandy Bridge Chipsets (even though Dell claims they're limited to 8GB using 2x4GB), 2x8GB (16GB total) will work in them.

Patriot Part Number PSD316G1333SK

It's 2x8GB of 1.5v 1333Mhz DDR3 (same speed as your Dell shipped with) with CL9 latency.

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Memory-Signature-1333MHz-PSD316G1333SK/dp/B005MOWF3O/ 

Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-220-621

I've also seen Dell owners say this memory works.

Corsair Part Number CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10

It's 2x8GB of 1.5v 1600Mhz DDR3 with CL10 latency (using 10-10-10-27 timing).

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Laptop-Memory-CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10/dp/B0076W9Q5A

Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233265

Personally, I'd just stick with the less expensive 1333Mhz memory, as faster memory is not going to make any difference will real world app performance, and the Sandy Bridge CPUs were only designed to support 1333Mhz (and 1333Mhz is what Dell shipped with your Vostro 3450, too).

I'd also update your BIOS to the latest A13 version first, just to be on the safe side, as I have seen some users say they needed A10 or later for some 2x8GB kits to work in some of the memory feedback on vendor sites. But, that appears to be disputed by some other Dell owners (saying 2x8GB worked with earlier BIOS versions, too).

In any event, I'd update the BIOS anyway, as the updates along the way are designed to fix bugs. Just download this file and run it to do a BIOS update. I'd probably close any other software running first.

https://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04/DriverDetails/Product/vostro-3450?driverId=8KFVJ 

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Jim Cockfield
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Dell owners here using that memory...
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Jan 17, 2013

MikeFromMesa recently ordered that 2x8GB set of Patriot 1333Mhz Memory with CL9 latency (Patriot Part Number PSD316G1333SK) from amazon and reported it works fine in his Dell XPS 15Z (L502x).

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50562832

You'll also see some posts from Franglais91 in that same thread with a Dell like that working fine with 2x8GB of 1600Mhz Corsair memory (Corsair Part Number CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10) that I linked to.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50572263

He also said it worked with earlier BIOS versions (but, I'd probably update your Dell to the latest A13 BIOS available for it to be safer, as BIOS updates usually improve compatibility and fix bugs).

Both of those laptops use an Intel HM67 Chipset with Sandy Bridge CPUs (the same chipset your Vostro 3450 uses).

As you've already noticed, owners of your Vostro laptop are reporting 2x8GB (16GB total) works in it. That's common with Dell models (they stick with the specs for the memory the models had available with first launched, even though they'll work with larger 8GB SODIMMs now). Also, some of the very early BIOS versions may not have supported the 8GB SODIMMs yet (as I think either A04 or A05 had a major microcode update with Dell models like that, and I think there was another one like that later on)

I'd stick to specific part numbers for memory others have reported to work in Dell models with an Intel HM67 chipset using a Sandy Bridge CPU like those, as you'll sometimes see subtle differences between different memory and how available timing parameters are recognized by the BIOS firmware.

So, if it were me, I'd stick with one of the sets I linked to in my last post (as those specific part numbers are reported to work in a variety of Dell models using Sandy Bridge CPUs with the Intel HM67 Chipset like your Vostro 3450 uses).  One of these sets:

Patriot Part Number PSD316G1333SK

It's 2x8GB of 1.5v 1333Mhz DDR3 (same speed as your Dell shipped with) with CL9 latency.

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Memory-Signature-1333MHz-PSD316G1333SK/dp/B005MOWF3O/

Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-220-621

Corsair Part Number CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10

It's 2x8GB of 1.5v 1600Mhz DDR3 with CL10 latency (using 10-10-10-27 timing).

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Laptop-Memory-CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10/dp/B0076W9Q5A

Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233265

Both of amazon and newegg have good return policies. So, if you had any problems, you could RMA it (but, I wouldn't expect any issues if you stick to one of those specific part numbers).

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Eric Carlson
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to SMSab, Jan 17, 2013

I don't know about that particular computer, but it is very common (but not always the case) for computers to work fine with more memory than the original maximum that the manufacturer listed.

For example, my Acer Aspire One AO722 netbook, when I bought it listed the maximum supported RAM as 2GB (It only has 1 memory slot, and came with a 2GB stick), but they then started selling the same unit with 4GB installed, so they listed the max as 4GB. I updated mine to 4GB.

I just now did a search, and it appears many people are happily running their AO722's with 8GB RAM (8GB sticks were rare, or essentially non-existent when the netbook was first released). I might update mine to 8GB someday, and maybe install an SSD, but I'm not sure it's worth putting too much money into the netbook.

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SMSab
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to Eric Carlson, Jan 18, 2013

First of all really thanks to all who replied and comment to my question

Guys you all rock big time

Verdict: I am going for the 16GB upgrade and will update in next few days when I will have it in my computer while I am using it for the HD Video Rendering.

I will agree that when the Dell Vostro 3450 launched in late 2010 or early 2011 then at that time probably the 8GB Single RAM stick weren't so common, I am sure they were available though something new and expensive.

Fingers are crossed and hoping for the best

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venture211
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to SMSab, Apr 25, 2013

Hey there...did you have any luck with the upgrade?Did 16gb RAM work for you?

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ilysaml
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Re: OVER JUICING THE RAM OF MY LAPTOP - is it the right thing to do?
In reply to SMSab, Apr 25, 2013

SMSab wrote:

First of all really thanks to all who replied and comment to my question

Guys you all rock big time

Verdict: I am going for the 16GB upgrade and will update in next few days when I will have it in my computer while I am using it for the HD Video Rendering.

I will agree that when the Dell Vostro 3450 launched in late 2010 or early 2011 then at that time probably the 8GB Single RAM stick weren't so common, I am sure they were available though something new and expensive.

Fingers are crossed and hoping for the best

You still miss the point where you should upgrade your CPU to a faster one first.

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Richard
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Might work
In reply to SMSab, Apr 25, 2013

Often when the motherboard or the laptop first comes out, the manufacturer sets a memory limit and that is all it will take. Then later in the product life they do a bios upgrade which as part of the upgrade the amount of ram is increased. I have seen this several times with systems I have owned.

So when you call in and ask support or sales, they read off a sheet that says, the limit is say 8gb, but then you go to the download section and you find several bios updates and you read what they do, one of them might say, updates the biaos to accept say 16.

But I have seen systems that Intel says the chipset supports 16 but the manufacturer bios only accepts 8 and if there is no bios update and is limited by the computer manufacturer to for product differentiation, then it will only take the lower amount

In your case there has been some documentation on this. But for sure the person only said 12gb 8gb and 4gb. The other points to the same article. I also seen some ram websites selling 16gb for this model.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-latitude-vostro-precision/629929-vostro-3450-16gb-ram.html

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1713608

You could try it, make sure the place you buy the ram from has a good return policy but you will probably pay for shipping back and look for restocking fees. It might work good luck.

SMSab wrote:

Hello Guys

I am using my Sony Vegas Pro 12 on my Dell 3450 (i5 + 6GB RAM + Two basic level built in Intel and AMD graphic cards) for the HD Video Rendering though the computer becomes very very slow and sluggish during the process and I want to upgrade the RAM.

Dell website says the max amount of RAM for this laptop is 8GB and I stumble upon one we blink from DELL Online Community Forum in which one guy said that INTEL website says Dell 3450 can take 16 GB MAX though Dell insist on 8GB Max and then later in same blog one more guy said that he is using 16GB with his Dell 3450, its working for him.

It sounds tempting and yes I would really like to upgrade the RAM to 16GB so I can do some HD Video Rendering smoothly for another year or so though really want your advice and opinion on this upgrade - is it safe to over juice the machine? any technical issues or conflicts that can occur?

I know that most of the times companies want to hide the max limit of their products from their customers to protect their future sales/profits though if I can upgrade to 16GB with intel 2nd Gen i5 then I think I am good for another 3 or 4 years BUT really want your advice on both matters promptly.

Thanks.

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