Once your laptop loses oomph, it’s often that the cause is low system memory. You’ve likely heard that modern laptop memory upgrades are available in the shape of a laptop SODIMM, but just what are they, and maybe most significantly, how are you able to buy the one right for your laptop? to save lots of you confusion, let’s re-evaluate the vital aspects you ought to know before clicking the order button!
What is a laptop SODIMM?
A laptop SODIMM is that the shorthand term for laptop Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module. quite a mouthful wouldn’t you think? Fortunately, a SODIMM is quite small and is that the name was given to the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) on which modern laptop memory is sold.
Consequently, whenever you stumble across a laptop memory upgrade, it’s extremely likely to be a laptop SODIMM of some sort. Does this mean all laptop SODIMM’s are identical? Unfortunately not, but luck has it that it isn’t as complicated because it sounds.
Laptop SODIMM’s differ counting on what sort of memory they feature. Older SDRAM SODIMM’s for instance are 144pin, slightly newer DDR and DDR2 SODIMM’s are 200pin while the currently latest DDR3 SODIMM’s are 204pin. Their physical dimensions also vary but ever slightly.
The main thing to recollect is that laptop SODIMM’s of varying types cannot be mixed together within the same laptop. for instance, if your laptop uses DDR3 memory then there is no use trying to put in a DDR2 SODIMM in there. it isn’t merely the number of pins that change but also the pin layout, operating voltage, timings and addressing etc.
Does this mean upgrading may be a burden best left to professionals? in fact not!
Laptop SODIMM compatibility
While it’s impossible to combine and match SDRAM, DDR, DDR2, or DDR3 SODIMM’s (any combination) together it’s always just fine to combine and match equivalent sorts of SODIMM’s together, albeit the brand of memory differs. Let’s put this into perspective.
For example, say you’ve got a DDR2 laptop that shipped with one DDR2 SODIMM. Its capacity is just about irrelevant but let’s assumes it’s 2GB. You now want to upgrade to 4GB but the DDR2 laptop memory upgrade you bought is of a special brand than the one currently installed (i.e. Samsung Vs Hynix). Will this work? In 99% of cases yes! You see, the brand is for many parts a non-issue, what’s relevant however is that both modules are DDR2 thus follow the DDR2 SODIMM specification.
Even if the memory timings differ between the modules then this is often also acceptable (unless you would like every ounce of performance you’ll get). the sole aspect you ought to concentrate to when purchasing is that the memory speed. for instance, if that current 2GB RAM is of the PC2-5300 (667MHz effective) variety, you would like to form sure your new DDR2 laptop SODIMM is additionally a minimum of PC2-5300, otherwise, the memory controller within your laptop is going to be forced to run both SODIMM’s at the speed of the lesser (i.e. slower) SODIMM. To extrapolate this further, PC2-5300 and PC2-6400 DDR SODIMM modules will work together albeit at 667MHz and not 800MHz (effective).
So why will mixing different brands of laptop SODIMM’s only add 99% of cases? The short answer is incompatibility. The long answer is as follows, some lesser brands of laptop memory don’t always 100% follow the JDEC (the organization that devises memory specifications) specification, at other times BIOS’s (Basic Input Out System) found in laptops aren’t without bugs. internet result’s a laptop that will continuously beep when turned on while displaying a black screen.
Is there how to upgrade without potentially facing any such problems and diminishing performance? Nothing will 100% guarantee you shake laptop SODIMM incompatibility issues, in any case, it’s you who clicks the order button, however as long as you stick with some key recommendations then we’re almost certain you will be smiling in no time in the least.
Upgrading laptop SODIMM’s – key recommendations to think about before buying
We’ve compiled the below shortlist of aspects you ought to concentrate on when seeking to shop for a laptop SODIMM. For peace of mind, we recommend that you:
A) Where possible attempt to buy an equivalent brand of memory to what you have already got installed OR buy a laptop memory upgrade from a respected brand
B) Buy an equivalent speed of memory to what’s currently installed, i.e. if PC2-5300 is installed then buy a PC2-5300 laptop SODIMM as it’s extremely rare that the memory controller in your laptop can run at a better memory spec, and albeit it can, the currently installed slower memory will prevent this (unless you modify all sodimms to the new faster spec)
C) Where financially feasible to try to do so, always attempt to buy SODIMM’s of an equivalent capacity to what you currently have installed (see below on why)
D) If the laptop memory upgrade you propose to shop for doesn’t feature a lifetime warranty then it is best to avoid it altogether, respected memory brands offer lifetime warranties because they believe their products, so do you have to (for peace of mind)
E) Simply buy mainstream laptop SODIMM instead of performance laptop SODIMM. The latter will feature faster memory timings, which supply a modest performance boost. For them to run at these timings however all installed memory modules must meet this spec. As your currently installed laptop will likely feature somewhat slower timings, your laptop’s BIOS will use these, and not the faster timings.
Laptop SODIMM dual-channel mode
The overwhelming majority of recent laptops support what’s referred to as dual-channel mode. In practice, this suggests two laptop SODIMMs are accessed in parallel for enhanced performance (bandwidth).
When the dual-channel mode was introduced (in DDR memory laptops) it only operated in what’s referred to as synchronous mode. Newer DDR2 and DDR3 memory laptops support both synchronous and asynchronous modes.
The synchronous mode only works when two identical SODIMMs are installed. during this case identical also extends to mean two modules of an equivalent capacity, for instance, 2x 512MB = 1GB.
Asynchronous mode on the opposite hand only works when two non-identical SODIMM’s are installed, non-identical within the sense that they vary incapacity, for instance 1x 1GB and 1x2GB = 3GB.
Regardless of whether you’ve got an older DDR memory laptop or newer DDR2 or DDR3 laptop, always attempt to install sodimms of an equivalent capacity. Doing so will ensure your memory (where your laptop supports dual channel mode) runs in synchronous mode.
If you’ve got a DDR2 or newer laptop that supports dual channel mode and install non-identical capacity SODIMMs, this may force asynchronous mode. In such a situation, only a part of your memory will operate in dual channel mode, the opposite part will run in single-channel mode.