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What is the max RAM a laptop can handle?

Posted on 2003-10-30
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What is the max RAM my laptop can handle?

I have a Compaq Preario 1800 XL1 Pentium III laptop, currently with 128MB of RAM.  I'd like to upgrade it.  Apparently, it has 64MB built in, plus one socket for additional RAM, which currently has a 64MB chip in it.

Compaq has told me that the maximum it can handle is 192MB (64 built in + 128 added), but www.crucial.com seems to sell a 256MB chip for it.  Who is right?

Is there anyway I can use software (Windows or Linux) to determine how much it can handle?
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Question by:Franklin_DeMatto
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 9650519
Check if this would work

http://www.memtest86.com/

Sunray
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Rob Stone
ID: 9651084
Quite often a OEM will write documents of a maximum RAM and then newer technology will come out and they just leave the documents out of date.

Check out these as well:

http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configurator/models.asp?root=us
www.hypertec.co.uk
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Expert Comment

by:Reddgum
ID: 9651546
Usually most domestic (US) laptops have a physical roof of 1GB - and many desktops are the same way - some newer Compaq's are limited to 512MB which makes them undesireable for development machines. While the roof varies between manufacturers, you must consider that most laptops are manufactured as consumer goods and not server-class machines. The 128MB 'limit' was typical of machines manufactured around 1999 -2001.

In your case, the OEM's specs may be a few years behind the chip technology - however, caveat emptor, COmpaq will NOT support you if you plug in the 256chip and it blows your machine up. Personally, I'd go for it. 128MB of ram is anemic. Put that 256 chip in and you'll notice a marked improvement.

FWIW,
While it's possible to make a laptop that can hold 3 or 4GB of ram, that space taken up by the expansion slots could be used for something more saleable - like integrated custom surround-sound or some other equally gimmicky-stupid stuff for a laptop; but which drives impulse buyers crazy with delight.

Lastly, have you ever purchased ram for a laptop? The prices add new meaning to the acronym RAM.
Unless you have a very special need, nobody in their right mind would buy more than 1GB of RAM for a laptop. For the price of an additional 1GB of laptop RAM, you could pick up a nice mid-sized desktop system and have enough money left over for a large second hard drive.

-Red

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Expert Comment

by:b_vishwajit
ID: 9652593
I would better trust my h/w manufacturer than a third party h/w seller.
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Accepted Solution

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Rob Stone earned 200 total points
ID: 9656147
Another thing to do is have a look on the compaq forum (they used to have one on there site before the merge with HP anyway).  I bet someone on there has had the same question.

I wouldn't always trust the OEM.  I used to work for a 3rd party memory manufacutrer and there were a lot of discrepencies that were wrong from OEMs.  Its a case of try it and see.
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Author Comment

by:Franklin_DeMatto
ID: 9936812
Just so you know, Compaq was wrong - I bought the 320MB and it works great.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Stone
ID: 9941173
Cool, could you accept the answers that you think are worth the points to make this a paq.
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