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Old 29.12.2010, 13:58
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Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

Some notebooks have or claim a max of 16GB RAM. But if I look at the spec of the Intel mobile processors they all say in the details they support max 8GB RAM. SO what is the point of having so much more RAM than the processor can support?

e.g.
HP EliteBook Mobile Workstation 8740w
Dell™ Precision M4500 or PrecisionM6500 or XPS 17
Acer As8943g
Thinkpad W510 or W701
Quote:
Up to 16GB memory
which use for example Intel i7-820QM
Quote:
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 8 GB
The reason I want so much RAM in a laptop is that I travel to client sites and regularly run a demo / test environment of 3+ virtual servers which have to share the RAM I have available, and themselves need several GB.

Am I right in thinking anything over 8GB is largely a waste, or am I missing something such that the extra 8GB would be available/usable. I've tried googling but haven't found an answer so hope someone here knows the answer.
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Old 29.12.2010, 14:01
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

I have the Elitebook 8530W with 8GB RAM - it has only two slots ie 2 x 4GB RAM pieces.

Limitations could be owing to the number of slots available as well as RAM modules available at that point of time, perhaps even BIOS limitations.
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Old 29.12.2010, 14:05
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

I don't think all these manufacturers / models would be wrongly specified. Some even detail the 4 slots etc. But I just don't understand the point if the processor only supports 8GB.
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Old 29.12.2010, 14:09
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

http://www.businesswire.com/news/hom...GB-DDR3-Module

Sep 2010

Samsung is shipping 1G x64 (8GB) configurations of its new high-density, high-performance 40nm-class DDR3-based modules. Dell, first to market with the new module, is offering it in the 17 inch Dell Precision M6500 mobile workstation, which features 32GBs of Samsung 40nm-class DDR3, or four 8GB SoDIMMs.
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Old 29.12.2010, 14:14
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

Exactly! This model was one of the ones in my OP. If you ^take the link you can specify 32GB RAM. the procesor is listed as Intel® Core™ i7-740QM Quad Core 1.73GHz 6MB, which says Max 8GB. Even the higest spec Intel® Core™ i7-940XM Extreme Edition 2.13GHz 8MB [add $790.00] says Max 8GB on the intel site.
So, back to the question, if the laptop can have 32Gb and the processor supports max 8GB what use is the rest?
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Old 29.12.2010, 14:30
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

It is possible that the Intel website information is out of date - that advances in chipsets, bios, microcode, etc now permit additional ram.

That said, I would probably want to see one running before buying such a laptop. Or at least, order it with 16gb up front and be prepared to return it if necessary.

And of course you are probably already aware that you'll need a 64 bit OS to use that much RAM.
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Old 29.12.2010, 14:35
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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Some notebooks have or claim a max of 16GB RAM. But if I look at the spec of the Intel mobile processors they all say in the details they support max 8GB RAM. SO what is the point of having so much more RAM than the processor can support?

e.g.
HP EliteBook Mobile Workstation 8740w
Dell™ Precision M4500 or PrecisionM6500 or XPS 17
Acer As8943g
Thinkpad W510 or W701 which use for example Intel i7-820QM The reason I want so much RAM in a laptop is that I travel to client sites and regularly run a demo / test environment of 3+ virtual servers which have to share the RAM I have available, and themselves need several GB.

Am I right in thinking anything over 8GB is largely a waste, or am I missing something such that the extra 8GB would be available/usable. I've tried googling but haven't found an answer so hope someone here knows the answer.
i doubt someone would design a laptop with half the ram not working.
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Old 29.12.2010, 14:55
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

Intel processors can address 16GB+ of RAM when combined with the right hardware, and a 64-bit operating system. Dell and Lenovo have both designed and sold 16GB models. The limit is the motherboard, and the current physical capacity of RAM modules available.

Most manufacturers list limits based on their own thorough testing of technology available at the time (in Intels case they tested with 8GB of RAM), but the hardware will theoretically, and in most cases in reality, support more.
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Old 29.12.2010, 14:57
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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It is possible that the Intel website information is out of date - that advances in chipsets, bios, microcode, etc now permit additional ram.
I have the same from two Intel websites, and the latest and best mobile processor says launched Q3 2010 but also says max 8GB...
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:00
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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Intel processors can address 16GB+ of RAM when combined with the right hardware, and a 64-bit operating system.
Some of the Intel desktop ones show support for more than 16GB, e.g the i7.980X shows 24GB, but the latest/best Intel mobile ones e,g i7-940XM all say max 8GB. (From Intel itself)
I am talking about a laptop / notebook with 16GB so it's the mobile ones that are specified, and they all only support max 8GB according to Intel.
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:01
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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Some of the Intel desktop ones show support for more than 16GB, but the latest/best Intel mobile ones all say max 8GB.
Read the last part of my post, it's not a hardcoded physical limit, just a thoroughly tested limit. Many PC motherboards will often state a maximum of 8GB or 16GB RAM because thats what theyve been tested as doing comfortably and safely... but you generally can chuck in as much as is possible with current technology.
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:07
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

My best guess at this point is that the mobile chips can only deal with 2 SoDIMMs at once, and the largest available before the linked Sept Samsung announcement was 4GB per module. So Intel only claimed 8GB, but now it is 16GB with the new Samsung chips.

All that said, if I were you, I wouldn't be trying to figure it out from the Internet. Especially not from a non-technical forum. Instead I'd call an actual laptop vendor, say "can you really have 16gb working in model xxx". Then when they say yes, order one with 16gb and should it not work, complain about false advertising until they take it back.
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:11
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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Some notebooks have or claim a max of 16GB RAM. But if I look at the spec of the Intel mobile processors they all say in the details they support max 8GB RAM. SO what is the point of having so much more RAM than the processor can support?

e.g.
HP EliteBook Mobile Workstation 8740w
Dell™ Precision M4500 or PrecisionM6500 or XPS 17
Acer As8943g
Thinkpad W510 or W701 which use for example Intel i7-820QM The reason I want so much RAM in a laptop is that I travel to client sites and regularly run a demo / test environment of 3+ virtual servers which have to share the RAM I have available, and themselves need several GB.

Am I right in thinking anything over 8GB is largely a waste, or am I missing something such that the extra 8GB would be available/usable. I've tried googling but haven't found an answer so hope someone here knows the answer.
I think this is the addressing range for the processor. But you have four of them as it is a quad so it is likely to be 32GB so long as you have a memory controller for each processor.
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:17
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

Some of these machines have been around a while (e.g Dell) so it seems strange that Intel would not have tested a processor released in Q3 2010 and also state a limit on the processor which you say is actually a limit elsewhere (which is presumably now gone).

But thanks - it seems the best and only real answer so far...(EDIT was a slow typer and a couple more popped in..)
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:20
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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All that said, if I were you, I wouldn't be trying to figure it out from the Internet. Especially not from a non-technical forum. Instead I'd call an actual laptop vendor, say "can you really have 16gb working in model xxx". Then when they say yes, order one with 16gb and should it not work, complain about false advertising until they take it back.
Well there were laptops available with 4Gb and 32 bit OS which couldn't really use all the RAM sold with the laptop, and vendors would not return your cash. You got a laptop as specified. I would prefer to research with my keyboard than my wallet. And I've got better answers here than I've found elsewhere.
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:28
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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My best guess at this point is that the mobile chips can only deal with 2 SoDIMMs at once, and the largest available before the linked Sept Samsung announcement was 4GB per module. So Intel only claimed 8GB, but now it is 16GB with the new Samsung chips.

All that said, if I were you, I wouldn't be trying to figure it out from the Internet. Especially not from a non-technical forum. Instead I'd call an actual laptop vendor, say "can you really have 16gb working in model xxx". Then when they say yes, order one with 16gb and should it not work, complain about false advertising until they take it back.
Just because it's a non-technical forum doesn't mean that there aren't some technical people on here... Zurich is full of IT workers. The very fact Dell, Lenovo and HP all sell 16GB model laptops, each featuring a quad core i7, should be proof enough of their ability to address that much RAM. You pay a fortune for 16GB RAM, so using logic and common sense you don't expect only 8GB of it to work.

They call them "workstation" laptops, but they are just regular, albeit highly specified, laptops with 16GB of RAM (4 slots capacity) and a 64-bit OS (and possibly updated BIOS version for the mobo). That's about all there is to it.

Intel even talk about the Dell M6400 workstation laptop on an official blog on their US website having 16GB of RAM, but state the limiting factor is mainly cost-effectiveness http://software.intel.com/en-us/blog...station-m6400/

Quote:
The Dell Mobile Precision M6400 is configurable with 16Gb of memory using four DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM DIMMS although with an upgrade price tag of $3,540 for the DIMMS alone it is unlikely we'll see many users with 16Gb in their notebooks anytime soon.
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Incidentally you can also load the m6400 with a quad core Intel processor to maximize the use of the 16Gb of memory you loaded into the machine.
Can't say fairer than that really.
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:31
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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Limitations could be owing to the number of slots available as well as RAM modules available at that point of time, perhaps even BIOS limitations.
Yep.
Maximum memory is limited/governed by ...# of slots, RAM modules available, RAM modules supported by motherboard, BIOS, CPU and the operating system.
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:32
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

I'm willing to bet that most of the laptop models/vendors mentioned have associated with them techie support/discussion forums. Going to such and asking flat out "does anybody have experience running 16GB in one of these" is likely to answer your question with more certainty than anything else I can think of.
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:44
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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Intel even talk about the Dell M6400 workstation laptop on an official blog on their US website having 16GB of RAM, but state the limiting factor is mainly cost-effectiveness http://software.intel.com/en-us/blog...station-m6400/
Yes, but that's old.

Now 16GB costs less than CHF 300 (I just checked at STEG)

Tom
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Old 29.12.2010, 15:47
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Re: Why Notebooks with 16GB RAM if processor max is 8GB?

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Yes, but that's old.

Now 16GB costs less than CHF 300 (I just checked at STEG)

Tom
Well in all fairness its a moot point as to the current price (and I admittedly didnt check the date of the blog, and he was talking about an upgrade via the manufacturer not manually by the user, hence the high price still stands to sokme degree), the point is it works.
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