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jdb2
2 Bronze

17 R5, 64GB of RAM?

Samsung recently released the industry's first 32GiB SO-DIMMs, about which you can read here. The new SO-DIMMs are now available for purchase in 64GiB kits. I was wondering if the Alienware 17 R5 supports the SO-DIMMs and 64GiB of RAM. I know the CPU supports the RAM. Does Dell need to release a BIOS update or does the laptop already support 64GiB of RAM?

 

Thanks,

 

jdb2

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23 Replies
JOcean
4 Ruthenium

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?

The CPU and chipset support it but without a BIOS update, it would not work. It would be up to Dell as to when if ever the update is released. That is quite a bit of RAM. Can I assume that you are doing graphic design or running extremely large data bases? I ask because not a game on the market uses 32 GB let alone 64 GB. But if you are future proofing, then that is another story.




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jdb2
2 Bronze

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?

"The CPU and chipset support it but without a BIOS update, it would not work. It would be up to Dell as to when if ever the update is released."

No idea when they might be releasing an update? I guess I can contact their technical support.

"That is quite a bit of RAM. Can I assume that you are doing graphic design or running extremely large data bases? I ask because not a game on the market uses 32 GB let alone 64 GB. But if you are future proofing, then that is another story."

Well, I run Alibre Design and I usually have Firefox open with quite a few tabs. In addition to that, I use the Xilinx Vivado Design Suite tools. I also run Ableton Live Suite 9 with Omnisphere 2 and other VSTs running at the same time. I also use Primocache and that uses up about 12GB of RAM. Plus, there's X-Plane 11 which uses up a huge amount of RAM. Future proofing would apply as well, but I really want the extra RAM for things like RAM disks/caches which run at the same time as RAM hogs such as X-Plane.

Thanks,

jdb2

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JOcean
4 Ruthenium

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?

I get it now...you are a prime candidate for running as much RAM as you can. I was curious and you certainly made it a lot clearer. I would contact Dell tech support as BIOS updates are released on a pretty regular basis. It is possible the specs and compatibility for RAM have already changed.




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jdb2
2 Bronze

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?

Thanks for the reply Smiley Happy I forgot to mention that I also use VMware a lot. My desktop system, which ate itself, was running an Intel X79 motherboard with a 3970X overclocked to 4.8GHz and I had 64GiB of DDR3 installed, which I needed.

 

I'll send a message to Dell tech support and see if they know anything about the compatibility with these new Samsung 32GiBx2 64GiB RAM kits.

Regards,

jdb2

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jdb2
2 Bronze

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?

Well, I contact Dell support and I received this message :

 

"

Well, I contacted Dell support and got this message :

"
Thank you for your reply, and we understand the Coffee lake series may support 64 GB

The Mobile Intel® CM246 Chipset installed with a stable configuration, and as per advertised in our website support up to 32 GB.

You can the SO-DIMMS up to 64 and may work, but do not guarantee it may be as stable with 32 GB, and you may not need to do a BIOS update.
"

So it looks like an Alienware 17 R5, even without a BIOS update, may support a 2x32GiB 64GiB RAM config. I know you can now buy the kits on various on-line stores but they're very expensive.

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aj8888
1 Nickel

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?

Just an update.

I tried to install the Samsung 64GB (32GBx2) memory to my  Alienware 17 R5 today and it didn't work. The bios can see the 64GB memory if I go into the bios setup screen, but unfortunately it won't boot and hangs with Alienware logo being displayed. I also tried 48GB combination (32 + 16), didn't work either.

I can put a single 32GB in the RAM slot and I can boot just fine though. So it looks like DELL has somehow locked the maximum memory to 32 GB or something like that. I have the latest bios installed (1.6.2).

Hopefully this can be solved with a BIOS update in the future.

aj8888
1 Nickel

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?

FYI. Just did an online chat with DELL technical support and she said there is some hardware limitation that limit the maximum memory size to 32GB, although she didn't want to elaborate (or didn't know) what the real issue is. 

Moderator
Moderator

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?

Hi @jdb2

 

This is the validated RAM for your system:

 

Image

So 32GB is the supported RAM for the moment, we can not guarantee that 64 GB will work and unfortunately, there are no plans at this time for the launch of a new BIOS.

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jdb2
2 Bronze

Re: Alienware 17 R5 and 64GiB of RAM?


@aj8888 wrote:

Just an update.

I tried to install the Samsung 64GB (32GBx2) memory to my  Alienware 17 R5 today and it didn't work. The bios can see the 64GB memory if I go into the bios setup screen, but unfortunately it won't boot and hangs with Alienware logo being displayed.

Well the UEFI BIOS is like a small OS unto itself, so if the BIOS sees the memory correctly, then I think it's more likely there's something going on with Windows. Which version of Windows are you running? I'm betting that if you created a small bootable Linux live-USB USB stick that it would successfully boot off of that.

I also tried 48GB combination (32 + 16), didn't work either.

Well, a processors IMC is usually very picky when it comes to mis-matched memory modules, and I wouldn't expect 32GiB + 16GiB to work in the first place.

I can put a single 32GB in the RAM slot and I can boot just fine though. So it looks like DELL has somehow locked the maximum memory to 32 GB or something like that. I have the latest bios installed (1.6.2).

Well, I have been talking to various people and I have contacted several retail outlets that sell matched 32GiBx2 64GiB Samsung SO-DIMM kits and they said that they've received no complaints about any compatibility with their 64GiB kits and Dell laptops.

Did you buy your 64GiB upgrade as a matched kit or did you buy two individual 32GiB SO-DIMMs from different batches? If the latter is the case, that might be contributing to the problem.

Hopefully this can be solved with a BIOS update in the future.


 

I believe that the new Samsung 32GiB SO-DIMMs run at a maximum frequency of 2666MHZ with a CL of 19. The frequency just might be too high for your CPU's IMC. Usually, the higher capacity the module, the more stress it puts on the IMC and so one sometimes has to lower its clock rate, which I've had to do with desktop systems before. According to Intel's site on my CPU in my Alienware 17 R5 the memory should be supported.
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