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Joel Breiner
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Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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I have an E6420, i7-2760 2.4Mhz,8MB, OS-W7- 64bit.......used for business when traveling to examine and mark up ACAD drawings usually viewed in the office on a Precision Work Station with 32GB and a big screen.  My question to anyone who knows is this. Dell technical support has told me on more than one occasion that this machine supports a maximum of 8GB period. That it is a waste of time to upgrade to 16GB because the system won't support it. I really don't want to experiment if its true. More often than not initial technical responses I've received over the years from DELL have been wrong so it pays to be persistant until convinced.

I'd like to put 2-8GB chips in it betting that additional RAM will speed up screen regenerations given the video processor is what it is. Anyway, if anyone knows if what Dell is telling me is fact please chime in? If anybody knows for sure this laptop and OS is incapable of addressing 16GB please let me know? 

If it will accept them I'd like an informed opinion about which speed would be preferred, 1333 or 1666. I understand faster is usually better but if there Is there a latency issue perhaps one is a better fit for this machine. If this is a total waste of time and money, I'd like to know that too.

Any constructive advice, opinion or comment will be appreciated. 

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23 Replies
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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Crucial is usually a good indicator - they say 8G max.

www.crucial.com/.../listparts.aspx

That doesn't mean 16 won't work - just that they won't guarantee it.

Using RAM over 1333 MHz is pointless.  It won't run any faster.

Joel Breiner
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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ejn63, your response is logical and I have purchased memory for pc's and printers from Crucial many times successfully in the past and I agree that their information is usually reliable. I'm wondering however, is yours and their information based on what DELL says it 'supports' versus what the hardware and OS can handle since probably few people buying these machines opt for 16GBs.  "DELL" says it doesn't support that level of memory chip in this laptop.......OR....will the fully configured laptop with a quad processor and 64 bit OS handle and address the 16GB chips? As I said, I don't want to lay out the money then find out the answer is NO. But, if it will theoritically handle (and use) that memory, I'd spring for the hundred bucks betting on the likelyhood it would help the video function. Windows Professional 7/64bit theoritically can address 192GB of RAM memory according to the link you attached? That makes me wonder why DELL "says" it doesn't support it. Could it be they would rather you buy their M series for business use at that level than the less expensive E6420 series? BTW I have two M4600's with 32GB and duel SSD, discreet nVidia processors that do a great job running that software.......I just don't want to haul either of them around when traveling since athough they are laptops they weight a ton. From office to home one story; office to Tel Aviv is another. The E6420 is the lowest thing on DELL's totem pole configured the way I described that comes close to being useful for panning around and marking up ACAD files on the road. Thanks for your response by the way. It does backkup DELL's contention.

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Boris_yo
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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Hey jbreiner, did you think of going into one of small computer hardware stores and "renting" memory for fast on-site installation? You ask store owner for trying RAM modules and in turn you insure them that if your laptop will be able to address that much RAM or if anything goes wrong, you will pay for memory. This could be a win/win with the downside of dedicating more of your time to do on-site laptop test which is roughly 1 hour. Best is to ask from friends who have spare modules lying around or have no problem to lend you.

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Boris_yo
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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In my case with HP Pavilion laptop however, I read that there were some people who successfully installed more RAM than officially claimed this model of laptop was capable of supporting so I first bet my money on that it would work and luckily my laptop accepted and worked solidly thereafter but personally I don't recommend betting on it unless you are confident it will work.

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bhath11
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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So I just tried this - upgrading my E6420 to 16GB of RAM.

It's recognized by the system - but my memory fails the built-in RAM test (in the bios). Interestingly the memory is ok for both the Windows 7 memory test (test memory from the OS and then reboot and run through the tests) and MemTest86 which is running through it's second pass of all tests at the moment.

I may have bad chips ... but others have said that they are using 16GB with success on their E6420.

I'll be keeping the chips and will update this forum if things go awry and I have to return them.

Best,
bhath11

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Boris_yo
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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Thanks. Keep us posted!

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bhath11
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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The second pass with MemTest86 revealed a ton of errors. So I opened an RMA with Amazon.co.uk and will be sending the memory modules back.

The memory I used was this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Komputerbay-PC3-10600-1333MHz-204-Pin-9-9-9-24/dp/B00698WP50 

I'm going to try again either with the same (hoping they don't send me the same chips back again) or another brand.

Unsure what the 9-9-9-24 is about in the product description. Any clues? I'd hate for this to have been buyer error.

Best,
bhath11 

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Boris_yo
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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Thanks for heads-up. There are some unfavorable reviews on Amazon.com about Komputerbay memory. In your case I would choose popular brand to acertain proper operation of your laptop and better compatibility.

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bhath11
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Re: Maximum RAM supported on E6420, i7 Quad Processor laptop running Win 7/64

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Bought the Crucial memory from amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/.../ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

It works perfectly. Overnight run of MemTest86 revealed no errors. Much better than the Komputerbay memory I tried before. Full refund from amazon for the first purchase including return shipping.

So: yes, it is possible to upgrade a Dell E6420 to 16 GB of RAM - even though Dell say it's not supported.

I paid 60 GBP for the Crucial memory modules.

Best,

bhath11