Question How much RAM is unofficially supported by this laptop?

dodid

Junior Member
Aug 14, 2022
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I have an N53SV i5 version and I was looking fordward to update my ram and im going insane trying to find out what to buy.
Turns out the maximun ram of the i7 version is officially at 16GB but it goes up to 32GB unofficially as seen on this video:

So now im wondering if I should try to go 16GB for mine (officially max is 8GB in here, has 2 slots, so would be 8GB per stick)

CPU-Z info:

Manufacturer: ASUSTek Computer Inc.
Model: N53SV
Bus Specs: PCI-Express 2.0 (5.0 GT/s)
Chipset: Intel Sandy Bridge Rev. 09
Southbridge: Intel HM65 Rev. 05

BIOS
American Megatrends Inc.
Version: N53SV.212
Date: 04/07/2011


Anyone knows if it would work? I've read HM65 does support 16GB, im just not sure if the BIOS/MOBO combo will work.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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Sep 13, 2008
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This is a good question, but more details may be needed. Are there any more recent BIOS updates, and if so, what do they do? Also, what i5 are you using? The max SODIMM capacity is partly determined by the CPU. If you know the CPU model, you can look it up on Intel Ark website, and get an idea of what is officially supported by the CPU. Of course, sometimes the CPU can actually work with larger capacity than listed, such as if higher capacity modules came out after Intel published their specs on the CPU, and the modules still work.
 
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igor_kavinski

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Of course, sometimes the CPU can actually work with larger capacity than listed, such as if higher capacity modules came out after Intel published their specs on the CPU, and the modules still work.
Do you have an example of that happening for some CPU? I know that laptop manufacturers may not indicate the correct maximum capacity that can be handled by their laptops. This is from my personal experience. Had an HP Pavilion laptop with two SODIMM slots and HP said it can have 8 GB DDR3 max. I decided to gamble since the CPU supported 16GB. The upgrade worked without a hitch and I was able to see and use the full 16GB. Oh, and the CPU was Sandy Bridge. However, a CPU working beyond what is specified on Intel's ARK, that would make me really curious.
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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Do you have an example of that happening for some CPU? I know that laptop manufacturers may not indicate the correct maximum capacity that can be handled by their laptops. This is from my personal experience. Had an HP Pavilion laptop with two SODIMM slots and HP said it can have 8 GB DDR3 max. I decided to gamble since the CPU supported 16GB. The upgrade worked without a hitch and I was able to see and use the full 16GB. Oh, and the CPU was Sandy Bridge. However, a CPU working beyond what is specified on Intel's ARK, that would make me really curious.
One example is the Haswell E i7 5930k. Intel Ark lists 64GB, but 128GB is possible with 8x16GB. https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/82931/intel-core-i75930k-processor-15m-cache-up-to-3-70-ghz/specifications.html

Of course a Xeon on the same board can do 256GB :p
 
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tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
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Anyone knows if it would work? I've read HM65 does support 16GB, im just not sure if the BIOS/MOBO combo will work.
Your ASUS N53SV is a few BIOS versions behind. 2nd/3rd Gen Intel QUAD core CPU can support 32GB just fine, but with SO-DIMMs package, only 8GB max per module (double sided). The notebook model in the linked video actually has four SO-DIMM slots, so it's basically configured like a desktop system. If your model has two SO-DIMM slots, 16GB will be the hard limit. If four slots, 32GB is the hard limit (BIOS permitting).
 
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igor_kavinski

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If your model has two SO-DIMM slots, 16GB will be the hard limit. If four slots, 32GB is the hard limit (BIOS permitting).
I don't understand the role of the BIOS in max memory support. Is it possible to write a BIOS poorly with a max limit so it will just ignore the rest of the memory? I thought BIOS updates are more about memory stability than increasing supported memory size. I mean, I've never seen a BIOS version changelog saying that max memsize limit has been increased.

A Dell Sandy Bridge PC in my office wouldn't start up after shutdown with 8GB RAM. It would start up if RAM was taken out and then re-inserted. It had a really old BIOS version. After going through four or five incremental BIOS updates, the problem went away.
 

tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
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I don't understand the role of the BIOS in max memory support. Is it possible to write a BIOS poorly with a max limit so it will just ignore the rest of the memory?
There is a hard limit of the system memory controller (integrated in the CPU for years now), and another 'hard' limit imposed by the mainboard design such as # of slots, DIMM vs. SO-DIMM, buffered/registered vs. unbuffered.

BIOS must have the code to perform the memory initialization, detection, and sizing way before the OS can load. The OS really does not itself know how much DRAM is installed or how many DIMMs. The BIOS sets it all up and passes the data to the OS via int 15h e820 memory map (superseded by GetMemoryMap function in UEFI) when called.

So yeah, BIOS/firmware needs to be aware of # and type of modules, capacity, ranks, modes (e.g. ECC, interleave, single or dual channel), among other things, else it cannot create the memory map and config for the OS to use.
 
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Shmee

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tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
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Not related to Notebooks, but Skylake and Kaby Lake required a BIOS mod to actually support 4 * 32 GiB: https://winraid.level1techs.com/t/guide-how-to-make-z370-chipset-mbs-compatible-with-128gb-ram/33716
Intel core didn't support more than 64GB until 8th Gen, except for the Xeons. Some of the manufacturers didn't support it because Intel would not give the reference code or approve it for consumer segment, or because 32GB DIMMs were hard to come by at great expense when they finalized their supported specifications (i.e. they didn't test it).
 

dodid

Junior Member
Aug 14, 2022
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This is a good question, but more details may be needed. Are there any more recent BIOS updates, and if so, what do they do? Also, what i5 are you using? The max SODIMM capacity is partly determined by the CPU. If you know the CPU model, you can look it up on Intel Ark website, and get an idea of what is officially supported by the CPU. Of course, sometimes the CPU can actually work with larger capacity than listed, such as if higher capacity modules came out after Intel published their specs on the CPU, and the modules still work.
Hi, im using whatever standard BIOS came with the laptop. Im not sure about what specific i5 version it is, how do I know what?

Btw, I ended up not gambling, I bought another 4GB of ram. Im not sure if it's running in dual channel, because the latency differs a bit. But this coupled with the SSD it's an amazing update. Looking at ram usage, there's a decent amount free for normal tasks, I don't see doing much more with this laptop, so im just going to save the money and buy a new one. Maybe the OLED one by MSI that just came out, but not sure if it's a good idea since i've read OLED screens are fragile in the sense that pixels burn easier than other screens.
 

Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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@dodid

Mini-led is the better option than OLED. Problem is finding one that's not overpriced. I went with a bsrebone system from rjtech.com with the plan of putting in a mled panel but struck out in finding one anywhere even though they were listed for sale at a somewhat decent price in a few places. I would order one and then wait for a shipping notification and never get one and then have to request refunds because they didn't actually have stock. Ended up going 4k120 after wasting a couple of months chasing mled. Since there are only a handful of mled panels and they're all 17.3" models I ended up with that size of laptop. I would have preferred a 15.6" but whatever.

All in I'm under $2k for a laptop that specs out at $3-4k prepackaged from other vendors.
 

igor_kavinski

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Maybe the OLED one by MSI that just came out

ASUS has been making affordable OLED laptops for quite some time now. OLED burn-in will only happen if you leave your laptop on without a screensaver or stare for hours at static GUIs. With mixed usage, OLEDs work fine.

Here's the screensaver ASUS bundles with its OLED laptops:

ASUS OLED Care screensaver download | TUX Forums

Login to that forum required to download.
 

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