Thinkpad x201 RAM upgrade

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#1
I'm adding RAM to a thinkpad x201 (i5-560M, non-tablet) and having some problems. I used Crucial's system utility to check compatibility and found this kit:

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/thinkpad-x201-%28all-types%29/CT5311310

I bought the exact spec'd kit through B&H, but when I added the RAM, although it shows up as 8GB of RAM in the BIOS, and loads GRUB2, trying to boot Ubuntu, Windows 7 or Fedora 22 all fail and just reboot. If I try advanced options w/ Ubuntu, I can start Memtest, but it fails almost immediately and reboots.

I suspected bad RAM, but out of curiosity, I checked the ARK on the i5-560M, and
http://ark.intel.com/products/49653/Intel-Core-i5-560M-Processor-3M-Cache-2_66-GHz
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 8 GB
Memory Types DDR3 800/1066
which makes it sounds like the RAM isn't compatible with the CPU at all.

So is this probably just bad RAM, or is this RAM that is just incompatible with my cpu/chipset? :\
 

Coup27

Platinum Member
Jul 17, 2010
2,130
2
76
#2
According to the spec sheet:

Memory
PC3-8500 Non-Parity (NP) Double Data Rate Three (DDR3) Technology
Two SO-DIMM Slots
The use of 1066 MHz SO DIMM memory is recommended for this system.
512MB, 1 GB, 2GB, or 4GB memory
Supports up to 8GB maximum memory
2GB, 4GB Intel Turbo Memory (selected models)
Note: Only 64-bit operating systems support more than 3GB of system memory (RAM).

It is my understanding that faster memory can work at slower speeds but maybe the slowest speed of the one you have bought is 12800 which is too fast. Have you tried booting with only one stick connected?

What voltage is the RAM that you removed? I have looked through all the data sheets and manuals available by Lenovo but it does not state if the RAM has to be 1.5v or if it can be 1.35v. OEM machines are generally more picky over things like that deviating from what they use.

Try it with one stick. If that's no good, check the RAM you removed and if that is 1.5v then you really need a Corsair CM3X8GSDKIT1066 which meets all the requirements and put this one down to experience. Or see if you can return it because the Crucial memory selector was wrong.
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#3
The new RAM is 1.35V, and I think the old RAM is also 1.35V.

The old RAM is two sticks of 2GB 1Rx8 PC3-10600S-09-11-B2 (1333 MHz).

Edit: I chatted with Crucial's support, they said the RAM should be compatible, and that my symptoms sounded like the RAM may be defective, but to try each stick one at a time. I'll try that this afternoon and see how that works.

BTW, Crucial's chat support was a really pleasant and helpful experience.
 
Last edited:

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#4
Update:

I flashed the latest BIOS, exact same problems. BIOS detects 8GB of RAM, all operating systems crash after trying to load them. Both sticks, one stick at a time in each of the sockets, all the same.

So it sounds like bad RAM? Or RAM that was never compatible to begin with?
 

Coup27

Platinum Member
Jul 17, 2010
2,130
2
76
#5
I think the RAM is too fast. I think you should buy that Corsair kit and try that and if it works return the Crucial as either being faulty or not compatible (because the memory selector was wrong).
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
3,558
213
106
#6
If it is failing memtest, sounds like bad ram.
 

coercitiv

Platinum Member
Jan 24, 2014
2,860
1,862
136
#7
I think the RAM is too fast.
The Crucial kit OP bought likely has SPD timings down to DDR3 800.

Here's what my 8GB DDR3 1600 Crucial stick supports:
tl7tHEn.png



OP, can you post SPD timings for your old memory sticks? We can probably find out coresponding timings for the Crucial sticks as well.
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#8
OP, can you post SPD timings for your old memory sticks? We can probably find out coresponding timings for the Crucial sticks as well.
Here is my speccy RAM report:

Code:
Memory slots
            Total memory slots    2
            Used memory slots    2
            Free memory slots    0
        Memory
            Type    DDR3
            Size    4096 MBytes
            Channels #    Dual
            DRAM Frequency    531.9 MHz
            CAS# Latency (CL)    7 clocks
            RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD)    7 clocks
            RAS# Precharge (tRP)    7 clocks
            Cycle Time (tRAS)    20 clocks
            Command Rate (CR)    1T
        Physical Memory
            Memory Usage    64 %
            Total Physical    2.93 GB
            Available Physical    1.05 GB
            Total Virtual    5.85 GB
            Available Virtual    3.80 GB
        SPD
            Number Of SPD Modules    2
                Slot #1
                    Type    DDR3
                    Size    2048 MBytes
                    Manufacturer    Samsung
                    Max Bandwidth    PC3-10700 (667 MHz)
                    Part Number    M471B5773DH0-CH9
                    Serial Number    773A658B
                    Week/year    47 / 10
                        Timing table
                                JEDEC #1
                                    Frequency    381.0 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    5.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    5
                                    RAS# Precharge    5
                                    tRAS    14
                                    tRC    19
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                                JEDEC #2
                                    Frequency    457.1 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    6.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    6
                                    RAS# Precharge    6
                                    tRAS    17
                                    tRC    23
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                                JEDEC #3
                                    Frequency    533.3 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    7.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    7
                                    RAS# Precharge    7
                                    tRAS    20
                                    tRC    27
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                                JEDEC #4
                                    Frequency    609.5 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    8.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    8
                                    RAS# Precharge    8
                                    tRAS    22
                                    tRC    30
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                                JEDEC #5
                                    Frequency    666.7 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    9.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    9
                                    RAS# Precharge    9
                                    tRAS    25
                                    tRC    33
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                Slot #2
                    Type    DDR3
                    Size    2048 MBytes
                    Manufacturer    Samsung
                    Max Bandwidth    PC3-10700 (667 MHz)
                    Part Number    M471B5773DH0-CH9
                    Serial Number    773A658E
                    Week/year    47 / 10
                        Timing table
                                JEDEC #1
                                    Frequency    381.0 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    5.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    5
                                    RAS# Precharge    5
                                    tRAS    14
                                    tRC    19
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                                JEDEC #2
                                    Frequency    457.1 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    6.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    6
                                    RAS# Precharge    6
                                    tRAS    17
                                    tRC    23
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                                JEDEC #3
                                    Frequency    533.3 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    7.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    7
                                    RAS# Precharge    7
                                    tRAS    20
                                    tRC    27
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                                JEDEC #4
                                    Frequency    609.5 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    8.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    8
                                    RAS# Precharge    8
                                    tRAS    22
                                    tRC    30
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
                                JEDEC #5
                                    Frequency    666.7 MHz
                                    CAS# Latency    9.0
                                    RAS# To CAS#    9
                                    RAS# Precharge    9
                                    tRAS    25
                                    tRC    33
                                    Voltage    1.500 V
 
Last edited:

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
1,412
41
91
#9
What's the FRU number on the original DIMM(s)?
 

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
1,412
41
91
#11
Look at the original memory. If it's a 'genuine' part from Lenovo, it'll have a FRU number on it. Like this:

$_35.JPG


of course it'll say 'Lenovo' instead of 'IBM' lol

When i get to work on Monday, I'll see if I have any memory for ya
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#12
I don't know if you skimmed the memory report above, but the DIMMs are Samsung, not lenovo.
 

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
1,412
41
91
#13
I don't know if you skimmed the memory report above, but the DIMMs are Samsung, not lenovo.

It should still have a FRU number on it, regardless of who manufactured it. Lenovo uses memory from Samsung, Hynix, Crucial, Nanya, etc..... They just put a FRU sticker on it to identify it.

Of course, if the memory didn't come with the laptop in the first place, chances are it wont have a FRU number on it.
 

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
1,412
41
91
#15
cool, I'll see if I have any 4G 8500/10600 DIMMS laying around ;)

For what it's worth, I've come across your predicament a few times. No rhyme nor reason. No matter what I did/checked, the memory would NOT work, even though it should For those scenarios, I usually end up with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvOmqYk8JOk
 
Last edited:

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#16
As someone mentioned upthread, and as a Crucial support rep confirmed, the fact that BIOS recognizes it and memtest fails is a strong indication of defective RAM. I've asked the reseller for an RMA, hopefully it's that easy.
 

Coup27

Platinum Member
Jul 17, 2010
2,130
2
76
#17
The original working RAM is 1.5v and your new kit is 1.35v. Is there a chance your laptop doesn't like 1.35v RAM?
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#18
There is but I'm not sure how to test that?

I'm pretty sure that all DDR3 RAM has to be able to operate 1.5V to be compliant with JEDEC, though.
 

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
1,412
41
91
#19
OK,
Just took a look. All I have are the 2Gig chips w/FRU 55Y3713

But this may mean something:
-The Samsung module has 4 chips per side (8 chips total)
-The Elpida module has 8 chips per side (16 total)

Wondering if you laptop only will take high or low density DIMMS? How many chips/side are on your original (and new) DIMMS?

IMG_07461_zpsji9oqzlo.jpg


IMG_07471_zpsdmxr1v7x.jpg
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#20
Wondering if you laptop only will take high or low density DIMMS? How many chips/side are on your original (and new) DIMMS?
The original (Samsung) are 4 dies per side. Each die is 256 MB.

The new ones (Crucial) are also 4 dies per side, but each die is 512 MB.
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#22
One of the Crucial support people suggested that maybe the problem was with the higher density dies, but I felt like it would be as likely to have a problem with MORE dies...leaving the sort of lingering implied question that if you think the motherboard will have problems with both higher density dies, and additional dies, then why on earth is it being certified to run with more memory at all?
 

Coup27

Platinum Member
Jul 17, 2010
2,130
2
76
#23
I'm pretty confident that won't be the issue. I have updated many laptops from difference manufacturers to their maximum RAM capacity without running into that. IMO it's either faulty RAM or your system is rejecting the new RAM because of either the voltage or speed difference.

Do you have some more RAM coming?
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#24
Under recommendation from Crucial's support, I RMA'd the RAM because they said it was likely defective.

I received the replacement kit yesterday, and this one is giving me trouble too.

With both new sticks: 8GB recognzied in BIOS, WILL NOT boot.

With one new stick at a time (tested 4 times, once with each stick in each slot): 4GB recognized in BIOS, WILL boot OS.

With one new stick and one old stick: 6GB recognized in BIOS, WILL NOT boos OS.
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
3
76
#25
Just to bring closure to the story, this issue was resolved by using the lower density DIMMs.

The original kit I purchased was CT2KIT51264BF160BJ, I replaced it with CT2KIT51264BF160B, and everything works great now.
 

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