Way around an 8GB memory limit on laptop with i5-8250U?

Discussion in 'Memory and Storage' started by smirk, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. smirk

    smirk Member

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    Hi, I'm thinking of buying the new HP Spectre x360 Convertible laptop, but I just noticed that the Core i5-8250U and i7-8550U models limit you to 8 GB of RAM for some reason. For $135 more there's a different i7-8550U model that supports 16 GB RAM (but then doesn't support 8 GB). Unfortunately, that plus the cost of the additional RAM pushes this laptop out of my budget.

    Is there a way around this 8 GB limitation without paying the extra cash? I see on Intel's site that both these processors support up to 32 GB RAM, so what's the deal with this limitation?

    http://store.hp.com/us/en/Configure...7345618598818&quantity=1&color=Natural+Silver

    Thanks!
     
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  3. bbhaag

    bbhaag Diamond Member

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    I do not believe there is a way around the 8gb limitation that HP has put in place without buying the more expensive model. A quick Google images search suggests the ram is attached directly to the mainboard with no expansion slots available.
    Perhaps you are over thinking this 8gb limitation. What are your intended uses for this laptop?
     
  4. mikeymikec

    mikeymikec Diamond Member

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    Nope. It'll be a board limitation.

    I saw a customer's computer the other day from the Athlon 64 X2 AM2 era, and its board only supported 2GB RAM. The AM2 boards I used in my own builds were 4GB and later 8GB. Even an Athlon XP board I used in 2003-2004 could handle a max of 3GB RAM.
     
  5. smirk

    smirk Member

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    It's possible I'm overthinking it. :) It will be for JavaScript/Node.js development, and also (separately) running an Eclipse-based IDE. I'm not experienced enough in that type of development to know the demands, but a coworker recommended 16 GB RAM.

    Holy cow, I had no idea there was no memory expansion! Thanks for noticing that.
     
  6. mindless1

    mindless1 Diamond Member

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    This is very easy to see by running the task on your current system and looking at memory allocation, but today the situation is a bit different than years ago. Today, if you're 200MB short on memory, your SSD will deliver that in a fraction of a second.

    I'm not suggesting to aim low, just that this is something that can be measured and anyone who makes a recommendation without seeing your memory load actually doing the work, is not basing their recommendation on reality.
     
    #5 mindless1, Nov 29, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  7. bbhaag

    bbhaag Diamond Member

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    Unfortunately I do not know enough about JavaScript/Node.js development or Eclipse-based IDE nor do I know the requirements needed to execute them. Is it possible to contact the developers of these programs and ask them if 8gb of ram is satisfactory? If that is not possible then maybe someone on the forums can answer that question.
     
  8. smirk

    smirk Member

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    Thanks for all the good input, everyone. This is for a work computer for a new job that I just started -- it's a small company and they asked me to select a computer, but since I'm new I didn't know what the demands will be. After speaking to a few other developers, I ended up ordering an Asus that offers 16 GB of memory without an "upgrade tax", so to speak.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. razel

    razel Platinum Member

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    Get the most RAM that you can and a nice screen. Not expensive... nice. One that you can stare at with a large dot pitch and minimal color dithering and not get a headache. The included screen on my HP Elitebook is an eye-strain HR disability in the making... no biggie, just use an external monitor as the primary... so yes, I asked for that too. :)
     
  10. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

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    In 2014 I bought a corporate-surplus Gateway E475M laptop with a C2D T8300 Centrino -- originally released around 2007. Nobody could tell me if the RAM could be upgraded to 8GB (2x4). At least the legacy docs and software were still available on an archive website. Every time I consulted the specs, it said "4GB".

    It occurred to me that this spec was unclear as to whether it applied to a single module or to the total of two modules. I went ahead and ordered a 2x4 kit from Crucial.

    I was right in my gamble. The spec value applied to a single module.

    I honestly am a bit surprised that a board supporting Intel i5 or i7 processors would not support a 2x8GB = 16GB kit. I would tell you to look closely at that spec (of 8GB) and satisfy yourself as to whether it means "per module" or "total."

    Just a guess on my part . . . .
     
  11. bbhaag

    bbhaag Diamond Member

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    It does not appear to be a limitation of the chipset or cpu but rather a limitation artificially imposed by HP. Because the X360 is considered a thin and lite utrabook HP soldered the ram directly to the mainboard. In my search of mainboard pics for the X360 there did not appear to be any expansion slots available for adding additional ram.
    I will admit that I did a rather quick search and did not fully research before I posted above. I would suggest the OP do some further research into this to find out if that is truly the case for this laptop.
     
  12. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

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    " . . . HP soldered the RAM directly to the mainboard . . . "

    Add another item on my list to consider for buying a new laptop. Should I add it also to "stuff I don't like about HP?"
     
  13. bbhaag

    bbhaag Diamond Member

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    Well I think that depends. In the quest to become the thinnest and lightest OEMs have to make sacrifices. Unfortunately that usually means cutting out extra ports and slots. Consumers constantly demand lighter and thinner devices so who is to blame?
    Take phones for example. Just a couple years ago you could replace the battery on your phone when the old one died but because consumers demanded thinner and lighter phones we now have integrated batteries. Ultrabooks like the one the OP asked about are in the same boat.