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Inspiron 1720 with 6GB RAM Tested

Discussion in 'Dell Inspiron and Dell Studio' started by SomeFormOFhuman, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. SomeFormOFhuman

    SomeFormOFhuman has the dumbest username.

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    The set up are as follows:

    T9300
    8600M GT
    320GB 7200rpm x2 (640GB)
    6GB RAM
    (4GB G.Skill and 2GB Kingston memory) both PC2-5300 @ 5-5-5-15

    Ultimate 64
    1920x1200
    A09 BIOS

    Purchase of RAM

    The 4GB RAM Module is purchased from newegg. Unfortunately, newegg doesn't ship products to Singapore, so I had to use Vpost (Vpost gave a US address and everything)... Then Vpost will ship it to Singapore.

    This is a follow up thread from Does the Inspiron 1520 Support 8Gigs and How to upgrade your M1530 to 6GB of RAM

    Installation procedure:
    As usual, I only installed the RAM on DIMM A. I have not tested it on DIMM B, not too sure if it works or even to the extent of the BIOS or mobo detecting it.

    UPDATED (Friday, Oct 3, 2008; 11:52am): DIMM B also works. See this screenshot for details.

    [​IMG]
    LOL, here, I got myself a black keyboard. :D Just ignore it. :p No, it's not an Inspiron E1705 people. :eek: My friend from the UK (Migrated here, now living in Singapore) didn't want his Vostro 1700 anymore, so for no reason, he gave me the keyboard.

    [​IMG]
    As usual, open the hinge cover and gain access to the DIMM A RAM underneath the keyboard. Instructions can be found here: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins1720/en/SM/memory.htm#wp1180192

    [​IMG]
    Make sure you slot it properly into the slot...

    [​IMG]
    Once fixed, especially the keyboard and hinge, boot into your BIOS to double check it. Here, it is written as 6142MB.

    Also, make sure you're using the latest A09 BIOS released from Dell.

    Testing

    Things just don't stop here. Just because it "sees" or, "detects" 6GB of RAM, doesn't necessarily mean we can assume that the 6GB will be utilized because, it is widely stated that the 1720 cannot support more than 4GB of RAM, and so as most Santa Rosa machines. The same goes for the others. Here, I did some interesting "Mythbusters" style tests... I got lots of drawings and graphics that I do everyday, like 3DS Max and all those workstation stuff. But specifically, I am going to launch 2 of the most vicious RAM eaters out there. They're non other than Photoshop and Corel PhotoPaint.

    Tuesday 8 Oct 2008 11:17am UPDATE: VMWare Workstation v6.5 will be tested!! This will really help to see if there's a performance boost with 6GB RAM installed, and be utilized.

    The question we're going to answer today is:
    Santa Rosa GM965 (Dell Inspiron 1720 platform) does not Utilize more than 4GB of RAM.

    Well, you heard it everywhere and even written on Dell's documents clearly in black and white. 4GB of RAM, and no more than that. Of course, except the Precision M6300 and other workstation machines with support of 8GB RAM. But for a normal, everyday-use laptop? Let's see if that is true. Detecting the full 6GB of RAM is one thing, but fully utilizing it, is another. Let's see... :D

    Photoshop

    I decided to use the .psd files that were made for my school work. These are one of my projects that were done entirely out of my Inspiron machine, including rendering and putting the images together to make a promotional poster in photoshop. There are in fact alot more .psd files out in my documents that I would like to use, but I'll just choose the 3 of the biggest files, and with the most number of layers for each graphics software. All of these posters are in A1 paper size, CYMK, 300dpi.

    Unfortunately, the very maximum Photoshop CS3 can only use is about 3.2 GB of RAM, regardless whether you're using an x64 OS. Now that CS4 is out, there's a native x64 bit support, and has support of more than 4GB of RAM.... Anyway the Performance setup in Photoshop are as follows:
    [​IMG]

    Test 1.
    This first file I open was an A1 300dpi poster, as seen in the screenshot below. Stated on the right is the Task Manager, and File Properties, to show the size of that, particular opened file.

    Click to Enlarge
    [​IMG]

    RESULT: The RAM usage increased steadily to 2.26GB.

    Test 2. Then, I simultaneously opened a similar file, without closing the previous. Screenshot as seen below.

    Click to Enlarge
    [​IMG]

    RESULT: The RAM usage increased steadily to 3.09GB.
    Note: At 3.09GB, this is the line which marks a dangerous "Lagging Eminent" point for a PC only with a 32bit OS and 3GB RAM. For those who only have 3GB of RAM installed, you're probably gonna crash and burn with just opening these 2 .psd files :eek:

    Test 3. The final .psd file being opened. This time, depicting a roof storey plan coloured in photoshop. Again, done with my 1720. The other previous 2 .psd files previously opened were again, NOT closed. Circled in red are to show the usage of RAM and the number of files being opened at the same time.

    Click to Enlarge
    [​IMG]

    RESULT: The RAM usage increased steadily to 4.46GB.
    That is one hell of a big jump. :eek: And most importantly, it has gone above 4GB.

    So there you have it guys. 3 of the biggest .psd files, opened simultaneously one after an another without closing the previously opened and 4.46GB of RAM being used. Now rather than just using photoshop, I am going to try using Corel PhotoPaint, to open another set of .cpt drawings instead.

    Corel Photopaint is an image editing/graphic design software similiar to photoshop. Most importantly, the Corel Company is best known for making CorelDRAW, a vector graphics software, which -maybe- will be tested extensively later in the guide. Trivia: Did you know that the animators of South Park use CorelDRAW to graphic their characters? :)

    In the next test, I will again select 3 different .cpt files to be opened simultaneously, similar to the previous tests done in Photoshop. To add extra ingredient to the testing, the previously opened photoshop files will again, will NOT be closed, otherwise this Max RAM usage test will be a bust. In summary, there will be 6 graphic files opened in total, simultaneously.

    Corel PhotoPaint

    In this setup, I've used these settings as seen in the screenshot below. The thing I like about Corel PhotoPaint is the ability to use more than 4GB of RAM even though the application runs as a 32 bit platform only.

    [​IMG]

    Test 4. This is a drawing of the head of Chrysler Building which I am currently doing to the best of its accuracies. Again, I had to split into many different .cpt files showing each parts of the building. To gather all layers into a single file would prove impossible and its file size would go over a gig.

    Click to Enlarge
    [​IMG]

    RESULT: The RAM usage increased steadily to 4.57GB.

    Test 5. Then, I opened a second .cpt file, this time showing the highly adorned eagle gargoyle of the Chrysler Building which I drew. I purposely opened an image of it at the left.

    Click to Enlarge
    [​IMG]


    RESULT: The RAM usage increased steadily to 5.03GB.
    NOTE: RAM usage finally reached 5GB. We're not there yet, we're going to push it to the limits to the point where the 1720 start to lag, which it still hasn't.


    Test 6.
    Finally, the 3rd opened .cpt file, totalling 6 opened graphic files altogether including Photoshop, showing the base of the Chrsyler Building, again with the picture on the left.

    Click to Enlarge
    [​IMG]

    RESULT: The RAM usage increased steadily to 5.67GB.
    NOTE: This is just insane. On my testing, it still showed no sign of lagginess of sorts.

    Well guys, sorry but I'll just stop here for the day. I'll continue to add more stuff as I go along... So no worries. :D I'll try to test it further.

    ************************************************
    UPDATE Friday, Oct 3 2008; 11:20am: Well I have received some feedbacks or... "complains", as I put them, stating about the, genuineness, of my findings. Apparently some of my peers (Tech Junkies themselves BTW) did not really believe the screenshots I posted to them. "If you are so good in photoshop, you would have probably photoedited the screenshots on your task manager to show 5GB of RAM. How can we be sure about the genuineness of your findings?" Now folks, that is crazy talk. It also really hurts my feelings when someone says that... and that is the last thing I would ever do. I wouldn't do stupid things like this.

    In the light of the situation, I decided to use my 10 megapixel digital SLR camera to take shots of it including the entire computer instead of on-screen screenshots. I currently do not own a camcorder of sorts and my cellphone video recording quality is poor.

    This time round, I lauched 3 instances of Orthos Stress Test, to stress CPU and RAM. I lauched 3 instances so that it can reach its RAM usage to the highest point.

    For the following 3 images below, click on the thumbnail to enlarge

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    VMware Workstation

    VMware Workstation is a Virtual Machine software that emulates, and enables launching of another OS, onto an OS. Like a movie within a movie, they're probably best known for for making VMWare Fusion.

    More info about VMware Workstation @ Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMware_Workstation

    In this test, Windows XP 32 bit will be installed via VMWare Workstation, and will be tested to see if the 6GB RAM will really make the difference or if any, a performance boost!

    See the screenshots below:

    Click to Enlarge
    [​IMG]
    "Your computer will be faster and more reliable" right on straight. Long live XP and all its glory!

    RESULT: The RAM usage increased steadily to 4.53GB.

    Click to Enlarge
    [​IMG]

    Finally, this is how it is... 2 OSes, at the same time.

    RESULT: The RAM usage increased steadily to 4.59GB.

    I did try VMware Workstation on my desktop, but somehow it was proved to be laggy, and slow, probably the fact that VMware itself (Not the Host OS) uses a vast amount of RAM, and I'm just using XP Pro 32 bit, 3.2GB RAM max. On my Dell 1720, there proved to be no lagginess of sorts, while running XP 32 and Vista x64 with 6GB of RAM, 4.5GB being used.

    In all conclusions from this test, it seems like VMware will surely benefit 6 - 8GB RAM.

    Conclusion

    I would love to hear your opinions about this, before I can gladly say "Busted!!" I'm pretty sure you can't just rely on task manager to see the amount of RAM being used. I am a guy who doesn't like to jump conclusions, and assume. So, if you guys have any other way of testing RAM usage, please, shout me a message. Like Mythbusters, I would review this all over again if the viewers like yourself are unsatisfied with the results.

    Games will not be tested. It has very little to do with performance/framerates regardless of how much RAM you install, whether be it 2GB or more. If you have to know, COD4, Crysis (Low Settings) Assassin's Creed, Kane's Wrath, HL2, CS Source all tested fine and behaved the way they were originally before the G.Skill RAM was installed. Leave gaming performance to the GPU. Startup time relies more onto harddrive speed, not really so much onto RAM, but still has an affect for it. Startup for my computer is ~appox. 35 seconds.
     
  2. dingbat

    dingbat Notebook Evangelist

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    Wow Man ... Great Work !!! ..
     
  3. mgh_a1

    mgh_a1 Notebook Evangelist

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    That's a great review. Thanks fur putting the myth to rest. If I had money to burn I would try it on my machine also, but frankly, I am trying to keep myself out of the money spending trap at the moment! : )
     
  4. mmax

    mmax Notebook Guru

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    Just one simple question , how did you get black keyboard ?
    It really looks cool compare to the plain keyboard silver color
     
  5. TRIaXOR

    TRIaXOR Notebook Enthusiast

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    @mmax

    here is what was posted earlier.. :)

     
  6. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies TG Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Wow, nice. I will have to look at Intel's spec sheets for the 965 chipset to see if there is anything officially stated about the RAM limit.

    It is possible to use more RAM than you have via the page file - I assume the hard drive wasn't going crazy when you were doing your tests.
     
  7. Terrigno

    Terrigno Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thats just crazy man! I didnt even know they made freakin RAM that large nowadays. I need to get my head out of my butt and start updating everything! lol! Great job!
     
  8. nizzy1115

    nizzy1115 Notebook Prophet

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    Woah, +rep to you for doing this. I am sure you will make a lot more follow in your footsteps!
     
  9. Notebooka

    Notebooka Notebook Enthusiast

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    Great work. But I always thought why would anyone buy an Inspiron machine to do workstation stuff on it.
     
  10. Johnny T

    Johnny T Forum Moderator Super Moderator

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  11. MrJacky

    MrJacky Notebook Guru

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  12. Apollo13

    Apollo13 Vista Downgrader

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    Mad props to you for testing that out so thoroughly. Glad to see that it worked as well - you've proven it beyond my doubt (which the first tester of this did not). +rep I'll remember this if it ever looks like my coming 4 GB upgrade won't be enough - doubt it, but certainly good to know more will work.

    Nice drawings as well. Far beyond what I could do.
     
  13. MAG

    MAG Notebook Deity

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    Wow, nice work man.
     
  14. MaskedMagi

    MaskedMagi Notebook Guru

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    Could this work on the Studio 1535?
     
  15. maxsquared

    maxsquared Notebook Consultant

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    I wonder if T61 will support that much ram.
     
  16. 1720Maxwellist

    1720Maxwellist Newbie

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    Woah man! This I gotta try!!! :eek: Nice work, you finally nail that myth! Busted! :)

    EDIT: Oh yeah, where are my manners, +rep for you. :D I rreally love your hard drives!! With 2 320GB 7200rpm drives, 6gigs of RAM, your 1720 is really a beast. :D
     
  17. fraggable

    fraggable Notebook Guru

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    So do we think that a XPS M1730 would support 6 or 8GB also? I'd be willing to go for it since I run VMs frequently at work. I'd have to reload with a 64-bit OS but it would be worth it, I've already got 2 200GB 7200RPM drives on the way I'll have to reinstall everything for anyway.
     
  18. scythie

    scythie I died for your sins.

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    Cool. Maybe 64-bit will become more popular sooner than we might expect...
     
  19. Gigiya

    Gigiya Notebook Guru

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    Interesting read!
     
  20. TRIaXOR

    TRIaXOR Notebook Enthusiast

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    let us hope :D
     
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