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Inspiron 1720 with 6GB RAM Tested

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

  1. frenchglen

    frenchglen Notebook Geek

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    The pioneering test for Vostro 1700:

    0. Updated to the latest Dell BIOS, A07.

    1. started by taking out orig. 2GB stick out of slot B (on the bottom). Put in 4GB stick, to total 6GB physical RAM. BIOS recognises 6GB RAM. check. Windows seems fine and recognises 6GB. check.

    2. I then put the second 4GB DIMM in slot A so that I have 8GB physical RAM. BIOS took a VERY LONG time to load this time, and loaded up a scary "memory address line failure" message. I powered off the computer shortly after this message came up and then fumbled about with a few other restarts and things and at one point had a "no memory available" message(!), but anyway I then removed the SLOT B stick and after letting the "memory address line failure" message run through its entirety this time and just press F1, it went through to windows. So a SINGLE 4GB of RAM in slot A works fine in windows and bios, I restarted to check, and the (single) 4GB is fully working and being used....no memory error message at bootups.

    3. So I then put back the second 4GB stick in slot B, to re-attempt the 8GB pair configuration. I let the bios do its "Memory Address Line Failure" adjustment thing again (after a VERY slow BIOS boot, again), but, I have let it run all day (7+ hours so far) for the "decreasing available memory" process to finish, but it aint doing anything :(.

    So right now I'm thinking, it just can't process a physical 8GB pair of RAM (irrespective of whether it can just use 6GB of it, or not) :(.

    68 pounds down the drain...unless some wonderful person comes and hacks the Dell BIOS for us...
     
  2. Mihael Keehl

    Mihael Keehl Notebook Evangelist

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    I believe the most Inspiron 1520/1720 & Vostro 1500/1700 can take is 7GB Maximum. Unfortunately for us, there weren't any 3GB sticks of DDR2 RAM PC2-5300 developed during the early life of these laptops, so the hardware cannot actually access 7GB, ever. Thus making 6GB the most it is capable of doing, however, the errors you are receiving is because you exceeded the limit allowed by the BIOS. If the limit was set at 8GB, you would have been fine.

    The reasons for this ridiculous limit was because at the time 8GB was the equivalent of getting 12GB/16GB now and those options were only available with higher performance end notebooks and not their budget notebooks. Thus anyone that required more than 4GB theoretically, would be force to purchase a performance/high-end laptop as opposed to the budget ones.

    I wouldn't recommend hacking your BIOS, technically you don't really anything more than 6GB for day to day use, and even in developing pictures, video rendering and graphic designing, I believe 6GB is pretty good threshold. Most previous versions of Photoshop were limited to only around 3 gigs of memory anyways regardless of which OS version you use.

    If you feel that you need more memory/speed, then I recommend upgrading your processor, because ever since I started using the T9300 (2.5GHz/6MB/800MHz), I can see an impressive enhancement. If you feel that isn't enough, then I recommend using the X9000 or X7800/X7900, those extreme core processors are overclockable and provide great results, especially when working in tandem w/your dual SSDs.
     
  3. frenchglen

    frenchglen Notebook Geek

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    Wow that is fabulous info. Thank you for imparting it! Aint got time to hack the bios myself...even if it wasn't too complicated.

    See I do crazy production stuff (sometimes), including music sampling library processing which can just mercilessly rack up the gigs in what they demand. Indeed, it seems you can never have enough RAM, with audio sampling libraries. This must be why the full-time guys buy apple workstations with 32GB of RAM.

    So imagine me trying to run hi-res stuff in photoshop at the same time as indesign (I do this semi-regularly too), at same time as doing the music. I have to often take one proggie at a time when I have to do some of this stuff.

    Yes, I have upgraded the CPU - to T9500 :). and am enjoying a nice ordeal regarding that as well :p. Both it and X9000 seem so rare now, i couldn't even find a new X9000 and barely a new one for T9500 (here in UK). I thought it too risky to buy second hand X9000, as what if it's some half worn-out previously overclocked unit. you just never know...

    Although I DO still have a chance to buy a X9000 (and overclock it) as I returned my faulty T9500 and could just get it credited back to me instead of replaced.

    this is OT (and perhaps one can respond in my CPU thread to this), but: would you recommend a refurbished X9000 to be a safe purchase? Especially if I'm going to overclock it myself, I sure want it to be a dependable unit. I guess I can google/ask about this in a new thread, but thank you for your fantastic post about the ram if nothing else.

    But: Should I go for it and just do extensive testing within my 14-day return period on that ebay refurb unit?
     
  4. Mihael Keehl

    Mihael Keehl Notebook Evangelist

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    Of course no problem, it's not like I'm a techy guy either, it's just what I picked up from reading up on expanding my system (Inspiron 1520). Much like you, I deal with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, PhotoPaint, Lightwave, Vue Infinite and etc. Running all of them at once is really difficult to handle, I like music in the background as well, which is why I use iTunes. For my browser I've switched to Google Chrome because it takes up less memory than Firefox and runs much smoother. I recommend you do the same as well, it will make your system respond faster.

    With the X7800 ($149.00 USD/ £90.22 GBP w/Best Offer Available)/X7900 ($179.90 USD / £108.93 GBP w/Best Offer Available), I would recommend getting the X7800 because you can find it for a cheaper price, it's just as reliable and you can draw out relatively the same amount of performance from either chips. If you plan on getting the X7900, I would recommend you switch to the X9000 ($300.00 USD / £181.65 GBP) and get that instead, it'll be an expensive swap but spending money on the X7900 is a pointless processor. You may also be able to get a deal on the processor if you send the lister telling him your situation (living outside the US), they'll cut you a break simply because of shipping charges.

    As a rule of thumb, unless it's a cosmetic feature in remarkably good condition (LCD Back Cover, Bezel, Face Plate and etc.), you should try your hardest to find it new. I don't trust second-hand used material unless it comes with an extended warranty and it has to be manufacture refurbished, not seller. You should test it out thoroughly, it's possible that the previous owner overclocked the crap out of it and damaged the processor (internally). I'm always weary of buying things second-hand unless I'm allowed to thoroughly test in a certain period of time, which you are and you should take advantage of.

    Anything above $300 USD/ £181.65 GBP is far too expensive for a processor, you'd be better for getting the X7800 I mentioned, but also remember you are using the T9500, that has 6MB of Cache, you'll be downgrading to 4MB of Cache with any of the X7000-series. I'd recommend the T9300/T9500 over the X7000-series simply because you can cache more and although you won't be able to operate greater than 2.6GHz, it's worth it. They are selling the T9300 for $135 USD or roughly £81 GBP.

    Also, just thought you were wondering, there is one for $286 USD / £169 GBP (albeit used though).
     
  5. frenchglen

    frenchglen Notebook Geek

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    ah but see I'm liking firefox again now, with my 6GB :p.

    I've just felt for so long that the more RAM/CPU I can have (on my slow vostro), the better (as even after windows re-install, things were SLOW). But i've discovered the major reason really was just the HUGE amount of dust and muck slowing the thing down, like I detailed in my other thread.

    Still, the more the better, and here's hoping I can get ANOTHER 3 years out of this ol' vostro. That's the plan with all my upgrading. And hey - maybe what with cloud computing (having resources computed in the cloud and the results delivered back to me via hi-speed internet), it'll even remain more relevant if I keep it in good nick :).

    It sounds like you've exhaustively researched for 3GB PC2-5300 and can't find any? This looked close (looks like single DIMM), after googling for 2 seconds...meh, I'll be ok by not running too much at once...

    oooh....glad I could get your advice :eek:. I googled and found threads like this and was feeling confident but ok, now I think I'll buy a new one. between some store in slovakia and this one in USA, there's 12 new units out there and once my current T9500 is confirmed by retailer as faulty and I have my refunded cash, I'll go for it.
     
  6. Mihael Keehl

    Mihael Keehl Notebook Evangelist

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    I haven't really searched for it but when upgrading to RAM, people would have definitely taken advantage of buying a 2x3GB sticks as opposed to 2x2GB sticks. It just seemed that every time I searched for upgrades for my memory, I always got 2GB(2x1GB) or 4GB (2x2GB), never really saw 3GB unless it was in the 2GB+1GB format. Perhaps what you found there would work but it's not PC2-5300, I don't know if that makes a difference perhaps, I will buy one to try it out and etc.

    I feel you on the upgrading tip, I upgraded my memory from 2GB to 4GB, perhaps even to 6GB when I got a hold of a 4GB stick. But I've also changed the way my laptop looks significantly from how it was when I originally bought it. If you look at what I started out with where I'm at now, perhaps you'll see how much of a difference how you can thoroughly extend laptop life.


    I responded to your original thread regarding why it wasn't working, I must admit you should still check your BIOS Version, because I believe that's where the problem truly resides.
     
  7. latestpriceco

    latestpriceco Newbie

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    Hmmm, Really Great.
     
  8. somms

    somms Notebook Evangelist

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    [​IMG]

    Older 2008 Studio 1735 boots just fine and recognizes the full 8GB memory under Vistax64 pulled from a ZinoHD400...wish I could use this 2x4GB in my newer ZinoHD410 but that requires 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM.:(
     
  9. SomeFormOFhuman

    SomeFormOFhuman has the dumbest username.

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    ^^^ This is the Inspiron 1720 thread. A Studio 1735 booting with 8GB doesn't count. But still, thanks for sharing.

    Anyway... Wow, my thread has indeed come a long way and look at the number of replies! :eek:

    A little more of my life - well I wish I could have the time to read all of them and replies, but lately things are handy at my side, and time is imminent...

    My 1720? Ha, it's not with me anymore. The last time I saw was at my cousin's; and that was like... nearly half a year back. Still kicking and going on strong though. Just recently one of the RAM sticks of my XPS M1730 failed on me unexpectedly and I'm in need of a replacement.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/wan...574424-wtb-g-skill-1x4gb-ddr2-667-urgent.html

    Still, I'm glad to see people still pursuing this 'legacy' I did a long time ago... Congrats. :)
     
  10. jaymzof78

    jaymzof78 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Sorry to re-open an old thread but I'm trying to trick out my 1520 to 6GB RAM, I have 2x2GB at the moment, can I buy ANY brand of 667Mhz 4gb single stick ram to put in a slot or does it HAVE to be the G.Skill brand?

    I've seen a Hynix 4GB stick on eBay for only £40.....will it work?

    Cheers.
     
  11. Mihael Keehl

    Mihael Keehl Notebook Evangelist

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    Any brand should work but it has to be of the same model (e.g. DDR2 PC2-5300).
     
  12. Apollo13

    Apollo13 Vista Downgrader

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    I've been following this thread off and on since soon after it was started, and wanted to thank frenchglen for sharing his experiences trying to upgrade to 8 GB. Unfortunate that it failed, but I'll admit I had been curious for some time, even though I probably wouldn't have tried it since I have a 32-bit OS.

    Mihael Keehl, did you end up finding or buying one of those 3 GB SO-DIMMs? From what I remember, PC2-5400 should be the same as PC2-5300. I think they get the "5300/5400" numbers from a mathematical equation, and if you round it in a less traditional way you could end up with 5400 instead of 5300. So if you can find it, it ought to work, if the BIOS does support it. Seems odd though, I can't recall ever hearing about 3 GB SO-DIMMs, and mid-2008 was near the peak of my notebook knowledge (as well as activity on this site).
     
  13. Mihael Keehl

    Mihael Keehl Notebook Evangelist

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    I've never even heard of PC2-5400, but I know that PC2-6400 works on our models just that I believe it downclocks the RAM to 667MHz on its own accord.
     
  14. JanJ

    JanJ Notebook Enthusiast

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    Granted.... Replying to this thread is late, compared to everyone else.. but.. Better late than never!!!

    Nearly 2 years ago, I went from Vista 32 to W7-64 on wife's Inspriron 1720.
    Did that because money was tight (Didn't want to spend $$ for new computer), and we hated Vista... Fortunately, we kept up with the Bios upgrades, and had A09 installed... W7-64 upgrade was pretty painless.

    About 1.5 years ago....went from 5400 RPM drive, to 2 x 7200 RPM Momentus XT drives.... (We never had any of the issues with this drive that others encountered... I think it's because a higher current is available to the drive--though we did do the firmware updates).

    Momentus XT drives == Nearly as much an eye opener as W7-64 was.....

    Wanted to get new laptop.... but they don't have Firewire and Express slots, and I use them (for DV Camera capture, DV Transverter capture, BluRay burner, and external Raid array via Express slot and ESATA....

    THEN I FOUND THIS THREAD!!! I had NO IDEA you could swap CPU's!!!!

    Just finished upgrading CPU, from 1.8Ghz to 2.2Ghz... Price was right too!
    Again, as good an improvement as the Momentus XT drives were!!!

    Now I'm going to try the 6Gb Ram Upgrade!!

    Yeah, I'm not dealing with the latest technology, but seeing that the price of parts is falling........

    But I wanted to thank You All for the fantastic information in this thread.....
     
  15. JanJ

    JanJ Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm still awaiting ram shipment, but I'd like to ask some 1720 Bios questions here....
    I have 1720 Bios A09 installed... Just upgraded to a 2.2Ghx T75000 Processor from a 1.8Ghx T5550 processor...

    I'm finding even though I don't have a flash cache module that it is enabled in bios... Should this be a concern or not? (I do have Momentus XT drives installed)
    Next question.. Speed Step and Dynamic Acceleration... Should I leave these enabled, or not?

    And lastly, with W7-64 running, how do I determine what Speed the CPU's are running, if it automatically speed-steps? Is there a way, SHOULD I, try and force it to 2.2Ghz?

    That is all... I'm preparing some Adobe After Effects CS6 tests for memory so that when the 6Gb upgrade arrives.... I'll have something to post...
     
  16. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell? Super Moderator

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    The Flash Cache setting should not matter if you don't have the FCM.

    SS and IDA you should generally leave on. You can use CPU-Z to make sure SS is working properly... typically you should see something like 800MHz at idle and the full 2200MHz at full CPU load (under prime95, etc); no need to force it to 2200MHz if SS is working properly.
     
  17. JanJ

    JanJ Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks very much.... Obviously I'm "new' in this department....
     
  18. JanJ

    JanJ Notebook Enthusiast

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    OK... Have the G.Skill ram installed....
    After Effects doesn't see the ram.... And Neither does Task Manager/Performance Monitor Ram


    BUT.. CPU-Z See's the ram, As does Bios, and Overall the The system obviously faster!
    Premiere and After Effects loads and runs Faster, too... (Even though it doesn't see the ram)!
     

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  19. JanJ

    JanJ Notebook Enthusiast

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    The main reason why I upgraded the CPU and ram was to try and get 1080i AVCHD playing back better in PPRO CS5.5/CS6....

    And the CPU Helped a bit, but the 6GB Ram upgrade helped more!!!
    Usually I set 1080i playback resolution for 1/4 in PPRO, and video would back up after a while... and it would drop frames... Now it is MUCH BETTER!!

    EDIT... I spent the last hour trying to run out of ram... Came Close on PPRO CS6 doing rendering on long Warp Stabilizer, but it didn't error out, though the CPU was pegged for 20 min running...
    Then I assigned 0 Mb of ram for 'other' processes in After Effects CS6, and assigned 2 processors and all the ram it could see for Multi threading (This would have made system unstable in CS5, and barely stable in CS5.5)..... then told it to do a ram preview.... Talk about fast! Have no way to determine exactly, but the Ram Preview is faster than the same one I did last night with 4Gb Ram (Cache's were flushed prior to running, so AE's multiple caches were not an issue...)
    I'm quite pleased...
    A couple days later.... More than pleased... Impressed!
     
  20. JanJ

    JanJ Notebook Enthusiast

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    Just nosy.... What is the fastest CPU that will fit the Dell Insprion 1720 and the Intel Mobile 965 display? I believe I'm limited to a 800FSB in this.
    T9500?
     

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