By Andrew Kim posted Jan 02nd 2012
Today, laptop memory is relatively inexpensive. Prices have fallen since 1066Mhz was considered "high-end laptop memory", and now most laptops come with 1333MHz memory as standard. In the past, the vast majority of laptop memory upgrades were done by gamers and enthusiasts who were willing to shell out the extra premium, while "everyday" users held back. Now, everyone can enjoy the benefits of upgrading their SODIMMs without experiencing sticker shock. This blog will demonstrate how to upgrade your SODIMMs, followed by a representation of the performance differences between stock laptop memory and Corsair Vengeance™ laptop memory.
Lenovo TP T420 (Samsung) 1333MHz 4GB SODIMM
Corsair Vengeance 1333MHz 4GB SODIMM
Corsair enthusiasts tend to default to a 64-bit operating system in order to benefit from the massive memory utilization capacity. Some laptop buyers, however, still have computers with a 32-bit operating system, capable of only utilizing a shade over 3GB of memory. For this reason, I used a popular Lenovo Thinkpad T420 laptop with a 64-bit fresh-install of Microsoft Windows 7. This way, I would be able to provide data for both 4GB and 8GB kits on the same system foundation, giving me the most reliable representation of performance data.
4GB Corsair Vengeance Memory Kit (1x4GB Module)
8GB Corsair Vengeance Memory Kit (2x4GB Modules)
Laptop memory installation is quite simple. As every laptop model is different, the location and the how-to-get-to-that-location need to be identified in the laptop’s specific manual, but the physical installation is the same as shown below:
Step 1: Push away tabs shown via red arrows. Module will lift freely from the socket.
Step 2: Remove and replace module.
Step 3: Press module downwards in order to snap in place.
Note that we recommend that you use matched pairs of SODIMMs for a given system, rather than mix and match.
BENCHMARKS AND TESTS: Super Pi and Aida64 Extreme Edition
In order to represent the various performance capabilities of each SODIMM kit, I used two proglaptop memorys: Super Pi and Aida64 Extreme Edition. Super Pi is a program that calculates a designated number of digits of Pi as fast as possible. It’s a good benchmark to represent real-world performance. Aida64 Extreme Edition, on the other hand, measures the absolute parameters of a computer’s hardware components, providing the fastest speeds which were recorded in real-time.
Super Pi can calculate up to thirty-two-million digits of pi (32,000,000), with one-million digits and thirty-two-million as the standard for benchmark testing. In this performance test, I ran Super Pi on all calculations of pi up until one-million, then skipping onto thirty-two-million. You will notice that the times are almost identical in the smaller iterations and the difference in performance increases as you increase the number of calculated digits.
SINGLE 4GB MODULE SUPER PI TEST RUN
Stock Samsung 4GB 1333MHz
Corsair Vengeance 4GB 1333MHz
Corsair Vengeance 4GB 1866MHz
Corsair Vengeance 4GB 1600MHz
8GB KIT (DUAL 4GB MODULE) SUPER PI TEST RUN (Only Corsair Vengeance, as laptop only came with 1x4GB module)
VENGEANCE 8GB (2x4GB) 1333MHz
VENGEANCE 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz
VENGEANCE 8GB (2x4GB) 1866MHz
Aida64 Extreme Edition — [The most average test run out of four total test runs were chosen for each kit shown below.]
Aida64 Extreme Edition is a very comprehensive benchmarking programthat provides much more specific data regarding your hardware. For this, it made sense to use the Cache and Memory Benchmark tool, which calculates the Read, Write, Copy and Latency speeds of the Memory, L1 Cache, L2 Cache and L3 Cache. This test also identifies the CPU type, clock, FSB, multiplier and stepping values, along with the Memory Bus, Memory Type, Chipset, Motherboard and DRAM FSB Ratio. The results provided by this benchmark shows just how big of a difference upgrading your SODIMM will make.
STOCK SAMSUNG 4GB 1333MHz
CORSAIR VENGEANCE 4GB 1333MHz
CORSAIR VENGEANCE 4GB 1600MHz
CORSAIR VENGEANCE 4GB 1866MHz
CORSAIR VENGEANCE 8GB 1333MHz
CORSAIR VENGEANCE 8GB 1600MHz
CORSAIR VENGEANCE 8GB 1866MHz
As you can see, there is a big difference between the various speeds of memory, and an even bigger difference when you increase the total capacity. Even within the same speeds, you can see a difference between the stock 1333MHz memory and the Corsair 1333MHz memory.
I hope that this blog has proven to be useful, both as a how-to guide for upgrading your laptop's SODIMM memory and as a means to educate users on the benefits you get thereafter.