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Adding more memory than computer specs

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 23, 2009 10:51:28 PM

I was on newegg.com and I saw a few customer comments that indicated that they had added more RAM (8GB) than the maximum for their laptop specs (4GB). I've got an older Sony Vaio, FZ140E, rated for 4GB. I went ahead and swapped out my 2x2GB sticks for 2x4GB sticks. It works! And the computer is noticably faster. I've got a couple more computers that I might add more RAM to; both of them are also rated at 4GB, but they're both newer than my laptop.

... I'm running Win 7 64 bit.

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a b $ Windows 7
November 23, 2009 11:32:49 PM

OS aside, when a manufacture says 4 GB max, that usually means that the motherboard can only recognize 4 gb of ram.
So i'd check the specifics of your hardware before you spend money on more memory.
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November 24, 2009 5:38:13 AM

I already installed the extra RAM and it's been recognized by the system. I'm running 64 bit Win 7 Family Premium edition. I was previously running the factory installed 32 bit Windows Vista.
The computer definitely recognizes all 8GB and it's a lot faster.
I debated on whether or not to do this, but after reading more than a couple customer reviews on newegg, I decided to go for it.


I posted this mostly as an FYI for those people who have installed 64 bit Win 7 and think that they're limited to 4GB RAM because that's the system specs. I don't know if it will work for everyone, but it worked for me.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 24, 2009 6:04:07 AM

Chipsets are the ones that usually dictate what it can and cannot support although some manafacturers limit it with the bios, or dont run the ram correctly causing instabilities - no guarentees for things like that to work

on the other hand all modern chipsets support atleast 4 gb these days so
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November 24, 2009 6:48:39 AM

Apache, thanks for the details on RAM limitations. So far, the laptop's been stable, no issues.
I used to do a lot of overclocking back when 75Mhz Pentiums were new. I stopped playing with computers sometime before the 1Ghz CPUs hit the markets.

Again, I posted the information because I know that a lot of people like to experiment with their computers. I want to get the information out there so that others can either take advantage of this or debunk it, just like when it became widely known that 300 Mhz Celerons were overclockable to the 450Mhz range.
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November 24, 2009 7:15:01 AM

Are you sure that the system is actually capable of using the whole 8gb? I have experienced with the old 945 chipset on the desktop wherein I put in 4gb of ram, and suddenly discovered on Win 7's (64-bit) task manager that only 3.25GB is usable. The other 700MB+ was marked in grey, indicated "System Reserved".

It seems that most 945 chipsets were "physically-capped" to 3.25GB.

I'm not sure about your case, even Intel's documentation states that 4GB is the maximum supported in yours. http://ark.intel.com/chipset.aspx?familyID=28117
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November 24, 2009 9:01:04 AM

amnotanoobie, here are the current readings from my Memory Manager:
Total: 8182
Cached: 5318
Available: 6084
Free: 799
Cached/Available/Free fluctuates but those numbers are close.

Under Resource Monitor, Physical Memory, it gives me:
Hardware Reserved 10MB
In Use 2049
Modified 33
Standby 5302
Free 798


It may simply be a placebo effect for me seeing an increase in computer speed, but it seems significantly faster.

... I'll be happy to try any other memory configurations (1,2,3,4,5,6GB) and run tests if anyone's interested in pursuing this further. Just let me know which tests to run.
I'm also in the process of upgrading my daughter's Sony VGN-CR490 which also has the Intel GM965 Express Chipset. I can compare them side by side, but her computer has a faster CPU.
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November 24, 2009 11:26:13 AM

It might show that it has 8GB installed but I doubt it can use all of it. The fact You feel it is faster because of fresh install of Windows.

Open Paint and set image/atrributes to 20000x20000 pixels, now check task manager processes tab to see how much RAM is Paint using. Should be somewhere around 2.4GB. Now increse pixel count and check hoew the RAM usage goes. If You can get Paint to use more then 4GB then it is capable of using more then 4GB RAM if not then half of Your RAM is being unused.
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November 24, 2009 5:33:32 PM

Ainarssems, where I noticed the speed increase is when I swapped from 4GB to 8GB with Win7 already installed and having used it with 4GB for a few days.

I ran home for lunch today and pulled down some quick data for you. I opened paint and used the Koala Bear picture from the Win7 preloaded pictures.
At 20K x 20K, Paint was using 3.153GB, total memory use was 5.79GB.

I tried several times to increase the picture from 20x20K to something larger but the computer kept crashing. Finally, I tried changing the picture from 1024x768 to 23Kx23K. Paint was using 5.462GB and the total memory used was 7.00GB.

I had to leave so I didn't have a chance to test it further. How many pixels can a 64bit Win7 computer with 8GB go to in pixel count? How about 4GB?
When I get home, I'll test this with 4GB of RAM and see how many pixels I can get. I'll also see how many pixels I can get with 8GB RAM.

Bottom line - is 23Kx23K possible with 4GB RAM?
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November 24, 2009 7:27:44 PM

looks like it is actually using all 8GB.
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
November 24, 2009 8:25:08 PM

my atari 2600 holds 12 gigs of ram!
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November 25, 2009 12:41:32 AM

OK, I pulled out the 8GB and reinstalled the 4GB.
I tried MS paint at 20kx20k. It basically locked up the computer for ~10 minutes (with 8GB, 20kx20k popped up quickly).

Paint is currently using 1.572GB of RAM and the total memory used is 3.69GB.

Obviously, there will be a lot of skeptics (witness area51reopened's post) until there are more people who put in more RAM than system specs.

I haven't hung out in computer forums for a very long time; close to 10 years. Back then, Tom, Anand (freshly graduated from high school), and OCP were cutting edge with overclocking tips, etc. I assume it's still that way.
While this is currently being met with skepticism, I think that a lot of people are going to find that their systems can handle more RAM than the system specs state.

I also think that the sweet spot for RAM on a 64bit Win7 system is greater than 8GB.
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
November 25, 2009 6:40:18 PM

my optiplex 960 holds 16 gigs and my intellistation z pro holds 16 also. win 7 ultimate 64 sees it all!
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November 25, 2009 7:02:18 PM

There is a lot of negative reaction going on. I am a bit skeptical myself. Can You post some pictures and screenshots.
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November 25, 2009 7:20:14 PM

Yeah, sure, what kind of pictures you want? What screenshots do you want?

How do I post a picture or screenshot on this forum? I'll take one of my computer properties page.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 25, 2009 7:38:11 PM

iflyjetzzz said:
....I'll take one of my computer properties page.



From the management console, please. Vista and Win 7 display the total amount installed by default, regardless of how much is being addressed/used or not.
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November 25, 2009 7:44:42 PM

Here's the one I just took.



Management console - do you mean 'computer management'? I can't find anything that refers to system RAM.
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November 25, 2009 7:47:01 PM

OK, that didn't work out too well. Want a link to it?
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November 25, 2009 7:52:18 PM

Is this what you were referring to? Doesn't really show the memory that well.

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November 25, 2009 8:21:14 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
my optiplex 960 holds 16 gigs and my intellistation z pro holds 16 also. win 7 ultimate 64 sees it all!



Ah, so you're a converted believer?
If so, how much of a performance increase do you see between 8 and 16GB?
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November 25, 2009 8:48:43 PM

So 8GB is optimum for Win7?
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
November 25, 2009 8:53:17 PM

yes!my optiplex 960 with 16 gigs is pretty much a wasted 8 extra gigs!
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November 26, 2009 4:28:12 AM

Looks good, 965 chipset supports 8GB RAM. What set me off was that first time I googled for FZ140E it showed 945 in specs which supports only 4GB. Must be two different versions with 945 and 965 chipset.
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November 26, 2009 10:39:28 AM

ainarssems said:
Looks good, 965 chipset supports 8GB RAM. What set me off was that first time I googled for FZ140E it showed 945 in specs which supports only 4GB. Must be two different versions with 945 and 965 chipset.


Yeah, but the Intel literature states that the GM965 chipset supports 4GB of RAM. http://ark.intel.com/chipset.aspx?familyID=28117
Here are my computer's official specs: http://www.docs.sony.com/release/specs/VGNFZ140EB_mksp....

Also note that area51reopen was able to overram two computers running 64 bit Win7. I don't think that this is an isolated occurrence.
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
November 26, 2009 11:43:18 AM

i have the q45 chipsets and with latest bios updates does recognize the full 16!
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November 26, 2009 12:04:00 PM

area51, do you have any additonal RAM to see if your computers can handle more RAM? Based on your comment that there wasn't much improvement between 8 and 16, I wouldn't expect your computer to perform much better ... I'm just curious to see how much higher one can go above manufacturer specs.

But what I'd really like to see is what kind of benchmarks are achieved in 64 bit Win7 with varying amounts of RAM. So far, all I've seen is anecdotal comments (myself included) on system performance with varying RAM configurations.
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
November 26, 2009 2:29:07 PM

it boots really fast,and i have an e8400 core 2 duo,i have a quad core coming this week , i'll see a difference when i load my cad and video probably.i'll let you know!
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
November 26, 2009 2:29:51 PM

dell told me 16 is the limit on the q45 chipset!
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