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Dell Vostro v13 Windows and Memory Question...

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 9, 2009 5:17:31 PM

I am considering purchasing a Vostro v13 because it is thin and light and has a nice form factor. The price seems good too...$700...for being a fairly nice Ultraportable. I had a few questions that Dell was less than forthcoming on, and I just want to be sure I am right before pulling the trigger on this purchase. Here is the convo I had with a Dell Rep...

12:47:19 PM Ray K Initial Question/Comment: Could the Dell Vostro v13 run Windows 7 Professional 64-bit if I purchased it separate? Is there any way to choose that verion?

12:48:30 PM QCSMB_Armin_Punsalan It does not have an option for a 64 bit operating system.

12:49:05 PM Ray K Well what good is it to sell a 4GB upgrade for $175, if I have no way of taking advantage of all that extra memory?

12:49:40 PM QCSMB_Armin_Punsalan 32 bit systems can use up to 4 GB of RAM. Above 4 GB you need 64 bit

12:50:35 PM Ray K Except for all integrated memory also goes agaisnt that 4GB total...meaning at most, I'll get like 3GB of usable memory from the RAM chip. When you are talking almost $90/GB, that is a rather large waste of money.

12:53:40 PM QCSMB_Armin_Punsalan Okay. If you need a 64 bit system I recommend the Precision M6400. The Vostro V13 does not have 64 bit drivers

12:54:11 PM Ray K So even if I bought the Vostro and tried to install 64 bit myself, it still wouldn't work?
1:03:50 PM Ray K Did you get that last question?
1:04:04 PM Ray K all I need is a true or false

And then I got no answer. I would prefer 4 GBs, because I have some programs that work better/faster with more memory. However, 175$ to upgrade memory is expensive if I can't take advantage of it. So first of all, I pose the question asking if anyone knows of a cheaper price than $175 for a 4 GB RAM chip DDR3 1066 MHz. My suspicion is no, and that for the price the upgrade is fairly good, provided I can use all the RAM. Which brings me to question 2. Is there any reason that I wouldn't be able to load a 64 bit version of Windows 7? I can't think of one, but I just wanted to be 100% sure! It really kind of pissed me off that he recommended a $3000 laptop over the $650 Vostro so that I could use 64 bit Windows. Anyway, those are my two main questions. Like I said, I am fairly certain the RAM price is good, since the laptop appears to only have 1 RAM slow, and I think the agent was intentionally quiet not wanting me to know I can load 64 bit with no problems. But I defer to the experts out there that may know more than I do to make sure there are no conflicting opinions. Thanks for your time guys!
December 9, 2009 6:15:05 PM

64 bit Windows should run on it. Re memory you can get 4 GB RAM DDR3, 1066 MHz for about $85 and upward depending on make/model. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Remember the laptop comes with 2 memory slots (i think), that means the 1GB memory which comes with it cant be used anymore if you want to have 4GB installed . So you need to buy 2 x 2GB.

The Other option is ask them to install 1x 2GB memory, and you buy another 2GB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

A-Data, Buffalo, Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill, Kingston, Mushkin, OCZ, Patriot, Super Talent are popular make.
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December 9, 2009 7:43:50 PM

Thanks for the reply. I couldn't see why 64 bit wouldn't work either.

With regards to the memory, I think there is only 1 slot because it is an ultra portable. I think that is why that is the only option available. I am pretty sure if there were 2 RAM slots, Dell would go the chearper route (to make the PC even more affordable) and put in 2 2GB sticks, rather than using 1 4GB stick and leaving a second RAM port blank...especially when they refuse to put a 64 bit version of Windows on it. There is no purpose to selling the PC with a fully open RAM slot if you are saying that it can't be upgraded any higher because of the 32 bit OS. So I am pretty sure this model only features 1 RAM slot.
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December 9, 2009 7:50:02 PM

ibnsina said:
Remember the laptop comes with 2 memory slots (i think), that means the 1GB memory which comes with it cant be used anymore if you want to have 4GB installed . So you need to buy 2 x 2GB.

The Other option is ask them to install 1x 2GB memory, and you buy another 2GB


The Vostro v13 only comes with a single DIMM slot.

Courtesy of Dell:
Quote:
DDR3 SDRAM (1066 MHz) one slot supporting 4GB3 DIMM.


And the cheapest price I found for a single stick of DDR3-1066 on newegg was $240, so actually Dell's price isn't too bad.

Ray: There are three things that would limit 64 bit use on the laptop
1. Dell won't release drivers for it. Not a big deal since you/windows will find drivers for most of the components anyway and whatever Windows doesn't find you can get straight from the manufacturer.
2. The CPU doesn't support 64-bit instructions
3. Same with the motherboard and BIOS.

In your case, the 1st scenario is true. It doesn't look like Dell will release 64-bit drivers. The 2nd scenario is not true. The Core2 SU7300 supports 64-bit, see here: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42791

The 3rd scenario is where we hit a snag. Intel's website does not specify whether the GS45 chipset supports 64-bit. Also, Dell would have to release a BIOS for the system that supports 64-bit and if they don't plan on supporting a 64-bit OS, then it is unlikely that you will be able to do it.

GS45 info: http://ark.intel.com/chipset.aspx?familyID=33421
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May 4, 2010 2:45:35 PM

lostandwandering said:
The Vostro v13 only comes with a single DIMM slot.

Courtesy of Dell:
Quote:
DDR3 SDRAM (1066 MHz) one slot supporting 4GB3 DIMM.


And the cheapest price I found for a single stick of DDR3-1066 on newegg was $240, so actually Dell's price isn't too bad.

Ray: There are three things that would limit 64 bit use on the laptop
1. Dell won't release drivers for it. Not a big deal since you/windows will find drivers for most of the components anyway and whatever Windows doesn't find you can get straight from the manufacturer.
2. The CPU doesn't support 64-bit instructions
3. Same with the motherboard and BIOS.

In your case, the 1st scenario is true. It doesn't look like Dell will release 64-bit drivers. The 2nd scenario is not true. The Core2 SU7300 supports 64-bit, see here: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42791

The 3rd scenario is where we hit a snag. Intel's website does not specify whether the GS45 chipset supports 64-bit. Also, Dell would have to release a BIOS for the system that supports 64-bit and if they don't plan on supporting a 64-bit OS, then it is unlikely that you will be able to do it.

GS45 info: http://ark.intel.com/chipset.aspx?familyID=33421



Hey guys, (if anyone is still curious) just got off chat with dell technical support and they are overnighting me oem windows 7 64 bit installation discs for free. probably the best route to take if wanting to switch to 64bit.
Matt
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July 21, 2010 6:33:39 AM

I found all of these 64-bit V13 drivers for a buddy of mine awhile ago. He tested them and said it worked 100%. It was really a fluke but I found them all in an hour or so of searching. Entire list is in my blog post. I already seem to have gotten quiet a few hits off of it already, just no feed back. Hope this can help someone else out.
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September 29, 2010 1:49:35 PM

mallmand said:
Hey guys, (if anyone is still curious) just got off chat with dell technical support and they are overnighting me oem windows 7 64 bit installation discs for free. probably the best route to take if wanting to switch to 64bit.
Matt



Matt - I have a Vostro V13 with Celeron 743. Dell Tech Support here in UK says "can't move to 64-bit since no BIOS support". Did you install 64-bit and does it work ok? Many thanks, Ian
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March 5, 2011 2:17:19 PM

VOSTRO V13, 4GB RAM UPGRADE and WINDOWS 7 64-BIT
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Same situation/problem here: the v13 ships standard with 32-bit Windows 7 & 2GB RAM. My wife already bought this laptop for me, and it didn't take me long to realize it needed a lot more RAM. 2GB of RAM means you'll have a *TERRIBLE* user experience with Windows 7, so a 64-bit upgrade along with a 4GB RAM stick is the way to go.

Dell never bothered to work on a 64-bit product path for this, which means no Dell-supported drivers. If you're reading this thread, it means you probably already know that shouldn't be a showstopper. So, here is my conversation with Dell Tech Support:

10:43:11 AM System You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
10:43:11 AM System Connected with CLKsmb_Mark_190046
10:43:19 AM Ron Sxxxxx Hey
10:43:19 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 Hi! Thank you for using Dell Chat for Small and Medium Business. My name is Mark, how may I help you today?
10:43:44 AM Ron Sxxxxx I'm using a new Vostro v13 laptop that my wife bought a few months ago.
10:44:01 AM Ron Sxxxxx It's been sitting in a box, and she asked me to get it running for her.
10:44:04 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 Pleased to meet you, Ron
10:44:13 AM Ron Sxxxxx Hi, it's nice to meet you, too.
10:44:34 AM Ron Sxxxxx So, anyway, it's clear that the laptop is limping along badly with only 2GB of RAM onboard.
10:45:06 AM Ron Sxxxxx I want to swap out the ram for a 4GB stick, and I know how to do that. But before I bother, I want to make sure I can get the 64-bit version of Windows 7.
10:45:27 AM Ron Sxxxxx I'm not sure why she ordered it with 32-bit, I specifically told her to get 64-bit.
10:45:40 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 I understand. Let me check all of those for you.
10:45:58 AM Ron Sxxxxx So, my question for you is, can I get a disk to switch this OS over to 64-bit? Otherwise, we just wasted $450
10:47:01 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 Thank you for waiting.
10:47:07 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 System cannot support 64 bit
10:47:12 AM Ron Sxxxxx :)  no problem.
10:47:44 AM Ron Sxxxxx So, I've done some research online. There are several forums where it's clear that the system DOES support 64-bit OS, and dell has shipped owners the DVD.
10:48:07 AM Ron Sxxxxx I realize that's not what your knowledgebase is telling you...
10:49:22 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 System has no drivers for 64 bit
10:49:38 AM Ron Sxxxxx The "compatibility" question has to do with drivers, but that was a business decision made 2+ years ago.
10:49:53 AM Ron Sxxxxx There's NO WAY you can ship me a disk to switch over to 64-bit?
10:50:17 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 There is not a Dell OEM CD for 64 bit for your system sir
10:51:08 AM Ron Sxxxxx Hmmm....
10:51:14 AM Ron Sxxxxx One sec...
10:51:22 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 Sure
10:51:32 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 I am checking for you further as well
10:51:57 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 Ron, still with me>?
10:52:27 AM Ron Sxxxxx Yup, looking for the details on Tom's Hardware, where another guy went through this same discussion with Dell Tech Support, and got a disk.
10:52:38 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 Good news! Got an approval, I will send you a 64 bit OS but when drivers become issues, you need to rever back to 32 bit. Okay?
10:53:34 AM Ron Sxxxxx I can handle driver issues.
10:53:39 AM Ron Sxxxxx :) 
10:53:44 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 That's great!
10:53:47 AM Ron Sxxxxx Thanks.
10:53:50 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 Can I have the address for the CD?
10:53:53 AM Ron Sxxxxx Sure.
10:53:57 AM Ron Sxxxxx Ron Sxxxxx
10:54:03 AM Ron Sxxxxx xxxxxxx
10:54:08 AM Ron Sxxxxx xxxxx
10:54:27 AM CLKsmb_Mark_190046 Thanks. Kindly hold on while I process this for you.

The good news is, for about forty bucks these days (early 2011 prices), you can really improve the Vostro V13's performance when compared to the base configuration. I will post more after I get the disk and complete the OS/RAM upgrade.
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March 25, 2011 3:43:52 AM

Im running windows 7 pro 64 bit in my vostro v13. Just installed it this morning. Although boot up seems faster. There seems to be some lagtime specially when Im running outlook . No problem with other microsoft office programs.

Maybe rsurfield can upload drivers once you recieved it.



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March 25, 2011 1:18:42 PM

My final update: Win7 did its own auto-updates, and ALL components of the laptop worked properly from the get-go. I didn't need to fetch or find any special drivers, it all ended up just fine without any special work on my part.

I tested the webcam, which seems to have been a common questionable issue on other posts. Touchpad, network, bluetooth, all fine.

Generally, bootup is about the same, maybe slightly faster but not significantly. Web surfing with the latest IE (v9?) is MUCH faster, especially when you have multiple tabs open. My hypothesis on this is that the IE was swapping any idle page code to disk on the 32-bit OS, because it didn't have enough RAM to hold them all in the working memory heap. In any event, a much better experience. Same with Word and other office apps: they load faster and run better, even moreso if you're using more than one at a time.

Do not fear this upgrade; based on my experience, there is no significant risk that you'll end up with an unusable laptop. And the VOSTRO is cheap, thin and light, which are things I value in a laptop. Is the Celeron a high performer? No, but any 3d gaming or other CPU-intensive stuff, I'll do on my desktop anyway.

Ron
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March 25, 2011 1:20:01 PM

Oh, one last thing: I was using Win7 Home Premium 64, not the Pro version. I can't imagine what hardware drivers might behave differently in Pro, but I suppose it's possible. Just wanted to add that disclaimer.
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March 31, 2011 4:11:51 PM

rsurfield said:
Oh, one last thing: I was using Win7 Home Premium 64, not the Pro version. I can't imagine what hardware drivers might behave differently in Pro, but I suppose it's possible. Just wanted to add that disclaimer.



I recently purchased the v13 as well and love this little gem. I just called Dell and got the same run around about no support for 64bit but was wondering what Dell charged you for the 64bit upgrade? I don't care to buy a retail version if i can avoid it.
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