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I am planning to buy a new notebook, and among the requirements I thought that I want 8GB of memory now, and the possibility to upgrade to 16 later.

I have done some searching and I have learned that Intel's Core i3/i5/i7 branding is a complete mess, and that the mobile versions of Core i3/i5/i7 (Arrandale or Clarksfield) have no or little corresponding matching with the desktop versions (Lynnfield, Clarkdale, Bloomfield, ...).

Apparently the desktop Core i7 cpus can support 24GB of memory, but that does not help me since it appears that none of the mobile CPU supports more than 8GB (not even the core i7 extreme edition).

I gave up on finding information on AMD's web site; I could not find any mentioning about memory limitations at all.

Is really only 8GB of memory the maximum amount of memory possible for a notebook today???

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The CPU is only half the battle though. You also need a notebook motherboard that can take that much memory. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 29 '10 at 1:11
    
@Ignacio: very true... –  studiohack Nov 29 '10 at 2:44
    
A comparison of the "Extreme" series Intel had: ark.intel.com/…, –  netvope Nov 29 '10 at 6:36
    
@netvope: Only one of those extreme editions you link are a mobile version. Selecting "Core i7 Mobile Processor Extreme Edition Family" (ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?familyId=43403) only displays two CPUs (the ones linked in the question). –  hlovdal Nov 29 '10 at 20:52
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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

No. You can get laptops from both Dell and HP that support 16 GB of memory or more. Look for laptops described as "mobile workstations". For Dell that is their Precision line and HP has the Elitebook.

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Even some of Dell's consumer grade laptops (ie. Certain XPS models) are upgradeable to 16GB. –  John T Nov 29 '10 at 2:25
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Those use desktop CPUs, not notebook CPUs. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 29 '10 at 2:29
    
i7-740QM wasn't a desktop CPU last time I checked. –  John T Nov 29 '10 at 2:46
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Intel claims that the i7-740QM only supports 8GB of memory. ark.intel.com/… –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 29 '10 at 3:02
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Lenovo as well (the W series). See paradroid's answer. –  Shinrai Nov 29 '10 at 17:33
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Is really only 8GB of memory the maximum amount of memory possible for a notebook today???

No, a number of manufacturers sell laptops that are upgradeable to 16GB. Dell, for example, has a number of them.

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But how many of those use notebook CPUs? –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 29 '10 at 2:29
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Click the link and find out? –  John T Nov 29 '10 at 2:46
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The ThinkPad W510 mobile workstation can use up to 16GB of RAM.

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I'm confused... How can the W510 use 16GB RAM if all the listed CPUs support only 8GB RAM? –  netvope Nov 29 '10 at 6:34
    
@netvope: That is odd. I don't know why. It's not a mistake on that wiki, as it is repeated at the Crucial site and the Lenovo brochure. lenovo.com/shop/americas/content/pdf/notebooks/ThinkPad/… –  paradroid Nov 29 '10 at 7:05
    
I've personally run 16GB on a W510 and a W701. The documentation must be wrong. –  Shinrai Nov 29 '10 at 17:32
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I have a i7 720QM processor (in a Asus G51JX) and it has 32GB of ram (with four 8GB sticks). Intel Ark page and Asus support page says that it can handle up to 8GB but that info is completely wrong.

I had the same question, so I wanted to try if I could have that much memory.

I think that the cpu memory controller can handle 64GB of ram, but 16GB sticks are still very expensive.

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