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I want to upgrade RAM in my fave nettop to 4Gb, but some sites says that I can upgrade only to 2Gb. But when I use dmidecode -t memory ubuntu terminal says that it is possible (Maximum Memory Module Size: 4096 MB ), but can I trust?

# dmidecode 2.11
SMBIOS 2.6 present.

Handle 0x0015, DMI type 16, 15 bytes
Physical Memory Array
        Location: System Board Or Motherboard
        Use: System Memory
        Error Correction Type: None
        Maximum Capacity: 4 GB
        Error Information Handle: No Error
        Number Of Devices: 2

Handle 0x0016, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
        Array Handle: 0x0015
        Error Information Handle: 0x0017
        Total Width: Unknown
        Data Width: 65476 bits
        Size: 1024 MB
        Form Factor: SODIMM
        Set: None
        Locator: DIMM0
        Bank Locator: BANK 0
        Type: DDR3
        Type Detail: Synchronous
        Speed: 667 MHz
        Manufacturer: 0000000000000000
        Serial Number: 00000000
        Asset Tag: Unknown
        Part Number: 000000000000000000000000000000000000
        Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0018, DMI type 6, 12 bytes
Memory Module Information
        Socket Designation: DIMM0
        Bank Connections: None
        Current Speed: 1 ns
        Type: Unknown DIMM
        Installed Size: 1024 MB (Single-bank Connection)                        
        Enabled Size: 1024 MB (Single-bank Connection)                          
        Error Status: OK                                                        

Handle 0x001C, DMI type 5, 20 bytes                                             
Memory Controller Information                                                   
        Error Detecting Method: None                                            
        Error Correcting Capabilities:                                          
                Unknown                                                         
                None                                                            
        Supported Interleave: One-way Interleave                                
        Current Interleave: One-way Interleave                                  
        Maximum Memory Module Size: 4096 MB                                    
        Maximum Total Memory Size: 8192 MB                                      
        Supported Speeds:                                                       
                Other                                                           
        Supported Memory Types:                                                 
                Other                                                           
        Memory Module Voltage: Unknown                                          
        Associated Memory Slots: 2                                              
                0x0018                                                          
                0x0018                                                          
        Enabled Error Correcting Capabilities:                                  
                None    
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What site is "Some site"? A random blog, or the Kingston memory locator? –  Scott Chamberlain Aug 16 '12 at 13:40
    
@ScottChamberlain I'm guessing reviews like this one: "I recommend upgrading the RAM to 2GB which is the maximum supported by the chipset". –  Indrek Aug 16 '12 at 15:10

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'd say no, you're limited to 2 GB. This is supported by several reviews of the laptop (like this one), Intel's specs for the Atom N455 processor, and finally, Acer's specs for the Aspire One 533 (which, if the Internet is correct, the eMachines e355 is simply a rebranded version of).

It's been suggested that the reason netbooks are limited to 2 GB of RAM is that otherwise Microsoft wouldn't recognise them as netbooks (as opposed to regular full-size laptops), and would charge OEMs the full price of a Windows licence. Might be just a conspiracy theory, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

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Your laptop only has one slot to upgrade memory. Of the 3 people who make a 4GB SODIMM module none of them show your laptop on the memory locator.

I don't know if it is reporting correctly or not, but you can just buy it from Newegg and all you need to pay is the restocking fee if it does not work.

I would recommend starting a chat with eMachines support and ask them if your laptop supports a 4GB module.

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That Newegg link shows DDR2 RAM, but from what I can see, the E355 uses DDR3. –  Indrek Aug 16 '12 at 15:09
    
@Indrek According to the Kingston Product locator says it uses DDR2. But you are correct that the eMachines website says it uses DDR3 –  Scott Chamberlain Aug 16 '12 at 16:03
    
That's because you chose the wrong product in the Kingston Product locator - E350. It correctly shows DDR3 for the E355. –  Indrek Aug 16 '12 at 18:41

As best as I can tell, your system is using the Intel Pine Trail-M platform. This consists of:

  • Intel Pineview processor, which is an Atom N455
  • Intel Tiger Point motherboard, which is the NM10 chipset, which boils down to Intel CG82NM10 PCH (Platform Controller Hub).

This may give you more info to go on, but none of the official Intel docs on this motherboard/PCH specify how much memory it can address. I would guess that the maximum is more limited by the number of memory slots and how big you can buy memory modules that fit the form factor.

I would trust dmidecode to know the truth however.

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1  
According to Intel's specs, the N455 supports up to 2 GB of RAM. –  Indrek Aug 16 '12 at 15:10
    
Thanks. I didn't see the RAM specified with the CPU. That's odd. Usually the limit is the mobo, not the CPU! –  ÃŁŁǫǛȉЖΦΤїҪ Aug 16 '12 at 15:18
1  
Actually, most modern Intel CPUs have the memory controller integrated onto the processor die. According to Wikipedia, that's the case with Pineview Atoms. –  Indrek Aug 16 '12 at 15:22

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