I'm looking to upgrade the CPU on a laptop, and am having a hard time verifying the DDR type of CPUs. The laptop has a T5250. So, for upgrading, I'm looking at the X7900 and T9500, which are the two best this socket can take. But, I need to check the DDR type of the current CPU, and of the potential upgrades. Intel doesn't specify the DDR type on the specs page, or even in the ~hundred-page datasheets.

The RAM in the laptop is DDR2. I couldn't find details on the mobo, but I'm pretty sure it's DDR2 as well. I searched around, but just ended up with more questions. I see T5250 in old systems with DDR and DDR2. I see the X7900 only in DDR2 builds, and the T9500 in both DDR2 and DDR3.

So, the questions is: will the T9500 work with DDR2?


  • The most important spec in that page is this: Sockets Supported. If your laptop mother board has the compatible socket, it will work.
    – edumgui
    Apr 6, 2016 at 7:41

2 Answers 2

  1. Find out what motherboard you have installed in your laptop with CPU-Z. CPU-Z is a free program that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system :

    • Processor name and number, codename, process, package, cache levels
    • Motherboard and chipset
    • Memory type, size, timings, and module specifications (SPD)
    • Real time measurement of each core's internal frequency, memory frequency
  2. Look up your motherboard manual online and check what types of RAM are compatible with your laptop's motherboard.


The motherboard is designed to work with either DDR1 or DDR2, but not both. That means, as stated in the comments, the critical specification is not if the CPU supports DDR2, but if the motherboard supports the CPU. If your motherboard (model not specified in the question) supports the T9500, and the RAM socket is designed for DDR2, then the components in the motherboard facilitate communication between the T9500 and DDR2 RAM, period.

If you cannot find information online about your computer model/motherboard, an easy way to verify that you have DDR2 RAM is to look for "PC2" printed on the sticker on your RAM modules. Alternatively, Piriform has a free program called Speccy which is very useful for hardware identification.

To make things easier and answer your specific question, both the T9500 and X7900 have been sold in computers with DDR2 RAM, proving their compatibility. (IBM/Lenovo T61 and iMac Core2Extreme).

  • So, basically, my understanding that the CPU needs to support the board's DDR type is incorrect? You're saying that a CPU can work with any DDR type?
    – Dr.Ping
    Apr 6, 2016 at 8:10
  • Not quite, but a motherboard that supports (any) CPU will work on that board with the RAM type (socketed) supported. Therefore if the motherboard supports (X) CPU, the CPU supports the (X) RAM type.
    – Raj Huff
    Apr 6, 2016 at 8:12
  • There are more restrictions on CPUs than on RAM, e.g. a motherboard may have a socket that can fit 50 processors, but only work with 15 of them. All 50 however may support the type of RAM on the motherboard. I'm happy to have helped!
    – Raj Huff
    Apr 6, 2016 at 8:14
  • 1
    Yeah, you helped a lot not just to answer my question, but also to broaden my knowledge (relatively) on the topic. Thank you
    – Dr.Ping
    Apr 6, 2016 at 8:17
  • 1
    @Dr.Ping I think the important thing you're missing is that this is a Core 2 CPU, not a Core i3, i5, or i7. The rules for CPU/memory compatibility are completely different because Core 2 CPUs do not have an on-die memory controller -- the memory controller is in the northbridge. Apr 6, 2016 at 8:43

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