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I have an Acer Aspire 5738 laptop (without Graphics Card; only on-board Graphics). It came factory produced with 3GB DDR3 RAM (2GB + 1GB) and only 2 slots of RAM (which as mentioned, are factory-occupied). Now, I want to upgrade my 1GB module, leaving the 2GB module untouched.

I am operating Windows-7 64-bit (because Windows Upgrade Advisor told me that my computer supports 64-bit) and therefore have the scope of expanding my RAM up to 192GB from OS' viewpoint.

However, the OEM Guide (Acer's guide for 5738/5338 users) lists the following under "System Memory":

- Dual-Channel SDRAM support
- Up to 2 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, upgradeable to 4 GB using two soDIMM modules* 
- Up to 4 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, upgradeable to 8 GB using two soDIMM modules*
Note: * Only for certain models.
Note: The specifications listed above are for reference only. The exact configuration of your PC depends on the model purchased.

So this has me in the splits...which one of these two applies to my system?

Surprisingly, Acer's support has no information on this! (They don't deal with "hardware issues"! :D)

I tried CPU-Z. It gave me the following information about my motherboard: enter image description here

But that's the farthest I've been able to reach...

So now, I have the following two questions:

  1. How do I know the max RAM supported on my laptop?
  2. CPU-Z says that the two soDIMM RAM modules (2GB + 1GB) are each 533MHz. So to replace my 1GB RAM module with a higher capacity RAM module, would I need to buy a 533 MHz soDIMM module or a 1066 MHz module?

FYI...CPU-Z gave the following information under Memory Tab: enter image description here

Further, under the SPD tab, it gives me the following information about the two RAM modules that came factory-installed on my laptop:

enter image description here

enter image description here

I tried Crucial's System Scanner tool. But it didn't find any compatible upgrades. So I used their Advisor Tool by manually feeding my laptop model. But the compatible RAM modules it threw up were 1600 SODIMMs which obviously doesn't match Acer's 1066 soDIMM specification. So I can't blindly trust Crucial either.

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    Honestly, the fastest way to find out would probably be to simply type your laptop's model number into Google's search box, followed by "max ram". – Charles Burge Mar 2 '17 at 4:51
  • @CharlesBurge: Yeah...but different websites suggest different figure. e.g: mrmemory.co.uk suggests 4GB max RAM for my laptop while memorystock.com suggests 8GB max RAM for my laptop. So I was looking for a more definitive way to arrive at the answer.. Like if there were some hardware analyzers which could analyze the RAM slots or the motherboard and tell me the max supported RAM capability. – ComputerUser Mar 2 '17 at 5:04
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According to these specs here

The Max is 8GB so that would be 2@4GB Sticks

Memory 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 800 SDRAM / DDR2 667 SDRAM
Total slots : 2
Max : 8GB (2 x 4GB)

So if you want to leave the 2GB stick untouched, you could get a 4GB DDR3 and have 6GB all together.

So based on you info you supplied:

However, the OEM Guide (Acer's guide for 5738/5338 users) lists the following under "System Memory":

  • Dual-Channel SDRAM support
  • Up to 2 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, upgradeable to 4 GB using two soDIMM modules*
  • Up to 4 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, upgradeable to 8 GB using two soDIMM modules* Note: * Only for certain models. Note: The specifications listed above are for reference only. The exact configuration of your PC depends on the model purchased.

EDIT: I found this out from here: Link (CNET Website / PDF Document)

System memory:

  • Dual-channel DDR3 SDRAM support
  • Up to 4 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory,
    upgradeable to 8 GB using two soDIMM modules (for 64-bit OS)
  • Up to 2 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory,
    upgradeable to 4 GB using two soDIMM modules (for 32-bit OS)

EDIT: After Reviewing the Model (Part) numbers of your installed memory, they are 1066Mhz modules, but your system is reporting 533Mhz, which usually is cause by errors in one or both of the memory modules, therefore the system slows the clock speed down till either no or little errors are reported. Knowing which one has the error would take running memory test.
You can download the Ultimate Boot CD and run a tool called Memtest86 or Memtest86+ to see if it will find which one this is, it will stress test and see if it can find errors.

Also did you know there is a recall on these (Link Here)

  • Thanks! But the Memory section of your link says "4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 800 SDRAM / DDR2 667 SDRAM"...neither of which is applicable to me as per Acer's Guide. That makes me nervous....Is there a way to arrive at a more definitive answer? – ComputerUser Mar 2 '17 at 4:40
  • Sorry. I updated with a better link and more info. It turns out that it depends on the OS, 64bit vs 32bit – asmith Mar 2 '17 at 4:47
  • Also I noted there was a recall on this model with a link to that information also – asmith Mar 2 '17 at 4:49
  • Yeah...my unit didn't need the recall! Thanks! But I think I'm back to where we started...whether the max supported RAM is 8GB (2 x 4GB), or 4GB (2 x 2GB).. – ComputerUser Mar 2 '17 at 4:55
  • You said you run Windows 7 64-bit, so the answer according to the data is 8GB Max – asmith Mar 2 '17 at 4:57
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There is a command which will tell your machine's MAX supported RAM.

Described on this other question: Definitively determine motherboard maximum memory capability

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