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(This question was originally asked for my specific laptop: Dell XPS 15 L502X. But it seems that understanding I gained from the upgrade experience I am able help my friends to decide upgrading RAM their laptops of different models. If you dont have this specific laptop, you may hop on third-last paragraph starting as "While buying RAM you have to ensure that..." in the answer I have written.)
I bought my Dell XPS 15 L502X laptop almost 18 months ago. It has 4GB RAM and am thinking to upgrade it.
Processor: Intel 2nd Generation Core i7 2630QM
According to processor specifications, it supports upto 16GB of DDR3 RAM at dual channel and at 1333MHz.
Currently I have 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM RAM from Samsung. Running CPU-Z shows that it is a Single Channel:
Can I add 8 GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM from Corsair, so that it will become total of 12GBs? I am concerned because the specs on the same page says Memory Configuration : Single Channel while at the same time says it is SO-DIMM. If it is a DIMM then it must be able to work in dual channels with others right? Am a bit confused. Do I need to do any configuration for that? or simply putting RAM in other slot will do? This post says that 2x8GB (total of 16GB) DDR3 1333MHz Corsair RAM worked on the same laptop model. I am concerned about if I can setup RAM modules from two different manufacturers together in dual channel. I also realized that the above mentioned RAM also has the same CAS latency as the one currently installed: 9-9-9-24.
From processor specifications, I know that max supported RAM speed is 1333MHz, can I benefit from buying 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM from Corsair? Can I use it in dual channel with my current 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM? Will I need to do any configuration for that?
What is the different between these two similar RAMs from Corsair, since they have different price tag? Second one specifies Memory Configuration : Single Channel in specs sheet, but the first one specifies none such parameter. Does that mean the first one can be used in dual channel with other DIMMs while second one cannot be?
Out of these three (links in Q1 and Q3) RAMs from Corsair which one better suits to my situation?