I was thinking about extending my memory a bit.
I have Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit installed, and I've read on the Internet that it supports up to 128GB.
Does this mean that I'm okay to install 2x8GB? Is there a hardware limitation on it?
I think you've got an understanding but to be clear, the OS has a limit on how much RAM it can use, but so does the motherboard itself. You can only use the lowest number of the two. In this case, the lowest is your motherboard. The laptop actually only supports up to 8GB.
- PC3-8500 Non-Parity (NP) Double Data Rate Three (DDR3) Technology
- Two SO-DIMM Slots
- The use of 1067 MHz SO DIMM memory is recommended for this system.
- 1 GB, 2GB, or 4GB memory
- Supports up to 8GB maximum memory
- 2GB, 4GB Intel Turbo Memory (selected models)
Note: Only 64-bit operating systems support more than 3GB of system memory (RAM).
Its believed that the T410 only supports 8gb. I've tried 16gb myself and it would not post. 8gb works fine (2x4gb). The manufacturers information is pretty much useless.(I suspect you know that,otherwise you would not have asked here) For example, I have some 965,P35 and P45 based Core2 laptops that the manufacturer says support 4gb, but really support 8.The manufacturer tested the system with what was available when it was made.If your lucky,they may have updated that list at some point after the laptop was released. But for most manufacturers, after its out of production you are lucky to even get a BIOS update.
Fortunately, there is a specification that memory is made to and often that specification includes things that are not on the market yet, like DIMM modules in sizes that are not yet feasible. If the BIOS and the computers hardware follow that spec the newer parts might work, but there are plenty of gotchas. For example, its difficult to test that the hardware DOES follow the spec regarding things that don't exist yet. (It can be done,but its difficult which means it costs more) There could be a problem with the hardware for example a wire,in the wrong place (or missing) that does not effect the current parts out there,or a timing issue that is close enough for whats available, but messes things up with the new part. There could be bugs in the bios that cause something to not initialize yet. Or the programmer could have only programmed it to work with what was available and it wont know what to do with the new ones. On top of that, the specifications for products that don't exist yet can change. Perhaps because of board layout considerations or the way they make the chips, timing can change, or new use cases may have come up since the original specification was published and they may make changes in the final product and update the specification to support those. But quite often with memory modules, the new ones work fine if the underlying hardware supports it. (for example, the 945 chipset in many first generation Core2 products ONLY supports 4gb of ram, (not even that when you factor in devices mapped in) The memory controller has 32 address lines, and that's it. Nothing can change that.The 965 chipset on the other hand can support 8. if the board was made right,and the bios supports it,you can drop 8 in (4gb dd2 is actually rather pricey though,so you would be better off picking up a newer laptop,AND 8 or 16gb of DDR3 for the price you will pay)
Asking around on forums for your laptop is a good idea. See if you can find someone who has actually DONE it. (Not someone who says they have seen it or heard of it). Find out exactly which modules they used. Even if you don't buy them you want to know the specifications like cache latency ,organization (google rank vs row for ddr and get a good understanding of what they mean), and voltage (different modules run at different voltages and some motherboards are rather picky). Then buy it someplace with a really good return policy. Preferably local. If there's a Frys near you,that's ideal as they have a good policy.Another way to see if a memory upgrade is plausible is to see if there are ANY other systems with similar hardware (laptop with same chipset) that use the desired size memory. If for example,you find that Dell shipped a similar laptop with 16gb of memory, you know the chipset can support it, its a matter of whether its wired right and the bios supports it. You can also look for someone with a similar laptop has upgraded even if the manufacturer doesn't say it works. If your buddy with a Dell laptop using a Panther Point chipset and a Ivybridge cpu got 16gb working, its not unreasonable to hope (not necessarily expect) that your T530 that uses the same parts might also be able to use it, even if both dell and Lenovo tell you that it only runs 8. But if it doesnt work, dont be surprised either.
I also have Thinkpad T410. The reason you cannot have 16GB of RAM is because of the limitation of the CPU. The CPU that comes with T410 is Intel I5-520. First generation i5 CPU. It can only reference up to 8GB. That is why you cannot have 16 GB of RAM.