Experience with upgrade of RAM memory on Dell Inspiron 5580 and Dell Inspiron 5570 laptops

If you are one of those who run Virtual Box and use any other OS in it, then the base memory of the Dell Inspiron 5580 of 8 gb DDR4 RAM and an NVME PCIe SSD will still not give near good performance of Windows or the other OS in Virtual Box. The simplest solution is to upgrade the RAM from 8gb to 16gb. Now, the Dell Inspiron I have has the following specifications of the 8gb RAM installed in it. Ubuntu works flawlessly with that and an NVME PCIe SSD. But the OS in VirtualBox lags to an extent of unusability. Try out anything below this point at your own peril.

Below are the details of the current RAM installed in the system. To get this information in Linux, open a terminal and enter the following command:
$ sudo dmidecode <enter>

It displays a heap of very useful information about the system, but we need only the details of the memory installed on board. Below is what it reported for this laptop (only the lines that we are interested in). What is relevant to find out the kind of RAM we need to purchase is marked in bold.
Total Width: 64 bits
Data Width: 64 bits
Size: 8192 MB
Form Factor: SODIMM
Type: DDR4
Type Detail: Synchronous
Speed: 2667 MT/s
Manufacturer: 01980000802C
Part Number: KHYXPX-MIE
Rank: 1
Configured Memory Speed: 2400 MT/s
Minimum Voltage: 1.2 V
Maximum Voltage: 1.2 V
Configured Voltage: 1.2 V
Memory Technology: DRAM
Module Manufacturer ID: Bank 2, Hex 0x98
Volatile Size: 8 GB

So, our memory chip is a 2666 MT/s chip, but the configured memory speed is just 2400 MT/s, which does not look good for Dell. Never expected that the 2666 MT/s chip will run at 2400 MT/s. Appears it has been throttled to prevent overheating.

Along with above, we also need to know the configured voltage, that is 1.2V, the type that is DDR4 synchronous, form factor SODIMM, Rank 1, the manufacturer i.e. Kingston. You can search the manufacturer ID on the internet and get the details about the chip as such.

One more item to know is the latency. Latency of CL-19.

Armed with above information, I visited the Kingston web site to see if I could get a compatible 8gb chip, but seems my facts were wrong and I ended buying a 16gb Crucial, dual rank chip. The chip in question worked find even if installed alongside the 8gb Kingston, but I needed only 16gb.

The 8gb Kingston could be used to upgrade a Dell Inspiron 5570 to 16gb from 8gb. I could not use dmidecode as that device runs Windows 10. Windows 10 on it is so slow, you’d switch the power on, have a cup of tea and be back just in time for the login screen to appear :-).

I had Linux Mint on a USB drive and booted into it on the Inspiron 5570. On it, I opened a terminal window and entered the following command:
$ sudo dmidecode <enter>

It displayed the below report (relevant rows only reported here):
Total Width: 64 bits
Data Width: 64 bits
Size: 8192 MB
Form Factor: SODIMM
Type: DDR4
Type Detail: Synchronous Unbuffered (Unregistered)
Speed: 2400 MT/s
Manufacturer: 80AD000080AD
Part Number: HMA81GS6AFR8N-UH
Rank: 1
Configured Memory Speed: 2400 MT/s
Minimum Voltage: 1.2 V
Maximum Voltage: 1.2 V
Configured Voltage: 1.2 V

So this HMA81GS6AFR8N-UH is a Hynix chip. The specifications closely match those of the RAM installed in the Inspiron 5580, but there is a catch. The latency on the internet for this chip is CL-17. Looking a bit further on the internet, I found that CL-17 and CL-19 can go together, but the DDR4 RAM must be an SODIMM with the same voltage of 1.2 V. The laptop will default to the lower of the specifications, which is good as it saves a pop going for a new chip altogether.

Finally, I removed the Kingston RAM from the Inspiron 5580 and inserted it in the Inspiron 5570. Now in Windows, it shows up as 16gb total RAM and all good so far.

Now the Dell Inspiron 5570 is marginally faster. On the other hand, the Dell Inspiron 5580 opens virtual machines almost instantly due to the PCIe NVME SSD fitted into it. Maybe the Dell Inspiron 5570 needs a PCIe NVME SSD too, but some posts on the internet suggest that the PCIe NVME SSD performance is throttled to half of what it should be. Maybe again, that’s to prevent overheating.

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