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Serial Port
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎01-05-2008
Location: US
Views: 1,786
Message 1 of 3

N100's and Thinkpads w/ 945PM chipset can't address > 3G Ram but Dell Can

From a reply to a NoteBook review Forum:
At work, we have both Dell XPS and IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad laptops. We choose the T60 models for their compactness/weight and reliability, while we choose the XPS M1710 and M2010 for their 17 and 20-inch screens and somewhat faster graphics chips. The ThinkPad T60 computers have problems accessing over 3GB RAM, and that is NOT because of the chipset or the OS that we use, but, it is only because of the incompetent designers/engineers at IBM or Lenovo; let me explain:

We have tried to install both 32-bit and 64-bit version of Vista, Windows Server 2003 R2 STD, Win XP and different dists of LINUX on T60, T60p, Z61, Z61p, Z61m, (X60 and T43) and Lenovo 3000 series, but they simply can NOT access memory over 3GB (X60 and T43 can not support that since their chipset seem to have accessing issues over the magic 3GB, but we tried anyway)

We also tried the same thing on Dell XPS M1710 and M2010, and they could access almost the ENTIRE 4 GB installed even with 32-bit version of Windows Vista (BTW, 32-bit Vista can access 16 GB RAM with the right chipset so...). Of course, now you can guess that it was no problem with the 64-bit version of the OS:es we tried.

The Dell XPS M1710 and M2010 use exactly the same chipset found in T60 and Z60 series (Mobile Intel 945PM Express Chipset). In December 2006, we even opened a T60p (model 2007 8JG) and compared the chipset with the Dell XPS M1710, and well, I suppose that you have already guessed that it was the same chipset in both machines.

Honestly, I hoped that we would find the Mobile Intel 945 GM or GMS chipset in the T60 laptops (those chipsets seem to have this 3GB limit), since we had a BIG argue with the support guys at Lenovo, and they came with totally silly answers why the computers can not access over 3GB RAM. They even asked me what I need 4GB RAM for!! Can you imagine that?! You can ask ANY programmer/developer who works with virtual machines (both VPC and VMWare or even Parallels) and everyone will tell you that you can not have too much RAM!!! And it IS A BIG difference between 3GB and 4GB. However...

Now, we have heard rumors that HP NX94xx also can access 4GB RAM installed, but I can not confirm it myself, since I have not seen it myself.

And now, regarding to your post about mixing 2GB SO-DIMM with 1GB SO-DIMM, I would not recommend it. The 2GB SO-DIMM memory modules are pretty cheap now, and besides, you will lose a lot of speed mixing 2GB with 1GB memory modules. Just try different benchmarking programs and you will see. If you want to see quick results without a lot of installations, try Memtest86+

However, I think that it is very rotten that IBM/Lenovo does not care about their customers and lets a lot of incompetent technicians answer the phone. I have tried to come in contact with higher bosses and engineers, but they are simply unavailable. But it must be a way that we customers can make them hear us.. I only do not know how! :-/

And so, here ends my first (and long) post in here!

Message Edited by charlestek on 01-05-2008 07:59 PM
Punch Card
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎01-02-2008
Location: UK
Views: 1,771
Message 2 of 3

Re: N100's and Thinkpads w/ 945PM chipset can't address > 3G Ram but Dell Can


Supporting greater than 4GByte isn't easy.  It could be a piece of hardware in the Lenovo/IBM laptops that are preventing greater than 3GByte which might be resolved by a driver update. 

Some info here:

I agree Lenovo support hasn't been very good as they could have provided some information themselves or offered to look into it.



Note from Moderator:  Converted to clickable link.

Message Edited by nonny on 01-06-2008 11:06 AM
Serial Port
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎01-05-2008
Location: US
Views: 1,762
Message 3 of 3

Re: N100's and Thinkpads w/ 945PM chipset can't address > 3G Ram but Dell Can

Unfortunately, I think you will find that even if you enable PAE, you find that windows 32 bit locks up because of driver issues.
At least that was my experience when I enabled it under windows xp sp2 32 bit. 

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