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51 Posts

09-27-2010

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W510: Lenovo has only made 2 of 4 dimm slots available - what to do?

2010-10-31, 4:02 AM

New W510 ordered online after several phone discussions with sales people (Machine type: 4318-CTO).  All the tech specs I read as well as what I was told by sales people indicated that there are 4 slots and the possibility of various Ram upgrade paths.  Like other manufacturers Lenovo charges a hefty premium for buying more Ram from them and so I had the computer built with 2 gig of Ram on one stick.  This is one of the standard options online for configuring things.  I also have Win 7 Pro 64-bit.

 

Today I finally decided to install the two 4GB Ram DIMMs I had purchased from compatible 3rd party (Crucial) and was confused and then dismayed at what I found under the back cover and under the keyboard.  The latter is deep enough for two DIMM sticks and had the OEM 2GB of Ram at the top; removing it did not reveal two more clips and a way to install Ram in what Lenovo describes as Slot 0.

 

I now turned to the back side where both areas were empty with a little plastic transparent label indicating slot 0 and slot 1{not what is shown on their website picture as labeled slot 1 and slot 3, but that really is not the key thing}.  While the rear slot 0 - the one on the left with keyboard closest to you - had clips and a way to insert a DIMM stick, the other slot 1 did NOT have any such plastic receptacle.

 

So I am in a situation where Lenovo has only "wired" two of the four DIMM slots.  While at this point I will probably be fine with only 8 GB of Ram, I paid for 4 DIMM slots and the ability to continue my Ram upgrade path should my needs increase in the future.

 

I have a 3 year next biz day onsite warranty.  This is the first Lenovo purchase ever and would like to be a satisfied user and commenter on this and other forums.  Your thoughts/expereince on how to approach Lenovo about this matter? Should I speak to sales, or tech support?

 

Also:

1) What options does Lenovo have? Can they fairly easily "reconfigure" the area under the keyboard to accept two DIMMs?  If so is this something that they might be able to accomplish onsite or only at the depot?

 

2) Similarly for the empty not fully functional slot unde the panel at the back ...

 

Thanks for any advice, and for those that are interested I will certainly post how Lenovo resolves their error.

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325 Posts

10-26-2008

Los Angeles

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Re: W510: Lenovo has only made 2 of 4 dimm slots available - what to do?

2010-10-31, 7:45 AM

Llite1, your 4318-XXX doesn't seem to be listed in the current tabook. Anyway, see:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=91152

 

The pattern appears to be that ALL of the W510 machines with only 2 memory slots appear to have either the i5-560M or i7-620M dual-core processors, and from a previous post you appear to have ordered your W510 with a i7-620M. In fact, EVERY ThinkPad listed in the current tabook which has either of those two processors, has only 2 memory slots.

 

But none of the following say that your laptop is limited to 8GB of memory:

- Lenovo's current "W510 Tech Specs (569KB)" .pdf spec sheet, linked to from the "ThinkPad W Series" sales page on their U.S. site (which simply says "Memory • Up to 16GB 1333 MHZ DDR3 Memory")

- their "Shop ThinkPad W510" page (in which none of the W510 models in the chart on that page list more than 4GB of memory)

- their current tabook (since all the W510 models that you can configure on that site are the "4318" model, not listed in that tabook)

- their configuration pages for the W510 models containing the i5-560M or i7-620M dual-core processors (they don't list configuration options for over 8GB, but manufacturers often omit some more expensive configurations in lower-priced machines, especially if the components happen to be in short supply, and Lenovo has done such things many times before)

- the "Help me decide" link for "Total memory" configuration for those W510 models (the "Help me decide" text is clearly out-of-date, describing older "DDR2 SDRAM" but not the "DDR3 SDRAM" which is the only type of memory Lenovo offers with this machine, and no 8GB limitation is mentioned)

- the Lenovo salespeople you spoke to, whom you specifically asked whether your machine would have 4 memory slots, and who specifically told you that it would have 4 memory slots

The only hint is that the higher-end W510 models having quad-core processors offer memory configurations over 8GB. If you noticed this, the reasonable thing to do was to simply ask Lenovo sales, you did, and they specifically told you the wrong answer (and apparently more than one salesperson did so!). So Lenovo clearly needs to mention this limitation explicitly in the sales materials on their website, and they clearly need to educate their sales staff about that limitation.

I can't tell you what to do. But, personally, with all the overheating problems the W510 has had with quad-core processors, I'd stick with the dual-core processor, which your experience seems to indicate means living with two memory slots. Maybe Lenovo will thank you for alerting them to a significant problem with the info they're providing to customers, and express their thanks with some reasonable free accessory or upgrade of your choice (i.e. send you your memory upgrade and cover it under the machine's warranty, or a carrying case, or warranty extension, or on-site service added to warranty, etc. -- it would be up to you and them to figure such things out). That would be the classy thing for them to do.

Anyway, if you have problems resolving the issue, here's how to escalate your case with Lenovo.

 

Good luck!

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288 Posts

04-20-2010

Ottawa

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  • Message 2 of 27

Re: W510: Lenovo has only made 2 of 4 dimm slots available - what to do?

2010-10-31, 6:26 AM
Mine is also a 4318-CTO. It has 4 slots for memory, and I am using all 4.

You need to call Lenovo support and get this fixed as this is not normal.
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325 Posts

10-26-2008

Los Angeles

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Re: W510: Lenovo has only made 2 of 4 dimm slots available - what to do?

2010-10-31, 7:45 AM

Llite1, your 4318-XXX doesn't seem to be listed in the current tabook. Anyway, see:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=91152

 

The pattern appears to be that ALL of the W510 machines with only 2 memory slots appear to have either the i5-560M or i7-620M dual-core processors, and from a previous post you appear to have ordered your W510 with a i7-620M. In fact, EVERY ThinkPad listed in the current tabook which has either of those two processors, has only 2 memory slots.

 

But none of the following say that your laptop is limited to 8GB of memory:

- Lenovo's current "W510 Tech Specs (569KB)" .pdf spec sheet, linked to from the "ThinkPad W Series" sales page on their U.S. site (which simply says "Memory • Up to 16GB 1333 MHZ DDR3 Memory")

- their "Shop ThinkPad W510" page (in which none of the W510 models in the chart on that page list more than 4GB of memory)

- their current tabook (since all the W510 models that you can configure on that site are the "4318" model, not listed in that tabook)

- their configuration pages for the W510 models containing the i5-560M or i7-620M dual-core processors (they don't list configuration options for over 8GB, but manufacturers often omit some more expensive configurations in lower-priced machines, especially if the components happen to be in short supply, and Lenovo has done such things many times before)

- the "Help me decide" link for "Total memory" configuration for those W510 models (the "Help me decide" text is clearly out-of-date, describing older "DDR2 SDRAM" but not the "DDR3 SDRAM" which is the only type of memory Lenovo offers with this machine, and no 8GB limitation is mentioned)

- the Lenovo salespeople you spoke to, whom you specifically asked whether your machine would have 4 memory slots, and who specifically told you that it would have 4 memory slots

The only hint is that the higher-end W510 models having quad-core processors offer memory configurations over 8GB. If you noticed this, the reasonable thing to do was to simply ask Lenovo sales, you did, and they specifically told you the wrong answer (and apparently more than one salesperson did so!). So Lenovo clearly needs to mention this limitation explicitly in the sales materials on their website, and they clearly need to educate their sales staff about that limitation.

I can't tell you what to do. But, personally, with all the overheating problems the W510 has had with quad-core processors, I'd stick with the dual-core processor, which your experience seems to indicate means living with two memory slots. Maybe Lenovo will thank you for alerting them to a significant problem with the info they're providing to customers, and express their thanks with some reasonable free accessory or upgrade of your choice (i.e. send you your memory upgrade and cover it under the machine's warranty, or a carrying case, or warranty extension, or on-site service added to warranty, etc. -- it would be up to you and them to figure such things out). That would be the classy thing for them to do.

Anyway, if you have problems resolving the issue, here's how to escalate your case with Lenovo.

 

Good luck!

0 person found this solution to be helpful.

This helped me too

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51 Posts

09-27-2010

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  • Message 4 of 27

Re: W510: Lenovo has only made 2 of 4 dimm slots available - what to do?

2010-10-31, 15:08 PM

Don and Jimbo thx for replies, and Jimbo for the thorough research ( a good deal more than I did although I did quite a bit - unfamiliar with tabook or other Thinpad forum - all very helpful even if some is above my geek level).

 

======

In part Jimbo had written:


The only hint is that the higher-end W510 models having quad-core processors offer memory configurations over 8GB. If you noticed this, the reasonable thing to do was to simply ask Lenovo sales, you did, and they specifically told you the wrong answer (and apparently more than one salesperson did so!). So Lenovo clearly needs to mention this limitation explicitly in the sales materials on their website, and they clearly need to educate their sales staff about that limitation.

I can't tell you what to do. But, personally, with all the overheating problems the W510 has had with quad-core processors, I'd stick with the dual-core processor, which your experience seems to indicate means living with two memory slots. Maybe Lenovo will thank you for alerting them to a significant problem with the info they're providing to customers, and express their thanks with some reasonable free accessory or upgrade of your choice (i.e. send you your memory upgrade and cover it under the machine's warranty, or a carrying case, or warranty extension, or on-site service added to warranty, etc. -- it would be up to you and them to figure such things out). That would be the classy thing for them to do.

                          ====================

 

1) Yes, I did order unit with i7-620m processor and I want to stick with that.  It actually cost more than the build with i7-720QM.  From info on this forum and the photography forum and from website that gives benchmark comparison of CPUs the i7-620m seemed better suited for my needs, and for a few dollars seem like the smart choice.

 

2) Lenovo's classy choices you suggest: Yes pretty close to my own thinking as at the time (and still) they seem to have false "advertising" and incomplete and/or inaccurate/misleading information.  The official W510 data sheet PDF that is the main source of info on the main W series page AND sales people were my main sources of information.

 

3) I have already purchased Crucial memory but not yet installed it.  Not sure that I can return it (if indeed Lenovo wants to give me a killer deal on its own memory).  Given the "changes" to W510 models I assume that the following memory description is still compatible:

4096MB  

CT51264BC1067   204-pin SODIMM  DDR3 PC3-8500 • CL=7 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1066 • 1.5V • 512Meg x 64 •

 

FYI: My machine type is listed on the carton and invoice as 4318-CTO and does appear on Lenovo drop down menus for parts & accessories lookups.

 

As often is the case, the forum here is more knowledgeable and helpful than Lenovo itself.

 

Edward

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68 Posts

09-07-2010

Cali

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Re: W510: Lenovo has only made 2 of 4 dimm slots available - what to do?

2010-10-31, 19:47 PM

Ok, exactly what memory modules (how many gig each chip, and what Mhz) were you trying to put into your computer.  I don't think it's any wiring on Lenovo's part but the limitation of the CPU.  But how much total memory were you trying to put in.

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325 Posts

10-26-2008

Los Angeles

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Re: W510: Lenovo has only made 2 of 4 dimm slots available - what to do?

2010-10-31, 21:43 PM

Edward, Crucial's site currently thinks that all W510 models have 4 memory slots, which we know is wrong. So if you somehow end up with four modules, two of them from Crucial based on what their site told you, they should accept them back for a refund (although you'll have to check with them about that). They list both "DDR3 PC3-8500 • CL=7 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1066" and "DDR3 PC3-10600 • CL=9 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1333" for 1GB, 2GB and 4GB modules for that machine. If those don't work, you should be able to return them for a refund. Their terms of sale and return policy pages state that to get a refund:

 

"If the customer purchased product directly from Crucial, the customer shall inspect the product within 45 days of receipt, such period being confirmed by the customer to be a reasonable period to examine the product for defects or shortfalls, and notify Crucial promptly of any non-conformance."

 

"If purchased from crucial.com less than 45 days ago...
please request a return material authorization (RMA) number before sending your product back. An RMA number allows us to process your return quickly."

 

Regarding the different memory specs for the 2-memory-slot vs. 4-memory-slot W510 models, here's what the tabook says, with info specific to just the 2-slot model listed in blue, and info specific to the 4-slot model listed in red (info in black is common to both models):

 

---------------------------

Processor:

...integrated DDR3 memory controller (up to 1066MHz 1333MHz)...

 

Memory:

2GB or 4GB std / 8GB 16GB max (note 7) / PC3-8500 1066MHz or PC3-10600 1333MHz DDR3,
non-parity, dual-channel capable, two four 204-pin SO-DIMM sockets

 

(note 7) - Maximum memory capacity may require the replacement of standard component with largest supported component available. On ThinkPad systems, even though it is possible to physically install 4GB of memory, the actual amount of memory addressable by a 32-bit operating system will be limited to 3GB. This limitation does not exist with 64-bit operating systems.
---------------------------

 

Note that, according to the tabook, ALL 4GB DIMMs that currently ship with the W510 are 1333 MHz memory (this occurs with BOTH 4-memory-slot AND 2-memory-slot models). ALL other DIMMs that currently ship with the W510 are 1066 MHz memory. So you should be able to use either type of memory with either type of machine. But you'll presumably only get the speed advantage of 1333 MHz memory on the 4-memory-slot versions of the W510 (I don't know how noticeable that advantage will be). And here is all the memory listed in the tabook under "ThinkPad® T510, W510 Accessories":


1GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Low-Halogen SODIMM 55Y3706 ann 06/23/09
1GB PC3-8500 DDR3 L-H SODIMM (25Pack) 57Y4385 ann 06/23/09
2GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Low-Halogen SODIMM 55Y3707 ann 06/23/09
2GB PC3-8500 DDR3 L-H SODIMM (25Pack) 57Y4386 ann 06/23/09
4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Low-Halogen SODIMM 55Y3708 ann 06/23/09
1GB PC3-10600 DDR3 L-H SODIMM 55Y3709 ann 03/02/10
1GB PC3-10600 DDR3 L-H SODIMM (25Pack) 57Y4415 ann 03/02/10
2GB PC3-10600 DDR3 L-H SODIMM 55Y3710 ann 03/02/10
2GB PC3-10600 DDR3 L-H SODIMM (25Pack) 57Y4416 ann 03/02/10
4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 L-H SODIMM 55Y3711 ann 03/02/10

 

Anyway, I think that answers your memory questions.

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51 Posts

09-27-2010

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  • Message 7 of 27

Reply to Playersnoopy and Jimbo

2010-11-01, 6:32 AM

PlayerSnoopy: You had asked how much total memory was I attempting to install in W510.

I ordered the unit with 2GB of Ram and based on what I was told over the phone I understood that I had 4 DIMM slots to work with.  I purchased two 4GB sticks of Ram (Crucial brand).  When I opened up the machine a day ago my plan was to install the 4GG sticks in slot 0 and slot 2 and the 2GB of original Ram in slot 1 (this is the pattern recommended by Lenovo in their artcle "What is the correct DIMM slot order to populate additional memory DIMMs - ThinkPad W510, W701, W701ds" at http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?sitestyle=lenovo&lndocid=MIGR-75886

Thus my intention was to end up with a total of 10GB of Ram using 3 of 4 available slots and this would still allow me room to upgrade later on if needed.

 

Jimbo ... Thanks for your detailed, clear, and helpful support - perhaps Lenovo should hire you!

FYI: WHile the Ram I purchased is Crucial brand and I originally researched on their website, I found the same Crucial Ram at a 3rd party (I believe Egghead).  I will see what Lenovo is going to do about the situation and if Lenovo offers me an excellent deal on their own memory (two 4GB) sticks then I will see what I can do about returning the two sticks.  In any regard it seems like I can only use two sticks and will end up with one 2GB stick that I will either try to sell back to Lenovo as part of the negotiation or it will end up on Ebay or a gift to someone.

 

Edward

{Totally off topic but perhaps amusing.  I decided to take a break part of today from dealing with setting up computer and software and finally decided to install the new kitchen faucet I had purchased a couple of weeks ago.  Should have realized that plumbing projects are never all that much fun but on trick or treat day one should really look out.  Well 5 hours later and only one trip to the local hardware store and I finally have a new faucet which I am actually fairly pleased with.  Guess part of the gratification comes from dealing with physical matter and which was dependent only on my own knowledge and plumbing skills and not some vendor.  But must indicate that Kohler's instructions and photos of the faucet and its inards had at least 3 major inaccuracies.  I guess more and more companies think that what they are dealing with is rocket science and they are not particularly good at it.}

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51 Posts

09-27-2010

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Lenovo did the right thing - a relatively happy ending

2010-11-02, 4:43 AM

Spoke to two people in sales in NC (USA).  Initially was given the same inaccurate/misleading info about maximum Ram and the number of DIMM slots.  Shortly thereafter got email from that person correcting the mis-information.  It seems like much of the Lenovo sales people use the same W510 datasheet PDF that is on the website and which was one of my main sources of information.  Later I spoke to another sales rep who coincidentally is on the same team as the first person I had spoken with.  The second person and I reached an easy agreement about how Lenovo would take care of me to be fair for the mis-leading information that had been given to me AND for delivering a laptop that was inferior because it only had 2 of 4 wired Ram slots.

 

Bottom line: Lenovo did the right thing; allowed themselves to be held accountable for their errors; and offered fair compensation.  This was a positive experience with sales and customer support. Thank you Lenovo.

 

Edward

 

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09-27-2010

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EDIT to prior post Re: Lenovo did the right thing - a relatively happy ending

2010-11-02, 22:32 PM

I was rather surprised to see that my prior post got two Kudo points.  While I try to be helpful on this forum which is of great value to me, I was quit4e surprised.  I simply report things as clearly as possible and when it comes to Lenovo I tell the good with the bad.  While my post is in part a compliment to Lenovo, from a different perspective it is also a slam.  If they trained their personnel and sales people to give accurate information in the first place it would have saved me a bunch of hassles and this preventative/professional approach would not have needed a "fair" response from sales/cust service after the fact.

 

The two Kudo points it seems both come from forum moderators - a thankless job I am sure.  Initially I assumed that they work for Lenovo which is not the case but still why both of them pointing out my post as being "helpful" or "exemplary" in some way??  To me it should be characteristic of most of the posts on the forum.  I can point to 100 posts where someone went out of their way to help figure out a solution for someone else; that to me is worthy of applauds.  But the forum is relatively democratic and each will give thanks where they chose to.

 

Nice to see that the moderators follow many threads, but again surprised by the Kudo especially becasue neither of them even participated in the thread.  Sorry to be hard on the moderators but it points people to a thread that probably has quite limited relevance to most W510 users and to a particular post in it that tells half of the story - Lenovo did fine after first completely messing up.

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4169 Posts

11-20-2007

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Re: EDIT to prior post Re: Lenovo did the right thing - a relatively happy ending

2010-11-03, 1:16 AM
Well, I kudo'd it because you came back and told the end of the story. We try to encourage that kind of thing around here. I have no idea why Andy kudo'd it. I fixed half the problem you have with that practice, though.

Re the moderators following many threads, one or more of us read most, if not all, threads since our purpose is to moderate the forum. If we're not reading, we can't be effective at making sure the forum is running smoothly.

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