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Adding memory: is "system specific" memory worth it? (Kingston DDR4)

2017-02-16, 1:57 AM

Adding memory: is "system specific" memory worth it? (Kingston DDR4)


I have a recent P50, and want to add more memory to it. I'm planning to go with Kingston.


I've heard it's better to avoid "Value" memory. But I'm a bit stuck on which of the different Kingston lines to go with beyond that. Is there any real difference in getting the "system specific" memory, as opposed to, say, the HyperX? Do Lenovo laptops tend to do ok with the Kingston HyperX?


Specifically, the "system specific" memory I was looking at is: Kingston 16GB 260-Pin DDR4 SO-DIMM DDR4 2133 (PC4 17000) System Specific Memory Model, KCP421SD8/16


And the "gamer targeted" memory I was looking at is: HyperX Impact 16GB 260-Pin DDR4 SO-DIMM DDR4 2133 (PC4 17000) Laptop Memory Model HX421S13IB/16


Kingston has a memory finder tool on their site, which points to the System Specific memory. However, I called them and they said this particular HyperX should work too. I'm sure this is not a novel observation, but I was surprised to find that the "system specific" memory is more expensive than the gamer-targeted HyperX. (At least, once you take into account that those go on sale more often.)


I'd in theory rather go with the HyperX because it claims to be fast, etc. On the other hand, there is in theory some appeal to the idea that the System Specific is guaranteeing compatibility. On the other hand, it'd suck to buy the System Specific and find out it's basically just the same thing as, say, Value. I haven't been able to find any answers I understand on whether there's any real difference in practice.


Has anyone tried HyperX in a P50 / P70 and had either great or horrific luck with it? Is there any difference between "System Specific" memory versus gamer-branded memory for a laptop like the P50?



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Re: Adding memory: is "system specific" memory worth it? (Kingston DDR4)

2017-02-16, 7:46 AM

Just remember that no matter what additional memory you get, if it is faster than your currently installed memory the BIOS will slow down your new memory to match the slower speed of the existing memory.  That's what happens when memory speeds are a mismatch.  So it doesn't mean anything to buy 2x sticks of additional memory with a faster speed than your current memory, you're not going to benefit speed-wise. Waste of money.


Only if you totally replace your 2x existing memory with a completely new faster matched 2x kit, or install a totally new 4x matched "kit", will the resulting memory performance be that of the new faster memory you just bought.


That's why memory upgrades are normally accomplished by using "kits" of 2x sticks that are exact timing matches for your current 2x installed memory.  No reason to buy faster memory.  Or, you can just go with a full 4x matched sticks of identical speed memory (if you want to truly get faster memory).  In any mismatched situation, the slower memory speed you have will prevail.


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Re: Adding memory: is "system specific" memory worth it? (Kingston DDR4)

2017-02-18, 22:00 PM



I replaced the stock 8GB DDR4 on my P50 with Kingston HyperX Impact DDR4 2133 CL13 HX421S13IBK2/32 without any issues from the memory modules, so far.


Everything else the same, I don't think you would notice a tangible difference between the gaming HX Impact CL13 and the "system specific" CL15 SODIMMs. <-- This is just my opinion though.


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Re: Adding memory: is "system specific" memory worth it? (Kingston DDR4)

2017-02-19, 10:57 AM



I just purchased regular Crucial memory for my ThinkPad P50 which matched the specs for the system.


No problems noted in several months of use, now.




Aryeh Goretsky

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