[SOLVED] Are laptops in general picky about RAM timings?

sonic.millenium

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Planning to swap a single Samsung DDR3L 1600 8GB stick (11-11-11-28 timings I think) in my Toshiba P50-A-13C laptop with a 2x8GB kit because a) I discovered recently that there ARE 2 slots on the board; b) I'm running out of RAM at times; c) who doesn't like dual-channel?

So the first obstacle's been cleared.
People recommended that I don't put 1866Mhz sticks inside even if they're cheaper. The CPU (4700MQ) is only capable of digesting 1333 & 1600. It's not even guaranteed it'll boot at 1866, or run 1866 sticks at 1600.

Second obstacle: timings.
If speed is critical, are timings important as well? Is there any way a mfr can hard-code the timing table into the BIOS and deny boot if unmatched? Or will say 9-9-9 RAM just run at 11-11-11?
(I prefer not to think bout RAM whitelists. That'd sound too silly.)
Cause I'm choosing between 3 options
2 x these, Corsair 1600 11-11-11 https://www.1a.lt/p/corsair-8gb-1600mhz-ddr3l-cl11-cmso8gx3m1c1600c11/vzz
This kit, G.Skill 1600 9-9-9 https://www.1a.lt/p/g-skill-ripjaws-16gb-1600mhz-cl9-ddr3l-kit-of-2-f3-1600c9d-16grsl/fpb
And this, HyperX 1600 9-9-9 https://pigu.lt/lt/kompiuterine_technika/kompiuteriu_komponentai/operatyvine_atmintis_ram/operatyvioji-atmintis-ram-?id=4971895
You know, I wouldn't mind a tiny bit tighter timings if possible. No idea when I'm going to change machines, this one's chugging along just fine.

For the record. The BIOS on Toshibas, including mine, is quite conservative AFAIK. Not really much to do in the way of customisation.
 

Third-Eye

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^Strange, I only see mentions of RAM PnP in Kingston's marketing material.
Please don't think of this as a "callout".

Is HyperX generally the top tier option? I always got baffled at how their fast DDR4 RAM has the weirdest speed+timing combinations out there. Is it a sign of subpar chips or they're just squeezing the last MB/s out of everything?
When buying DDR3, I've never personally looked for PNP kits. I've always just ended up with G.Skill because it seemed to be on sale every time I need to buy ram. I also manually set timings, because XMP never worked on any DDR3 motherboard I've used. I ended up not not worrying about whether it had XMP or PNP since it was so easy to just set the timings manually. That being said though, I don't actually remember seeing any brands having PNP DDR3 modules other than Kingston, but it's possible other brands just never advertise it and instead prefer to advertise being XMP ready. The highest PNP module for DDR4 I've seen is 2933Mhz, also from Kingston, that have loose timings most likely for the best compatibility and could likely be manually set for tighter timings without issue.
 
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sonic.millenium

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That's clear, thanks.
Question is: I'm removing the factory stick.
Do the timings of the new kit have to match the old stick? Or it depends on the laptop manufacturer?
The old one was 1600Mhz 11-11-11
I'm choosing between 1 1600Mhz 11-11-11 variant and 2 1600Mhz 9-9-9 variants.
All are 2x8GB kits of course.
 
Gotcha.
There are JEDEC and XMP profiles "baked into" each stick of RAM that tell the motherboard what to do.

Is there a significant price difference between the CAS9 and CAS11 kits? It's probably not going to make much difference in performance, but if they cost the same, you might as well go CAS9
 
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Third-Eye

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The laptop will probasbly set CL11 on 1600Mhz anyway unless the modules are plug and play 1600Mhz CL9. The laptop also probably doesn't support XMP or manual memory timings. Find the manual and read through it. I didn't find anything about XMP or manual memory timings in the manual, so the 1600Mhz CL9 modules probably won't run at CL9 and instead will default to CL11.
 
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sonic.millenium

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Massive thank you everyone.
6 Euro difference between the CL11 and the two CL9 (more expensive) options.
Oh, and the CL11s are sold separately but under the same SKU. I reckon there's a 99.9% chance they'll match right?
(As if I were buying a kit).

Yup, the manual doesn't go deep into this (apart from recommending the use of "Toshiba-approved" sticks.)
 

Third-Eye

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Massive thank you everyone.
6 Euro difference between the CL11 and the two CL9 (more expensive) options.
Oh, and the CL11s are sold separately but under the same SKU. I reckon there's a 99.9% chance they'll match right?
(As if I were buying a kit).
Everyone is gonna tell you to buy in kits, but I doubt you will have a problem running them since you are not trying to run XMP. One other issue though is the modules may not set to 1600Mhz unless they are advertised as PNP (plug and play). I know a lot of the HyperX kits have PNP, so look for it before buying.
 

sonic.millenium

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^Strange, I only see mentions of RAM PnP in Kingston's marketing material.
Please don't think of this as a "callout".

Is HyperX generally the top tier option? I always got baffled at how their fast DDR4 RAM has the weirdest speed+timing combinations out there. Is it a sign of subpar chips or they're just squeezing the last MB/s out of everything?
 

Third-Eye

Distinguished
^Strange, I only see mentions of RAM PnP in Kingston's marketing material.
Please don't think of this as a "callout".

Is HyperX generally the top tier option? I always got baffled at how their fast DDR4 RAM has the weirdest speed+timing combinations out there. Is it a sign of subpar chips or they're just squeezing the last MB/s out of everything?
When buying DDR3, I've never personally looked for PNP kits. I've always just ended up with G.Skill because it seemed to be on sale every time I need to buy ram. I also manually set timings, because XMP never worked on any DDR3 motherboard I've used. I ended up not not worrying about whether it had XMP or PNP since it was so easy to just set the timings manually. That being said though, I don't actually remember seeing any brands having PNP DDR3 modules other than Kingston, but it's possible other brands just never advertise it and instead prefer to advertise being XMP ready. The highest PNP module for DDR4 I've seen is 2933Mhz, also from Kingston, that have loose timings most likely for the best compatibility and could likely be manually set for tighter timings without issue.
 
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sonic.millenium

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Arigato gosaimasu everyone for your assistance! Especially you Third-Eye (y)
Made my choice: https://scontent.frix7-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.15752-9/82786353_492170871705284_363474732844056576_n.png?_nc_cat=101&_nc_ohc=xGIyBrMht9EAX9NS0nQ&_nc_ht=scontent.frix7-1.fna&oh=0d77ee01fb04227d7324987dd0a2f8d1&oe=5EDADBAF (hopefully the link works)

As for "PNP" timings... been looking into what Nanya's cooking in the way of DDR4 (don't ask...) these days. The datasheet for one of the chip models (denoted by "Nanya A-Die") has a mention of 2933 at very lax timings: 20-20-20. It's probably quite widespread past the consumer end-products ¯\(ツ)/¯

Thanks a ton again.
 

sonic.millenium

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