Can I upgrade to a faster memory speed?

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Guest

Guest
I got this old laptop, an Acer Aspire 5741, and I wanted to upgrade it. I'll only use it for a lightweight workstation (running a Debian kernel and XFCE or something), so I'm thinking of grabbing a cheap 250GB SSD and some new RAM.

According to the CPU information, it only supports memory speeds of up to 1066MHz. Does that mean I can't run SODIMM DDR3 at 1600MHz? Just over a thousand megahertz seems awfully slow for memory.
 
Jan 22, 2018
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You could install the new RAM, but it would only run at 1066MHz in the best case scenario.

Imagine the CPU as a car and RAM speed as the speed limit. If the limit is 200 but the car can only hit 150, you'll only be going 150.

In a worse case scenario, the RAM doesn't play nice and refuses to POST.

In the worst case scenario (not likely, as this would be an engineering flaw I would expect to have been anticipated): the motherboard somehow underclocks the RAM, but the RAM is so incompatible that it tries to draw the same voltage, raising the amps to the point where it fries and you need to buy new RAM again. Edit: I must emphasize that this last scenario is [mostly] a joke.
 
G

Guest

Guest

Alright, good to know. Thanks!
Does that mean that the motherboard only determines what module of RAM the computer can run, ex. SODIMM/DIMM DDR3, DDR4, etc. and the CPU determines the speed, ex. 1066/1333/1600? I know next to nothing about memory so this is all new to me.

 
Jan 22, 2018
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You're welcome! Glad I was able to help. The RAM type (module) used is determined by both the CPU and the motherboard together, and they must match or else it won't boot up. Technically, the motherboard is designed around the CPU, which is why any given motherboard will only work with specific processor sockets. Also, I updated my initial RAM speed explanation to be friendlier and, believe it or not, more accurate.
 

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