Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


I've been looking at "desktop replacement" class notebooks lately, and I 
see there are at least some that support more than 4 GB of RAM, even if 
equipped with only 4 GB.

I haven't looked into this yet, but I'm wondering:

1. If greater than 4GB RAM is all that useful. I know it can be if 
you're running a 64-bit OS and using memory intensive applications, like 
databases, but the intended application for the machine will be as a 
developer's desktop, and it'll probably have Ubuntu as the base, with 
one or more virtual guest OSs (like Windows XP) running at all times. If 
the VM hosts, like Virtualbox or KVM, can span the 4 GB barrier, then 
the extra RAM will eventually be quite useful.

2. Even if the manufacturer doesn't claim support for > 4 GB, the 
ability to support higher density memory chips is often just a matter of 
a BIOS change. The problem is that BIOS updates to support hardware 
beyond what was shipped is less likely in a notebook.

I'm also finding that for some machines the manufacturers are quite 
vague in their specifications. They seem to be more focused on 
describing what is included in a particular configuration, rather than 
describing the capabilities of the platform.

I looked at an Acer model, for example, which listed 4 GB as being 
included in the sales literature, listed obsolete specs. on their 
support site, and the manual was made generic enough that it had no 
specs at all, and the RAM section only described how to physically 
install the modules without mentioning capacity.

I suppose I can resort to looking up specs on the chipset to get a 
better idea. I could call the manufacturer, but I'm not hopeful that a 
support rep trained in the various techniques for reinstalling Windows 
is going to be able to give a definitive answer on the hardware 


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
Professional Profile:

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /