T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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TKuser
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T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#1 Post by TKuser » Mon May 15, 2017 4:18 pm

I'd like to max out the RAM on my T420 to 16gb. What I'm unclear about is if 10600E (ECC) or 10600R (registered/buffered, probably also ECC) will work, or if I must get non-ECC RAM (as per T420's specs: ).

All the good deals (~$21 per 8gb) are on E and R, apparently pulled from servers. There's suggestion that these won't work in laptops, and I've never seen confirmation that anyone who has 16gb (or at least one 8 stick) in their T420 is using ECC RAM.

(There's also another suggestion that, in servers that are OK with buffered RAM, one shouldn't mix buffered and non-buffered sticks in the same machine. But I'm not even clear that buffered RAM will work at all in the T420.)

Can anyone settle this? Thank you!

Sweater Fish Deluxe
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#2 Post by Sweater Fish Deluxe » Tue May 16, 2017 2:21 am

Are you looking at SO-DIMMs or regular DIMMs? Laptops take SO-DIMM.

I don't think buffered SO-DIMMs exist and while I'm surprised to find that ECC SO-DIMMs do exist, they're not cheaper than non-ECC SO-DIMMs. I'm not sure whether they'd work, though.

TKuser
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Will PC3-12800 and/or DDR3L work on T420?

#3 Post by TKuser » Tue May 16, 2017 4:22 pm

Ah, I'm sure you're right, Sweater Fish Deluxe. These must not have been SO-DIMM's. The 8gb-in-one-stick PC3-10600 (1333MHz) SO-DIMM's are all a lot pricier.

Can I use PC3-12800 (1600MHz) on the T420? I realize it'll run at 1333MHz, but there are way better deals to be had on PC3-12800's. This post suggested it'll work on the T420.

And if so, could I use PC3-12800 DDR3L? This page makes it sound like it might be compatible with systems that support DDR3, but with lower power consumption.

Finally, assuming PC3-12800 DDR3 and PC3-12800 DDR3L both work on the T420, is there any issue with mixing and matching these and/or PC3-10600?

Thank you!

TankPad
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Re: Will PC3-12800 and/or DDR3L work on T420?

#4 Post by TankPad » Tue May 16, 2017 6:26 pm

TKuser wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 4:22 pm
Can I use PC3-12800 (1600MHz) on the T420? I realize it'll run at 1333MHz, but there are way better deals to be had on PC3-12800's. This post suggested it'll work on the T420.
Yep, This will work no problem.
TKuser wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 4:22 pm
And if so, could I use PC3-12800 DDR3L? This page makes it sound like it might be compatible with systems that support DDR3, but with lower power consumption.
The low power ram is capable of running at both voltages, so it's theoretically functional in pretty much all older machines that use non-L. Where it gets sticky is when you want to install non-L memory in newer machines that expect only low voltage ram.
TKuser wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 4:22 pm
Finally, assuming PC3-12800 DDR3 and PC3-12800 DDR3L both work on the T420, is there any issue with mixing and matching these and/or PC3-10600?
This will work. The faster module will run at the speed matching the slower one. Generally I would always aim to have a matching pair in there though.
| 701c | X220 | T420 | X230 | T430s |

Brad
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#5 Post by Brad » Tue May 16, 2017 6:41 pm

Has anyone in this thread actually have ever had 16Gb running in their T420?

Iirc the T420 chipset does not support 8Gb SO-DIMMS in any configuration.

This has been discussed before.

Brad
Long Island New York
T43p 2669-Q1U, A22p's UTU A21p HXU
Transnote, 770's 8AU, 600, 701CS, 755CD

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#6 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:42 pm

My t520 recognizes all 16gb in bios. Cant tell past that cuz dont have an os.

Sent from my E6553 using Tapatalk

Thinkpads: 570e,A31p,T40,T42 x3,T42p UXGA,T60p,T61,X61s,X201,X220,X230,T410,T420,T430s(dead),X240 with mod.
New: 701c, 755c
Others: Zenith 286 supersport, Mac Portable 5120.

Sweater Fish Deluxe
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#7 Post by Sweater Fish Deluxe » Tue May 16, 2017 10:09 pm

Everything I've read is that 16GB is supported by all the Thinkpads from this generation from the X220 to the W520, including T420 and T420s. I haven't tested myself, but many people on these forums reporting it works.
Can I use PC3-12800 (1600MHz) on the T420? I realize it'll run at 1333MHz, but there are way better deals to be had on PC3-12800's.
Early T420 BIOS versions apparently allowed faster RAM to operate at faster speeds than 1333MHz, all the way up to 1866MHz. This was removed for some reason though nobody I've seen has reported problems with it. You might be giving up nice features and fixes by using such an early BIOS and I'm not sure you could notice the difference in speeds. I think some of the custom no-whitelist BIOSes had the RAM speed unlocked as well, but I can't tell which ones.

If you're mixing memory sticks of different speed, they'd operate at the lower speed anyway, though.

TankPad
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#8 Post by TankPad » Tue May 16, 2017 10:39 pm

Brad wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 6:41 pm
Has anyone in this thread actually have ever had 16Gb running in their T420?

Iirc the T420 chipset does not support 8Gb SO-DIMMS in any configuration.

This has been discussed before.

Brad
Yup, I run 16GB ram in my 420 and my X220 without any modifications needed.
| 701c | X220 | T420 | X230 | T430s |

Brad
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#9 Post by Brad » Wed May 17, 2017 2:49 am

I am wrong.

I must have been thinking of the T410 not the T420.

I apologize.

Brad
Long Island New York
T43p 2669-Q1U, A22p's UTU A21p HXU
Transnote, 770's 8AU, 600, 701CS, 755CD

TankPad
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#10 Post by TankPad » Wed May 17, 2017 6:43 am

Brad wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 2:49 am
I am wrong.

I must have been thinking of the T410 not the T420.

I apologize.

Brad
Not at all. Others may have the same impression so it's helpful. :)
| 701c | X220 | T420 | X230 | T430s |

TKuser
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#11 Post by TKuser » Fri May 19, 2017 10:15 am

Thank you, Sweater Fish Deluxe and TankPad! Really helpful.

Breathing new life into an old XP machine (fully security patched as discussed elsewhere online): I set out to break the 3.5gb barrier by employing the technique of getting an "unmanaged memory"/PAE-capable RAMDisk tool, and then creating windows paging files on the RAMDisk to greatly increase virtual memory without the big sacrifice in speed that would happen if swapping to disk.

I found three such tools: Gavotte Ramdisk (rramdisk) (free), SuperSpeed Ramdisk (abandoned, new licenses not available for sale), and Primo Ramdisk (commercial, 30-day trial).

Gavotte and SuperSpeed both crashed my machine when attempting to use their PAE modes. Primo did not (and also supports hibernation), and so this technique is seeming viable (only tested with 6gb so far). Will buy one or two 8gb RAM sticks and see how it goes.

Ezhik
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Re: T420 16gb RAM success stories? Will ECC (or "registered") work?

#12 Post by Ezhik » Sat May 20, 2017 12:29 am

This is the RAM I've been rocking in my T420 for the past year: Crucial 16GB Kit (2 X 8GB) 1600 MT/s (PC3L-12800) 204-Pin SODIMM DDR3L Memory (CT2KIT102464BF160B)

The OS detects it as 1600 MHz, but I have not done any benchmarks.

It works great, though.
ThinkPad T420 (OS X)
ThinkPad X201

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