Dell XPS 8700 Memory upgrade

By | January 25, 2016

As I mentioned in a previous post I started looking into upgrading my Dell XPS 8700 see https://blog.voina.org/?p=325.
One of the possibilities I mentioned there was a memory upgrade from the 16GB of the original configuration to the maximum of 32GB. By doubling the memory size I can run a 4th instance of my Fedora Server farm as a virtual machine (a VirtualBox instance) and allocate 8GB to it. This is needed for a later project I have in mind that involves using all my 4 Fedora Server instances.
After looking at the alternatives I can say the following:
1. Adding from the beginning 32GB to the Dell XPS 8700 is almost impossible. I was not able to find any supplier that can deliver that configuration.
2. Buying the 16GB version looked as a good idea but now I can see that it was stupid. Most people recommend on forums to buy the 8GB version then upgrade the memory yourself much cheaper.
3. My 16GB XPS 8700 came installed with 4x4GB memory DIMMS. So, I got owned by Dell big time. Buying the 16GB version is really a stupid thing I did. I had to buy 4x8GB to upgrade the memory and I anded up with 4x4GB unused DIMMS.

The recommended search for the memory upgrade goes like this:
1. Go to www.kingston.com look for the compatible XPS 8700 memory
2. Go to www.corsair.com look for the compatible XPS 8700 memory
etc.

Easy no ? No. The issue is the producers are giving to you only the newest of the new modules they can produce. This is sometimes hard to find and they are guaranteed to be the most expensive.

The “bargain hunter” method I used is:
1. Go to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.de . emag.ro, pcgarage.ro etc. (insert here your favourite hardware supplier).
2. Do a search for the following characteristics: DDR3, PC3-12800 , 1600, CL11, 1.5V
3. Find all the results, take the cheapest one and then look at the producer site if that is compatible with XPS 8700. amazingly enough there are a lot of the DIMMS that initially are not “recommended” by the producer at the first search but are listed as compatible when explicitly named.
4. Search again for that exact model you got on the meta sites that search for a specific product on all online shops: price.ro, geizhals.de etc.
5. The best model I was able to find was: MICRON Crucial CT102464BA160B, 8GB DDR3, 1600MHz, CL11 . I got it from a supplier I hate and normally avoid but the price of 150EUR for 4 UDIMMS of 8GB was a steal. At 37.5EUR/UDIMM with one day delivery included it is cheaper than the standard price from Crucial site without delivery.

Now with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD drive my XPS 8700 looks like a new PC 🙂 Finaly the I7 4790 CPU is no longer too good for the rest of the hardware.

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