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Turboswordsman

Desoldering ram

That it's literally soldered to the motherboard, i.e. there are no DIMM slots to put in more or different sticks. I'm not sure if you can desolder and replace/upgrade them, but I don't think you can. Definitely not without special equipment though.

 

This is common practise in MacBooks (AFAIK) and ultrabooks, which is why it's typically recommended with laptops to buy the model with maximum amount of RAM you think you'll ever need on it (and can afford of course) in any use case you can imagine.

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Posted · Best Answer

That it's literally soldered to the motherboard, i.e. there are no DIMM slots to put in more or different sticks. I'm not sure if you can desolder and replace/upgrade them, but I don't think you can. Definitely not without special equipment though.

 

This is common practise in MacBooks (AFAIK) and ultrabooks, which is why it's typically recommended with laptops to buy the model with maximum amount of RAM you think you'll ever need on it (and can afford of course) in any use case you can imagine.


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Normally you have a motherboard and a stick of RAM. You just place the stick of RAM in the slot for RAM on the motherboard and you're done, you upgraded your memory.

With 'soldered in memory', the motherboard and RAM are integrated into the same circuit, so instead of having the RAM be a separate stick, it's soldered onto the motherboard which makes it much harder to upgrade/replace. This is where the hate for that sort of practice comes from.

 

Technically you could desolder it and solder in new memory, but it's possible the manufacturer has made it so the machine sees other memory, plus the way this stuff is made could be quite complex.

What I have shown below in the spoiler here is a basic stick of SODIMM (laptop) memory. The black rectangles on this green stick of memory is the actualy memory, the gold pins on the bottom are the interface used to connect to the laptop and everything else makes this function together.

In theory you could desolder these BGA chips (will explain more on that later) and desolder other memory chips on, but this 'kit' of parts may not be able to recognize more memory. If this was a 8GB stick of memory, these black rectangles would be 1GB a piece and you could try soldering on 2GB memory chips, but it may not recognize it.

Spoiler

1200px-Samsung-1GB-DDR2-Laptop-RAM.jpg

 

Now these are usually also BGA chips, which if you don't know anything about soldering; I'll just say they are quite difficult to solder on correctly.

For more information and some experience with BGA chips, I recommend watching Strange Parts' video on upgrading an iPhone storage. Here he shows the process of soldering memory onto a phone board.

How this works, is the board has some amount of connection points and the memory has solder 'balls' on the bottom of the chip. You have to heat up all the balls properly to make them adhere to the board. Else you won't have a stable connection. Apparently in factories they use XRay machines to make sure all balls have adhered properly.

 

These image will give a simple illustration of how BGA works:

Spoiler

solder-bridging.jpg

 

 

In short:

Memory is physically soldering to a board, instead of easily removable. This makes replacing/upgrading it extremely difficult.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 hours ago, tikker said:

That it's literally soldered to the motherboard, i.e. there are no DIMM slots to put in more or different sticks. I'm not sure if you can desolder and replace/upgrade them, but I don't think you can. Definitely not without special equipment though.

 

This is common practise in MacBooks (AFAIK) and ultrabooks, which is why it's typically recommended with laptops to buy the model with maximum amount of RAM you think you'll ever need on it (and can afford of course) in any use case you can imagine.

rip and the laptop only comes with a 4gb model, this sucs. alright thanks man

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4 hours ago, Pixel5 said:

if you have a device with soldered ram just forget about upgrading it, the equipment you need costs more than any of the devices you may want to upgrade.

 

10 minutes ago, Turboswordsman said:

rip and the laptop only comes with a 4gb model, this sucs. alright thanks man

Yeah. The most annoying thing to me is that 16 GB is almost always exclusively linked to the most expensive models with the biggest i7, 512+GB NVMe SSD, whereas more often than not I'd much more prefer an i5 and a smaller SSD with more RAM...


Crystal: CPU: i7 7700K | Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270F | RAM: GSkill 16 GB@3200MHz | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti FE | Case: Corsair Crystal 570X (black) | Storage: 250 GB Crucial BX100 SSD + 2 TB Seagate HDD + 1TB WD Green + 3TB WD Red | PSU: EVGA Supernova G2 1000W | Monitor: Asus VG248QE 24"

Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9360 | CPU: i5 7200U | RAM: 8 GB

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The equipment to solder ram to board costs 100$ so that aint biggie. For most people the skill needed to use that equipment is the problem along with ram copatibility issues if bios does not support it.

 

I have personally done some ram swaps on graphics cards.

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This is what the process takes to upgrade soldered RAM. Not really viable:

 

 


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