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#1 2021-01-08 06:03:21

evnchn
Member
Registered: 2020-12-31
Posts: 28

Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

Firstly, my Eee PC (Eee PC 701) claims itself that it supports only 1GB RAM while online reviews says it can be expanded to 2GB. If I do buy 2GB sticks, what would happen? Will it boot?

Secondly, my main PC (ASUS TP410U) has an i5 8250U and comes with soldered 8GB RAM and an expansion slot. The CPU says it supports 32GB RAM max. If I buy 32GB stick and put it inside, I would have 40GB total. Will it boot? Does Invisible Memory means programs equipped with Invisible Memory support (PrimoCache) can access the hidden 8GB. Also, if it doesn't work, any ideas on how to disable the internal 8GB?

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#2 2021-01-08 06:44:01

ohnonot
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Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 5,394
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Re: Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

There's different types of RAM and different types of Motherboards. You must due your due diligence and see if they fit together. Some mobos are pickier than others.
If I were you, I'd try to find online manuals; at least it once helped me with my own mobo & RAM problems.

About the eeepc: there's many different 701 models. Also it's so old, you can be sure that a modern RAM stick won't work. You have to unearth something suitable. I think I still have some old laptop RAM flying around, if you give me exact specs I can send it to you for postage.

Anecdote:
I once had a crappy laptop that was 64bit capable but only spported up to 4GB of RAM. I put in more, but it still booted up alright and the OS worked, too. Only after a while I'd get random crash-freezes - reproducible by stressing the system. Presumably it crashed only when the system was trying to access RAM beyond the 4GB mark.
So that's the sort of randomness you're up against. Try to make 200% sure you get it right.


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#3 2021-01-08 14:04:23

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 1,002

Re: Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

evnchn wrote:

Firstly, my Eee PC (Eee PC 701) claims itself that it supports only 1GB RAM while online reviews says it can be expanded to 2GB.

How do your your computer claim that? Have you asked it with:

$ sudo dmidecode --type memory

or the shorter

$ sudo inxi -m

The later, call dmidecode and present a summary.

If you have run it, do you distrust the answer? You do not know if the reviewer used exactly the same model. I can not se any reason to distrust what the bios report.

If I do buy 2GB sticks,

Why by more than one? You have one slot for inserting memory. You can verify that: Open the hatch on the underside, that protect the sodimm. Eject it. In the servicemanual, you see the latches that holds te sodim, marked with red. If the computer does not boot, when memory is ejected, bios report the same memory that the sodimm is marked with, when reinstalled, you only have on memory bank and can only insert one sodim.

what would happen? Will it boot?

If you have bought a memory that the reseller guarantee to work for your computer, it will boot. If you do not know exactly what you by, you should only by what the reseller recomends.

Secondly, my main PC (ASUS TP410U) has an i5 8250U

Are you sure about that? Asus says on https://www.asus.com/us/2-in-1-PCs/ASUS … fications/ that it ships with an i7 7500U, i5 7200U or i3 7100U Processor. But, it might have been changed? You have run dmidecode or inxi?

The CPU says it supports 32GB RAM max.

No, the cpu do not say anything like that. The bios can say it. It can be asked with dmidecode or inxi. Assus says "total up to 16 GB SDRAM(On selected models)"...

If I buy 32GB stick and put it inside, I would have 40GB total. Will it boot?

You will never access more memory than bios says it can support. If you do not know what you by, do not by something not recomended for the computer.

Does Invisible Memory means programs equipped with Invisible Memory support (PrimoCache) can access the hidden 8GB.

If you install extra 32GB memory, the 8GB will not be hidden, they will be unavailable!
"Invisible Memory", is as I understand it, a solution for windows OS, that can not access all installed memory as the linux kernel can. Today, a x86 32 bit linux kernel without PAE, can access 4 GB memory. 32 bit kernel, with PAE, can access 64 GB RAM.

edit: Though, it is recommended that install 64 bit kernel if computer have more than 8 GB ram.

Also, if it doesn't work, any ideas on how to disable the internal 8GB?

you can not.

Last edited by rbh (2021-01-08 17:52:16)


// Regards rbh

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#4 2021-01-10 05:25:35

evnchn
Member
Registered: 2020-12-31
Posts: 28

Re: Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

rbh wrote:

How do your your computer claim that?

Ran dmidecode before and scrolled through the entire thing. Grep would have been useful but I digress. Both commands show max is 1GB

rbh wrote:

do you distrust the answer?

Yes, I do. Checking Wikipedia:

In the 70x series, the pre-installed Xandros operating system has a Linux kernel with a kernel option set limiting the detected RAM size to a maximum of 1 GB, even if a larger RAM module is installed. The actual capacity is shown in full in the BIOS setup and under other OSes. However, it is possible to recompile the kernel with support for more RAM.

and also https://svolli.de/software/eeepc/
So if the hardware doesn't support more than 2GB of RAM the Wikipedia sentence and the article above would not exist.

rbh wrote:

Why by more than one?

I do not see a single stick of 1GB DDR2 RAM available on Taobao, and I am unable to receive the kind offerings from @ohnonot either because I have difficulty receiving international postages in HK. For this machine, I think I will risk it and buy the single stick of 2GB DDR2 RAM since I don't really have any other choice. I hope that by disabling the swap I can save the read-write durability of the internal flash and perhaps even make 480p YouTube playback bearable on that age-old machine (use h264 plugins or these machines will likely suffer from decoding newer codecs)

rbh wrote:

Asus says on https://www.asus.com/us/2-in-1-PCs/ASUS … fications/ that...

The ASUS website and its labeling have unfortunately become kinda a mess. Mine is TP401UF actually but it is labeled as TP401U on the bottom. No results of TP401UF appear when you search for TP401U, only TP401UA appears. I don't run Linux on my computer unfortunately but ThrottleStop indicates that it is an i5 8250U, and Intel Ark says it supports 32GB RAM max. Despite I have a modded BIOS and can probably freely disable my 8GB of soldered RAM, I don't think I will risk it on my main machine given the crashing experience @ohnonot had.

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#5 2021-01-10 10:53:49

twoion
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Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 3,140

Re: Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

@evnchn: You always need to look at the chipset. Take the exact name and look it up at the manufacturer's website. For Intel, for example here: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en … 0-ghz.html

It'll tell you the maximum amount of RAM the CPU can address, and chipsets that support the CPU are designed to work with.

But that's only half the story. For example, I have a laptop with a Intel i5 4210U CPU that should be able to address 16G of RAM. It can only effectively use 8G RAM though, because the laptop only has 1 RAM slot and the chipset cannot use RAM modules more than 8G in size. It won't boot with a 16G module.

So, on your newer PC, it might work just fine with 32G modules because it's a way more modern chipset, but laptops are always tricky. If the BIOS has no option of disabling the soldered RAM module, you're out of luck. I'd suggest to review the laptop's manual if there are any things you can do.

The Eee PC 701 might just work fine with 2G as well. 2G is not very much RAM, and hasn't been for a long time. Look up the CPU & chipset first though.


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#6 2021-01-10 12:20:57

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 1,002

Re: Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

evnchn wrote:
rbh wrote:

do you distrust the answer?

Yes, I do. Checking Wikipedia:
In the 70x series, the pre-installed Xandros operating system has a Linux kernel with a kernel option set limiting the detected RAM size to a maximum of 1 GB, even if a larger RAM module is installed. The actual capacity is shown in full in the BIOS setup and under other OSes. However, it is possible to recompile the kernel with support for more RAM.

Wikipedia, does not say that your computer is possible to upgrade to 2GB, only that some in the 70x series, is upgradable to 2 GB.

I do not see a single stick of 1GB DDR2 RAM available on Taobao,

I have hard to belive that you realey are limited to to Taobao for online IT shopping. But, by all means, try if you can afford it even if it do not work.
The Hongkong LUG, seems to be quite active and has many members. They might give you advice where to by?
When bying memory, I prefer to by from dealers, that know what they are selling and whom you can phone or chat with to get information not provided online.
I have even swaped accessories in store, with promise to leave back, if it would not work on my machine.

I think I will risk it and buy the single stick of 2GB DDR2 RAM since I don't really have any other choice.

You have checked that the memory has the same specifications unless the size?

I hope that by disabling the swap I can save the read-write durability of the internal flash

Do you not have a Memory Card Slot on the right side? You could try set swapfile on an small card.

The ASUS website and its labeling have unfortunately become kinda a mess. Mine is TP401UF actually but it is labeled as TP401U on the bottom. No results of TP401UF appear when you search for TP401U, only TP401UA appears. I don't run Linux on my computer unfortunately but ThrottleStop indicates that it is an i5 8250U, and Intel Ark says it supports 32GB RAM max.

When searching "Asus TP401UF site:asus.com", I got:
https://www.asus.com/id/2-in-1-PCs/ASUS … ifications. So, it was an i5 8250U. when shipped from factory.

Why not boot your pc to BL live session, install dmidecode and run it?

Last edited by rbh (2021-01-10 12:21:55)


// Regards rbh

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#7 2021-02-05 13:25:37

evnchn
Member
Registered: 2020-12-31
Posts: 28

Re: Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

Dear all
Was busy with the exam so it was quite a delayed reply.

My EeePC 701, despite "dmidecode saying it should only support 1GB of RAM" is now running with 2GB of it, while sustaining a memory stress test. Now I wonder how to remove the swap partition.

My main computer is not suited for a RAM upgrade because of the high price of DDR4 SODIMM 32GB RAM and the uncertainty with installing too much than the CPU support (I do not see information regarding Chipset). I will keep in mind dmidecode as a tool I can use.

For the "inaccuracy" of dmidecode, I don't think one can do much if the hardware is deceiving, yet if you think that it is a software programming bug of dmidecode, and you can point me in the right direction to get help for it (probably not in this forum but somewhere else) I'll work on making it a bit better for the .1% out there still rocking an EeePC.

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#8 2021-02-06 06:29:17

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 5,394
Website

Re: Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

evnchn wrote:

My EeePC 701, despite "dmidecode saying it should only support 1GB of RAM" is now running with 2GB of it, while sustaining a memory stress test. Now I wonder how to remove the swap partition.

Why? To avoid wear on storage? You'll still need swap. 2GB still isn't much.

evnchn wrote:

For the "inaccuracy" of dmidecode, I don't think one can do much if the hardware is deceiving

I think this is the correct interpretation.
Otherwise, fat chance getting a bug fixed that is relevant only for 10 year old devices...


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#9 2021-02-06 06:32:13

evnchn
Member
Registered: 2020-12-31
Posts: 28

Re: Installing too much RAM into a system and Invisible Memory

Yes. it is to prevent wear on the flash memory that is soldered on the motherboard. Currently there is only 512MB of swap and knowing that I originally have 512MB RAM, having no swap may be acceptable.

I agree with you. Therefore, I won't bother report this inaccuracy to devs behind dmidecode

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