• reviews
  • memory
  • Patriot Viper Steel SODIMM 32GB 3000Mhz Performance Memory Review
  • Patriot Viper Steel SODIMM 32GB 3000Mhz Performance Memory Review


    Upgrade Your Laptop with Viper Steel

    Just about every portable computer has the option to upgrade the memory however, with the push to make smaller and lighter devices many hardware makers will surface mount the memory and processor.  This saves space and can make the PCB more compact.

    So, how do you know if your laptop can be upgraded?  Well, two ways to tell.  The first is to read the manual (duh) or you can simply flip your laptop over and remove the access panel.  If your laptop has no removable panel then it likely cannot be upgraded.

    The laptop featured in this review is a HP Probook 450 G5.  It is a basic 15” machine that was designed for business users.  I was available in different configurations based on what the customer wanted and mine was a base model featuring a small 256GB NVMe SSD and only 8GB of memory.

    As you can see with the access panel removed you will find a single SODIMM memory module and an open slot for a second.  As you would suspect this laptop was running in single channel mode this whole time. 

    Performance Considerations

    Laptops and other portable computers using mobile hardware are designed to be power efficient and thermally responsible.  Basically that translates into power and thermally limited to prevent good performance.  These processors will boost for short periods of time to help take the edge off and will quickly throttle down to save the battery.  Some systems won’t boost unless you are plugged into the wall so keep that in mind.

    From a hardware standpoint most portable computers are also limited in hardware support.  My Kaby Lake enabled Probook 450 G5 has a memory controller that supports 2400Mhz memory modules.  There is no option to enable XMP and no indication that it is supported by default.  In an attempt to make the laptop affordable and 100% stable HP removed all of the variables and in the big picture that isn't a bad thing.

    Despite this we still have a way to increase memory performance by adding more memory.  Applications will run smoother, files will load faster and if you add "matched" modules you can efficiently enable dual channel memory support. 

    Of course, here is where many users (read: most everyone) and IT professionals (again: most all of them) will go wrong.  As I mentioned my system comes with 8GB of memory from the factory.  If I add a 32GB module I'll have a total of 40GB, this is a perfectly valid and actually works. 

    Thing is the system will struggle with the memory size mismatch, some apps will be faster while others will be slower.  Overall, it is generally accepted as being a bad thing.