Q: Why is soldered RAM so popular in laptops? It seems very hostile to buyers. For the amount of memory I want, my options are limited to expensive gaming laptops, but I only need the specs of a mid-range laptop.
A: Replaceable SODIMMs make memory configurations uncommon in the budget and mid-range, that’s for sure. But your description suggests that you’re considering ultraportable laptops, which is probably why you set out to look for replaceable RAM.
Thin and light laptops tend to use low-power DDR4 (also known as LPDDR4) memory, a type that requires soldering. Why choose it over the SODIMM range? In addition to the direct advantage of battery life, LPDDR4 also has the advantage of taking up less space, not just in height. The space saved with soldered memory helps keep your laptop slim and can be used for other purposes such as cooling or a larger battery.
These benefits will likely take precedence for manufacturers over enabling user-maintainable RAM. Most sellers keep data on what people buy, and more often than not, consumers accept soldered RAM because they are more interested in a compact computer that stays cool and lasts long between shipments. In fact, most people don’t even think about the possibility of improving memory until someone like you or me comes and asks us about it. (You know, that conversation, “Should I replace my laptop? It gets slow when I open many browser tabs.” “Okay, can you upgrade the RAM? Find out first.”)
Also, like cars, laptop manufacturers design each model with the target audience in mind. Un public at petit budget, par exemple, est plus susceptible to privilégier l’évolutivité en tant que fonctionnalité plutôt qu’une durée de vie de la batterie plus longue ou une machine maigre, car ils ne peuvent pas se permettre de max spseré tocutes Since the beginning. Therefore, you are more likely to find user-replaceable memory in these devices.
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Roll up the battery, the focus is on a more portable and durable laptop. But it is also inappropriate to pair a mid-tier system (such as Core i5 or Ryzen 7) with 64 GB of RAM. Very few people who buy laptops in this line will use that much memory. As one employee said, most people who don’t buy a Toyota Corolla or even a Toyota Camry expect luxury Italian leather seats.
But under the rules of evolving extremes, configurations with 64GB or 128GB of RAM are popular. (After all, who wants to see a Core i9 processor and RTX 3080 tied together with only 16GB of memory?) Add to that the current environment, as crypto miners have started buying laptops to continue their efforts, and vendors have more incentive to focus on Bells and whistles to discourage these opportunistic purchases. Which unfortunately puts you in the background.
However, you can find mid-range laptops with user-replaceable units, such as the Dell XPS 15 and Lenovo Legion 5i. You might have to compromise — the system probably won’t run on battery power for long, will be bigger, or you’ll still pay for a discrete graphics card that’s better than you really want it to be — but they’re there. And they won’t cost as much as the RTX 3080 replacement for a fully loaded desktop.
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