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Why do ultrabook makers solder ram and drives into motherboards?

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
How dumb is that? On my seemingly never ending quest to find a new notebook or ultrabook or whatever they are called themselves these days I have run across a lot of models that appear perfect at first glance, but upon further investigation find that you can't upgrade or replace ram or hard drives in them.

That totally sucks if you ask me. Imagine if the thing goes out of warranty and the SSD or ram develops a defect? You have a paperweight, because I am sure to have someone replace the ram or drive you's end up paying more than the unit cost in the first place.

I completely understand how SSD drives are revolutionary, but I wish manufacturers would make them modular in notebooks!
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
I agree, but I was lucky. I have a netbook that I doubled the ram in (1GB to 2GB) and I added an SSD drive. The thing is smokin' fast now.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
i don't know about every manufacturer, but Apple does it to save a few mm's here and there. I agree it's annoying, but saving a mm is a big deal in portable computing.

To clarify the RAM is soldered on, the SSDs can actually be swapped out, but it is a proprietary connection, so you can't use a standard 2.5" SSD.

So if you're going to buy a Mac with soldered RAM then best upgrade it to the max.
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
..and to be more clear. The SSD that is in a netter today is not for storage (Long term), it is for temp storage (i.e. like the old RAM drive). A netter that comes with an SSD today, is about 16GB to 20GB in size and is only used for that. The other hard drive (platter) is the storage for the machine.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
i don't know about every manufacturer, but Apple does it to save a few mm's here and there. I agree it's annoying, but saving a mm is a big deal in portable computing.

To clarify the RAM is soldered on, the SSDs can actually be swapped out, but it is a proprietary connection, so you can't use a standard 2.5" SSD.

So if you're going to buy a Mac with soldered RAM then best upgrade it to the max.
What model are you referring to? I have always swapped and upgraded the RAM&SSD on my macbook pro. nothing has ever been soldered
 
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alison87

TRIBE Member
Laptops are appliances, not nerdy lego hack machines. If you are enough generations down the track you need more RAM or a faster HDD, you might as well just buy a new laptop and get all the other upgrades at the same time. If you want a Frankenstein hack machine, just get a desktop. Seriously. It's not the 90s any more.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
Laptops are appliances, not nerdy lego hack machines. If you are enough generations down the track you need more RAM or a faster HDD, you might as well just buy a new laptop and get all the other upgrades at the same time. If you want a Frankenstein hack machine, just get a desktop. Seriously. It's not the 90s any more.
disagree
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
Laptops are appliances, not nerdy lego hack machines. If you are enough generations down the track you need more RAM or a faster HDD, you might as well just buy a new laptop and get all the other upgrades at the same time. If you want a Frankenstein hack machine, just get a desktop. Seriously. It's not the 90s any more.
Big time objection. I have a dell D620 - super old that I snatched from work last year and it definitely falls under "Antiquated" by today's standards.

spent $24 on double the amount of faster memory and put in a $69 64GB SSD in it. It's running Ubuntu now too instead of Windoze.

I use it at work today for everything pretty much including some development without any problems on performance.
 
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alison87

TRIBE Member
That's precisely my point. We've hit an era where computers are now pretty much just thin clients to the web/cloud, so needing to upgrade RAM/HDD in two years is not really relevant any more. And if you really do need to upgrade because you're a gamer or some other kind of extreme power user, you'll want to upgrade the whole shebang anyways to take advantage of faster or more efficient chipsets. If you have to ask why RAM is soldered to the motherboard you are Not The Target Market. The target market is much more interested in getting a lighter, smaller and cheaper device than they are about adding more RAM, maybe, possibly, someday down the track.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
I see, I suspect this will change in the near future.
it's changing to all apple portables having the RAM soldered on. Apple discontinued the 17" macbook pro in late 2011, and now they've discontinued the 15" 'classic' macbook pro design (the one that didn't have a retina display and had upgradable ram). now the only portable left with user replaceable RAM is the 13" macbook pro 'classic'. (not to be confused with the retina model).
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I bought a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro online today. 8 gb RAM and a 128 SSD, i5 Haswell. I need to replace the SSD with a larger one, but I downloaded the service manual and see it is pretty simple to do that. You can also replace the battery if you need to and other components in the Yoga 2 Pro, except the RAM. Lonevo is really good with documentation and service manuals and stuff, unlike other manufacturers.

I have contacted Charles at Filtech to see if he can order me a 500 gb msata SSD from Samsung or Crucial.

I spent about 2 weeks looking for a new notebook and picked the Yoga 2 Pro for a few reasons:

  1. It is user up-gradable.
  2. The display is stunning - I have not seen anything this good. even on the apple models.
  3. Since it bends and folds in all different directions, the hinges seem really strongly made.
  4. I can run all my existing software on it, including Quickbooks, old versions of photoshop, and my Phase One software.

The only thing I hate is the Windows 8.1 but I am sure I will get used to that eventually. I don't own any touch screen devices, but this has a touch screen so I get to play with that to see if I will like it or not.
 
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