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Sony Vaio PCV-RX850 memory hack

by Combobulater / January 7, 2012 8:37 AM PST

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I recently acquired a second-hand Sony
Vaio PCV-RX850 computer, with 512 MB of RAM installed in one of the
three available memory slots.

I then upgraded to 1.5 GB of RAM (512
MB per slot X 3), which is the maximum according to Sony's

I was wondering if, in reality, it is
possible to boost the memory further, by putting a 1 GB stick of RAM
in each of the 3 slots. Perhaps the result might be that not quite
all the 3 GB of RAM is functional, but the functional RAM might
nonetheless still exceed 1.5 GB.

For example, I know of another computer
(all I know of it is that it had an Intel Atom 330 processor) that
had a nominal max RAM of 2 GB, but when 4 GB was installed, 3.3 GB
was found to be recognized and usable.

I am prepared to take the risk and put
3 GB of RAM in the Vaio. Any feedback on this idea?

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All Answers

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Generic answer
by Willy / January 7, 2012 11:28 PM PST

Quick answer, visit the website: and enter your PC info and it will report what it supports in ram.

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Specs state...
by Willy / January 7, 2012 11:53 PM PST
In reply to: Generic answer

I did a quick review of the specs offered by the support webpage. They point only to 1.5gb of ram can be installed. These are PC-2100 ram sticks. Newer ram is much faster and can be installed or be offered 4sale at higher speed. This is a physical limit the mtrbd. support probably to bios constraints. Though you can actually installed 3x1gb sticks, the bios will allow only 1/2 of that amount per stick. What maybe possible is to look for the status of the bios present. If a later bios update is available it *may* address ram increased amounts, then and only then will it accept a full 3gb of installed ram. Because, your PC is dated it's worth looking into, but again because it dated, support has long passed for anything current. good luck -----Willy Happy

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I'll give it a try
by seaskyblue / January 8, 2012 3:49 AM PST
In reply to: Specs state...

Thanks for everyone's feedback.

I happen to have two spare sticks of 1 GB RAM that I think is compatible with the Vaio, and which would nominally increase the RAM from 1.5 GB to 2.5 GB.

So, I think I'll do a "Hail Mary" and plug those two 1 GB sticks into the PC and see what happens.

I will report back in the next day or so on what happened as a result.

By the way, I installed the Linux distro Kubuntu 11.10 onto the Vaio as the OS.

Willy--I have no experience in updating BIOS, but might consider trying that after seeing what happens with the upgrade to 2.5 GB. At any rate, this Viao PC is just an extra PC that I can experiment with, and if things go bad with it, it's not really a problem.

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Success--and failure
by Combobulater / January 16, 2012 5:36 AM PST
In reply to: I'll give it a try

I replaced two of the three 512-MB sticks of RAM with two 1-GB sticks, increasing the total RAM from 1.5 GB to 2.5 GB. (As mentioned earlier, the Sony specification for this PC is 1.5 GB maximum.) When I started up the computer, the BIOS recognized all of the installed RAM, as "2560 MB." However, the computer then produced a much louder operating sound--a loud whirring--than before. It sounded like the system was overclocked and straining. That obviously was not good. After I had the PC shut down for about a half hour, I restarted it, and got an excessive temperature warning in BIOS. Even after the 1/2-hour shutdown, the CPU temperature was at 76.5 degrees C and highlighted in red type--so the system had a lot of thermal inertia. I decided not to endanger the PC further, so I removed the two 1-GB RAM sticks, and re-installed the original two 512-MB RAM sticks they had replaced, for a total of 1.5 GB of RAM.

Well, this was a learning experience!

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