Dell Inspiron N5110 RAM Upgrade

If you open Google and search for Dell Inspiron N5110 RAM upgrade, the first couple of search results point to support threads on the Dell community website. In one such help thread, a person from Dell support says that this laptop doesn’t support a 1600 MHz memory module. Let’s see if it is actually true.

In the setup guide for this laptop, it says the memory type supported is 1333 MHz SODIMM DDR3. See Figure 1. Also, note that the maximum memory supported by this laptop is 8 GB.

Memory type supported by Dell Inspiron N5110 is 1333 MHz SODIMM DDR3
Figure 1: Memory type supported by Dell Inspiron N5110 is 1333 MHz SODIMM DDR3

Now, the question is what happens if you use a 1600 MHz DDR3 memory module with this laptop? I tried it. I tried a Samsung 4 GB 1600 MHz memory module in my Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop. It has got an Intel i3 series processor.

Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop's motherboard running 1600 MHz memory module at 1333 MHz speed
Figure 2: Dell Inspiron N5110 laptops motherboard running 1600 MHz memory module at 1333 MHz speed

As you can see in Figure 2, the BIOS utility shows the Memory Speed as 1333 MHz. So, this laptop’s motherboard will run a 1600 MHz DDR3 memory module at 1333 MHz speed.

If you use two memory modules, one that runs at higher speed, say 1600 MHz, and the other that runs at a lower speed, say 1333 MHz, then the motherboard will run both memory modules at the lowest speed of the two, which in our examples is going to be 1333 MHz.

Dell Inspiron N5110 RAM Upgraded to 8 GB

I had to upgrade RAM of my Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop because 4 GB was not enough. I inserted two memory modules in the sockets of my laptop. One memory module was Samsung 4 GB 1600 MHz PC3L-12800S (see Figure 3), and the other was SK Hynix 4 GB 1333 MHz PC3-10600S (see Figure 4). The BIOS showed total memory as 8 GB and memory speed as 1333 MHz (see Figure 5).

Samsung 4 GB 1600 MHz PC3L-12800S Memory Module
Figure 3: Samsung 4 GB 1600 MHz PC3L-12800S Memory Module
SK Hynix 4 GB 1333 MHz PC3-10600S Memory Module
Figure 4: SK Hynix 4 GB 1333 MHz PC3-10600S Memory Module
Dell Inspiron N5110 RAM Upgraded to 8 GB
Figure 5: Dell Inspiron N5110 RAM Upgraded to 8 GB

Did this become a Dual-Channel configuration? Yes, I checked in CPU-Z (see Figure 6). The motherboard supports the above two given memory modules in a dual-channel configuration.

CPUz showing 8 GB RAM in dual-channel configuration Dell Inspiron N5110
Figure 6: CPUz showing 8 GB RAM in dual-channel configuration

Does more RAM means higher performance?

Generally, having more RAM would not result in higher performance. If you want to see a noticeable increase in the performance of your laptop, then you need to use Solid State Drive (SSD) instead of mechanical Hard Disk Drive (HDD). You need more RAM when you want to

  • Open a lot of tabs in your web browser
  • Open a lot of programs simultaneously
  • Run heavy games or graphics editing programs

Conclusion

You can use a 1600 MHz DDR3 memory module with a Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop. But the laptop’s motherboard will run this memory module at 1333 MHz speed. The laptop motherboard supports a maximum of 8 GB of memory. Though, some people have reported that they were able to use 16 GB memory with this laptop.

Is there anything I missed? Or do you have something else to contribute? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!

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