How can you tell a number of chips on SODIMM memory by physical inspection?

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    I own sony PCG-Z505LSK notebook and found out that only single 256MB
PC[100|133] SODIMM with single sided memory attachement (memory on both
sides will not allow case to be closed due to slim design) which is
constructed using 16chips instead of 8 chips. Similar memory constructed
using 8 chips methods will only 128MB to be accessed under PCG-Z505LSK.
I understand this may be resulting from motherboard

Can somebody tell me what to look for and what it means to be using
16chips vs. 8 chips?

I have posted some sample pics from eBay posting.

**NOTE - following chips are  described as using 16 chips instead of 8

Thanks in advance.


Re: How can you tell a number of chips on SODIMM memory by physical inspection?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

(Picture of two module types)

Q: Why are there SDRAM SODIMM price differences among memory modules
   that appear to have the exact same specifications and what are
   the differences between 256MB SDRAM SODIMM High Density and
   256MBSDRAM SODIMM Low Density memory chip?

A: 256MB PC133 High Density memory modules are less expensive and
   have only chips on one side of the card (single sided 8 chips
   memory). However a great many older systems in use today often
   cannot support the newer, higher density memory.  Older memory
   controllers require 256MB PC133 Low Density memory -a memory
   module with twice as many chips because the chips used on that
   have a  twice-lower density. 64MB and 128MB modules can be
   single sided however when it comes to 256MB module the density
   becomes too high for the motherboard to support a single sided


Now, you say you need a module with only chips on one side, in order
to get it to fit. I see a Viking module, that looks like it might
be double sided, which is listed for your laptop. Crucial and
Kingston show only a 128MB module for your machine. (You can go
to the Crucial or Kingston site, and use their database to look
up potential RAM upgrades.)

There is little info about your laptop, at least in terms of
postings I can find in Google. If the chipset in your laptop
is 440BX, then that chipset (an excellent one for its time),
does have the issue with high density modules. On my motherboard
that uses that chipset, I do have 256MB DIMMs, but they have
16 chips (of 16Mx8 size each).

If a module with 16 chips will not fit into the SODIMM slot
of your motherboard, then you will have to shop for a module
which has only 8 chips of 16Mx8 (i.e. a 128MB module). If you
order the module from Crucial or Kingston, then they guarantee
it is the correct one for your machine. I got my 256MB modules
from them, and since I have four DIMM slots, I could in fact
use 1024MB total memory successfully on my 440BX chipset. Your
problem, is the slots are not going to allow you to maximize
the memory.

One web page claims your laptop has 128MB soldered to the
motherboard. Viking lists their 256MB module, and say it
will take a total of 128MB(soldered)+256MB_SODIMM. Crucial
says it is 128MB(soldered)+128MB_SODIMM. You can probably
tell by examining the area where the SODIMM goes, as to
whether there is room for a double sided module or not.

If you use a program like Everest, that program can list
more information about your computer, such as the chipset.
At least that can allow you to confirm what chipset is
being used, and researching that chipset will tell you
whether a 256MB low density module will work or not.

"Everest home edition"

I cannot tell you whether the Viking module is thin enough
to work, or whether Viking ever bothered to test that it
fit in the machine. RAM compatibility is largely determined
by the companies checking the chipset type used on the
motherboard, and they are less likely to know about the
lack of physical space. When a company like Crucial gets
returns, because the module did not fit, that could be
the reason they only currently list a 128MB module.

To summarize, this is my best guess as to what the
various modules would look like. These would all have
to be TinyBGA memory packages, to fit the SODIMM.
(And I didn't even know those old RAM, came in BGAs!
BGA stands for Ball Grid Array, and the pins hide
underneath the chip.)

       32Mx8 32Mx8 32Mx8 32Mx8    This is a 256MB high density
       32Mx8 32Mx8 32Mx8 32Mx8    module. It will likely not
      -------------------------   work. Neither Crucial, Kingston
       Blank Blank Blank Blank    nor Viking would sell you one.
       Blank Blank Blank Blank  
       16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8    This is a 128MB low density
       16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8    module. Crucial and Kingston
      -------------------------   recommend this.
       Blank Blank Blank Blank    
       Blank Blank Blank Blank  

       16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8    This is a 256MB low density
       16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8    module. Viking recommended
      -------------------------   something like this for your
       16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8    laptop, but I don't know if
       16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8 16Mx8    it would fit or not.

The picture of the Viking SNY93264 module here, shows the large
TSOP type memory chips. Chances are, that this picture is not
correct. If a product was sold on Newegg, they take their own
pictures of the products they sell. Most of the rest of the
Internet retailers use bogus pictures that do not represent
what they sell, making physical examination as a means of
determining module correctness, impossible.

As a result, there is a degree of uncertainty about your
upgrade. Ebay will sell you anything you want, leaving you
to decide whether it is correct or will fit or not. Crucial
or Kingston will only recommend a 128MB+128MB config.
Viking recommends a 128MB+256MB config. Maybe you'll end
up buying a 256MB, only to discover it doesn't physically
fit, and then go to Crucial and get their 128MB instead ?

Viking info is here (800-338-2361 for tech support):

Viking compatibility list:

While the pictures are super-tiny on this page, if you zoom
into the image of the SNY93264 here, there are no shiny pins
on the sides of the chips, meaning the memory chips are likely
TinyBGA. The 128MB module shown, looks like TSOP memory, but
in that case, a total of (8) 16Mx8 chips would work anyway
(4 chips on each side). Assuming it fits of course :-)
Call the tech support number and ask them about the fitting


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