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Compression-mounted laptop RAM is fast, efficient, and upgradeable

Compression-mounted laptop RAM is fast, efficient, and upgradeable

The first laptop with LPCAMM2 memory is finally here. The folks at iFixit found a Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 7) that uses LPDDR5X memory in an LPCAMM2 module that you can upgrade or replace by unscrewing it from the laptop's motherboard.

This is a big change from the existing LPDDR memory in most modern laptops. This type of memory is usually soldered onto the motherboard, making it more difficult to upgrade. LPCAM2 – or Low-Power Compression-Attached Memory Module – provides modularity without losing the power efficiency of LPDDR.

Traditional DDR RAM uses SODIMMs that stick into that slot in the motherboard, just like a desktop PC. As iFixit notes, LPDDR is much more power-efficient, but it does need to be soldered directly onto the mainboard, as close to the processor as possible. Until now, manufacturers had to choose between upgradeable RAM and power-efficient RAM. LPCAMM2 attempts to split the difference by attaching the motherboard to the motherboard with screws rather than solder. And unlike SODIMM sticks, each LPCAMM2 module is dual-channel, so you only need one, not two.

As shown in a hands-on video posted by iFixit, you can replace the LPCAMM2 in Lenovo's new ThinkPad P1 by removing the laptop's backing and then removing the battery. From there, you can take the LPCAM2 out by removing three Phillips-head screws.

In addition to Micron, Samsung and ADATA are also joining forces on LPCAMM2. Hopefully this will mean you'll be able to upgrade your memory if it only comes with 8GB of RAM, but we can't count on every manufacturer to make the change.

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