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AK Dave AK Dave is offline
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Default Re: First Mini 10s will be limited to 1GB RAM - 03-01-2009, 02:37 AM

Initially I thought "DDR2-800, cool I can buy that at Crucial". But then I read "connectors: none". Dell is simply specifying the chip, not the module. So unless you're into soldering your own ram, don't count on an upgrade. By soldering the ram, Dell is ensuring that you have to pay for the upgrade up front and to them and cannot save a couple coins on a 3rd-party part.

I don't see this as having anything to do with lawsuits, but instead having everything to do with maximizing their per-unit profits. Or at least attempting to.

The advantage that soldered ram offers them is a cheaper motherboard. They buy the ram as chips, not as modules, and don't include a connector. Maybe that saves $1 per motherboard, but in volume. The disadvantage is that they're locked into an inventory of 2 different motherboards (1gb & 2gb) but with modern international just-in-time logistics and really good supply chain management this should be a zero problem. In the old days you built a stock of computers and kept a supply of parts to build more or customize individual orders. These days, you pull parts and make to order, so if your inventory says you need another X to build a specific order then by the time your assemblers get to building that order the part has been ordered, manufactured, and was delivered that very morning.

I don't begrudge Dell the right to make a profit off computer sales. The specs on the Mini-10 tell me two things: order the unit EXACTLY the way I want it when the time comes, and buy more Dell stock because its going up.


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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default Re: First Mini 10s will be limited to 1GB RAM - 03-01-2009, 02:35 PM

Since I can't find the actual service manual, just the user manual, I can't be sure, but someone else mentioned a "daughterboard". This makes sense, especially if they plan to offer choices in processors. The daughterboard contains the CPU and memory and is a changeable part, but not a generic one. I don't see that this actually saves Dell money, as the connector for this has to cost more than a generic SODIMM slot, but perhaps it means lower failure rates for manufacturing.


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zrtom zrtom is offline
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Default Re: First Mini 10s will be limited to 1GB RAM - 03-01-2009, 03:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by holmes4
Since I can't find the actual service manual, just the user manual, I can't be sure, but someone else mentioned a "daughterboard". This makes sense, especially if they plan to offer choices in processors. The daughterboard contains the CPU and memory and is a changeable part, but not a generic one. I don't see that this actually saves Dell money, as the connector for this has to cost more than a generic SODIMM slot, but perhaps it means lower failure rates for manufacturing.

Here's the service manual:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/s ... /index.htm
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/s ... /index.htm

Also, my reading from Intel (link below) about the System Controller Hub US15W that supports the Z5xx and the GMA500 graphics chips says 1GB max. memory. Does that mean the next version (supporting 2GB) will use something different??

http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/em ... /index.htm


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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default Re: First Mini 10s will be limited to 1GB RAM - 03-01-2009, 04:23 PM

Ok - that connector for the "2-in-1" daughterboard is same design as a SODIMM or Mini-PCIe connector. You're right that if 2GB was to be supported in the future, they'd need a different chipset.


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Valk Valk is offline
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Default Re: First Mini 10s will be limited to 1GB RAM - 03-01-2009, 06:45 PM

* edit. seems my post was alrady mentioned =)*

A little bit off the current thread direction perhaps... I can understand why you guys are frustrated with the limited ram options with this machine, but why so suprised?
the 10 and 12 are some of the first netbooks based on paulsbo. the chipset designed for atom from the getgo. it isnt dell's fault they are limited to 1 gb. and it isn't m$ sticking their nose where it doesn't belong either.
Intel engineered paulsbo to only support 1gb of ram from the beginning. so unless the oe's switch to nvidia ion or intel adds additional memory support to the next revision of their chipset, its not happening heh.

we should be happy though. the mini's are currently some of the only atom based machines that can handle h264 in hardware.
trim the os properly and upgrade to an ssd, i don't see any reason it should be real slow.

ah. my first post. hi guys~!
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AK Dave AK Dave is offline
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Default Re: First Mini 10s will be limited to 1GB RAM - 03-02-2009, 03:04 AM

Intel designed the chipset to only support 1gb because MS insists that netbooks running XP be limited to 1gb. You're right that isn't Dell's fault, but the 1gb limit to Poulsbo has nothing to do with some hardware limitation of the Z5x0 or the GMA500. Yes, it is MS sticking their nose into Intel's business.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the 1gb limit will be in effect until the Z540 is rolled out later this year, and then the only CPU/ram combo for the Mini-10 that involves 2gb of ram will be paired with the Z540. And vice-versa. Time will prove me right or wrong.

My theory is that since Dell has engineered the MIni-10 (the 1010) with a daughterboard for the CPU/ram they probably also want to minimize the number of different parts combos for the 1010. It doesn't make sense to keep an inventory of 3 different CPUs, each with 2 different ram configurations, when all they really need to keep is an inventory of 3 different CPUs each with one fixed ram set. Since 2gb will require something "next" after Poulsbo, it makes sense to roll that chipset out with the Z540. At that point I expect the Mini-10 to be sold with Vista & 2gb instead of XP & 1gb, thus dodging MS's insistence that XP netbooks be sold with only 1gb of ram.

So... new chipset plus new CPU plus new ram config in new daughterboard with different stock OS. Hopefully still with an Ubuntu option, but I haven't seen any evidence that the GMA500 driver module functions with a linux kernel beyond the 2.6.24 series (ie, Ubuntu Hardy). Or maybe thats an Xorg limit, not a kernel module limit. Either way, it limits the current Mini-12 and Mini-12 to the equivilant of Ubuntu Hardy.

Now, what is interesting in all of this is that Sony sells a "Vaio-P" netbook with a Z520 and ... wait for it ... 2gb of ram. And Vista. Its Vista which makes the Vaio-P such a dog, and being tied to the Z520 instead of the Z530 doesn't help one bit. But this is proof positive that the Z5x0+GMA500 (presumably with Poulsbo) does not have to be constrained to 2gb. It is simply that Dell chooses to bundle it this way at this time.

Thus my prediction:
Dell will roll out a Mini-10 option for a Z540 w/ 2gb, this will be the only way to get the Z540 or 2gb, and they'll sell it with Vista not XP.

Thats my prediction. But I also think that Dell is going to be smart enough to realize that the Ubuntu Minis sell at least as well as the XP ones so they'll still offer Ubuntu for the Z540/2gb Mini-10 when it comes out. But maybe with a 2-3 month delay, as in the rollout of the Mini-12.

Why the Ubuntu delay? I'm sure that Dell makes a few bucks off of Windows sales (XP or Vista), so I consider the 2-3 month delay for Ubuntu-preloads to be an "early adopter tax".

Thus my expectation to see an Ubuntu Mini-10 w/ Z540 & 2gb under my Christmas tree and not much before then.

But at this point what I am really holding out for is a netbook built around nVidia's marriage of the Atom and the 9400:
http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3478


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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default Re: First Mini 10s will be limited to 1GB RAM - 03-02-2009, 02:12 PM

I doubt that Microsoft had anything to do with this. Intel has been unable to interest Microsoft in the MID (Mobile Internet Device) platform and has pushed ahead with Linux, especially the Moblin distribution. Poulsbo is featured in a number of MID designs for which Windows is unavailable.

Note that Microsoft's restriction applies only to "ultra low cost computers" running XP and is a limit on configurations sold by the vendor, not on the actual platform capabilities (witness the Mini 9).


Steve
Mini 9|2GB RAM|64GB RunCore|Intel 5300|Windows 10
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