My Lenovo ThinkPad T61p now has 8GB of RAM

Kingston Technology was kind enough to sent some evaluation 4GB SoDIMMs to me for installation and testing.  They arrived a little later than expected this week but were sitting on the front porch when I got home tonight.  They are now installed and I thought a quick screenshot might be in order.  As you can see, the overall speed rating from the Windows Vista WinSAT assessment test is the same, but I have twice the capacity as before.

I’ll be putting them through their paces as much as possible over the next few days before I head to TechEd 2008.  I need to finish getting through some UNIX interop content first thing in the morning then I’ll start building out an environment with some teeth.

What’s the current laptop world record for the number of Windows Vista virtual machines that are executing?  Might be fun to put up a number before my flight.


See or click the pic above for the Kingston ecommerce store price on the memory I received.

Comments (36)

  1. Dave says:

    Was there any problem getting the T61p BIOS to recognize the new Kingston RAM?

    I’m considering buying a T61p to run (64-bit) Fedora but was waiting until I was sure I could have 8 GB RAM.  Sounds like it’s imminent….?

    I wonder if Lenovo will offer the 8 GB option directly (like Dell does for the M6300), or whether I’ll have to order separately from Kingston.

  2. Keith Combs says:

    There were no problems at all.  I was already on the most recent BIOS (I think).  My BIOS is at 7LETB4WW (2.14) 3/24/2008.  I just pulled out the two 2GB SoDIMMs and popped the two 4GB SoDIMMs in.  No reactivation or anything else was required.

    You can buy the memory today directly from Kingston and I’m sure they are supplying the channel over the next few days, weeks and months with product.  I understand other memory makers will be doing the same as well.

    As for a 8GB option, I would imagine all of the OEM’s will look closely at offering a laptop workstation with more memory and a 64 bit OS.  Keep in mind this may require drivers and integration on their part, so don’t expect it to happen immediately.

  3. Stan Segers says:

    Can you manage (as in lower) the amount of memory allocated to the graphics controller to 512MB.

    I currently have a HP compaq nx6325 with 4 GB, but the bios takes away just over 1251 MB and not a thing can be changed about it. I’m looking for a replacement with 8 GB capability, but don’t want my foot caught in a shared memory trap again.

  4. Nice! (but a bit too pricey…)

    According to the Kingston site, the 6910p can only take 4GB RAM total. Not sure if they just haven’t updated that section, or whether it’s a limitation of the HP notebooks.

  5. Brandon says:

    I’m envious, so do you notice a real life difference?

  6. Ross'RosCo'Chronister says:

    My ancient ThinkPad is maxed out as far as hardware goes so this report will trip the scales in favor of purchasing a replacement. On a related RAM note, my clients do not know what to think of me when I tell them that I put antifreeze in my test machine desktop. It is a black edition Phenom 9850 quad core running at 2.8 GHz with eight GB of RAM,  Vista Ultimate 64-bit, at a cool 125 degrees, via the Bigwater 760i cooling system. Since I am an AMD guy, I wonder if Leveno will offer the Puma CPU on the ThinkPad? By the way bro, how is that report shaping up on Windows 7? Inquiring Okies would not mind knowing, lol!

  7. Keith Combs says:

    Windows 7?  What’s that?  At the moment Win7 is Windows division only but the floodgates will eventually open on the first public beta.  Usually those happen on the big Dev conferences.  Will see if history repeats.

  8. Keith Combs says:


    Most of the documentation on the internet is wrong.  Nearly every Santa Rosa laptop will be able to use 8GB of memory.  I’ll stick the two 4GB sticks in my HP 6910p tomorrow and post a screenshot or something.

  9. Keith Combs says:


    I haven’t noticed any big difference but I have just been running a couple of virtual machines today.  I expect the difference will show up when I try to run 10 virtual machines.

  10. Andy says:

    Keith,  how did your experiment with HP 6910p go?  Did it recognize the 8GB?

    I have a Dell D630.  Is there any way to confirm that 8GB would be recognized before I risk buying the SODIMMs?

    Lastly, if you don’t need to send back the 8GB, would you be interested in selling it?  🙂

    Thanks for sharing your experience.  

    For me, 4GB is barely acceptable right now for doing virtualization.  8GB would give me some much needed elbow room.

  11. Patrick Hedges says:


    Would you think that a T61 T7300 running Vista Ultimate 64bit would have a problem running 8gig of ram??


  12. Raj says:


    My T61p (8891CTO) with 4GB gets a 5.1 subscore on Vista 64 SP1.  It was ordered direct from Lenovo with my laptop.  I know this is a minor difference from the 4.8 you get, but why?  Overhead?  I think both are DDR2-667.

    Have you run enough apps at one time to be above 4GB of allocated memory, e.g. virtualization?  What was your experience?


  13. Keith Combs says:

    I have no idea on the 4.8 score on the memory.  I actually have two T61p’s.  I gave my personal T61p to my wife.  Is that love or what?

    Anyway, both have always scored 4.8 and I wondered if 800MHz memory would change that. I am not worried about it because I don’t think memory speed has ever been a bottleneck on anything I run.

    As to the above 4GB question, yes, I’ve been using more than 4GB pretty regularly over the last month while running Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, and several virtual machines.

    For fun, look at what I did at

    That’s 27 instances of Windows Vista and 1 instance of Windows Server 2008 all running on a single laptop at the same time.

  14. Tomas Varil says:

    Hi i would like to ask you about something. I have installed another 2GB RAM on my T61p so now i have 4GB of RAM but when the BIOS is starting it shows only 3 GB 🙁 OS is Windows XP 32 bit but i thought that bios has nothing to do with OS, so it should show 4 GB. Am I right? Any chance to solve this? Any ideas? 2GB of RAM is original Lenovo 2GB DDR2 667MHz and the new module is Kingston 2GB DDR2 667MHz CL5.

  15. Keith Combs says:

    What CPU do you have in your T61p?  The T7500?

    To see above 3GB, you need to be running the 64bit version of Windows Vista or some other x64 operating system.

  16. will says:

    Is a 64bit OS necessary for the t61p to recognize 8gb of memory? I wanted to put windows server 2003 enterprise on it and have virtual machines running. I read on Microsoft’s site that Server 2003 Enterprise support up to 32gb of memory. Any help is appreciated.

  17. Keith Combs says:


    That’s a really good question.  I don’t know the answer yet.  Actually, the specs at indicate Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise will go to 64GB of memory with the x86 version of the server OS.  Datacenter will go to 128GB.  

    Must be some pointer magic happening because there are so many addresses available in a 32bit address space.

    I’ll have to test this to see what happens on my T61p.

  18. will says:

    Please keep me updated when you do, as I am very interested in your results. As a traveling consultant, I need to have several virtual machines running different databases and versions of Siebel, and the 8gb on 2003 would be much easier then having the t61p on vista.

  19. Keith Combs says:

    Will, So far so good.  I installed Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x86 on my ThinkPad T61p with 8GB of memory then checked to see that the memory was recognized.

    All of the usual places like Computer properties, Task Manager, etc. show the full amount of memory is available.

    I really don’t have the time to install a virtualization product and load up a bunch of machines to really prove that it works, but the quick install and check looks pretty good.

    What was the reason for Windows Server 2003 as opposed to Windows Server 2008?  The applications you want to use in the native environment don’t run on the x86 or x64 version of Windows Server 2008?

  20. will says:

    Siebel is supported on 2003 for now and is not certified for 2008 Server. It will most likely run and I can test it out on one of the virtual machines, but Siebel/Oracle likes to cover their bases and perform extensive testing before certifying their products on a new OS.

    The other applications will be Oracle 10g, 11g, SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005, and Db2v9.

    Much thanks for your testing of this. I feel much better ordering my new t61p and the 8gb of memory. I should have in in three weeks and then I can begin the fun.

    I am assuming that this was the 32bit version of 2003 and not the 64bit.

  21. Keith Combs says:

    Yes.  x86 = 32bit.  

  22. John says:

    Has anybody installed a 64-bit linux os on ThinkPad T61P with 8GB of RAM? If yes, is linux using the full 8GB address space?

  23. will says:

    One thing, I noticed that you had the T7500. I ordered the t61p with the T9300 and wondered if that might be able to handle the 8gb as well.

  24. will says:

    This is the link to the 4gb memory that I ordered:

    Is that what you have in your t61p?

  25. will says:

    Oops, I just saw your Kingston link. So, it looks like the 6457 is able to handle it and mine is the 6459, same series, should not be a problem. Kingston is about $22 less than Crucial from NewEgg.

  26. Keith Combs says:

    The T9300 and associated chipset will handle compatible memory without issue.  It looks like the Crucial memory will work.  Expensive suckers though.  Too much for my blood.

  27. eLiNK says:


    just wanted to make a short comment.

    Don’t remember the source but I read that the Server versions of Windows are actually 36-bit systems, not 32-bit.

  28. james says:

    Hey I was wondering if this memory would work in mine. I have a T61P with the following specs:

    Product: ThinkPad T61 6460-8VU [change]

    Operating system: All [change]

    Original description: T7700(2.4GHz), 2GB RAM, 160GB 7200rpm HD, 15.4in 1920×1200 LCD, 256MB nVIDIA Quadro FX 570M, CDRW/DVDRW, Intel 802.11agn, Bluetooth, Modem, 1Gb Ethernet, UltraNav, Secure chip, Fingerprint reader, Windows Vista Ultimate x64

    another question is do these have to me installed in pairs? Or can I get one now and another one in a month or so.

  29. Keith Combs says:

    James, I would call Kingston to confirm.  I really don’t know if they are compatible.  I want to say yes, but a phone call would be a better idea.  I think you can so one at a time, or mix with other memory you might have for an odd total.  Again, while you are on the phone with Kingston or a Kingston reseller, they should be able to answer that question.

    If your machine has the Santa Rosa chipset, you should be good as far as x64 OS large memory support is concerned.  Just get the right sticks.

  30. ML49448 says:

    OpenSuse 10.3 on my T61p T7800 with 8GB of Kingston Value Ram recognizes all 8 GB:

    Tasks: 152 total,   1 running, 151 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie

    Cpu(s):  0.8%us,  0.9%sy,  0.0%ni, 97.0%id,  0.9%wa,  0.2%hi,  0.2%si,  0.0%st

    Mem:   8243856k total,   901892k used,  7341964k free,    47628k buffers

    Swap:  6345632k total,        0k used,  6345632k free,   487420k cached

     PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND          

    3637 root      15   0  846m  55m 8876 S    1  0.7   1:41.02 Xorg              

  31. ML49448 says:

    BTW, the Kingston ValueRam 8 GB kit from is 788 for the set:

  32. will says:

    Hello Keith,

     I got my T61p setup with 8gb now. Seems like the prices of those 4gb sticks are coming down weekly, Ha, oh well. But I now have it running Windows 2003 Server and then VMware for all of my virtual servers. It is so nice to be able to allocate each one 1gb of memory and have 6 servers running at one time. Thanks to you for being a guinea pig for this test 🙂

     Now if I had only waited another month, I could have ordered that quad core Thinkpad, 🙂


  33. Robert Green says:

    I see that newegg has G.Skill 4GB modules listed at around $200 each.  Has anyone tried those?  If they are compatible, I think I’m sold.

  34. Tomas Varil says:

    Hellon i have upgraded to vista 64 bit but, Vista is showing 4GB and bios is showing 4GB but when bios is checking RAM at the non quick but it check only 3012. Where is the problem ?

  35. Tom Lawrence says:

    Has anyone tried this on a T61 non-P (model 6465)? Kingston not listing an 8GB option for that model. I’d hate to spend that much money to find it didn’t work in that model.

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