Samsung Q1 goes under the knife again: more RAM is the diagnosis

Q1_512 Well, since my two week return actually expired yesterday, it looks like I’m keeping the Samsung Q1 UMPC. I’ll have a full review and my reasoning as soon as I can. I actually thought my 14-days expired today, but James set me straight via a Skype video chat this morning. It was actually difficult to understand him because he was using the Sony UX; the conversation was in Japanese with English subtitles. ;)

So "Sammy" went under the knife again. This time it wasn’t just to see his private parts, it was to upgrade his memory from 512 MB to 1 GB of DDR2 RAM. You can see by my snipping here that he was only functioning with half his capable memory, so a planned purchase from last week that was sitting in a box was the ticket. Just why do they need a 1 cubic foot box for a small RAM module, anyway? Well, that’s besides the point: if you’re a faithful watcher of E.R. or just want to know how to upgrade the RAM on a Q1, this one’s for you.

BEFORE I BEGIN: if you decide to upgrade your Sammy, you’re on your own in terms of liability meaning: don’t blame me if something breaks! I’m sure that the warranty is void as well, so keep that in mind when making this choice.

DISCLAIMER #2: I didn’t think to boot into the AVS Station software after the upgrade, but Ramon did. He reports that the Windows XP Embedded side doesn’t boot after the upgrade and I confirmed the same behavior. I’ll be researching, but in the meantime, you should be aware of this issue.

You’ll need a small Philips-head screwdriver and a 1 GB DDR2-533 SODIMM, 200-pin replacement chip which can easily be found online. At the time of this writing, expect to pay between $108 and $185 for this. The first step is to make sure the device is powered down, unplugged and has the battery removed. Then, carefully remove the six screws that I’ve highlighted below.

Q1_ram_1

Once the screws are removed, the back cover of the case can be removed. Be very careful as there are two small "teeth", one on the left side and one the right side that keep the front and back together. Don’t rush this step. Once you’ve removed the back case, you’ll see the 512 MB RAM module in the center of Sammy’s guts.

Q1_512_1

See the two silver clips, one on each side of the RAM chip? Those are what keep the SODIMM module held in place. Carefully slide each clip away from the module, from inside to outside. Don’t be alarmed when the RAM chip pops up at a 45-degree angle; the clips are what hold it down, so this is expected.

Q1_45

Now the the 512 MB module is sticking up, carefully slide it out at the same angle from the memory bank. Once removed, you simply reverse the instructions by sliding the 1 GB module in at an angle, gently press it down flat against Sammy and move the silver clips back in place to hold it down. Once completed, you’ll see your 1 GB memory module in place and you can carefully replace the cover.

Q1_1gb

After all of the screws are back in place and Sammy is one piece again, you can replace the battery and or plug in the AC adapter. Once Sammy has a power source, just boot back up; there’s no need to make any adjustments in the BIOS as the Q1 and Windows XP will automatically identify and use the additional memory as evidenced by the below snipping after boot-up.

Q11gb_1

Although I haven’t benchmarked anything yet, the Samsung Q1 appears to respond a little snappier with the extra RAM. Keep in mind that the Intel graphics will use up to 128 MB of memory from your RAM module, so without the upgrade, there could be times where you’re running apps with a maximum of 384 MB of RAM; not an ideal amount of memory for running Windows XP Tablet Edition and a few apps concurrently. One other note; I booted into my Windows Vista partition after the upgrade. Previously, Vista was understandably sluggish on the Q1; with the extra memory, I see a marked difference in the response time of the new OS, so I may end up doing additional testing in that area. Watch for updates.

Since I had the case cracked open and some folks asked for additional pics the last time, here are some more, in no particular order for you sick-o’s.

-kct

Q1_usb

Q1_fan

Q1_boards

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