Is Dell locking consumers into its products with proprietary DDR5 laptop memory?

midian182

Posts: 7,887   +81
Staff member
A hot potato: The upcoming Dell Precision 7670 laptop features a new form factor for DDR5 memory that it describes as beneficial to consumers, but many will likely see it as a way of locking buyers into the company's products.

Twitter user iGPU extremist tweeted images of the Dell Precision 7670's specs. The workstation boasts some beefy hardware, including Intel's desktop-class 55W Alder Lake-HX processor, RTX A5000 or Intel's Arc Pro 90W graphics card in a Dell Graphics Form Factor (DGFF), and a 16-inch display with a 16:10 4K HDR500 OLED panel.

But it's the laptop's DDR5 memory that is drawing the most attention, and not for positive reasons. Dell uses its proprietary Compression Attached Memory Module (CAMM) form factor that replaces the two SO-DIMM memory slots. The marketing image (top) shows a single-sided module with two zones, each comprising eight integrated circuits. Dell writes that the laptop supports 128GB of this DDR5-4800.

While the new form factor should make the Dell Precision 7670 thinner, lighter, and smaller, it could potentially limit users looking for a future upgrade path if Dell keeps the CAMM technology to itself, which it probably will. That would mean anyone wishing to increase their memory would have to buy direct from Dell and pay whatever it feels like charging.

We can undoubtedly expect the Dell Precision 7670 to carry a hefty price tag. Some other highlights include the 500 nits brightness, 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 spectrum, three PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots for up to 12TB storage with RAID support, a camera shutter, proximity and ambient light sensors, and Intel Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. No word yet on a launch date.

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Burty117

Posts: 4,488   +2,694
Hold up, it supports a desktop class 55watt CPU and pro GPU's at 90 watts, so it's a thick boi laptop anyway, and they're spending the time remaking the DDR5 form factor to help with lightness and thinness?

I hope this gets boycotted, how stupid of them.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,204   +4,242
This is just a bad move all around: Why bother? If you want to lock buyers into paying "you" for upgrades solder the memory instead. If you want to sell some of your own ddr5 modules but would like to offer the 'option' to upgrade memory then just solder some memory on the mobo but offer a sodimm slot.

All this accomplishes is making sure enterprise customers always upgrade their computers from you. Guess what? They already do that every company I've worked for always has this very large overall deals with PC manufacturers and doesn't just places a sporadic order they outfit entire office buildings worth of computers and laptops with a single vendor and often a tiny handful of models but mostly the same model.

So the customer that's more likely to buy ram upgrades because is the most likely to buy so many laptops from you that they actually end up servicing or upgrading some of them they're *already very likely* to only work with your official distributors anyway, all this is doing is generating bad press.
 

R00sT3R

Posts: 630   +1,857
I was caught out by Dells proprietary internals back in 2004, later I wanted to upgrade my GPU to the Radeon X800XT in ( I think) 2006, which needed a more powerful PSU.

Yeah..no standard mounting points or wiring connectors to or from the motherboard, so sold it off cheap, and got something else. A relatively simple GPU upgrade, turned into something far more expensive.

Not touched a Dell desktop or laptop since.


 

NintPlayBox

Posts: 54   +43
Why is Dell going back into their old be business practices?

Their proprietary parts is the reason people hated getting Dell computers back then
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,364   +5,588
Why is Dell going back into their old be business practices?

Their proprietary parts is the reason people hated getting Dell computers back then
Simple, dell went back to being publicly traded in 2018. The period that Dell took them private a lot of the proprietary BS died off, the moment they went public again all of it came roaring back. Gotta please the shareholders!
 

PurpleYoda

Posts: 174   +145
Come on, Dell has been using their own proprietary solutions for as long as my memories serves, this goes back all the way to the 90s if not earlier so what else is new??
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
It’s a laptop… expecting to be able to upgrade one with parts not supplied by the same company has always been fraught with peril - be it Dell, Apple, HP, etc…

Heck, even being to upgrade ANYTHING on a laptop isn’t always possible… from the same company or not…
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,697   +6,635
It’s a laptop… expecting to be able to upgrade one with parts not supplied by the same company has always been fraught with peril - be it Dell, Apple, HP, etc…

Heck, even being to upgrade ANYTHING on a laptop isn’t always possible… from the same company or not…
I have a Toshiba laptop. It was no problem to upgrade it from 4GB to 8GB RAM with SODIMMs I bought directly from Curcial. This after one module that came with the laptop failed, and I talked to Toshiba support and they helped me figure out what the problem was - a RAM module gone bad.
 

CowsGotMilk

Posts: 60   +151
Wait guys, you miss the whole image. Most of the new laptops, for like a year or two comes with soldered DDR4 memory, that you can't upgrade in any way, except replacing the whole motherboard with all of its part including CPU. Apple use this type of designs for more than three years. Soldered memory is mostly used, so they could make lighter and thinner laptops.

And DELL made a good problem solving move. It would be great, if other companies would follow it. So more laptops with upgradable memory would come back.

It's actually a good move! Ultrabooks will have upgradable memory!
 

bviktor

Posts: 843   +1,260
They do the same with their chargers, if I plug in a non-Dell USB-PD charger it complains it's "not Dell certified"...
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
I have a Toshiba laptop. It was no problem to upgrade it from 4GB to 8GB RAM with SODIMMs I bought directly from Curcial. This after one module that came with the laptop failed, and I talked to Toshiba support and they helped me figure out what the problem was - a RAM module gone bad.
I said “expect”… your experience is not the norm for laptop owners.
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 271   +191
I know what laptops I'll be avoiding for the law firm. Dell, I will ensure that my law firm no longer does business with you if you change the form factor of your RAM. That is not a smart move.