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Upgrading the RAM in a Dell Latitude D430

Dell Latitude D430 RAM Upgrade

The D430 is still a competent ultra portable notebook, capable of running Open Office, browsing online and note taking for students on a budget or those just looking to have a cheap backup laptop.
The D430 is still a competent ultra portable notebook, capable of running Open Office, browsing online and note taking for students on a budget or those just looking to have a cheap backup laptop. | Source

Upgrade Your Latitude D430 To 2 GB Of RAM

When Dell launched the Latitude D430 for sale, it was available in a base configuration with 1 GB of RAM, a 60 GB hard drive and running Windows XP or Vista. Sure, XP will run decently with 1 GB of RAM for basic tasks like web browsing, email and word processing. Vista...I won't even go there. However Windows 7 also runs "OK" on a D430 in stock configuration, although it won't be the fastest. There are two things you can do to get better performance. One is to upgrade the hard drive to a solid state drive (SSD) or to upgrade the RAM to the maximum that it can support, which is 2 GB and also the focus of this Hub.

RAM Compatible With Dell Latitude D430

What Do I Need To Upgrade The RAM In My D430?

Tools and Parts Required:

  • Small Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • 1x 1 GB DDR2 PC2-5300 SO-DIMM Module

  • 5 minutes of time.

Upgrading the RAM should be the first thing you do with a D430 unless it already comes with 2 GB of RAM, which is the maximum amount that it will support. An extra gigabyte of RAM will make things a bit smoother, requiring less virtual memory usage with the internal hard drive, which is going to be slower than RAM.

The Dell Latitude D430 has a single user accessible slot for RAM. It is accessed by loosening three small Phillips head screws that hold a plate onto the bottom of the laptop. Once the screws are loosened, the plate can then be lifted off and placed to the side. In the photo on the right, you can see that on the logic board, underneath the slot for installing additional RAM, is the 1 GB of RAM that is soldered to the motherboard from the factory. This RAM can't be removed or replaced, but we can install an additional 1 GB of RAM on top of it in the slot above it to give us a total of 2 GB of RAM.

Upgrading RAM in any desktop or laptop computer is fairly easy and doesn't have to be a daunting task. In my opinion, upgrading RAM, although it might be confusing at first if you have never done it before, is one of those things that seems so simple once you've had a little experience with performing an upgrade like this.

Pictures Of Upgrading RAM In Dell Latitude D430

You will need one module of 1 GB PC2-5300 SO-DIMM 200 Pin RAM to upgrade your D430.
You will need one module of 1 GB PC2-5300 SO-DIMM 200 Pin RAM to upgrade your D430. | Source
Power off your D430, remove the power cord, flip the notebook over, then remove the battery and loosen the three screws as shown in the red circles, then lift the panel off the bottom of the D430.
Power off your D430, remove the power cord, flip the notebook over, then remove the battery and loosen the three screws as shown in the red circles, then lift the panel off the bottom of the D430. | Source
The panel removed, exposing the RAM slot and showing the 1 GB of RAM that is soldered to the motherboard already.
The panel removed, exposing the RAM slot and showing the 1 GB of RAM that is soldered to the motherboard already. | Source
Insert the RAM module into the slot, lining it up with the notch on the card.  Slide the card in at roughly a 45 degree angle, then gently press it down until the clips on the side lock it into place.
Insert the RAM module into the slot, lining it up with the notch on the card. Slide the card in at roughly a 45 degree angle, then gently press it down until the clips on the side lock it into place. | Source

Step By Step Instructions For Installing RAM In A Dell Latitude D430

  1. Remove the power plug, if it is plugged into the rear of the laptop.

  2. Remove the battery by sliding the two lock release tabs open the the sliding switches on the underside of the laptop, then gently pull the battery out.

  3. Loosen the 3 screws, circled in red in the photo to the right, that hold the bottom panel in place that covers the RAM slot and Wi-Fi card.

  4. Remove your RAM module from the anti-static bag or packet.

  5. Line the RAM card up so that the little plastic notch on the slot lines up with the cutout on the RAM card itself.

  6. Begin to slide the RAM card into the slot at roughly a 45 degree angle and then press it down so that the clips on the side of the slot engage and catch the card and hold it in place.

  7. Reinstall the bottom panel and tighten the three Phillips screws.

  8. Re-attach the battery and power adapter plug.

  9. Power on the laptop. You may be prompted by the BIOS boot screen that the amount of memory installed has changed and after a brief pause, you will be requested to press F1 to continue booting. Do so if prompted.

  10. Enjoy the boost in performance!

Dell Latitude D430 1 GB vs 2 GB of RAM

PCMark07 score with 1 GB of RAM.
PCMark07 score with 1 GB of RAM. | Source
PCMark07 score with 2 GB of RAM.
PCMark07 score with 2 GB of RAM. | Source

PCMark07 Score On Dell Latitude D430

 
1 GB of RAM
2 GB of RAM
Score
456
622
Note, these scores were generated with the free version of PCMark07, which runs 7 tests, mostly focused on graphics and storage, but still clearly shows there is a difference in the test being run, with JUST the amount of RAM installed changing. No,

Benchmarking Dell Latitude D430 After Upgrading RAM

Note: Given that this is an ultraportable notebook without a dedicated graphics card, one should not expect amazing scores to begin with as the D430 is similar in specs to a netbook with its slower hard drive, 2 GB RAM ceiling and lower speed Core 2 Duo processor.

To test out the difference in performance, I downloaded the free version of PCMark07, which runs 7 tests on a computer three times, averages the results and then computes a score, ranking any given desktop or laptop's performance. The benchmark tests ran slowly, which is to be expected given that this is a laptop manufactured in 2007, with a 1.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, a 5400 RPM 120 GB PATA hard drive. Its no speed demon and a lot of benchmarking applications these days focus more heavily on graphics, but it still shows a clear difference between 1 GB of RAM versus 2 GB of RAM in Windows 7. The score with just the base 1 GB of RAM installed was 456. The score with 2 GB of RAM was 622.

General Performance After Upgrading The RAM

The extra gigabyte of RAM makes it feel a bit more snappy, once we've logged in and have gotten to the desktop. Applications don't feel as sluggish, indicating that they were originally relying on virtual memory, beyond what the stock 1 GB of RAM could handle. Now, bearing in mind that this is an older notebook computer, it wasn't designed with gaming in mind, so for browsing online, word processing and just general basic usage...it's a very capable laptop, and can be had for fairly reasonable prices both online with places like eBay, and also from surplus auctions where colleges and universities may be offloading them from their inventory as they upgrade to newer laptops. Just don't expect it to be able to run Photoshop very quickly or play any graphics intensive games.

For mine, its used mostly for web browsing with Google Chrome, writing Hubs with Open Office and I can attest that the stock configuration runs like a dog with both applications open running Windows 7 on a single gigabyte of RAM. I'm sure that Windows XP would run decently fast on it in that configuration, since that was the original OS that shipped with it, but I wouldn't dare re-install XP what with potential security issues since it is no longer being updated by Microsoft. With 2 GB of RAM though, Windows 7 runs reasonably well and having Chrome open with multiple tabs, Open Office loaded with a few documents, and Adobe Reader doesn't bring it to its knees. The only thing that could make it faster would be an upgrade to an SSD, though that's a story for another Hub down the road.

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3 comments

jesimpki profile image

jesimpki 8 months ago from Radford, VA Author

You're welcome Carsten! Glad this helped you!

Mike, that's interesting, I'll have to give that a try in my own and see if Windows 10 recognizes the extra RAM.


mike 9 months ago

Hi i have a dell latitude D430 . it can take 8gb ram. I run linux os and it says this in a scan of the CPU

Memory: Array-1 capacity: 4 GB devices: 2 EC: None

looks like each core can take max 4GB chip. which is nice.


Carsten 12 months ago

Thank you for the write-up. I just replaced the 512MB that were in that slot by 1 GB

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