Sony VAIO Y Series RAM: use 2Rx8 instead of 1Rx8

First published on December 27, 2014

I recently upgraded a Sony VAIO Y Series laptop’s RAM from 4GB (2 sticks of 2GB) to 8GB (2 sticks of 4GB). (For those who have the VPCY216FD model, 8GB is the maximum supported amount of RAM.)

There are a few main things to look out for when upgrading RAM:

  • Size: laptop RAM is typically 200-pin and labelled “SODIMM” whereas desktop RAM is typically 240-pin
  • Speed part 1: DDR2 vs DDR3 for example
  • Speed part 2: PC3-8500 for example

All 3 of the above are usually clearly stated in retail listings and classifieds such as Craigslist or eBay. The first 2 elements are usually obvious and the third is usually OK if you get a speed equal or higher than what your computer supports.

There is another factor called memory rank that has to do with the physical density of the RAM. In my case, the possible ranks were 2Rx8 (roughly allowing 8 memory “nodes” on each side of the RAM stick) and 1Rx8 (again with 8 memory “nodes” but only on one side of the RAM stick).


For most newer laptops, the difference in memory rank does not matter. For the particular Sony VAIO Y Series model I had, the memory that I bought for the upgrade did not work — the laptop would not start booting Windows and would automatically reboot after a few seconds.

The online listing for the RAM I purchased never mentioned the memory rank; as it turns out, the RAM I had received was 1Rx8 and I found no available documentation stating that the laptop would not support 1Rx8. (In fact, the pictured clearly showed 2Rx8 on the sticker, but I received something different.) After much Googling, I found a forum post where someone else mentioned that their Sony laptop only worked with the 2Rx8 memory rank. I returned the 1Rx8 RAM and made sure to buy 2Rx8 RAM. Sure enough, the 2Rx8 RAM worked!


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