If you want to upgrade your Dell laptop memory, you may be out of luck

Inspiron 2021 Spring Lineup
(Image credit: Dell)

Upgrading the RAM in your Dell laptop may soon be out of the question as the PC maker has developed its own proprietary form factor for DDR5 memory.

As reported by Tom’s Hardware and first spotted by iGPU Extremist on Twitter, the Austin-based company’s upcoming Precision 7670 mobile workstation features its new Compression Attached Memory Module (CAMM) that houses the device’s memory.

While the full details on the Precision 7670 are set to be released later this month, iGPU Extremist shared photographs of the laptop which show what appears to be a single-sided module with 16 integrated circuits (ICs). Dell’s CAMM features two zones with eight ICs on each side and the design will probably run in a dual-channel configuration.

While we haven’t yet heard from the company regarding CAMM, its new memory module will likely offer a more compact alternative to replace two SO-DIMM memory slots.

Thinner laptops at the cost of user upgradability

Unlike business laptops which tend to be both thin and light, mobile workstations are known for being a bit heftier due to their more powerful components and larger batteries.

Through CAMM though, Dell will likely be able to simplify the designs of its laptops and make them thinner and even potentially lighter as more memory can be crammed into a smaller space.

While CAMM certainly sounds like a better implementation than soldering memory to a device’s motherboard, it would prevent users from upgrading the RAM on their devices using off-the-shelf components. Instead, they would need to purchase memory upgrades directly from Dell which would come at a premium.

Still though, Dell could decide to open up CAMM to third-party memory vendors to make future upgrades more readily available and cheaper for its customers.

We’ll have to wait until the end of the month to learn more about the Dell Precision 7670 mobile workstation and the company’s plans for CAMM going forward.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.