The Curious Case of the Half-Recognized RAM: Insights into Dell G5 5505 SE


“Why is my Dell G5 5505 SE laptop, which I upgraded with two 8GB Kingston FURY Impact memory sticks, only recognizing 8GB of RAM in Windows and BIOS, despite CPU-Z reporting a full 16GB? Could this discrepancy indicate a malfunction in one of the memory slots, and if so, why would CPU-Z still detect 16GB?”


When upgrading your laptop’s memory, you expect a seamless increase in performance and multitasking capabilities. However, encountering a situation where your operating system and BIOS only recognize half of the installed RAM can be perplexing and frustrating. This is the case with a Dell G5 5505 SE laptop that has been upgraded with two 8GB Kingston FURY Impact memory sticks, yet Windows 11 and the BIOS report only 8GB of available RAM. Meanwhile, CPU-Z, a diagnostic tool, contradicts this by indicating a full 16GB.

The discrepancy between the system’s reported RAM and CPU-Z’s readings could stem from several factors. The BIOS and Windows operating system rely on the system’s hardware configuration to report available memory. If there is a malfunction in one of the memory slots, the system may fail to recognize one of the memory sticks, thus showing only 8GB of RAM.

On the other hand, CPU-Z reads data directly from the memory sticks’ SPD (Serial Presence Detect) chips, which contain information about the memory’s size, speed, voltage, and other specifications. Even if the system isn’t utilizing the full capacity of the RAM due to a hardware issue, CPU-Z may still report the total amount of memory it detects from the SPD chips.

Potential Causes and Solutions


Memory Slot Malfunction

: If one of the memory slots is malfunctioning or has poor contact with the memory stick, it could result in the system not recognizing the RAM installed in that slot. Cleaning the connectors and reseating the memory sticks, as you have done, is a good first step. If the issue persists, the slot may be damaged, and professional repair or motherboard replacement might be necessary.


Incompatible Memory

: While the memory sticks are from a reputable brand, there could be compatibility issues with the laptop model. Ensuring that the memory is listed as compatible with the Dell G5 5505 SE by checking the manufacturer’s specifications is crucial.


BIOS Settings

: Some laptops have settings in the BIOS that affect memory recognition. Resetting the BIOS to default settings or updating it to the latest version, which you’ve mentioned has been done, can sometimes resolve these issues.


Operating System Limitations

: Certain editions of operating systems have limitations on the amount of RAM they can utilize. However, since you’re using a 64-bit version of Windows 11, this is unlikely to be the cause.


Hardware Diagnostics

: Running the laptop’s built-in hardware diagnostics can help identify if there’s a problem with the memory or the slots. Dell typically provides diagnostic tools that can be accessed during startup.


In conclusion, the issue of the Dell G5 5505 SE laptop only recognizing 8GB of RAM is likely due to a hardware malfunction in one of the memory slots. While CPU-Z can detect the presence of 16GB of RAM through the SPD chips on the memory sticks, the system requires proper slot functionality to utilize the RAM fully. If standard troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, seeking professional technical support is recommended to ensure your laptop operates at its intended capacity.

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