RAM upgrade on ProBook 4530s

spdragoo

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So, my wife is switching over from using her SMART Slate with her Macbook Air (provided by the college she works at), & I now get to use her HP ProBook 4530s. I know that, since we bought it back in 2012, the specs are a little dated now (core i3-2350M Sandy Bridge CPU, PC3-10600/1333MHz DDR3 RAM, 500GB HD, Intel HD 3000 iGPU), but I'm not planning on major gaming with it -- most likely limited to Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, maybe Age of Empires 2/Starcraft/Rise of Nations, maybe even Halo: CE -- so for the most part it should be fine.

That being said, I wouldn't mind perhaps improving it a little bit. It has the original "Hyundai" RAM in it (4GB stick, appears to be CAS 9 based on CPU-Z), but there's a 2nd slot available. Normally, I'd have just made sure that I found a compatible part for it. The problem is, even HP doesn't seem to exactly provide the same part anymore. They list a replacement part on their support site for my particular laptop (using its serial #), but when I look for that part on Amazon, for example, it lists it as PC3-12800/1600MHz DDR3, with a CAS 11. And that's not just for the 3rd-party sellers, or even well-known brands like Kingston or Crucial. I'm talking about HP-branded RAM direct from HP itself.

Now, my questions are:

1. Do I ignore the CAS differences as being due to the rated speed differences (i.e. does CAS 9 @ 1333MHz = CAS 11 @ 1600 MHz)?

2. If there's a difference, then is there also a difference between CAS & CL, or are they just different ways of listing the latency?

3. Would it be better to get the HP-branded RAM (even though technically both sticks would be rated at different speeds), or would I be better off starting fresh with a new set of two 4GB sticks?

The main reason I'm asking is that HP wants about $90 USD for a single 4GB "replacement" stick, but I can pick up a 2x4GB Crucial kit from the local Micro Center for about half that ($50 USD for CL 11, $60 USD for CL 9).

4. Whichever way I go, is it going to be difficult to pop the new RAM in place, or should I consider paying Micro Center to install it for me?
 

spdragoo

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OK, so the answer for #1 through #3 are the same: if I want to upgrade the RAM, I'll need to buy 2 sticks, since even HP apparently doesn't sell RAM that matches the original specs exactly.

Still not decided on whether to order the RAM from Crucial directly, or just pick it up from Micro Center. Although the free shipping allows me to save $10, by getting it at the store I have the option of having them install it for me, or even having it immediately available for upgrade purposes. Thank you for the input, though.
 

spdragoo

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OK, so I picked up the Crucial kit from Micro Center yesterday (same kit as they had on their website), installed it last night, & it's working just fine. I know, it cost a little more to get it from the store, but I like supporting stores like Micro Center (one of the only one-stop-shopping stores for computer parts left in existence), it was only a few minutes out of my way coming home from work, & it meant I could install it the same day that I purchased it.
 
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