If you look at the exterior of the Dell Precision 7670, you might mistake it for a chunky corporate laptop from 15 years ago. There’s nothing in the dull grey exterior that indicates it’s hiding technology that might just revolutionize the PC market. But crack that sucker open with Gordon in the latest PCWorld video, and you might just be shocked at what’s hiding inside.
This laptop is one of the first models on the market to use a brand new standard for memory, CAMM, which we’ve covered in depth when the concept was introduced. That stands for Compression Attached Memory Module, which replaces the DIMM and SO-DIMM standard that’s been used in laptops and desktops for decades. The new design has a few advantages. While it’s physically larger than a piece of SO-DIMM memory, it’s more spread out, allowing for up to 128GB of memory on a single circuit board.
The memory and connection plate are also far, far thinner, with electrical contacts that look more like a processor socket than a traditional memory slot. That’s a huge advantage for laptop builders, which have been leaning into soldered RAM instead of user-accessible SO-DIMM slots for years just to save a few millimeters of Z-height. Dell’s design also minimizes the physical distance between the memory and the CPU.
The CAMM design is a little less user-friendly than conventional RAM modules, as it requires you to remove six screws and a stiffening plate (at least on this version) instead of simply popping off a couple of retention clips. But for anyone who feels comfortable popping off the back of their laptop, it’s still fairly straightforward.
While the CAMM system is a Dell patent and technically a proprietary format, the company is trying to work with Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) to license it as a memory standard. Whether any of Dell’s competitors will be willing to hop on the bus (har har) remains to be seen. For more explainers on the latest in PC technology, be sure to subscribe to PCWorld on YouTube!
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.