Upgrade ASUS N56VM/N56VZ SSD & RAM

If you have a nice ASUS N56VM or N56VZ series laptop you may be wondering how to upgrade it for maximum performance. So here is a photo tutorial on how to upgrade the RAM on these particular ASUS laptops. You can also see get a feel for how to remove the hard drive & upgrade to an SSD as well as seeing the location of the wifi card.

NOTE: A number of people have asked what memory and SSD I would recommend for these laptops, therefore:
#1 My memory recommendation is this Crucial 16GB memory kit. It has a lifetime warranty and is confirmed to work in the N56 series.
This Corsair 16GB memory kit* is also recommended as it has a lifetime warranty and is confirmed to work in the N56 line.
(or if you only need 8GB, here is a nice kit at a pretty low price)
*Note: I generally try to buy my memory directly from Amazon and not from a 3rd-party seller that lists on Amazon. Unfortunately,  when I post these memory links directly to Amazon sometimes when they are out of stock they then list 3rd party sellers… So please pay attention to the ‘Sold by’ information directly below the buy button on Amazon.  
#2 My  SSD recommendation is a Crucial M4 SSD. I have a number of these in various capacities (mainly 256GB and 512GB). They are very fast and have been rock solid for me, plus they are quite cheap these days! 🙂

Overall it is a very easy process:

  • one screw secures the access panel
  • both memory slots are your standard DDR3 SODIMM type slots
  • the SATA hard drive caddy is secured by four screws, a standard 9.5mm SATA SSD is an easy and effective upgrade for this powerful machine
  • there are no particularly proprietary parts, they are all industry standard

Overall, the N56VM and N56VZ are both very user-serviceable machines. The only slight annoyance is the tiny rubber cover that is glued over the screw that holds the access panel in place. I would have preferred that ASUS simply left that screw uncovered.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
+always remove the laptop’s battery* before beginning any component removal/upgrade
+be careful of static electricity as it can damage your laptop. To ground yourself, periodically touch a metal object (other than your laptop) to discharge any static electricity -or- invest in an anti-static wrist band:-)

TIP: Make sure to click the photos to see them full size, as the thumbnails below are somewhat cropped…


These instructions are applicable to at least the following models and potentially many more ASUS laptops!

  • ASUS N56VZ-DS71
  • ASUS N56VM-AB71
  • ASUS N56VZ-ES71
  • ASUS N56VM-TB71

This laptop line is one of my favorites as they have an excellent blend of CPU performance, discrete graphics (with Optimus as well) and nice LCD displays including 1080p on some models! 🙂

Overall I rate this laptop 4.5/5 stars on easy of upgrade-ability, good job ASUS!

95 comments

  • abel

    great post my friend. just a simple question, can you tell me exactly which is the memory limit for this laptop, I am willing to buy 2 modules of 8 GB and 1600 Mhz, can you ensure that these new modules will fit. The information on the web is not clear about this.
    thanks in advance
    Abel

    • Hi Abel,
      Thanks for your great question!

      Yes, these laptops will support (2) x 8GB modules. If you’re looking for a nice set of high speed 1600MHz DDR3 RAM that will work, my recommendation is:
      Corsair Vengeance Laptop Memory Kit 16 GB w/free shipping and a lifetime warranty 🙂

      If you have any other questions or have any issues, just let me know!

      Best regards,
      -JD

      • Richard

        I have a asus n56vz but the asus site can only say that at most 8 gb of ram and has called for the asus and they say the same thing, which I find strange because I went to the intel site and this processor can handle up 32GB of ram!!, can you explain me?

        Tanks for you job 🙂

        • Hi Richard,
          Thank you for your comment. I am unsure why ASUS does not list higher memory configurations as compatible, but perhaps because it is because they do not sell those configurations and thus have not performed the necessary validations? Regardless, I can confirm (as can others if you Google it) that greater than 8GB works great in the N56VZ! 🙂 Specifically, if you want to go greater than 8GB and be safe I recommend sticking to the particular memory sticks listed in my articles as they have all been installed in N56VZ laptops and have performed admirably.

          Thanks again and have a great weekend Richard!

          Best regards,
          -JD

          PS Your English is very good and I appreciate you visiting my site, I always enjoy visitors from other countries! 🙂

  • Great article, I have one question though – which is kind of an off-topic.

    Is the cooling system easily accessible on this laptop? (for cleaning purposes)

    Thanks in advance,
    Emannxx

    • Hi Emannxx,
      Thank you for your comment. No, I do not believe the cooling system is super easily accessible. I believe you have to remove the large bottom cover which likely requires removing the keyboard. So not a terrible task, but not super easy either…

      Sorry to not be of more help and I apologize for taking so long to reply to your comment!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Peter

    So I could install a regular Samsung 830 SSD made for desktops or should I get the laptop kit version? (obviously the regular / desktop version is cheaper) Thanks.

    • Hi Peter,
      Thank you for your comment.

      The regular 2.5″ Samsung 830 SSD (non-kit version) is the better deal IMHO.

      As you may know, the only difference between the ‘desktop’ version and the laptop kit is that the laptop kit comes with:
      +a SATA-to-USB adapter
      +Norton Ghost 15
      those two items are only used if you want to clone your existing HDD to the SSD. There are also free/cheap options out there for doing the same thing.

      So if you are comfortable with (re)installing Windows or cloning your existing OS using hardware you already own, definitely go with the regular 830 package. If you need the cloning software and the USB -> SATA adapter, then the laptop kit is an okay (but not essential) option.

      I hope this helps, sorry to not be able to make it more concise!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Alex Gershwin

    I stumbled on your website while I was researching for disassembling Asus N56 in order to upgrade the WiFi card. It is really a very useful post! Well done! However, I could not upgrade my WIFI with the above post as further dis-assembly is needed. Did you happen to do anything further on N56 beyond the above post? In order to reach the other end of the antennas and replace them, the large cover needs lifting off which I failed to do for some reason. I unscrewed all the visible screws ( I think they are about 16 of them) but still could not take the cover off. I was not sure if the keyboard needs to come out either.
    Further instructions (if you have any) would be very much appreciated.
    Kind regards
    Alex

    • Hi Alex,
      Thank you for your comment. I apologize for not responding sooner.

      Unfortunately I did not dissasemble my N56 further than what is shown. However, I believe that the (large) bottom cover is likely secured by a screw that is under the keyboard.

      Sorry to not be of more specific help!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Etienne

    Hi, the msata connector is not shown here, can you explain and to access it? Thanks.

  • Thank you for this guide! As a new N56VM owner looking to switch to an SSD, I really appreciate the help.

    • Hi Jason,
      Thank you for your nice comment, I am very glad that the upgrade guide was helpful! If you install an SSD feel free to let us know which one you chose and how you like it. 🙂

      Best regards,
      -JD

      PS I enjoyed checking out your cool website!

  • Allan

    The N56VZ does not have an mSATA connector. You can install a regular SSD in the regular HDD location and it will operate as SATA III. Then use a caddy to mount a 9.5mm HDD in place of the optical drive, which will operate as SATA II. The optical drive can then be mounted in an external USB enclosure, although not sure if BluRay movies will play correctly at USB 2.0 speeds.

  • soshial

    I have a question.

    I’m thinking of buying version of N56VZ with 6 Gb RAM preinstalled (because it is a bit cheaper).
    Would all your techniques of placing 2×8 Gb memory stick still work with my chosen hardware options?
    Thank you.

  • Hi JD,

    I installed a Crucial m4 SSD into my N56VM. I had a problem using the data transfer kit: I copied all the data over, but the laptop wouldn’t boot to the cloned hard drive. Fortunately this laptop is nearly new, so I wiped out the SSD and did a clean install of Windows. I copied the few files I needed from the old drive using the data transfer kit.

    The Windows Experience Index went from 5.9 up to 6.7 for this model. The hard drive score went from 5.9 up to 8.1 and is now the strongest score for my laptop; it’s graphics that are apparently holding it back. The PC is now very fast and responsive. Can’t wait to put it through its paces for the rest of this weekend.


    Jason

  • mic585

    Hello,

    Im interested in adding an SSD , but i want to put it in instead of the dvd drive. How exacly do i go about removing the DVD drive and replacing it with a caddy? Also would it be better to put my SSD in the actual hard drive slot (and my original drive into the dvd drive)? Maybe this has higher speed , i’m not sure.

  • Allan

    I used the Silverstone TS06 kit to mount the hard drive in the optical bay, and mount the optical drive in an external enclosure. The TS06 comes with everything you need (except the hard drive and very small cross-head screwdriver) and clear instructions (follow the Lenovo instructions). For the SSD I chose a Samsung 830 128GB drive primarily for proven reliability, although it is also fast – 6 seconds from cold boot to login screen! You only need the bare SSD drive so buy whichever retail package is cheaper.

  • Allan

    Important clarification to my last comment: if you clean install Windows 7 and all the Asus drivers you only need a bare SSD. If you want to transfer the existing hard drive contents to the SSD you need the laptop transfer kit version of the SDD.

  • Christopher

    Hi, Does upgrading/replacing the hard disk avoids warranty?

  • Lizzie_B

    Hi J.D.,

    I just purchased this laptop and would like to install a 256 GB Samsung or other reliable SSD. I do not require a huge hard drive storage as this laptop is mainly used for wb surking and some light gaming and homework. It appears ASUS has already partitioned the stock hard drive so I am a bit nervous about performing this action. Can you recommend a good tutorial on how to do this without losing all the drivers. Also, should I make a recovery disk with the ASUS utility installed on the computer as they no longer include the recovery disk with the computer. How would I do a fresh install of Windows 7?
    Thanks!

  • Paul B

    Thank you.
    I’ve upgraded the ram on my ASUS R501 MV4142M from 4 gig on a single stick to 12 gig. Added single 8gig.
    Easy
    Again, thanks for the guide.

    Paul

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. That’s awesome that you have 12GB of RAM now! That’s more than any of my home computers, most of which are at 8GB or less. 🙂 How does everything run with 12GB of memory?

      Thanks again for commenting and congrats on the awesome upgrade!!!
      -JD

  • An ASUS reseller in the UK sold me a N56VM with 16GB of RAM. They put in 2 x Corsair 8GB DDR3 SODIMM Memory (CMSO8GX3M1A1333C9).

    The laptop features has an Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and an Intel HD Graphics 4000. Nvidia’s Optimus real-time switching functionality lets the GeForce kick in when it’s needed and kick back the rest of the time, limiting power drain and maximizing battery life.

    I have had persistent problems with the laptop crashing due to this feature. I believe it is a clash between the RAM when the Optimus feature switches, primarily when down-shifting to the Intel HD Graphics 4000.

    The laptop got sent back to ASUS support in Germany (LetMeRepair) and they rather unhelpfully only replied that the memory that the reseller used was “non-ASUS” and “not compatible”. Their BurnInTest was successful, and they sent me the laptop back without any fix, nor any suggestion of which RAM is compatible.

    Has anyone else seen this happen? If so, has anyone got a RAM recommendation to run 16GB of RAM in this laptop without issue?

    Get back to me on http://twitter.com/junto if you have!

    • Hi Ben,
      Thank you for your comment. I am very sorry to hear that the ASUS reseller’s choice of memory did not seem to work well with your N56VM when the switch from GT 630M to HD4000 occurs. 🙁

      A few suggestions and a memory recommendation follow:
      #1 Have you tried updating your BIOS, NVIDIA video drivers, and Intel video drivers?
      #2 Have you tried adjusting video settings in the BIOS and in the video drivers?
      Barring those suggestions solving the problem,
      #3 My memory recommendation would be: Crucial 16GB KIT 2X8GB PC3-12800
      ++Reason for recommending this RAM: there is a confirmed report of this memory working in the N56VM (specific details are in the comments after the review at that link).
      +Likewise, Crucial also guarantees compatibility with a similar (2x4GB) configuration on their website and this leads me to believe the 16GB kit would operate similarly (alas, since ASUS states a max 8GB of memory for the laptop, I doubt Crucial will actually guarantee the 16GB kit)

      Thanks again for commenting Ben, I hope some of this info has been helpful to you!

      🙂

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Hi Ben Powell,

    Have the answer for that problem, you buyed the memory ram with CL9 and must be at least CL10, they are the only one compatible with the i7 3rd generation,

    P.S: JD, Nice tutorial.

    JD could you please tell me what wifi card from intel can fit in these laptop? As my laptop (N56VZ) comes with a Atheros, and i like to change it to a Intel card, do you know in Amazon if someone is selling one?

    • Hi Alexandre,
      Thank you for your great tip for Ben, I am forwarding that info to him!

      I apologize for the delay in responding to your question, my top recommendation for a wifi card is the:
      Intel Ultimate N 633ANHMW it is readily available from Amazon at a great price and its performance is unbeatable IMHO. I have this card and get a 450MBs connection to my ASUS router, equating to a real world transfer rate of 20-30mbs over SAMBA (Windows file sharing).

      NOTE: I have not personally tested this card in the N56VZ, but since it does an amazing job in my current work laptop (and I bought it from Amazon) that is why I am recommending it to you…

      However, since I believe the N56VZ only has two antenna connectors, you can use one of these kits to add one more antenna internally if you so desire.

      I hope this info helps!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Pradeep

    Hi

    Thanks for this nice post, i should have visited it before, anyway i managed to replace HDD in my Asus N56VM, i7 3610QM, 8GB RAM, Nvidia 630m, 750GB 5400 rpm model with Samsung 256GB 830 series SSD, initially i had problems as this laptop has UEFI instead of BIOS and hard disk is partitioned using GUID patition table (GPT), though i couldnt figure out how to make this machine to boot from MBR partitioned SSD, i managed to do GPT partition on SSD and install windows8 pro on it and it worked well.

    now my laptop boots just in 8 sec, its very responsive and opening any heavy application is just a click way. in future i would like to upgrade RAM to 16GB, my question is does this model has any empty SO DIMM slot ?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Pradeep,
      Thank you for your helpful comment. Congratulations on your nice upgrade!

      Yes, I believe that the N56 series supports an empty SODIMM slot.

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Luis

    I need to replace my keyboard ASUS N56VZ DS71 Spanish version, you know how I can do, or any manual for dismantling my equipment

    • Hi Luis,
      Thank you for your question. With most laptops of the past (Dell, HP, even ASUS) it was a fairly simple task to replace the keyboard. However, with the new ‘island style’ keyboards it can be a more difficult task. There is a specific forum post on this topic and the N56VZ:
      http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus/671487-replacing-laptop-keyboard-asus-n56vz.html
      there are some options discussed there, but I believe the consensus is that unless the keyboard you are switching has the exact same layout as the original then you would need a different matching chassis piece (the top piece that goes over the keyboard. Also, removal is going to be inherently more difficult than a conventional style laptop as not just the keyboard has to come off (the entire top chassis is going to need to be removed).

      Unfortunately I do not still have my ASUS N56 series laptop to try to disassemble, so my knowledge goes only as far at the photos in this tutorial. 🙁 Perhaps another commenter will have some more info for you, sorry that I was not more helpful!

      Best regards and good luck,
      -JD

  • J.B.

    On the SSD upgrade, would you recommend starting from scratch on a new Windows install? Or cloning the drive? My laptop came with a driver’s disc, not sure if that’s all I need or not.

    Thanks.

    • Hi J.B.,
      Thank you for your email. My recommendation for ULTIMATE performance is to start from scratch with a new Windows install, with that option you can configure the machine exactly as you like and there will be no bloatware installed and you won’t have to worry about partition alignment issues that can occur during cloning. 🙂 If you are installing Windows 7 then much of your laptop’s hardware will be innately supported by Windows’ built in drivers or by Windows Update, what remains can likely be found on your driver disc.

      NOTE: for an even better install, since in-the-box driver discs do eventually become outdated, I recommend getting driver’s directly from your laptop manufacturer’s website which will guarantee that you have the latest and greatest version. 😉

      On the other hand, if you just want a quick change from HDD to SSD then cloning is not a bad choice. If I am short on time I will often just clone a machine. 🙂

      Please let me know if you have any specific questions and keep us posted on how your project goes!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Ian Fletcher

    Is upgrading to 16GB RAM only compatable with the four ASUS models listed (ASUS N56VZ-DS71, ASUS N56VM-AB71, ASUS N56VZ-ES71, ASUS N56VM-TB71)? I was looking into the ASUS N56VZ-RB71 or the ASUS N56VZ-RH71 and both say that 8GB memory is the max amount of supported memory and another forum I read said some people’s computers would not boot after upgrading. Also, Crucial says that their 16GB upgrade is not compatible.

    • Hi Ian,
      Thank you for your good question. While you are correct that ASUS & Crucial do no list 16GB (8GBx2) as compatible with the N56VZ-RB71 or N56VZ-RH71 (or any of the N56 line), I believe some modules will work, while other modules may require a BIOS mod to work… Here are the modules that are reported to JUST WORK! 🙂

      “Correct, if you use CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10 it will work, just install the RAM and you are good to go without mod BIOS.”

      Source: http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus/677457-asus-n56vz-16gb-ram-thread-3.html

      From further reading in other forums and online reviews I believe those modules will also work in the ASUS N56VZ-RB71 and the ASUS N56VZ-RH71. My recommendation would be to buy directly from Amazon (not a 3rd party seller on Amazon), whereby you would have 30 days to return the memory for a full refund if for some reason it did not work 100% correctly for you.

      I hope this info was helpful Ian!

      Best regards,
      -JD

      NOTE: for people doing a first time laptop upgrade, I would like to clarify that the issue Ian mentioned of people’s laptops not booting after upgrading is of course related to incompatible memory modules… and once those modules are removed and correct modules installed, the computer will boot again. 🙂

  • Hi JD,

    Unfortunately, the CL10 keep the same problem with the Asus N56VZ but only if you play heavy games, for work is great, what i have been recomended is to buy the Kingston Technology KVR16S11 / 8 GB de RAM, that is a CL11, i will keep posted, if i have good news.

  • Devans

    Currently in a world of pain trying to install a Samsung ssd in mine! It’s win 8 and I think the secure boot UEFI function makes cloning and swapping drives a nightmare/impossibility without an os disk , which you don’t get these days.

    Worst thing is that on my 40th ssd/hdd swap I have dropped a screw into the device. Scouring the net for how to split the case without damaging it now….just removing screws isn’t enough!

    So beware painful ssd swaps on Win 8 preinstalled…it may not even be possible…

    • Hi Devans,
      Thank you for your comment. I have not performed a Windows 8 clone yet so I appreciate the warning!

      I hope you are able to get things going the way you want soon. 🙂

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Dmitriy

    Hello. I bought reccomended Crucial 8GB kit, instaled it, but my Asus still sees only 4 GB Ram. Do you have any idea what is wrong with it?
    Asus N56VZ-ES71
    Win 7 x64
    Thank You!

    • Hello,
      Thank you for your comment. Can you verify a couple things for me?

      #1 What does the BIOS list as the amount of installed memory?
      #2 What version of Windows are you using? 32-bit or 64bit?

      With that additional information I can more accurately troubleshoot your issue. I am guessing that perhaps all 8GB is installed and operating correctly, but that Windows is just not utilizing it all.

      Thank you!
      -JD

  • Dmitriy

    1) I have Win 7 64-bit.
    2) Memory Information in the Bios List shows me 4096MB of total memory.

  • Dmitriy

    I think I found the reason why it does not work. I separated my new RAM, put off one of them, and I found that one is good, but with the other I could not start my laptop. When I tryed to start it has nothing, even any bios loading! Just looks like no power or something like this.
    So I believe that the problem is one part of the kit.

    • Hi Dmitriy,
      Thank you for your followup comment. Sorry that one of your memory sticks was bad 🙁 but great job troubleshooting! 🙂

      I always find it frustrating when a computer component is DOA, thankfully, I imagine you are covered both by the seller’s return period and the memory manufacturer’s warranty.

      Thanks again for comment Dmitriy and please keep us posted about your nice laptop!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Dmitriy

    Hi. What do you think, is it a good idea to buy another Crucial 8Gb kit from the same seller, or buy another kit, for example Corsair 8GB kit (like you recomended, but not 16GB, just 8)?
    Thank you for helping!

    • That’s a good question Dmitriy. I’m assuming that the Amazon seller was ‘WHOLESALE TAG’? If so I checked out their return policy listing and I *think* it’s going to be a pretty easy return for you.

      Normally I would recommend returning the defective kit to the Amazon seller and ordering a comparable one from Amazon, however, I cannot find one that is as economical and that is confirmed to work.

      Therefore, to keep costs low, my recommendation this time would be to return the defective kit to the Amazon seller and order from NewEgg instead.

      I apologize for the problem you had with the memory. Amazon originally carried the memory in stock and sold it directly, however, after my article was written Amazon ran out of stock and the memory is only been available from 3rd party sellers on Amazon. The article has been updated now but unfortunately not before you placed your order.

      Thank you again for your comment and please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you!

      Best regards,
      -JD

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  • J.B.

    All,

    I have a N56VZ-RH71 (Windows 8 pre-installed). I bought a Crucial M4 256GB SSD.

    I have completed my update with my SSD and Windows 8.

    I had a lot of trouble, but will try to explain along the way what I did.

    First of all, I’d like to start by saying thank you to J.D. for uploading detailed photos on how to change out the HDD and RAM.

    Okay…so…you install your SSD…now what. My first attempt was to take my stock HDD, make a repair disc, and also, make an image of my C: (roughly 45GB) and just put it on there. Didn’t work. So…what you need to do (and what I recommend doing), is doing a “clean install” of Windows 8.

    I was doing research on the Internet about getting the Install Media from Microsoft, ASUS, etc…and was on the phone with Microsoft for about 1 hour trying to get an install disc of Windows 8. Doesn’t work. They want you to purchase a full new copy of Windows 8 because our ASUS’ have it “pre-installed”. ASUS was no help either trying to get an install disc, they will tell you to restore your computer via the Restore Partition on your stock HDD.

    So…what I did, was download a program Belarc and found my Windows 8 product key.

    After that, I used an ISO file of windows 8 (i found using different routes [cough…torrent…cough]) and installed Windows 8 using that ISO file. However, I was never asked to input a product key, due to the fact that Windows 8 was already activated via your motherboard.

    Once windows 8 is installed…most of the drivers will automatically download / work. The only driver I had to download / update were the video card, and also, the keyboard driver that makes the backlighting work.

    Bottom Line: I highly recommend doing a clean install of Windows 8. Make sure in the BIOS that your ‘secure boot’ is disabled, and anything with EFI/UEFI is disabled as well.

    Hope this helps.

    J.B.

    • Hi J.B.,
      Thank you for your very informative comment, those are great tips!

      I too came across the ‘secure boot’ BIOS option/issue recently when working on an ASUS S200E, other people seem to think it is impossible to install Windows 8/Windows 7 clean on these laptops but it is actually quite doable with nice steps like you mentioned. 🙂

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Cal

    Great article. Informative! You also seem like a very nice person. 🙂

  • ashish

    Hello…
    what are the screws type?? Do i need a special screw driver to open up the maintainance compartment?

    Thanks.

  • Stepag

    Hi, and thank you all for the great tips about N56;
    I’m just bought a N56VZ-S4363H 15″/I7-3630/8GB/750GB/Flash SSD 8GB/WIN8;
    I would like to upgrade the HD 750GB with a “HD SSD 256GB OCZ 2,5 (2.5) SATAIII Vertex 4 retail”;
    Can I ask if OCZ is supported by N56VZ?

    Ciao from Italy ; ) !

    thanks

  • Jim

    Hi JD,

    When I installed my SSD (Crucial M4 512GB), it appeared that the removable cover does not snap back in as far as without the hard disk caddy unit. This leaves a small gap between the two plastic pieces (the HD bulge) which you can feel under the right side of the laptop while looking at the laptop oriented open in front of you. Do you have the same thing by any chance?

    It’s only a slight misalignment but I’d prefer for both of the pieces to sit flush!

    Regards,
    Jim

    • Hi Jim,
      Thank you for your comment, I apologize for taking so long to respond!

      I have not encountered that small bulge/gap. Is the bulge still present or were you able to re-seat the cover and get it to sit flush?

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Paul

    Hi,

    I replaced my 2x4GB samsung memory with kingstone and it caused bluescreens while using nvidia graphics. Asus warranty service told me that this memory is not compatible and now i need to change it. So if anyone tried to upgrade memory better avoid kingstone memory in this case.
    As SSD drive I’m using samsung 840 series, that replaces dvd drive and I cannot complain.

    • Hi Paul,
      Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear about the issue you encountered with the Kingston memory, do you happen to have the particular model # for the memory you were using?

      Also, congrats on the Samsung 840 SSD upgrade, that is a very nice drive! 🙂

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Paul

    @ J.D.
    Unfortunately I don’t remember the particular model of Kingston memory I had and I can’t check it because I’ve already sent them back to the shop for exchange.
    I asked for one of the RAMs mentioned in this article so I hope I won’t encounter problems any more 🙂

  • Ashish

    Hello,

    Can you please point me to some videos for n56VX series disassambly?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Ashish,
      Thank you for your comment. I searched buy unfortunately I have not been able to find a video that shows the disassembly 🙁 However, I can tell you that it is fairly simple (as shown in the photos) and does not require much time at all!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Hi guys, just wanted to chime in… I’ve just got myself an ASUS N56VM-AB71. Its a stunning machine, I absolutely love it so far!

    The pad can be very slightly in the way while typing, but thats easy enuf to sort by hitting [fn] and [f9] together to disable it, either permanently while you use a USB mouse, or temporarily while you type out your stuff, then just unlock it again afterwards using the same key combination. I especially love the adjustable backlight for the keyboard… sweet!

    Anyway, I am planning on upgrading my RAM to 16GIG as well soon. Based on my current research, it looks like the G.SKILL kit is absolutely the way to go, apparently it works with all these models flawlessly, its super fast, completely stable, and gives no issues during gaming. I can’t wait to grab mine… just waiting for the price to come down on Amazon! 😉

    Just thought I would add my findings and recommendation so far. Otherwise I highly recommend this series of laptops… I have no complaints at all… and being an IT/Web design guy, I’m pretty hard to impress. 😉

  • Jonathon Fertig

    Hello, I have a question. I have already upgraded my ram to the max(corsair vengeance) and need help with the hdd upgrade. I bought a Seagate hybrid 750G, and tried cloning with Seagate cloning software and cannot get it to boot up… Any ideas?

  • Jonas A.

    Hi.

    So im looking forward to buy the Asus n56vz, and install a samsung 840 pro 256 gb ssd in it.
    Do you think the ssd will fit? its 7mm thin? Im just kind of worried.

    • Hi Jonas,
      Thank you for your comment and I apologize for taking so long to respond!

      Yes, a 7mm SSD like the Samsung 840 PRO should work great in the ASUS N56VZ and Amazon has had them on sale lately.

      Thanks again and enjoy your nice laptop! 🙂

      Best regards,
      -J.D.

      • Jonas A.

        That was over a year ago 😛

        I’ve had the laptop for 13 months now with the SSD, and it works flawlessly.
        I’ve had no problems at all, and the installation was easy.

  • devileagleclaws

    Hi J.D,
    Can I know the CAS for the crucial ram.
    cause I saw in some other forum says that Asus n56vz cant play 3D games unless the ram’s CAS is @ 9-9-9 or 11-11-11. And speed must be around 1300mhz. Right now my ram is @ about CAS 6-6-6 , speed 745mhz. I want to change ram, cause i am a very heavy gamer, this laptop keeps giving me problem like shutdown while playing dota 2 or the screen suddenly freezes there. So before changing ram I have to confirm everything.Hope you can answer my question. Thanks

    • Hi devileagleclaws,
      Thank you for your good question and I apologize for the delay in my response.

      Thanks for the info on CAS compatability on the N56Z. Thankfully, the CAS for the Crucial CT2KIT102464BF160B RAM is 11 (CL11). 🙂

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • eonel

    Hi,

    Great article J.D. !!! Thanks

    I have a N56VZ-S4244H model where I have replaced the HDD by a SSD Samsung 840 Pro (great choice), and I have replaced the blu-ray optical drive by a 2nd SSD Vertex 4. All works fine and with a great performance.

    But now, I would like to upgrade the memory. Currently the notebook has 16 GB installed (2 x 8) when I have buyed this laptop (so, the defaut memory modules).

    So, I have 2 questions:
    1. If I change these default memory modules by 2 other modules descibed in your article (for Corsair or Crucial), can I expect to win performance ?

    2. I have seen that it is possible to upgrade to 32 GB, but I have searched on the internet, and I have not found memory module with 16 GB (to install 2 x 16 GB).
    Do you know if another slots exist on the laptop, to have 4 x 8 GB ? if other solts exist under the keyboard ?

    Thank you very much 😉

    P.S.: Sorry for my english, I’m french 😉

    • Hi Eonel,
      Thank you for your comment, I found your english to be very good!

      Great job replacing the HDD with that nice Samsung 840 Pro SSD, that is one of my favorite SSDs EVER. Also, very cool adding the 2nd SSD… I like to do that on my machines too. 🙂

      Now, regarding your two questions:
      #1 Since you already have a nice set of 16GB memory from the factory, there would be minimal performance improvement upgrading from your 2 modules to the 2 mentioned in my article.

      #2 The N56VZ has only two memory slots. I have not been able to find any commercially available 16GB DDR3 SODIMMs so I do not think 32GB (2x16GB) is doable at this time.

      The good news is that you already have a very nice machine! I find 16GB to be an excellent amount of RAM for most normal workstation tasks. The only time I have ever used more memory (24GB or 32GB) is in a server.

      Thanks again for your question Eonel and enjoy your cool N56VZ!
      -J.D.

  • Steven

    I have another very nice upgrade for a N56VZ. For example at school the 2.4GHz network is very crappy (because there are so much people on it), so I’ve installed a Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 network card in my notebook. I really recommend it for everyone who wants to use the 5GHz network, it’s fully compatible. Now intel has even a wireless AC network card (Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260) but i have no experience with this card.

    • Hi Steve,
      Thank you for your comment and you great suggestion!

      I like both the Intel 6235 and the Intel 7260. For 802.11n network I do not find much difference, but I do enjoy the new AC mode on the 7260 when I am on a router that has AC capability 🙂

      Could you elaborate on the wifi upgrade process? Where does a user go from here:
      http://www.jdhodges.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_7483.jpg
      It looks like the entire bottom cover needs to be removed to access the wifi card, is that correct?

      Thank you Steven,
      -J.D.

      • Steven

        Yeah this is indeed some kind of production issue from Asus. I know other people with an N56 and in some of them the screw is accessible, and in some of them the plastic blocks the screw. When the screw is not accessible you have two options, you could open up the entire bottom cover, or you can scrape away some of the plastic with a knife or melt it with a soldering iron which is a lot easier, but this could probably give you trouble with your warranty.
        If you decide to remove the back cover you have to be really carefully when you tighten the screws, because, unlike the access panel, these screws have screw thread tapped in the plastic. If the screw is askew or if you tighten it too hard, you could damage the screw thread and you can’t unscrew nor tighten the screw anymore. (I hope the translation is right because I had to use a dictionary for it)
        I know this because I made this mistake with one screw when I removed my backcover.

  • Keith

    Hi I have had an Asus N56VJ the UK replacement version of the VM model. I have been really pleased with the laptop i7 3630 quad core, 8 GB 1600 MHz ram, NVidia GT 635 graphics 2 GB DDR 3. The only weak part of the specifications was a 750 GB Hard drive at 5400 rpm. Watching HD movies from this drive caused stutter and loss of synchronisation of picture and sound, plus program load times were very slow. Following your advice I have replaced the HD with a Crucial M500 960 GB SSD. Not having a windows disc I used the windows 7 file recovery file in windows 8 and created a system disc to an external drive and copied this clone onto the SSD. There were no issues starts program’s instantly and everything runs much more smoothly. I now have a real powerhouse of a laptop for a total cost of £1150. Thanks again for the help and encouragement to make this upgrade.

    • Hi Keith,
      Thanks for your awesome comment. That is quite a machine you have, especially after the sweet 960GB SSD upgrade!

      I recently purchased my first 1TB SSD and I must say I am loving it 🙂

      Do you mainly use your N56VJ stand alone, or with a monitor/keyboard/mouse?

      Thanks again for commenting Keith and enjoyed that nice laptop!
      -J.D.

  • Alex

    Will this particular RAM work with my N56VZ?

    • Hi Alex,
      Thank you for your question. I have not used that particular memory model but yes, I believe that Crucial 4GB RAM will work well!

      Best regards and enjoy your nice laptop.
      -J.D.

  • Jeremiah J.

    I did my upgrade about eight months ago (16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport & a Crucial M550 256GB) and I’ve been very happy. Now, with my HDD (750GB) in the BD drive bay, I just mainly use it for storage. However, I’m finding that 256GB is just not enough, and am finding that when I try to run VMs off my HDD, they seem incredibly slow.

    What are your thoughts on putting a Crucial BX100 500GB in the BD drive bay? I’m concerned with bus speeds being slower and defeating the purpose of the SSD.

    • Hi Jeremiah,
      Congratulations on your nice upgrades!

      The BX100 500GB SSD looks awesome for your purposes and the price on Amazon is phenomenal!

      As for bus speed limitations, I do not think they will be significant. In my experience running VMs, even on a slowish SATA interface a SSD still shows huge performance gains compared to a HDD. I would be remiss to not ask how many VMs you’ll be using at a time and what applications/OSes you are using 🙂

      However, regardless of the workloads, going from any HDD (even 7,200RPM with a decent cache) to the BX100 should accomplish your purposes. I highly recommend the upgrade.

      Please keep me posted on your computing adventures and have a great week!

      Best regards,
      -J.D.

  • George K. Grace

    Hi!
    I wanted to say thank you for all the priceless and useful information/experiences posted here by everybody. I’m sure it has helped countless people looking to upgrade their ASUS N Series (Since this is the most informative and friendlier forum on the net).
    I just upgraded my Asus N56VZ 500GB HDD with a 480GB SSD and now I’m ready to take the step to upgrade from 4GB Ram to 16GB!

    One single question though; Would it matter if the kit is DDR3L? I’ve read they are backwards compatible (with DDR3) and the main difference is that DDR3L use a lower voltage, is this beneficial for the performance?
    Thank you!!!

    • Hi George,
      Thank you for your kind comment 🙂

      Congratulations on the SSD upgrade!

      The DDR3L kits should be compatible, however, I have not personally tested any in a N56VZ. There should be no performance difference between the two.

      Also, do you have the i7 CPU in your N56VZ? I have heard some people say that other CPU configurations do not support 16GB… but that the i7 does. I just wanted to give you a heads up on that, and also you might want to consider 8GB as a nice middle ground option?

      Thanks again for commenting George and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

      Best regards,
      -J.D.

      • George K. Grace

        You are welcome.
        What I said is true, this post is VERY informative and I’m sure it will keep helping ASUS owners out there.
        Regarding the Memory upgrade, I decided to buy the 16GB Crucial memory kit you recommend, because I want to make sure they work with my ASUS n56VZ (which is i7 by the way).
        Thank you again, I’ll let you know if I have any issues with it.
        And thank you for keeping this post alive.

        • Thank you for your nice response George 🙂

          I am very excited for you and I am glad to hear you have the i7 CPU!

          Please keep me posted and have a great week,
          -J.D.

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