Gigabyte Aero 15-W8
(AERO 15 (i7-8750H) | Laptop - GIGABYTE Australia, n.d.)

TLDR;

The HyperX-HX426S15IB2K2/32 does not seem to be 100% compatible with the Aero 15 V 8 laptop.

X = CBD26D4S9D8ME-16 => Kingston memory shipping with laptop
Y = KHX2666C15S4/16G => HyperX memory

Memory Configuration Matrix
Memory Slot 1 Memory Slot 2 Configuration Result
X Empty Boots without incident (2666MHz)
Empty X Boots without incident (2666MHz)
Y Empty Blank screen - does not boot!
Empty Y Blank screen - does not boot!
Y Y Blank screen - does not boot!
X Y Boots without incident (2400MHz)
Y X Boots without incident (2400MHz)

Introduction

Just less then a year ago, I was in the market for a new laptop. I am a software developer and as such, it is no secret that gaming laptops make really good development machines. After much deliberating, I eventually decided on the Gigabyte Aero 15 15W V8. I went with the W variant as I didn't feel the extra graphic capability offered by the X variant was justifiable. I seldom play games. Maybe a little bit of Dota here and there. I also bought Elite Dangerous almost 2 years ago. In total, I have clocked just under an hour of playtime! I do dable in CUDA and OpenCL development on occasion. So some sort of dedicated graphic processor is nice.

I bought the laptop with 16GB of Memory with the idea that I would upgrade it if/when necessary. Well, this month that time arrived (I find myself using docker more and more). After spending a fair amount of time looking at compatible RAM. I read a number of horror stories for memory replacement on this model laptop. So, I realized this was likely not going to be a smooth upgrade experience. In the end, I wrongly decided on the HyperX Impact HX426S15IB2K2/32 32GB (2x16GB) 2666MHz DDR4 SODIMM kit. A number of individuals posted success with this kit so I gave it a go. Unfortunately, I could only get it to boot with a combination of one from this kit and the existing Kingston Module shipped with the laptop.

Installation

To remove the back panel you will require:

  • 1 X 6T Torx Driver
  • 1 X Spudger/Pry Tool, something that won't damage the laptop case

Turn off and unplug the laptop. Turn it upside down on a flat work surface. Place a cloth underneath if you are worried about scratches.

Remove the 13 Torx screws holding the panel in place:
LaptopBack

Put the screws down somewhere neatly as they go back in a specific order. They are not all the same length!:
Screws

Remove the back panel. I start in the top left corner, by the screen hinge and work my way down the towards the right. With the back cover removed you should see:
OpenWithOrginalMem
The memory is located within the red frame in the image above. Note the prepopulated DIM with the Kingston memory.

There are two little clips on the side of each memory module. Press them to the side and lift the modules up and out. To insert a new module, do the opposite. Insert the modules and an angle and then press them down firmly. They will snap into place.

Put the back panel on starting on the left and ensuring it clips into place. Okay, this is important, DO NOT SCREW IN THE SCREWS YET! You will undoubtedly have to remove the panel again when it does not boot. So before putting all 13 screws back, esure the laptop boots first! This will save you some time lots of cursing.

DUN DUN DUUUUN!!!

As already seen in the TLDR; section, I could not get the new Memory modules both working. I had to settle for one from the new kit and the existing one that came pre-installed. I did try changing the BIOS version to FB0A but that made no difference from the previous FB08 version. Also, I could not determine the difference between the two BIOS versions. Anyone with some insight?
I did, however, do some benchmarks with the working variations.

RAM Modules and Benchmarks

The benchmarks were executing using the userbenchmark online service.

-SC Single Core
-MC Multi Core

Dimension: 16GB Configuration 32GB Configuration
Bench Result: 42.8% 71.6%
MC Read: 15.6 26.4
MC Write: 14.1 26.6
MC Mixed: 11.8 21.4
SC Read: 13.8 17.1
SC Write: 16 28.7
SC Mixed: 13.9 23.5
MC: 40% 13.8 GB/s 66% 23.1 GB/s
SC: 42% 14.6 GB/s 66% 23.1 GB/s
Latency: 62% 64.1 ns 62% 64.2 ns

Summary

So at the end of this little endeavour, I am a little disappointed that the new memory is not running at the optimal 2666MHz. The mixed Memory modules are running at 2400MHz. 32GB dual memory would appear to almost double the performance metrics when compared to a single installed memory DIMM. In reality though the laptop feels about the same to me in the performance front. When spinning up virtual machines and lots of docker containers, the extra RAM does come in handy though!

Maybe a future BIOS update will rectify the memory compatibilty issue, but for now, I am keeping the configuration as it.

Resources

[1] Gigabyte.com. n.d. AERO 15 (I7-8750H) | Laptop - GIGABYTE Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.gigabyte.com/au/Laptop/AERO-15--i7-8750H#kf [Accessed 25 May 2020].
[2] Userbenchmark.com. 2020. Home - Userbenchmark. [online] Available at: https://www.userbenchmark.com/ [Accessed 25 May 2020].