DDR3 vs DDR3L: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. DDR3, called Double Data Rate 3, is a computer memory commonly used in desktops, laptops, and servers.
  2. DDR3L, also called Low Voltage DDR3, is a variation of DDR3 memory designed for improved power efficiency, which is suitable for laptops and other portable devices.
  3. DDR3 memory modules are more budget-friendly due to their older technology and larger supply, while DDR3L modules might be slightly more expensive due to their specialized low-voltage design.

What is DDR3?

DDR3, called Double Data Rate 3, is a computer memory commonly used in desktops, laptops, and servers. It uses a 64-bit data bus and can provide peak bandwidths of up to 17 GB/s. It operates at lower clock speeds, ranging from 800 MHz to 2133 MHz

DDR3 memory modules run at 1.5V. This higher voltage increases power consumption, which can impact battery life and contribute to more heat generation in desktop systems. Their capacities range from 1 GB to 16 GB per module and are commonly found in 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB configurations. This makes them suitable for basic computing tasks and memory-intensive applications like video editing and gaming.

It also uses a 240-pin DIMM form factor for desktop computers. This form factor ensures compatibility with DDR3-ready motherboards. Matching the correct DDR3 type and clock speed with the motherboard is essential to avoid compatibility issues.

What is DDR3L?

DDR3L, also called Low Voltage DDR3, is a variation of DDR3 memory designed for improved power efficiency, which is suitable for laptops and other portable devices. It operates at a lower voltage of 1.35V, which results in decreased power consumption, reduced heat generation, and longer battery life in devices.

It is compatible with standard DDR3 memory slots, so it is easier to replace the old DDR3 with this to benefit from improved power efficiency. Even though it has the same clock speeds, ranging from 800 MHZ to 2133 MHz, and utilizes a 64-bit data bus, it can handle a wide range of computing tasks effectively.

Its lower power consumption significantly contributes to extended battery life, allowing users to work on their mobile devices for extended periods without recharge. This benefit has made it a go-to choice for manufacturers aiming to create energy-efficient laptops.

Difference Between DDR3 and DDR3L

  1. DDR3 operates at a standard voltage of 1.5V, while DDR3L operates at a reduced voltage of 1.35V.
  2. DDR3 modules are not compatible with DDR3L slots due to the voltage difference, while DDR3L is backward-compatible with DDR3 slots, allowing users to replace them in many cases.
  3. DDR3 modules generate relatively more heat, which can impact overall system temperature, while DDR3L modules produce less heat comparatively due to their lower voltage operation.
  4. DDR3 is commonly used in desktops, workstations, and power laptops, while DDR3L is favored in notebooks and other portable devices where energy efficiency and extended battery life are essential.
  5. DDR3 memory modules are more budget-friendly due to their older technology and larger supply, while DDR3L modules might be slightly more expensive due to their specialized low-voltage design.

Comparison Between DDR3 and DDR3L

ParametersDDR3DDR3L
Voltage requirementOperates at a standard voltage of 1.5VAt a reduced voltage of 1.35V
CompatibilityNot compatible with DDR3L slotsOften backward-compatible with DDR3 slots 
Heat generationGenerate relatively more heat, which can impact overall system temperatureProduce less heat comparatively
ApplicationsUsed in desktops, workstations, and power laptops Used in laptops and other portable devices where energy efficiency and extended battery life are essential
PriceThey are more budget-friendly due to their older technology and larger supplyMight be slightly more expensive due to their specialized low-voltage design
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References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8169054/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8377983/

Last Updated : 24 January, 2024

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