Is there a difference between laptop memory sticks and desktop memory

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  1. Nisko's Avatar
    Posts : 934
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Is there a difference between laptop memory sticks and desktop memory


    I have a Dell Workstation with two 8GB Kingston memory sticks and want to increase my memory to at least 64GB. Is there a difference in laptop and desktop memory sticks (physical size, etc.)? Also, where are sites where I can look to find what I need? I've never purchased components on the internet before. Thank you.
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,716
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    Nisko said:
    Is there a difference in laptop and desktop memory sticks (physical size, etc.)? Also, where are sites where I can look to find what I need?
    No difference, providing they are exactly the same type, DDR3, DDR3L, DDR4, etc. Speed is also a factor. A stick from a laptop will work in a desktop providing ALL the specifications match. Chances are your laptop and desktop have different memory specs and need different sticks.

    Crucial is one of the best places to find out exactly which type/speed you need for your machine. You can either enter the motherboard or use their scanner to find out what you need. They also have a reputation for supplying good quality memory, buying the cheapest you can find on eBay is not always a good idea...

    Crucial System Scanner | Crucial.com
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  3. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,666
    trying to install win10
       #3

    Laptop and desktop ram are usually different sizes and have different numbers of pins. Some of the very small itx type "desktops" take laptop ram for space reasons.

    Best check what you currently have in your desktop.

    Normal desktop ddr4 is 288 pin. Laptop ddr4 is 260 pin. They are not interchangeable.

    They look different - typically like below, but some have fancy heatsinks over them

    Desktop
    Is there a difference between laptop memory sticks and desktop memory-desktop-raml.jpg


    Laptop
    Is there a difference between laptop memory sticks and desktop memory-laptop-ram.jpg
    Last edited by SIW2; 28 Nov 2018 at 11:42.
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  4. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,534
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #4

    Not considering the physical differences between Desktop and Notebook memory modules [RAM] there are big differences in how much RAM is supported. Desktops can have 2, 4 or 8 slots on the motherboard for the modules while Notebooks usually have only 2 slots [not enough room for more]. After that comes the maximum amounts the BIOS supports, some Notebooks support up to 16GB and some Desktops much more. Then there's the maximums supported by the version of the OS/Operating System, e.g. Pro supports more than Home. And the limit for the 32-bit of Windows is just under 4GB, usually displays about 3.5GB [I have a couple with 4GB but displays less], while the 64-bit supports much more.

    Knowing the machine or motherboard information lets one check memory sites such as Crucial US | DRAM, Solid State Drive (SSD) & Memory Upgrades or Kingston - Largest Independent Manufacturer of Memory Products [just to name a couple] to check what and how much is available.
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  6. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,609
    Win 10 X64 Pro 21H1 19043.928
       #6

    As mentioned by SIW2, desktop PCs typically use full-size DIMMs (dual inline memory modules). laptops normally use SODIMMs (small outline DIMMs). They are entirely diffent physically, and not interchangeable, even though functionally they are the same. I have no idea what "Bree" was thinking.

    Is your "workstation" the laptop listed in My Computer (Dell M6800)? If so, the largest SODIMMs it supports are 8GB. With 4 memory slots, the maximum RAM in the machine would be 32 GB. (That's with an I7-4940MX CPU. With a lesser CPU, only 2 of the SODIMM sockets would be usable, for a maximum of 16 GB.)

    The suggestion to go to Crucial or Kingston online is good. They both guarantee that RAM they sell for a given PC will be compatible.
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  7. alphanumeric's Avatar
    Posts : 14,086
    Windows 10 IoT
       #7

    SIW2 said:
    Laptop and desktop ram are usually different sizes and have different numbers of pins. Some of the very small itx type "desktops" take laptop ram for space reasons.

    Best check what you currently have in your desktop.

    Normal desktop ddr4 is 288 pin. Laptop ddr4 is 260 pin. They are not interchangeable.

    They look different - typically like below, but some have fancy heatsinks over them

    Desktop
    Is there a difference between laptop memory sticks and desktop memory-desktop-raml.jpg


    Laptop
    Is there a difference between laptop memory sticks and desktop memory-laptop-ram.jpg
    What he said. Desktop "DIMM" laptop "SO-DIM". Desktops use a Dual In-line Memory Module and laptops usually use a Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module. One will not plug into the others slot, they are not interchangeable.
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  8. Nisko's Avatar
    Posts : 934
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Thank you to all and I hope you all get to read this post: This is what I have in my workstation/laptop right now. Based on this, could someone recommend what I should be looking for to increase my memory to 64GB? Thank you...........Is there a difference between laptop memory sticks and desktop memory-dell-memory-modules.jpg
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  9. Porthos's Avatar
    Posts : 881
    Win 10
       #9

    16 gigs is usually more than enough for most users. What are you doing that requires so much memory or what are you trying to accomplish?

    Your max memory installable is 32 gigs.
    http://eu.crucial.com/eur/en/compati...800-(4-sodimms)

    You could use 4 of these
    8GB RAM Memory for Dell Precision Mobile Workstation M6800 (4 Slots) (DDR3-12800) at Amazon.com


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  10. RickC's Avatar
    Posts : 673
    Windows 7 + 10
       #10

    According to Dell, the max for the Dell Workstation M6800 is 32GB (4 x 8GB DDR3L - 1600MHz SoDIMMs). SoDIMMs are a shorter form factor than the DIMMs used in desktop PCs. (DDR3L 1600MHz is the same as DR3-12800 as @Porthos posted.)

    Google for 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz SoDIMM then, in results, click on the Shopping link.
    Is there a difference between laptop memory sticks and desktop memory-sodimm-shop.png

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by RickC; 29 Nov 2018 at 13:26.
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