DDR3L vs DDR3 Memory (RAM) Comparison

DDR3 and DDR3L are high performance RAM used with latest motherboards and processors. DDR3 memory can be classified into two types:

1. Normal DDR3 Memory

2. DDR3L Memory

Normal DDR3 or DDR3 RAM is a high speed single voltage computer memory that runs on 1.5V (volt). It is the successor of DDR2 memory and the primary benefits of DDR3 memory over DDR2 one is faster speed / frequency & bandwidth, needs lower voltage and generates lesser heat. Generally the speed of a DDR3 Memory ranges from 1066MHz to 2133MHz. Some even faster DDR3 memories exist but they are very expensive and are not that much popular. DDR3 RAM is not compatible with systems that specifically require 1.35V memory for their working.

What is DDR3L Memory?

DDR3L or DDR3-Low Voltage RAM is a high speed computer memory that has same pins and size that of a normal DDR3 RAM but it is dual voltage memory. DDR3L memory can run on both 1.5V and 1.35V, which means it can run on both low and high voltages. DDR3L memory is also backward compatible with DDR3 which means you can run DDR3L memory on a system or motherboard that uses or requires traditional or normal DDR3 RAM. In DDR3 SoDIMM “PC3L” is written on the JEDEC compliant text (Sticker on the RAM module) for identification purpose and in normal DDR3 memory the text written is “PC3” only. DDR3L is generally used with Intel 4th and 5th generation processors and AMD FX series CPUs. The main advantages of DDR3L memory over DDR3 is lesser power requirement, lesser heat generation, support for new processors & motherboards and somewhat increased performance.

There is also a less common DDR3LU (DDR3 Ultra Low Voltage) RAM that operates at 1.25V which is even less than DDR3L RAM.

DDR3 and DDR3L

Comparison of DDR3 and DDR3L Memory

DDR3 Memory

DDR3L Memory

Voltage 1.5V (Single Voltage) 1.35V and 1.5V (Dual Voltage)
Pins 240, 204 240, 204
Backward Compatible No Yes, backward compatible with DDR3
Size DDR3 DIMM / SoDIMM Same as DDR3 DIMM / SoDIMM Memory Module
Usage Up to Intel 3rd Generation (Ivy Bridge) or older Processors Intel 4th Generation (Haswell), 5th Generation (Broadwell), Skylake Processors, AMD FX series and higher processors
Advantages Better and Faster than DDR2 RAM Generates less heat and consumes less power than normal DDR3 RAM. Also performs a bit better than DDR3 RAM
Identification PC3 written on JEDEC compliant text (Sticker on RAM module) PC3L written on JEDEC compliant text

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