Low Voltage RAM vs. Standard RAM Modules: What is the difference?
In this blog, you will learn about the difference between low voltage RAM modules and standard RAM modules. And then there’s the primary question: Which one should you get for your computer system?
What are Low Voltage RAM Modules?
The low voltage Memory Modules are a newer generation of computer memory. The term ‘low-voltage’ implies that the RAM requires less power (1.25V or 1.35V) to operate at 1600MHz. On the other hand, the normal RAM modules deliver the same result at 1.5V or 1.65V. This translates into low stress on the CPU and more space for overclocking at a higher voltage.
WORD OF CAUTION: It should be noted that low voltage RAM will not be supported by all motherboards. Make sure you check the specifications of your motherboard before ordering low voltage DIMM modules online.
Which is better: Low Voltage RAM modules or High Voltage (Normal) RAM Modules?
A LV module is preferred because it consumes less electricity and provides the same speed. Although it doesn’t matter much for normal use, the ability of these RAMs to work on low voltage becomes a significant factor for overclocking.
For example, a 1.25V RAM module operating at 1600MHz can be overclocked to 1866MHz or even up to 2133MHz. A 1.5V RAM probably cannot be overclocked this way.
This is one of the many reasons why low Volt Memory Chips are better than High Voltage RAM modules.
Can You Mix Low Voltage and High Voltage RAM Modules?
Yes, a low voltage RAM Chip can work normally with a high voltage RAM module because it is backward compatible. A motherboard that doesn’t support a low voltage RAM (1.35V) will run it at 1.5V because of this backward compatibility feature.
However, it is not advisable to mix these RAM Modules as doing so may diminish the useful life of these components and lower system performance.
The DDR3U – Ultra Low Voltage DDR3 Module
JEDEC, the industry’s standard association for Double Data Rate (DDR3 RAM Modules), is working on another RAM module that works on 1.25V. This RAM module is being called the ‘DDR3U’ where ‘U’ stands for ‘Ultra’.
The RAM will consume 10% less power and provide the same speed. It will also reduce the carbon footprint of computing devices.
Things to note:
- A low voltage DIMM module is backward compatible and includes 1.25V and 1.35V RAM memory.
- On most memory module packets, the low voltage RAM can either be written as 1.35V or ‘DDR3L’, where ‘L’ stands for ‘Low voltage’ or ‘LV RAM’.
- If Low Voltage DDR3L RAM is not supported by a motherboard, it will run at the normal voltage of 1.5V.
If your system supports low voltage DIMM modules, then you can buy them without second thoughts. If it doesn’t, you can still buy these but know that they will run at the normal voltage. For most people, the price is a limiting factor. So if the price difference is low, invest in the modern technology (low voltage RAMs) that’ll stay relevant for several years.
The explanation of techie topics is best consumed in textual format. But for those, who are more of visual persons, the video is available here: