Difference Between DDR3 and DDR3L

DDR3 vs DDR3L
 

There is a slight difference between DDR3 and DDR3L in the specification as DDR3L is a special type of DDR3. DDR3 , which stands for Double Data Rate type 3, is a type of RAM introduced in 2007. Currently, it is the most widely used type of RAM module for PCs as well as mobile devices such as laptops. DDR3 needs a voltage of 1.5V to work. There is a special type of DDR3 called DDR3L, which refers to the low voltage standard of DDR3. It uses 1.35V instead of 1.5V hence the power consumption is less. These low voltage standard RAMs are widely used in mobile devices because they consume less power enabling a longer battery life.

What is DDR3?

DDR3, which stands for Double Data Rate Type 3, is a type of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), which came as the successor of DDR and DDR2. It was released to the market in 2007 and today most computers and laptops in the market use DDR3 as the RAM. The voltage specification for DDR is 1.5 V and, therefore, it consumes very less power when compared to its predecessors DDR and DDR2. DDR3 standard allows chips up to capacity 8 GB. DDR3 RAM are available for different frequencies such as 800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866, 2133 MHz. A DDR3 RAM module used for personal computers has 240 pins and the length is 133.35 mm. The DDR3 modules used on laptops are called SO-DIMM and its length is much smaller with a length of 67.6 mm and less number of pins, which is 204 pins.

Difference Between DDR3 and DDR3L

What is DDR3L?

DDR3L is a special type of DDR3 RAM where the letter ‘L’ refers to low voltage standard. DDR3L uses just 1.35V, which is 0.15V lower than what is used in DDR3. The advantage of working under a low voltage is that the power consumption is low. The less power consumption means a better battery life can be achieved. Because of this DDR3L is mostly used in mobile devices such as laptops and embedded devices rather than in PCs. An added advantage of low power consumption is less heat generation, which is again useful for compact mobile devices. The other specifications such as memory density, frequencies and the protocols are same as in DDR3. DDR3L RAM is generally available as SO-DIMM modules that are 67.5 mm having just 204 pins rather than longer DIMM modules. Reason is that DDR3L is targeted for mobile devices and they have SO-DIMM slots.

What is the difference between D DR3 and DD R3L?

• DDR3L is a special type of DDR3 where L refers to low voltage standard.

• DDR3 needs a voltage of 1.5V while DDR3L needs only 1.35V.

• DDR3L consumes less power than DDR3.

• DDR3L generates less heat when compared to DDR3.

• DDR3L is mostly used in mobile devices such as laptops and embedded devices while DDR3 is mostly used in personal computers. However, the re are mobile devices, which use DDR3 as well.

• The market price of a DDR3L module is higher than the market price of a DDR3 module.

DDR3 DDR3L
Name Double Data Rate Type 3 Double Data Rate Type 3 Low Voltage Standard
Voltage specification 1.5 V 1.35 V
Power Consumption High Less
Heat generation High Less
Memory Density Up to 8GB Up to 8GB
Supported Frequencies 800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866, 2133 MHz 800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866, 2133 MHz
Number of Pins 240; SO-DIMM – 204 SO-DIMM – 204
Length 133.35mm; SO-DIMM – 67.6mm SO-DIMM – 67.5mm
Price Low High
Usage Personal computers, Laptops, servers Laptops, Mobile devices, Embedded systems

Summary:

DDR3 vs DDR3L

The main difference between DDR3 and DDR3L is in the voltage specification. Voltage specification for DDR3 is 1.5V, but the voltage for DDR3L is less, which is 1.35V. The letter L in DDR3L refers to low voltage standard. As DDR3L is a special type of DDR3 all other specifications except the voltage remains the same. Because DDR3L needs lesser voltage, it consumes less power and generates less heat. Therefore, DDR3L is widely used for mobile devices that need a longer battery life.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. DDR3 by osman gucel (CC BY 2.0)