What is desktop memory?

Computer memory, known as random access memory (RAM for short), can be made for both desktops and laptops, as well as other computer forms. Desktop memory is made specifically for standard personal computers, and unless mentioned otherwise the desktop PC form will be the one discussed in this article (excepting cases where they are interchangeable).

Although it is available in a variety of types, at the time of writing the most common desktop memory is DDR2. The more recently produced DDR3 is gaining market share as it is being used in more computers. The original DDR (sometimes called DDR1) still has use in many computers that are being employed by people, some of which are from around the Pentium 4 processor timeframe.

DDR is the quick way of saying DDR SDRAM, which is an acronym for a fairly long name: double data rate synchronous dynamic random access memory. Essentially, the name comes from the fact that the original DDR had nearly twice the bandwidth capacity as the initial single data rate SDRAM.

Physically, the recent DDR3 memory chips have 240 pins. This is the same as DDR2, although electrically the two forms are incompatible, along with having different locations for their key notches. The original DDR format has only 184 pins. As far as power consumption goes, the DDR line has become more energy efficient as it progresses: 1.5 volts for DDR3 versus 1.8V for DDR2 and 2.5V for DDR.

JEDEC, the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (also known as the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association), oversees standards for the semiconductor engineering industry. This includes items such as desktop memory chips.

For DDR3 SDRAM, the highest specification listed by JEDEC is DDR3-1600. Such chips have the following statistics: 200MHz memory clock, 800MHz I/O bus clock, 1600 million transfers per second data rate, 12,800 MB/s peak transfer rate, 5ns cycle time, and latencies of 8-8-8, 9-9-9, 10-10-10, or 11-11-11. The chip name for this product is PC3-12800 (the final number referring to the peak rate of transfer).

DesktopMemory.org contains additional information on different forms, as well as background details and other particular items on the subject. Whether looking for information on the maximum possible memory on a system, general recommended amounts for new computers or an upgrade, or other related points, you can continue there for more desktop memory topics.

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