PC3 vs. PC3L RAM: 7 Distinct Differences You Should Know Before Buying!

Last Updated on July 31, 2022

There are a lot of different factors to consider when you’re choosing the right type of RAM for your computer. You’ve probably heard about the battle of PC3 vs. PC3L, but what do those numbers actually mean?

The main difference between PC3 and PC3L RAM is their operating voltage. PC3 RAM runs at 1.5 volts, while PC3L RAM operates at 1.35 volts. This lower voltage for PC3L RAM results in lower power consumption, which can improve battery life in laptops.

In this post, I’ll compare PC3 vs PC3L RAM and help you decide which one is best for you. I’ll also discuss the compatibility of each type of RAM and what it can be used for.

Comparison Table Of PC3 Vs. PC3L RAM





Clock frequency 1066 MHz, 1333 MHz, 1600 MHz, 1866 MHz 1066 MHz, 1333 MHz, 1600 MHz, 1866 MHz
Capacity 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB
Memory type DDR3 SDRAM DDR3L SDRAM (low-voltage version of DDR3 SDRAM)
Voltage 1.5 V 1.35 V <br> 1.5 V (operates at lower voltage)
Refresh rate 8192 cycles/64 ms (1K rows) 8192 cycles/64 ms (1K rows)
Row cycle time 48 ns (2048 cycles) 48 ns (2048 cycles)
Data transfer 256-bit interface 128-bit interface <br> 256-bit interface (for ECC-protected memory only)
Bandwidth 12.8 GB/s 6.4 GB/s <br> 12.8 GB/s (for ECC-protected memory only)

 What Is A PC3 RAM?

A-Tech 4GB DDR3 1600 MHz SODIMM PC3-12800...
8,548 Reviews
A-Tech 4GB DDR3 1600 MHz SODIMM PC3-12800...
  • Compatible with select DDR3 Laptop, Notebook computers + Easy to install at home, no expertise required
  • Maximize your system's performance, boost loading speeds, and multitask with ease
  • Backed by A-Tech's Lifetime Warranty + Friendly tech support team available to help before and after your purchase

PC3 RAM is a type of computer memory that is often used in desktop computers and laptops.

It is a newer type of RAM that offers faster speeds and higher capacities than older types of RAM. PC3 RAM is also sometimes known as DDR3 RAM or simply DDR3 Memory.

The “PC” in PC3 stands for “personal computer,” while the “3” designates that this is the third generation of this type of RAM. DDR3 is short for “double data rate 3,” which refers to the fact that this RAM can transfer data at twice the rate of older types of DDR RAM.

PC3 RAM is available at a variety of speeds and capacities. The speed is measured in MHz, and the capacity is measured in gigabytes (GB).

What Is A PC3L RAM? 

Timetec 8GB DDR3L / DDR3 1600MHz (DDR3L-1600)...
16,987 Reviews
Timetec 8GB DDR3L / DDR3 1600MHz (DDR3L-1600)...
  • [Specs] DDR3L / DDR3 1600MHz PC3L-12800 / PC3-12800 204-Pin Unbuffered Non ECC 1.35V CL11 Dual Rank 2Rx8 based...
  • [Size] Module Size: 8GB Package: 1x8GB
  • [Voltage] JEDEC standard 1.35V, this is a dual voltage piece and can operate at 1.35V or 1.5V

PC3L RAM is a type of computer memory that is designed for use with low-voltage processors. It is also known as low-voltage RAM or LVRAM. PC3L RAM is available in both SO-DIMM and UDIMM form factors.

PC3L RAM operates at a lower voltage than standard PC3 RAM, which makes it ideal for use in laptops and other portable devices that use low-voltage processors.

It is also backward compatible with standard PC3 RAM, so it can be used in systems that do not support low-voltage processors.

Similarities Between PC3L And PC3 RAM

  • Both are non-volatile memories that retain data when power is turned off
  • They have a limited number of write cycles and are used in electronic devices to store data
  • Both can be found in a variety of sizes and capacities and can be found in a variety of speeds and timings
  • Equally are found in a variety of voltages and variety of packaging options
  • They can be found in a variety of form factors and temperatures
  • Also, they have a limited data retention time and endurance

Detailed Comparison Of PC3 vs. PC3L RAM

1. Overall Performance

PC3 RAM is faster than PC3L RAM, with higher bandwidth and lower latency. However, the performance difference is relatively small, and may not be noticeable in most applications. Additionally, the lower voltage may also allow PC3L RAM to run cooler, which can improve its stability.

Overall, PC3L RAM is a good choice if you are looking to improve battery life or stability. However, if you are looking for the best performance, PC3 RAM is still the better choice.

2. Compatibility Difference

The major difference between PC3 and PC3L RAM is their compatibility. PC3 RAM is compatible with all types of motherboards while PC3L RAM is only compatible with low voltage standard motherboards. Another difference is that PC3 RAM has a higher clock speed than PC3L RAM. PC3 RAM also consumes more power than PC3L RAM.

3. Voltage Differences

The voltage of RAM is an important factor in its compatibility with a motherboard. The most common voltages for RAM are 1.5 volts and 1.35 volts. However, some RAM, such as PC3L RAM, uses a lower voltage of 1.25 volts.

This can be beneficial for lowering power consumption and heat generation, but it is not compatible with all motherboards. Motherboards that do not support low-voltage RAM will not be able to use PC3L RAM, and the computer will not boot.

It is important to check the voltage of your RAM before purchasing it to make sure it is compatible with your motherboard.

4. Operating Temperatures

The operating temperature of your RAM is an important factor to consider when purchasing or using it. Generally, the lower the operating temperature, the better.

For most applications, PC3 RAM can operate at temperatures up to 85°C. For PC3L RAM, the maximum recommended operating temperature is 70°C.

If you are using your RAM in an application where temperatures may exceed these limits, it is important to choose a RAM that is rated for operation at higher temperatures.

When choosing a RAM for use in high-temperature applications, it is also important to consider the operating temperature of the surrounding environment. For example, if the ambient temperature is 50°C, then PC3 RAM can safely operate at up to 95°C.

In general, it is best to choose a RAM that has a lower operating temperature. This will help to prolong the life of your RAM and prevent damage from overheating.

5. Frequency Speed

There are two types of RAM that are commonly used in computers, PC3, and PC3L RAM.

When choosing RAM for your computer, it is important to consider the frequency speed that you need. Higher frequency speeds will allow your computer to run faster, but they will also use more power.

The frequency speed of PC3 and PC3L RAM is different. PC3 RAM can reach speeds of up to 1600 MHz, while PC3L RAM only goes up to 1333 MHz..

So, if you’re looking for the fastest possible RAM speed, you’ll want to get PC3 RAM. However, if you’re looking for a lower-power option, then PC3L RAM may be a better choice.

6. Power Consumption

Some of the newer RAM types out there are low-power versions of traditional RAM. So, how much power do PC3 and PC3L RAM use?

PC3L RAM uses about 20% less power than regular PC3 RAM. So, if you’re looking to save on your power bill, or just want to be more green, PC3L modules is a good choice.

As for performance, there is no difference between PC3 and PC3L RAM. So, you can rest assured that you’re not sacrificing any speed or compatibility by choosing the low-power option.

7. Price Comparison

The price of PC3 RAM has fallen significantly in recent years. This is due to the advancement in technology and the increase in competition. The price of PC3L RAM, on the other hand, has remained relatively stable.

PC3 RAM is typically faster than PC3L RAM, although the difference is not always significant. PC3 RAM is also more widely compatible with different types of motherboards and CPU architectures.

Overall, PC3 RAM is a better choice for most users. It is cheaper and generally faster than PC3L RAM. If you need the absolute fastest RAM available, then PC3L RAM may be the better option.

Benefit Comparison of PC3 and PC3L RAM

There are many benefits to using PC3 or PC3L RAM. Some of these benefits include:

Firstly, PC3 RAM is faster than PC3L RAM. This is because PC3 RAM has a higher clock speed, which means that it can transfer data much faster than PC3L RAM.

Secondly, PC3 RAM is more reliable than PC3L RAM. This is because PC3 RAM has a more robust error-correction system, which means that it is less likely to experience data corruption than PC3L RAM.

Thirdly, PC3 RAM is more energy-efficient than PC3L RAM. This is because PC3 RAM uses less power when it is active, which means that it will not drain your battery as quickly as PC3L RAM.

Fourthly, PC3 RAM is more compatible with newer technologies than PC3L RAM. This is because PC3 RAM uses a more advanced bus interface, which means that it is compatible with newer motherboards and processors.

Finally, PC3 RAM is a better choice than PC3L RAM for most users. However, if you are looking for the absolute fastest RAM available, then PC3L RAM may be a better option for you.

Can You Use PC3L And PC3 RAM Together?

Yes, you can use PC3L and PC3 RAM together. In fact, many motherboards will run slightly faster with a mix of the two types of RAM.

However, it is important to note that PC3L RAM is not compatible with all motherboards and may require a BIOS update.

Additionally, using PC3L and PC3 RAM together may result in reduced performance. For best results, it is recommended to use RAM that is the same type and speed.

Though, it is important to check your motherboard’s compatibility before purchasing any RAM. Additionally, always install RAM in pairs for the best performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to utilize PC3L in a PC3 port?

In the event that you have PC3L SODIMM memory chips(204pin) and your laptop supports DDR3 DIMM, you may install it without any complications. If you have PC3L DIMM (240-pin) memory, do not even think about it.

Is DDR4 the same as PC3L?

L stands for low power memory or low voltage memory module like 1.35 volts in DDR3L or PC3L, which is the same as 1.35 volts. 1.5 volts is the standard voltage for DDR4 RAM, also known as PC3-12800.

A server may not support 1.35 volt PC3L or DDR3L RAM, however, this RAM can run at 1.5 volts, which means that even if your server does not support 1.35-volt RAM, this RAM will modify its dual voltage module to a 1.5 DDR3 slots.

Can I use PC3L 12800 RAM in place of PC3 12800S RAM?

No, this should not affect your laptop’s performance. The voltage of DDR3L is 1.5V (the default voltage of DDR3 SDRAM) rather than 1.35V since it is meant to work with DDR3 module motherboards (the default voltage of DDR3L).

How do I know if the compatible ram?

Search for System Information in the Windows Start menu and start the program. Your Processor may be found under the System Summary section.

Find out what RAM your CPU is compatible with by searching on the manufacturer’s website using this information.

What happens if you put incompatible RAM in a computer?

The improper kind of modules won’t operate, while RAM with the wrong specifications for your PC may underperform.

Memory sticks, also known as memory modules, are used to fill up the available memory slots on a computer’s motherboard.

RAM that is incompatible with your system will not only not fit, but it will also be ineffective.

Can RAM destroy the motherboard?

RAM module damage is unlikely to affect the motherboard or any other components, even if the module is defective.

The motherboard uses a specialized converter to create different voltages. If a short is detected in the RAM, the converter should shut down before any harm occurs.

Can I mix RAM brands?

Is it possible to mix and match RAM from different manufacturers? This question may be answered with a simple “yes.”

However, you may potentially mix and match your RAM regardless of brand, speed, or size; this may prove to be troublesome.

You may not even notice a change in performance depending on the arrangement and the amount of work being done.

Finally, PC3 and PC3L RAM: Which One Is For Gaming?

So, PC3 vs. PC3L RAM; which one is better for your PC gaming?

PC3L RAM is better for gaming because it has a lower CAS latency. This means that the data will be available to the CPU faster, which can result in a smoother gaming experience.

Additionally, PC3L RAM typically uses less power than PC3 RAM, so it’s a good choice if you want to save on your energy bill. If you’re looking for the best performance possible when gaming, go with PC3L RAM.


Last update on 2022-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API