RAM Laptop Vs Desktop: What Are Their Similarities And Differences?

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes time to buy a computer. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to buy a RAM laptop vs desktop. In terms of RAM, laptops usually come with less RAM than desktops. So what’s the best option for you?

It depends on your needs. If you need a lot of gaming or video editing RAM, then a desktop is probably the way. But if you just need a computer for general use, a laptop with less RAM will be fine.

Here’s a closer look at the RAM options for laptops and desktops:

RAM Laptop Vs Desktop: At A Glance

What is the RAM laptop?

ram laptop vs desktop

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is a very important factor when purchasing a laptop. This is because the RAM dictates how many processes your computer can run simultaneously. 

For instance, if you are working on a document and have a web browser open, the RAM will dictate how quickly that document will save and how smoothly the webpage will load. 

In general, you want as much RAM as possible in your laptop- 8GB or more is ideal. Some laptops come with 16GB of RAM, but this is overkill for most people. If you are unsure how much RAM your computer needs, many online tools can help you decide.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Crucial RAM 8GB DDR4 3200MHz CL22 (or 2933MHz or 2666MHz) Laptop Memory CT8G4SFRA32A
  • 3200MHz RAM can downclock to 2933MHz or 2666MHz if system specification only supports 2933MHz or 2666MHz
  • Improve your system's responsiveness, run apps faster and multitask with ease
  • Compatibility assurance when using the Crucial System Scanner or Crucial Advisor Tool
  • Micron quality and reliability is backed by superior component and module level testing and 42 years of memory expertise
  • ECC Type Non-ECC, Form Factor SODIMM, Pin Count 260-pin, PC Speed PC4-25600, Voltage 12V, Rank and Configuration 1Rx16, 1Rx8 or 2Rx8
Bestseller No. 2
TEAMGROUP T-Force Zeus DDR4 SODIMM 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz (PC4-25600) 260 Pin CL16 Laptop OC Memory Module Ram - TTZD432G3200HC16FDC-S01
  • The ZEUS SO-DIMM 3200MHz CL16 is only compatible with laptops equipped with 【XMP functions】. If your laptop does NOT support XMP, the SO-DIMM 3200MHz CL16 is only operational at a 2666MHz CL19 frequency. For any other frequencies, we recommend opting for SO-DIMM 2666MHz CL19 or 3200MHz CL22 products based on the laptop specs.
  • Lightning Bolt design element
  • Born for gaming, a great choice for gamers who want to get upgraded
  • High quality IC with stable performance & trustworthy compatibility
  • Lifetime warranty
SaleBestseller No. 3
Corsair Vengeance Performance SODIMM Memory 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3200MHz CL22 Unbuffered for 8th Generation or Newer Intel Core™ i7, and AMD Ryzen 4000 Series Notebooks
  • 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 SODIMM kit for 8th Generation or newer Intel Core i7, and AMD Ryzen 4000 Series notebooks
  • Auto-overclocking with compatible notebooks (no BIOS configuration required)
  • 22-22-22-53 latency
  • 3200MHz
  • 1.2V
SaleBestseller No. 4
TEAMGROUP Elite DDR4 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) 3200MHz PC4-25600 CL22 Unbuffered Non-ECC 1.2V SODIMM 260-Pin Laptop Notebook PC Computer Memory Module Ram Upgrade - TED416G3200C22DC-S01
  • Adherence to JEDEC and compliance to RoHS with respect to environmental protection regulation, production and manufacturing
  • All new generation product of DRAM module. Strict test and verification procedures are performed for products
  • Lifetime warranty and Free technical support
  • Installation video is attached in product image
Bestseller No. 5
Timetec 8GB DDR3L / DDR3 1600MHz (DDR3L-1600) PC3L-12800 / PC3-12800(PC3L-12800S) Non-ECC Unbuffered 1.35V/1.5V CL11 2Rx8 Dual Rank 204 Pin SODIMM Laptop Notebook PC Computer Memory RAM Module Upgrade
  • [Specs] DDR3L / DDR3 1600MHz PC3L-12800 / PC3-12800 204-Pin Unbuffered Non ECC 1.35V CL11 Dual Rank 2Rx8 based 512x8
  • [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
  • [Compatibility] Compatible with DDR3 Laptop / Notebook PC, Mini PC, All in one Device
  • [Color] PCB Color may be different (Black or Green) due to different production batches

What is the desktop? 

RAM laptop vs desktop

A desktop is a personal computer in a form factor that is larger than a laptop. They typically have more powerful components, which makes them better suited for gaming or professional use, and they come in a wider variety of configurations. 

The downside to desktops is that they take up more space and are more expensive than laptops.

Bestseller No. 1
Apple iMac MF883LL/A 21.5-Inch 500GB Desktop (Renewed)
  • 1.4 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 Processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB Shared L3 Cache
  • 500 GB Serial ATA Drive
  • 8 GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM, OS X Mavericks
  • 21.5-Inch (diagonal) LED-backlit IPS Display; 1920-by-1080 Resolution; Intel HD Graphics 5000
SaleBestseller No. 2
Alienware Aurora R13 Gaming Desktop - Intel Core i9-12900F Processor, 1TB SSD, 16GB DDR5 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti, Killer Wi-Fi 6, 1-Year Onsite + 6-Months Dell Migrate - Dark Side of The Moon
  • REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN: A more spacious, tool-less design improves accessibility, cable management and acoustics.
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  • DELL WARRANTY SUPPORT: Including 1 Year Hardware Service with Onsite/In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis and 6 months Dell Migrate. Easily move your files and settings from your old PC to your new Dell.
Bestseller No. 3
Dell Optiplex 7010 SFF Desktop PC - Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz 4GB 250GB DVD Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)
  • POWERFUL PROCESSOR - Configured with top of the line series processor for lightning fast, reliable and consistent performance to ensure an exceptional PC experience.
  • SUPERIOR STORAGE AND MEMORY – Customized with 250GB storage space to store apps, games, photos, music and movies. Loaded with DELLGB of RAM to zip through multiple tasks in a hurry without lag.
  • BUILT IN CONNECTIVITY - Stay connected to the internet with USB WIFI Adaptor. Play your favorite music files with stereo sound. Easily connect to large and multiple monitors through the installed onboard video connections.
  • WINDOWS 10 LATEST RELEASE - A new installation of the latest Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit Operating System software, free of bloatware commonly installed from other manufacturers. As Microsoft's latest and best OS to date, Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit will maximize the utility of each PC for years to come. Optional software such as Anti-Virus and Office 365 can also be easily downloaded through the Microsoft Windows App Store.
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE - All Amazon Renewed computers come with a 90-day warranty and technical support to provide customers with unmatched quality and care.
Bestseller No. 4
HP 27” All-in-One Desktop PC, AMD Ryzen 7 5700U, 12 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD & 1 TB Hard Drive, Full HD IPS Display, Windows 11 Pro, 720p Privacy Webcam, Dual Mics, Keyboard and Mouse (27-CB0052, 2022)
  • GOOD LOOKING, HARD WORKING – The HP All-in-One blends the power of a PC desktop with the beauty of a slim, modern display. Get it all with the latest technology, impressive design, and sustainable materials in one dependable PC
  • COMMUNICATION SIMPLIFIED – Keep in touch whether you’re working remotely or need to catch up with the family thanks to the pop-up PC camera with dual microphones (1), dual front-facing speakers, and dedicated emoji and dictation keys on your keyboard
  • AMD PROCESSOR AND GRAPHICS – Enjoy high performance and cinema-worthy entertainment with the incredible combination of the AMD Ryzen 7 5700U mobile processor (2) and AMD Radeon graphics (3)
  • FULL HD DISPLAY – Maximize your viewing area and enjoy 2 million pixels worth of crystal-clear visuals on this 27-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080p) IPS, micro-edge display (4); plus with the anti-glare panel, your favorite content will still look just as vibrant even in direct sunlight or under harsh industrial light
  • MEMORY & DUAL STORAGE – Stay efficient and work without system slowdown with 12 GB of RAM for improved multitasking (5). And with a dual-storage configuration (SSD plus traditional hard drive), you’ll experience fast boot-up times, snappy responsiveness, and plenty of space for all your data (6) (7) (8)
Bestseller No. 5
Apple MacBook Air with Intel Core i5, 1.6GHz, (13-inch, 4GB,128GB SSD) - Silver (Renewed)
  • 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz) with 3 MB shared L3 cache
  • 13.3-Inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Glossy Widescreen Display, 1440 x 900 resolution
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • OS X Yosemite, Up to 12 Hours of Battery Life

RAM Laptop Vs Desktop: What Are The Similarities?

RAM laptop vs desktop

There are many similarities between RAM laptop vs desktop. Both use RAM to store data, which is why RAM is important when choosing between the 2. In addition, both have CPUs, hard drives, graphics cards, and operating systems. 

Besides, they are both computers. They have parts like processors, hard drives, and operating systems. They also may have the same amount of RAM.

RAM Laptop Vs Desktop: What Are The Differences?

There are several key differences between RAM in laptops and desktops. 


RAM laptop vs desktop

The first is that laptop RAM is often integrated into the motherboard, while desktop RAM is a separate component. This means we cannot upgrade laptop RAM as easily or cheaply as desktop RAM. 

Storage Capacity

Storage capacity of RAM laptop vs desktop are important factors to consider when purchasing a computer. 

RAM laptop vs desktop

A RAM laptop is usually smaller in size due to the limited space inside a laptop. A desktop typically has more slots for RAM, allowing you to upgrade the storage capacity at any time.

A laptop’s storage capacity is usually measured in gigabytes (GB), while a desktop’s storage capacity is usually measured in terabytes (TB). A laptop typically has a lower storage capacity than a desktop. 

This is because laptops are lightweight and portable, while desktops are designed for use in one place.

Pin Count

The pin count of RAM laptop vs desktops are different. 

RAM laptop vs desktop

Laptops use a 200-pin SODIMM, while desktops generally use a 240-pin DIMM. The number of pins refers to the module’s electrical connections. This difference is due to the form factor of each type of device. 

A laptop’s motherboard is much smaller than a desktop’s, so there isn’t room for a DIMM that’s as large as those used in desktops.

RAM Size

RAM size is important when choosing between a laptop and a desktop computer. 

RAM laptop vs desktop

RAM Laptop has less space as compared to a Desktop. However, the RAM laptop is portable, which makes it easy to carry from one place to another. The RAM size for laptop is 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. The RAM size for desktop is 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.

When deciding which computer to buy, you should consider how much RAM you need. If you only plan on using your computer for basic tasks such as browsing the internet, checking email, and using Microsoft Office, you can get away with a laptop with 4GB of RAM. 

However, if you plan on using your computer for resource-intensive tasks such as video editing or gaming, you will need a desktop with at least 8GB of RAM.


RAM laptop vs desktop

In terms of compatibility, most RAM modules designed for desktop computers will work on laptops and vice versa. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when upgrading or to replace RAM in either type of system.

RAM laptop vs desktop is 2 different types of computer memory. RAM laptop is designed to be used in laptops, while desktop RAM is made for use in desktops. The compatibility of these 2 types of RAM can be a bit tricky, as they are not always compatible with each other. 

RAM laptop vs desktop

There are a few things to remember when using laptop RAM on a desktop or vice versa. First, not all laptops use the same type of RAM as desktops. Some laptops require special, low-voltage RAM, which is incompatible with desktop computers. 

Additionally, the amount of RAM a laptop can use is often limited by the size of the laptop’s memory slot. For example, a laptop with a single RAM slot may only be able to use up to 4GB of RAM, while a desktop with multiple RAM slots can support 8GB or more.


RAM laptops and desktops are 2 different types of computers that have their own unique features. 

RAM laptop vs desktop

A RAM laptop is a portable device used to store and access information. It has a built-in keyboard, monitor, speakers, and microphone. A RAM laptop usually runs on battery power and has limited hard drive space. 

A desktop is a non-portable device with more features than a RAM laptop. It has a separate monitor, mouse, and keyboard. A desktop usually plugs into an electrical outlet for power and has a large hard drive space.

Speed of RAM

RAM laptop vs desktop

Another thing to consider is the speed of the RAM. Laptop RAM is often slower than desktop RAM due to the lower voltage requirements. This can cause problems if you try to use laptop RAM on a desktop designed for faster RAM speeds. 

The speed of RAM laptop vs desktop is one of the most important factors when it comes to performance. Generally, laptops have less RAM than desktops, which can slow them down. 

However, recent technological advancements have enabled laptops to have just as much RAM as desktops. This means buying a laptop or desktop should no longer be based on RAM speed.

Energy Consumption

RAM laptop vs desktop

Another difference is that laptop RAM typically uses less power and generates less heat than desktop RAM. This makes it better suited for portable devices, where battery life and heat dissipation are important factors. 


The upgradability of RAM laptops and desktop is a hot topic in the market. Some people swear by upgrading their RAM, while others think it wastes time. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of upgrading RAM on laptops and desktops to see which one reigns supreme.

RAM laptop vs desktop

When it comes to RAM, laptops are usually limited to 8GB. This is because most laptop manufacturers soldered the RAM onto the motherboard. This makes it very difficult to upgrade the RAM on a laptop. 

If you are someone who needs more than 8GB of RAM, then a desktop is the way to go. With a desktop, you can easily upgrade the RAM by adding more sticks to the motherboard. This is much cheaper and easier than buying a new laptop.

Some laptops have upgradeable RAM, but they are few and far between. If you are set on getting a RAM upgrade for your laptop, be prepared to pay a premium.

Bios Support

RAM laptop vs desktop

Bios support is one of the main differences between laptops and desktops regarding RAM. Laptops typically have a smaller amount of RAM installed because they need to be as lightweight as possible to carry them around easily. Most laptop bios’ cannot handle more than 4GB of RAM, even if more is installed.

On the other hand, desktop computers are not limited in this way and can use more RAM without any problems. This is why most gamers prefer desktop machines – they need extra power for gaming applications.

Memory Card Slot

RAM laptop vs desktop

A memory card slot is a computer expansion card that allows additional storage space. Memory cards come in various sizes, such as Secure Digital (SD), CompactFlash (CF), and MultiMediaCard (MMC). Some computers have a built-in reader for one or more types of memory cards. Others require an external card reader to access the data on the card.

RAM laptops and desktops come with different memory card slots. A RAM laptop has a mini SD card slot, while a desktop computer has a full-sized SD card slot. The mini SD card slot is more difficult to use because it is so small, and the full-sized SD card slot is easier to use because it is larger.


RAM laptop vs desktop

RAM laptops and desktops are 2 devices with different functions in the market. RAM laptop is a device used to store data and files, while the RAM desktop is a device that helps run multiple progRAMs simultaneously without any lag. 

The utility of a RAM laptop is more when compared to the RAM desktop because of its portability. A person can easily carry it around wherever they go as it does not require much space. 

RAM laptop vs desktop

The downside is that it has a lower storage capacity than the RAM desktop. However, with technological advancements, this gap is slowly being narrowed down. 

On the other hand, the utility of the RAM desktop lies in its ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously without any lags or crashes. This makes it ideal for people who need to work on multiple projects simultaneously. It also has a higher storage capacity than most RAM laptops on the market today. 

Which one should you buy? It depends on your needs. If you need a portable and good storage capacity, go for a RAM laptop. But if you need something that can handle multiple tasks at once without any issues, go for a RAM desktop.

Price Range of RAM Laptop vs Desktop

RAM laptop vs desktop

The price range of RAM laptops and desktops is different. RAM laptops are more expensive than RAM desktops. The reason the RAM laptop is more expensive is that the RAM laptop has a built-in battery.

There is a wide price range for RAM laptops and desktops. The cheapest RAM laptop can be found for around 200 dollars, while the most expensive RAM laptops can cost over 2000 dollars. 

Similarly, the cheapest RAM desktop can be found for around 100 dollars, while the most expensive RAM desktops can cost over 4000 dollars.

RAM Laptop Vs Desktop: Who Is The Winner?

Who should buy a RAM laptop?

RAM laptop vs desktop

RAM laptops are a great choice for people who need portability, especially those who do a lot of work on the go. They’re also a good option for students or anyone on a budget since they tend to be less expensive than their desktop counterparts. 

That said, RAM laptops can’t always handle as much processing power as desktops, so if you’re looking for a computer that can handle heavy-duty tasks, you may want to consider investing in a desktop instead.

Who should buy a desktop?

RAM laptop vs desktop

There are several reasons why someone might want to buy a desktop instead of a laptop. One reason is that desktops typically have more RAM than laptops. This means they can handle more applications simultaneously and are better suited for multitasking. 

In addition, desktops typically have more storage space and a bigger screen than laptops, making them better for storing large files. They’re also good for people who want to use multiple monitors. Finally, desktops tend to be cheaper than laptops.

Frequently Asked Questions About RAM Laptop Vs Desktop

Can I use desktop RAM on a laptop?

RAM laptop vs desktop

Desktop RAM will work on a laptop if it has an accessible slot to install it. However, using desktop RAM will likely not offer the best performance for your laptop and could even damage the computer. It is always best to use RAM specifically designed for laptops.

Can I use laptop RAM on desktops?

RAM laptop vs desktop

Yes, you can use laptop RAM on desktops, but the opposite is not true. You can also use desktop RAM in laptops, but most laptops have a lower maximum capacity for desktop RAM than they do for laptop RAM. 

So if you’re looking to upgrade your RAM and have a choice between laptop or desktop RAM, it’s usually best to go with the type of RAM specific to your computer.

Can I upgrade my laptop RAM with a desktop?

RAM laptop vs desktop

Yes, you can upgrade your laptop RAM with a desktop. Laptops and desktops use different types of RAM, so you’ll need to ensure the RAM you purchase is compatible with your computer. 

In most cases, the RAM from a desktop will be too large to fit in a laptop, so you’ll need to buy a specific RAM designed for laptops.

How do I choose the right RAM for my desktop or laptop PC?

The main thing to consider when choosing RAM for your desktop or laptop PC is compatibility. Your system will only be able to use a certain type of RAM, so it’s important to make sure the RAM you choose is compatible. 

RAM laptop vs desktop

In general, there are 2 types of RAM: DDR and SDRAM. DDR stands for double data rate, while SDRAM stands for synchronous dynamic random access memory. Most modern PCs use DDR RAM, while older systems might use SDRAM.

Another thing to consider when choosing RAM is speed. The higher the MHz number, the faster the RAM. However, not all systems can handle high speeds, so check your system specs before buying anything. 

Finally, you’ll also want to think about storage capacity. Some RAM modules come with more than one gigabyte of storage space, which can be helpful if you plan on storing a lot of data on your computer’s RAM.

Do workstations require special RAM?

RAM laptop vs desktop

No, workstations do not require special RAM. Any RAM that is compatible with your motherboard will work in a workstation. However, a few things to consider when choosing RAM for a workstation exists. 

For example, you may want to choose a higher frequency RAM to take advantage of the extra performance potential offered by workstations. Alternatively, you may opt for more memory if you plan on doing a lot of data-intensive tasks.

Should I use laptop SODIMM to DIMM memory? 

RAM laptop vs desktop

Laptop SODIMM and Desktop DIMM memory are different. Laptop SODIMMs have a 200-pin connector, while desktop DIMMs have a 240-pin connector. In addition, laptop SODIMMs are single channels, while desktop DIMMs are dual channels. 

Most laptops use 204-pin SODIMMs and can use either DDR3 or DDR4 memory. The RAM in your laptop is most likely 2133MHz, but it will operate at 1866MHz if you install a 2133MHz module. Your system will also be more efficient with 2 RAM sticks versus one RAM stick. 

A disadvantage to using 2 RAM sticks is that if one of the RAM sticks fails, your system will not boot.

How many types does the RAM have?

RAM laptop vs desktop

There are 3 types of RAM: synchronous dynamic RAM (SDRAM), double data rate 3 synchronous DRAM (DDR3 SDRAM), and extreme data rate DRAM (XDR DRAM). 

RAM is a type of memory that your computer uses to store information. RAM comes in different sizes, and the most common type is DDR3 RAM. 

DDR3 RAM has 2 channels, and each channel can hold up to 16 gigabytes of data. Double data rate 3 synchronous DRAM (DDR3 SDRAM) is the most common type of RAM used in computers today. It was introduced in 2007 and is still the most popular type of RAM. 

RAM laptop vs desktop

Synchronous dynamic RAM (SDRAM) was the first type of RAM to be used in computers. It was introduced in 1997, and it became obsolete in 2003. 

Extreme data rate dRAM(XDR DRAM) is the newest type of RAM and is not as common as DDR3 SDRAM. XDR DRAM was introduced in 2010 and is used in high-end computers. 

How do I break down a lengthy RAM module name? 

When looking at a RAM module, you may wonder what those numbers and letters mean. Here’s a breakdown of what each section of a RAM module name means:

– The first number is the size of the module in GB. So, for example, “4” would mean 4GB.

– The second number is the speed of the module in MHz. So, for example, “1600” would mean 1600MHz.

RAM laptop vs desktop

– The third letter is either “B” or “D.” This stands for the buffered or unbuffered RAM, respectively. Most modern systems use unbuffered RAM.

– The fourth letter is either “R,” “J,” or “G.” This stands for registered or unregistered memory, respectively. Most modern systems use unregistered memory.

– The fifth letter indicates density – how many bits are stored per chip – with S being standard density, M being high density, and L being low-density RAM chips.

– The sixth letter is the chip organization. This usually isn’t something you need to worry about.

– The seventh letter is the module type, with “P” meaning parity and “N” meaning non-parity RAM. Most systems use non-parity RAM.

RAM laptop vs desktop

– The eighth letter indicates the number of ranks per DIMM. “1” means single rank, while “2” means dual rank RAM.

– The ninth letter is the voltage required by the module, with “L” meaning 1.25 volts and “V” meaning 2.5 volts. Most systems use 1.25-volt RAM modules.

– Finally, the last number is the cycle time in nanoseconds. So, for example, “CL9” would mean 9 nanosecond cycle times.

With all that in mind, let’s look at an example RAM module name: 4GB 1600MHz DDR3L CL9 SODIMM 1Rx8.

RAM laptop vs desktop

This RAM module is 4GB in size, operates at 1600MHz, is DDR3L RAM (low voltage), has a CL9 cycle time, is a SODIMM module (laptop RAM), has one rank and eight chips, and requires 1.25 volts.

Now that you know how to read a RAM module name, you can be sure to get the right RAM for your needs. Just be sure to check compatibility with your motherboard before purchasing!

How do I identify my RAM type?

RAM laptop vs desktop

There are a few ways to identify your RAM type. The most common way is by looking at the stickers on the modules themselves. One usually has a series of letters and numbers indicating the type of RAM. 

For example, DDR3-1600 would indicate that the module is DDR3 type and runs at 1600MHz frequency.

Another way to identify your RAM type is by using a piece of software like CPU-Z. This software will give you detailed information about your system’s hardware, including the installed RAM type and speed.

Conclusion For RAM Laptop Vs Desktop

When it comes to RAM, laptops tend to have less than desktops. This is because laptops are designed to be portable and lightweight, while desktops are not. A desktop may be a better option if you need more RAM for your computer. However, if you need a powerful and portable machine, a laptop with a higher RAM capacity may be the best choice for you. We compared the RAM laptop vs desktop in this article; we hope you found useful info after reading it. 

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