What the letters in RAM description mean?

Old 05-06-24, 04:14 PM
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What the letters in RAM description mean?

I am going to replace/upgrade the RAM in my old Lenovo laptop. Lenovo Ideapad 110-15ACL Here is what one seller says is compatible.


Lenovo IdeaPad 110-15ACL 8GB DDR3 PC3L-12800 Laptop SODIMM DDR3 Memory RAM Module - Best Price 8GB DDR3L PC3L-12800 204PIN CL=11 DDR3L-1600 1.35V SODIMM (memorystock.com)

What does the 12800 refer too? Is that the MHz it operates at? speed? I saw a crucial on that had 1600 MHz
Here is the crucial one.
Crucial RAM 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz CL11 Laptop Memory CT102464BF160B at Amazon.com

I was looking on Amazon to compare prices and this one looks good but the description has more numbers and I am not sure what they mean. I was a primary mechanical and secondary electrical guy at my job and I have some computer skills but not sure about all the numbers and letters for this kind of stuff. If someone could take a look and let me know, I would appreciate it.

on the amazon part these numbers look the same: 8GB PC3L-12800S DDR3-1600 2RX8 Non-ECC SODIMM

Samsung 8GB PC3L-12800S DDR3-1600 2RX8 Non-ECC SODIMM Memory M471B1G73DB0-YK0 at Amazon.com

What does the 1600 after the DDR3 mean, the 2RX8 and the Non-ECC?

Old 05-06-24, 04:26 PM
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I use the Crucial computer scan tool.
They'll scan your computer and tell you exactly what to use.
You can buy directly from them or thru amazon.
aandpdan voted this post useful.
Old 05-07-24, 10:04 AM
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What does the 1600 after the DDR3 mean, the 2RX8 and the Non-ECC?
1600 is the bus speed. Typically higher is ok, though depending on the motherboard, you may not get any actual performance increase out of it.

ECC (Error Correcting Codes). All RAM is ECC or Non-ECC. ECC is 'better' as it's more reliable, but also more expensive. Again, depends on the details of your motherboard as to how much it actually affects performance.

In the end, I agree 100% with Pete. Use Crucial's tool and go with their suggestions. There are way too many options that may work, may not work, or may work partially... which can cause hours of fruitless troubleshooting.
Old 05-07-24, 02:13 PM
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Ditto what the other guys said.


12800 in that context means 12,800 Megabytes/sec.

DDR3 and PC3 means the same thing : 3rd generation RAM. (L means low voltage)

DDR3 1600 means a data rate of 1600 Megahertz. Since the data is 8-bit bytes, 8 x 1600 gives you 12,800 Megabytes/sec.

So, a lot of those specifications are saying the same thing.

Whoops not right is it 1600 -lol! 1600 bytes is 1600 bytes. I have to go back and review these specs myself. I have to try and refresh my memory. I haven't bought RAM in a long time. Something fuzzed up here in the old brain - lol!

OK - one more time. I had my old co-worker crackerjack EE refresh my memory. I knew you should multiply the 1600 x 8 and get 12,800.

But the reason is that the memory module bus width is usually 64 bits or 8 bytes. So, on each transfer 8 bytes (not 8 bits as I said above)are being transferred.

So, at the clock speed of 1600 MHz you are transferring 1600 x 8 bytes or 12,800 Megabytes/sec.


Last edited by zoesdad; 05-07-24 at 03:42 PM. Reason: added "Whoops ...

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