Question: Can I buy PC2-8500 DDR2 SODIMM laptop memory modules for my DDR2 memory based laptop?

Read our answer below:

DDR2 memory is indeed available in PC2-8500 thus 1066MHz effective specification albeit only for desktop computers. The highest grade of DDR2 memory available for laptops is PC2-6400 thus 800MHz effective. Below is a list of all the grades of DDR2 memory available for laptops in the form of 200pin SODIMM memory modules:

  • PC2-3200 DDR2 - 400MHz effective
  • PC2-4200 DDR2 - 533MHz effective
  • PC2-5300 DDR2 - 667MHz effective
  • PC2-6400 DDR2 - 800MHz effective

The underpinning for why PC2-8500 DDR2 memory is not available as 200pin SODIMM memory modules rests in its technical specification. The original JEDEC (the institution that develops memory standards used in computers) specification called for an operating voltage of 1.8V. At the time that PC2-8500 DDR2 desktop memory was launched, the (then) present manufacturing capabilities required an increase in voltage to 2.2V in order to grant stability. The by-product of this was not only an increase in power consumption but also produced heat. These two traits voided use of PC2-8500 DDR2 memory in laptops where low power consumption and heat output is the norm. By the time that the manufacturing process improved (shrunk) laptops had already started the shift to DDR3 memory, which uses less voltage at a JEDEC specification of 1.5V.

Learn more about DDR2 laptop memory in part 2 of the Laptop Memory Upgrades Guide.

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