Question: Can I go ahead and buy PC3-14900 DDR3 SODIMM's for my laptop if it only requires PC3-8500 DDR3 SODIMM's?

Read our answer below:

Before we answer this question let's first make sure that everyone knows what is meant by PC3-14900 DDR3. This is an alternative name given to DDR3 memory that meets the requirements to run at an effective speed of 1866MHz. Sometimes such memory modules might be also referenced as DDR3-1866, which perhaps is easier to contemplate. The latter's 1866 refers to the effective memory frequency of these modules while 14900 is actually the memory bandwidth measured in Megabytes/second, commonly denoted as MB/s.


With that out of the way letís proceed with answering the question. Unfortunately the answer is "it depends" and so requires a little more explaining. All modern SODIMM's feature a SPD (Serial Presence Detect) chip located on them that stores configuration data for that particular SODIMM such as timings and voltage. Each time you turn on your laptop, it's BIOS (or UEFI as it is known in select DDR3 memory based laptops and eventually all future models) checks the SPD of each installed SODIMM to setup the memory sub-system.


Memory manufacturers usually write SPD profiles for three different operating frequencies, for example a PC3-10600 SODIMM would usually contain SPD data for PC3-6400, PC3-8500 and PC3-10600 operation, this is to allow the same SODIMM to function in a wide range of laptops, in which case the corresponding memory controllers support PC3-6400, PC3-8500 and/or PC3-10600 frequencies. Consequently, a laptop that only supports PC3-8500 speeds but which has PC3-10600 SODIMM's installed would still work "out of the box". The SPD profiles are there to permit backwards compatibility, and also (as an example) allow manufacturers the freedom to halt manufacturing PC3-8500 DDR3 SODIMMís if most sales become generated through PC3-10600 DDR3 SODIMMís.


Since most memory manufacturers usually write SPD profiles for three different operating frequencies, it is unlikely for a PC3-14900 SODIMM to include a PC3-8500 base profile. In the worst case, if you install a PC3-14900 SODIMM(s) into a PC3-8500 only laptop then it may not even start. In the opposite case, such laptops may boot-up providing their BIOS have been programmed accordingly. To be on the safe side it pays to check what SPD profiles the SODIMM's you wish to install contain, or skip buying the most high-end enthusiast (thus most expensive!) SODIMM's in favour of more mainstream SODIMM's, with PC3-10600 SODIMM's being a good example.


Examples of PC3-14900 SODIMM's that do not contain a SPD profile for PC3-8500 operation include Kingston's PnP HyperX KHX1866C11S3P1K2/4G and KHX1866C11S3P1K2/8G memory kits.


Learn more about laptop memory modules in part 3 of the Laptop Memory Upgrades Guide


Would you be interested in viewing other technical laptop memory question topics and answers? If so simply click the button below and choose your desired topic by clicking its title.



Read the Laptop Memory Upgrades Guide to learn about all the aspects you should know when buying laptop memory...

...alternatively discover Where to buy 100% compatible SDRAM, DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 SODIMM memory.

PC2-5300 667MHz DDR2 200-pin SODIMM Dual Channel kits

Looking for a PC2-5300 667MHz DDR2 200-pin SODIMM Dual Channel kit for your laptop? Select the memory upgrade you require below and buy without the hassle!


Need other laptop memory SODIMM's? Simply click a memory type below to view a full list of available SODIMM's...




Kingston laptop memoryCrucial laptop memoryCorsair laptop memoryOCZ Technology laptop memoryPNY laptop memoryHypertec laptop memory
laptop memory for HP laptopslaptop memory for Compaq laptopslaptop memory for Dell laptopslaptop memory for Acer laptopslaptop memory for Lenovo laptopslaptop memory for Toshiba laptopslaptop memory for Asus laptopslaptop memory for Fujitsu-Siemens laptopslaptop memory forFujitsu laptopslaptop memory for Sony laptopslaptop memory for Samsung laptopslaptop memory for Packard Bell laptopslaptop memory for Gateway laptopslaptop memory for Apple laptopslaptop memory for Advent laptopslaptop memory for Medion laptopslaptop memory for MSI laptopslaptop memory for Vobis laptopslaptop memory for Hi-Grade laptopslaptop memory for Alienware laptopslaptop memory for Voodoo laptops
Buy laptop memory at CrucialBuy laptop memory at OfftekBuy laptop memory at MyMemoryBuy laptop memory at NovatechBuy laptop memory at EbuyerBuy laptop memory at Micro DirectBuy laptop memory at DabsBuy laptop memory at SaverstoreBuy laptop memory at PC WorldBuy laptop memory at PC World BusinessBuy laptop memory at PIXmaniaBuy laptop memory at InsightBuy laptop memory at MaplinBuy laptop memory at OyyyBuy laptop memory at MiscoBuy laptop memory at BT Business DirectBuy laptop memory at BT ShopBuy laptop memory at PlayBuy laptop memory at KelkooBuy laptop memory at Zavvi
Copyright © 2009 - 2017 Laptop Memory Upgrades UK - All rights reserved.