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The specifications of my system say it supports 400 MHz and 533 MHz DDR2 unbuffered SDRAM. I have a 1 GB DDR2 PC2-5300 laptop RAM module. Can I use this in my desktop? If not, what exactly is the difference between desktop RAM and laptop RAM?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

They are physically different sizes and cannot be used interchangeably on that fact alone. DDR2 SO-DIMMS (commonly found in laptops) have 200 pins and regular DDR2 DIMM's have 240 pins.

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Oh... Never realized that.. Thanks... –  Legend Feb 6 '10 at 1:21
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In your case, the answer is no, as you have stated your PC uses SDRAM. However, the answer in general is, "It depends." It really depends on the motherboard manufacturer. Typically the answer is no, however there are some "desktop" models that use SODIMMS. Typically these desktops are small form factor and use laptop SODIMMS to save space.

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Like Mac Minis. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Sep 3 '12 at 1:42
    
@IgnacioVazquez-Abrams its worthwhile noting that all Macintosh hardware is laptop stuff, except for the processors usually. –  Simon Sheehan Sep 3 '12 at 1:51
    
Mac Minis are a good example. Many "desktop" PCs that use Atom processors use SODIMMS as well. –  Keltari Sep 3 '12 at 1:54
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