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What exactly influences the kind of RAM a desktop or laptop can support? Apart from the clock speed, the maximum amount of RAM the motherboard can handle, the DDR type (1/2/3) and the shape of the module (DIMM for desktops, SO-DIMM for laptops)?

I see that in certain cases, such as with the Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333MHz CL9, (and on the Kingston KTD-L3B/4G page) the page displays a set of laptop product numbers.

Does the actual model of the laptop also influence the models of RAM it can support? Could, for instance, an Asus K52 work with that particular RAM module, even if it specifies Dell models?

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closed as not constructive by Nifle, Canadian Luke, 8088, Randolph West, CharlieRB Sep 6 '12 at 19:43

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Besides the form factor, DDR standard and clock speed that you already mentioned, another factor is whether or not the memory module is registered. Registered memory won't work in a motherboard designed for non-registered modules, and vice versa. This only applies to desktops, though - I'm not aware of any laptops that use registered memory.

As for those links, it seems that the numbers on Kingston's website are product numbers for Dell's rebranded versions of that same Kingston module, not for laptops that work with it. So yes, that module should work fine in an Asus K52. In general, the type of memory a computer supports depends mostly on the chipset or processor (whichever houses the memory controller), as well as the motherboard design (insofar as that determines the number of memory slots available).

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Thanks for helping :) – Albert Iordache Sep 3 '12 at 20:06

Simply put, the type of RAM a machine can use is dictated by the motherboard manufacturer. The manufacturer determines what characteristics of RAM (speed, ECC, size) they feel are best suited for that motherboards intended application and choose the memory type and controller as necessary.

The processor is irrelevant to the equation.

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Thank you for helping :) – Albert Iordache Sep 3 '12 at 20:06

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