Question Optiplex 3020 MT -- confusion about DDR3 versus DDR3L and Dell is big part of the confusion!!

Cadillac84

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Apr 22, 2009
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I have a Dell Optiplex 3020 MT (Mini-Tower) with processor i5-4570 which is Haswell family. The RAM supplied by Dell with the computer was Samsung M378B5173QH0-CK0 - DDR3 4GB 1600Hz PC3-12800 and it works well.

However, note that the memory is DDR3 and NOT DDR3L.

Dell has published a bulletin about RAM specs which includes the following:

The document is titled:
Dell OptiPlex Memory Compatibility Guide

and includes the following under item 2.

Model Compatibility Matrix
.
.
Note: DDR3 and DDR3L
.
.
DDR3 and DDR3L are socket compatible, however, It is NOT compatible with systems using 4th Generation Intel (Haswell) processors, which exclusively support 1.35V operation for memory.

Example:
System will shutdown early in POST with a specific error code or beep code. Technical Support must verify that the right memory is used on these systems to prevent unnecessary disptaches.

END of quoted information from Dell.


Maybe the misspelling of the word "dispatches" should tell me something (LOL), but the i5-4570 is a 4th Generation Intel (Haswell) and yet Dell shipped the computer with DDR3 RAM (2 x 4 GB) and it works fine.

So, WHY is this confusing??

I want to replace the 2 x 4 GB with 2 x 8 GB and I don't mind buying DDR3L even though it costs a bit more, but it is obvious the motherboard and H81 chipset and i5-4570 processor will support 1.5 v DDR3 RAM.

So, what should I do?? PLEASE!
 

Phaaze88

Admirable
Herald
Dell is :kikou:

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/75043/intel-core-i5-4570-processor-6m-cache-up-to-3-60-ghz.html
Intel says this cpu can do either memory type, but DDR3L can run at both 1.35 and 1.50v.
DDR3L is more ideal for low power cpus(laptops usually). The internal memory controllers on these chips would fry if you were to pair them with DDR3(1.5v only).

Besides, you're seeing it yourself. Your cpu has been fine with DDR3.
Overvoltage is what kills electronics, not undervoltage, where it just doesn't function, because not enough power.
 

Cadillac84

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Apr 22, 2009
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Dell is :kikou:

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/75043/intel-core-i5-4570-processor-6m-cache-up-to-3-60-ghz.html
Intel says this cpu can do either memory type, but DDR3L can run at both 1.35 and 1.50v.
DDR3L is more ideal for low power cpus(laptops usually). The internal memory controllers on these chips would fry if you were to pair them with DDR3(1.5v only).

Besides, you're seeing it yourself. Your cpu has been fine with DDR3.
Overvoltage is what kills electronics, not undervoltage, where it just doesn't function, because not enough power.
Thanks! Your reply gave me COURAGE to stick a couple G.Skill TridentX DDR3-1600 8x2 in my 3020 MT and the performance boost is palpable! Thank you for your logical response.
 

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