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SODIMM vs DIMM: Key differences

There are a lot of different types of memory out there. From DDR3 to the most commonly used DDR4 and the new and upcoming DDR5, you can find all different sorts of RAM modules on the market. However, that’s not the only distinction between them. 

In this article, we’re comparing DIMM and SODIMM memory modules to help you decide the right fit for your machine. 


DIMM vs SODIMM explained

DIMM stands for Dual Inline Memory Module. All the RAM modules you see on the market, regardless of the memory type, are in DIMM format. Instead of memory type, DIMM indicates the memory shape. The longer RAM sticks you see used in desktop computers are DIMM modules.

DIMM (top) and SODIMM (bottom) sizes compared.

SODIMM stands for Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module and is the technical term for laptop RAM modules. So the only real difference between the two is their shape. SODIMM slots are generally half the size of their DIMM counterparts and use a different mounting mechanism to fit in laptops and an All-in-one chassis. 

Also read: What is CPU cache memory? L1, L2 and L3 cache explained


How to tell the two apart?

Outside of the clear labels that both modules will bear, SODIMM modules are much shorter in terms of length compared to their DIMM counterparts. If you can’t physically inspect the RAM you’re using, you can head over to the Task Manager and see the form factor inside the Performance tab. 

The Task Manager will show you the memory form-factor and speed as well as capacity.

Are there any other differences?

SODIMM slots might use slightly more power, but the difference in size is the main difference here as DIMM and SODIMM only refer to the slot that the actual memory module uses. Any differences in performance instead are measured by memory standards like DDR3, DDR4 and DDR5 and the memory speed and latency

Also read: Rockauto vs Partsgeek: 5 talking points

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