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server memory vs. desktop memory. computer memory stores data for running applications

Memory is one of the most important components in any laptop, PC, or server. It takes data from the hard drive and stores it temporarily. Though the desktop and server have same functionality with similar components, there are certain differences between the two. When you see server memory vs. desktop memory, you can observe the differences with respect to productivity and few features.

When you run applications or perform any activities, the CPU or central processing unit can access the data instructions from the memory. The advantage lies in faster processing and an ability to handle multiple tasks. As the memory stores data on a short-term basis, it allows you to access it constantly as and when required. Depending on the type of your activities, you may require more memory for handling the data flow. You can always check few key specifications to understand if the memory supports your workflow.

What is server memory?

Server memory is similar to computer memory where it stores data for a short while. When you run any particular application, the server processor can contact server memory and take the set of instructions. If you run multiple applications, the server memory can handle the simultaneous stream of data. 

Server memory or server RAM is random access memory. The random word represents the volatile nature of memory. It does not keep the data on a permanent basis as you would expect in a hard drive. The data is stored for a short term as long as the system is running. When you shut off the power of the server, it does not store the data present in the server memory. The server memory takes the data from HDD or hard disk drive and makes it available to the CPU. This allows the CPU to process the data and provide the output. 

The server memory or RAM represents a short-term memory, while the HDD represents the long-term memory. Though CPU can take the data directly from HDD, it can lead to slower processes and longer wait times. The advantage of a short-term memory like server RAM is to keep everything read for the CPU. It can reduce the lag between entering a command and expecting a return.

Significance of server memory

If you opt for a high server memory, you would see the difference in the processing speed. It can cut down the time and allow you to handle many tasks at a fast rate. This is also one of the major differences in server memory vs. desktop memory as server handles many functions on large scale. As servers deal with high productivity activities at a commercial scale, it must have the ability to multi-task. 

Depending on the requirement of the business, one can opt for more server memory or a memory with more bandwidth and speed. This can distribute the load and also increase the processing capacity. It can also function with virtual machines and additional systems, thereby allowing more flexibility and higher productivity. If you would like to upgrade your existing used memory for a new one, you can check your demands and opt for appropriate specifications. You can sell us your used server memory at BuySellRam.com. We accept all types of server memory. You can use the returns on your old memory for upgrading to a new one. 

Key features of server memory

The right server memory for your system depends on your work requirements. You can take a look at the different features that determine the overall functionality. While understanding server RAM vs. PC RAM, you should also look at few key features that affect the processing. For example, you can see the rank, bandwidth, error correcting code, double data rate, motherboard, capacity, and latency. Each of these terms can influence the storage of memory and processing capability. 

Rank and bandwidth

Rank determines the amount of data that can be transferred to the CPU. A server memory with higher rank can send more data. On the other hand, if your server memory has less rank, it may not send the data at a faster speed, leading to slower processing. Bandwidth are the carriers that carry this data from the hard drive to the CPU. You can consider rank as a lane that acts as the way to transfer data, and bandwidth as the car that actually carries it. The unit of measurement for speed is megahertz (MHz), while bandwidth is measured in millions of transfers per second (MT/s). 

When you opt for an optimum memory with the right rank and bandwidth, you will experience a smooth flow of data. You will not come across any lag or bottleneck that can hamper the transfer from server memory to CPU. 


ECC or error correcting code is a mechanism that can correct any faults in the server. If your server memory has ECC, it has the capability to detect any faults during transfer of data. When it comes across such as a fault, the ECC can correct it and eliminate any delays. It acts as a protection for your server, thereby ensuring flawless performance. While understanding server memory vs. desktop memory, you will realize that ECC is extremely important for server. As a minor fault or error can cause a major setback in the data flow, ECC can prevent it. 

Double Data Rate or DDR

This ensures maximum and optimum performance of your data center. The latest version is the DDR4, while the previous generations include DDR3 and DDR2.  All the key features can determine the overall productivity. Hence, your server memory should have the right DDR technology, rank, bandwidth, and capacity for continuous uninterrupted processing.


This contains the slot for inserting your server RAM. You can insert it into the empty DIMM slots. You must check the compatibility of DDR technology and motherboard as it may differ. It is essential to check the number of slots available in your motherboard. 


The capacity of server memory is measured in gigabytes. It measures the amount of RAM or memory available for use in the system. Most server memory may have a capacity of 16GB. For high-end work, you may require a capacity of up to 32GB. 


It measures the amount of time between command and output. If you have a quick server, you can expect lower latency. It translates to faster processing speed.

Types of server memory

A server memory has different forms and types covering the different functionalities and processes. It can influence the overall productivity when you consider server memory vs. desktop memory. 


These are two common forms of server memory. ROM is also called read-only memory. It is a form of volatile or short-term memory that handles data on a temporary basis. It can only read the data and cannot modify or edit.

              RAM or random-access memory is the common form of server memory that stores data for short term usage. It allows the CPU to access the data instructions in a quick manner. There are three basic form factors of RAM memory. The form factor shows the compatibility of the RAM and machine. The registered RDIMM also called as buffered memory can ensure faster and optimum processing.

DIMM or dual in-line memory module has two or more RAM chips on a circuit board for data processing.  As the individual memory modules are stabilized, it gives maximum output for the CPU. On the other hand, unregistered or unbuffered UDIMM cannot stabilize the memory modules, thereby affecting the overall processing capability. The third form is called load reduced LRDIMM. It is also unregistered, but it contains a MP chip that can handle more data. 

ECC and non-ECC memory

ECC or error correction code is a type of server memory that is extremely useful for server workstations. The error correcting code includes a series of software that can detect any errors or faults. It can rectify the error, thereby ensuring minimum delays and issues. ECC server memory contain additional bits or memory controllers for storing the ECC code. The system can compare the ECC code and the encrypted code to check for any discrepancies in the data flow. Desktop memory is usually non-ECC memory that can create room for error. But since desktop or PC is not used for large amounts of data like server, it may not require ECC memory. 

When you are adding new memory components to your system, you must check whether it is ECC or non-ECC. Adding non-ECC to ECC may not provide the advantage of rectifying errors. It may disable the error checking and rectifying processes which can lead to lagging and slower processing with scope for errors.

If you want to understand whether your server memory is ECC or non-ECC, you can count the number of black memory chips. When the chip count is divisible by three or five, it indicates the ECC type. The extra additional chip does the function of detecting errors. ECC is also called parity memory module, and non-ECC is non-parity. Non-ECC or non-parity server memory cannot detect errors. In this case, the chip count is not divisible by three or five. 

 You can determine if you require an ECC type. As the current technology of server memory leaves little scope for error, you may be able to work well with the non-ECC. You can opt for an ECC server memory for your workstation if your work profile demands it. 

Registered and unbuffered server memory

This is another form of server memory. In case of registered memory, there is a register between the DRAM modules and the memory controller. This register can hold the data for one clock cycle and then release it for processing. By doing so, it can stabilize the system and lower the load. It can also reduce the power consumption by creating a buffer or shield. You can may experience slower rates due to the registered memory. In that case, you can increase the performance with multiple channels. It includes buffer date lines and control lines.

     An unbuffered type of server memory does not contain a buffer for stability. This type may not be ideal for a server workstation as it handles large amounts of data. You can only limit it to small servers or desktops.

Server memory vs. desktop memory – understanding major differences

Memory has the same function in both server and desktop. The primary function is to store data so the CPU can use and process it. It acts a volatile or temporary memory stored on a short-term basis. The main difference between server memory and desktop memory is the rectification of error by ECC. Server memory supports ECC that can detect errors and rectify them. This ensures flawless transfer of data. You would not require the same type of error detection in your PC or desktop. Hence desktop memory is usually the non-ECC type. Most of the desktops have non-parity DIMMs that are non-buffered. 

Server memory should be able to process data on a continuous basis. It may have to handle data around the clock with a faster processing rate. It should be free from errors. If the server is shut off, it may lead to loss of valuable data. Hence, features such as buffering and error correcting can ensure proper functioning. If your current server memory cannot handle the workload, you can opt for a memory with a higher rank, bandwidth, and capacity. Before upgrading, you must check the compatibility with the motherboard. 

If you would like to upgrade, you can sell your used memory to us at BuySellRam. You can expect a good price for the used memory. You can check the different specifications before opting for the new one. High memory and higher capacity can allow you to use many functions and applications at the same time. It can increase your processing capacity for performing many activities and applications.