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This new flat memory module will change PC building

New CAMM memory standard will be coming to desktop PCs, meaning you don't need to worry about CPU cooler clearance any more.

Micron CAMM2 module using LPDDR55 memory

A new type of compact memory module is coming to the desktop PC, coming on a circuitboard that sits flat against your motherboard. Compression Attached Memory Modules (CAMM2) were first announced by Dell back in 2022, and we’d assumed they were only going to be used in laptops, but it’s now been confirmed that they’re coming to future desktop PCs as well.

That might seem like a strange decision at first – it’s not as if there isn’t room in the average desktop PC case to accommodate today’s standard memory modules from the likes of Corsair, which stand perpendicular to your motherboard. Most of the RAM on our best gaming memory guide will easily slot into a standard desktop PC. However, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I think these compact DDR5 modules will make an excellent addition to the desktop.

For a start, having flat memory modules would completely shut down any problems concerning large CPU air coolers clashing with tall memory sticks, or not having clearance for a roof-mounted AIO cooler because your DIMMs are too big. They’d also be great for mini-ITX systems, where we’re already seeing the advantages of mounting M.2 SSDs and SO-DIMM sockets on the back as well as the front of the motherboard.

The JEDEC standard for CAMM2 memory modules explicitly states that “DDR5 CAMM2s are intended for performance notebooks and mainstream desktops,” and I think we’re likely to start seeing them being used on slim and compact mini PCs. Tech website wccftech also claims that memory maker SK Hynix stated that the new standard would be coming to desktop PCs at CES, and that the first desktop products are already underway.

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JEDEC lists two main memory standards using CAMM2 – LPDDR5 (LPCAMM2) for laptops and servers, which require less power, while desktops will use full-fat DDR5 modules. Earlier this month, Micron revealed its first module using the former type of memory, promising capacities of up to 64GB and effective speeds of up to 9,600MHz.

Don’t expect to see CAMM2 memory modules in gaming PCs any time soon, though. Standard desktop PC motherboards have used DIMMs in some form since the late 1990s, and moving to a whole new format will require a very different approach to motherboard and memory module design, as well as preventing you from using old memory modules in a new system. Indeed, CAMM2 may only ever end up being used in mini PCs, and never even make it to high-end gaming PCs. That would be a shame, though, as there’s huge potential here.

In the meantime, check out our guide to the best gaming RAM if you’re looking for some good old fashioned memory modules for your system.