With graphics cards, smartphones and many other devices we are used to seeing defined RAM memory configurations that cannot be modified, but this is something that in the PC ecosystem would seem almost absurd, more than anything because we are used to having to choose the RAM to use when mounting a PC. However, would it be possible to see computers with the RAM built into the motherboard or even in the processor?
To be fair to reality, there are already “PCs” that have built-in RAM, and we only have to go to the new generation consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X / S) to see it, since after all they have hardware of custom and optimized x86 architecture, of course with the memory integrated in the board directly. Likewise, there are also computers with the RAM “welded to the board” that do not allow modifying it, although this is a bit different from having it integrated as such. In any case, what about the desktop PCs we are so used to?
Advantages and disadvantages of built-in RAM in a desktop PC
To see if it is feasible to use integrated RAM in a desktop PC, it is inevitable to weigh the pros and cons of doing so, so we are going to carefully analyze the possibilities that exist to determine the feasibility of it.
Advantages of integrating RAM on the motherboard
- The first of the advantages would be a more direct link, without intermediaries (the memory sockets) with the processor, and as you will suppose a direct communication implies a higher performance . Also, just as they have done on the PS5 and Xbox Series X / S, the chips can be placed equidistant from the processor to equalize latencies.
- The second big advantage would be the price . It is true that integrating the RAM on the board would make the price of this component more expensive, but in return we would save having to buy it separately. In addition, in the medium and long term it would mean a saving in manufacturing costs and therefore its price should necessarily be reduced.
- Another advantage would be that since we eliminate having to install a component on the board, we eliminate a possible point of failure due to mishandling. As we will see shortly, this is also a disadvantage, although for other reasons.
And what disadvantages would it have?
- The first and main disadvantage of doing this would be that when we buy a system we will be forever limited in terms of the amount and speed of RAM. One of the advantages of buying a PC by parts is that you choose each component depending on your needs and budget, and specifically RAM is one of the components that we often leave “to expand later.” In other words, that of buying a PC with 8 GB of RAM would end for later, when you save, add as much to have double it.
- The second disadvantage has to do with the price, since although as we have said before in the medium and long term it would mean a saving in manufacturing costs, it would also cause many companies that are dedicated to this would have to terminate these segments of their business, having to dedicate themselves to others and potentially being forced to raise prices in order to survive.
- The third disadvantage has to do with the assembly. As we have said before, it can be an advantage that there is one less component that can break when handling it, but it would also mean that a fault in the RAM chips would force us to have to change the motherboard in its entirety, being a very expensive component and more. if there is built-in RAM.
Like everything in life, integrating RAM directly on the board has its good and bad things; Now, if at this point they have not done it in the PC ecosystem but in other ecosystems such as consoles and smartphones for example, it is because they have already valued it and determined that it is better to leave it as it is. In fact, we have an example of manufacturers that integrate on-board memory at Apple, and you are surely aware of the complaints there are about it.
Anyway we ask you: if integrating the RAM on the board provides more performance and makes it cheaper, would it be an option that you would choose even knowing its disadvantages?