The Random Access Memory commonly known as RAM is the virtual storage or simply what would be described as the short-term memory of your computer. Data found in the RAM can be accessed directly without the need to go through the hard drive. For that reason, a computer that handles multiple tasks and processes loads of data every second requires a good RAM capacity to perform to its optimum.
Ordinarily, new computers are only equipped with mostly 2 to 4 GB RAM which might prove to be insufficient if you intend to run heavy programs on the computer. For example, if you are a graphics designer or video editor, you will notice that even a 4GB RAM will not suffice especially when rendering your work. This article describes the most important factors to consider when upgrading your computer memory for optimal performance.
Type of computer
The first factor to consider when upgrading your computer memory is the type of computer in question. Basically, desktop computers carry different sizes of RAM compared to laptops and they cannot be interchanged. So once you identify whether you want to upgrade a desktop or laptop computer, you can proceed to consider other factors.
Type of motherboard
The motherboard is another key factor to consider when upgrading a computer memory because every motherboard comes with a certain number of DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) slots. Desktop motherboards normally come with 4 or more slots but most laptops have only two slots. This therefore means that the less the DIMM slots on the motherboard, the bigger the RAM stick you will require for an upgrade. But if the slots are more, then you can upgrade with several memory sticks of lesser size. This latter option is suitable for upgrades made in phases, so that you upgrade with say a 4GB RAM at first and later on add an extra 2GB or 4 GB memory stick.
Type of RAM
There are three common types of RAM available for desktops and laptops since the year 2003. They are normally abbreviated as DDR SD RAM which basically stands for Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory:
i. DDR SD RAM- developed for computers made before the year 2003, this computer memory was the first generation of RAM designed and is commonly known as DDR1.
ii. DDR2 SD RAM– This computer memory was created for computers developed between the year 2003 and 2007.
iii. DDR3 SD RAM – DDR3 was developed for computers made after the year 2007 and is considered faster than DDR2.
iv. DDR4 SD RAM- This is the fourth generation of computer memory and offers a higher data rate transfer speed than its predecessor. DDR4 also allows a maximum of 512 GB per DIMM compared to the 128GB max of DDR3.
Capacity and Speed of RAM
The capacity and speed of a computer memory directly affects the performance of the computer; thus the importance of considering this factor when making a RAM upgrade. First generation memory sticks are typically available in sizes of 1GB and below, while the second to the fourth generation are available from 1GB to 16GB for desktop and laptop computers. The fourth generation modules offer speeds of up to 3200MHz while second generation can rake a maximum of 3200MHz.
With these few but crucial factors put into consideration, you can now make an informed decision when purchasing your computer memory to experience the best performance.