Computer Memory - When and How to Upgrade

By: lee jones

Since installing computer memory, also known as RAM is a pretty simple and straight forward task; I will first focus on why you might need an upgrade.? RAM stands for random access memory. It is defined as computer memory available to the user for creating, loading, or running programs and for the temporary storage and manipulation of data, in which time of access to each item is independent of the storage sequence.

So what does that mean? Just know this; RAM is one of the most important factor in a computer's performance. Adding memory will enhance your computer's overall performance. But you can't just go to the computer store and purchase a 4GB stick of RAM. There is a bit of research involved.

If you've built your own computer, then you should have the user's manual for the motherboard you installed in your system. The user's manual will list the maximum memory supported for the motherboard. It will also give you the memory standard. If you purchased your computer, you?can visit the website of your computer's manufacturer to get this info.

Example:

The DX38BT provides 4 DIMM sockets using Dual Channel 240-pin DDR3 with a total capacity of up to 8GB-64bit. You can install DDR3 800/1066/1333MHz Memory.

This example is from the user's manual of a motherboard. You don't need to know what it means, but you do need to realize that only this type of memory will work in your computer.

4 DIMM sockets means you can put up to (4) memory sticks in your computer and together they cannot exceed 8GB. So, you can have one 8GB stick (but they aren't selling those yet), two 4GB or four GB sticks. They must be 240-pins. This represents the size and configuration of the stick. The DDR3 800/1066/1333MHz deal with processing speeds. The main thing to keep in mind when upgrading your RAM is to get the correct size memory. Make sure the RAM you purchase adheres to the user's manual's or website's recommendations.

Ok, enough technical mumbo, jumbo. Now for the easy stuff; let's install our new memory. If this is a factory computer, you might first have to get over your fear of opening your computer. Trust me, it's not as hard as it may seem. It is more difficult finding the correct memory for your computer than it is installing it. (Remember, static electricity is a CPU killer, so be sure to ground yourself prior to touching any of the inner workings of your computer.)

Once inside, simply locate the RAM, unclamp the retaining clips and remove them from the DIMM. Take the upgraded RAM, align it with the DIMM, and push it straight down into the DIMM until the retaining clamps secure the RAM in place. You may need to fix the retaining clips on the RAM manually. And you are done. Now, wasn't that easy?

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