Choosing PC Memory

Component selection for your PC Memory upgrade

PC memory or RAM (Random Access Memory) is required by your computer to store information temporarily, whilst running your operating system and an application program. Permanent computer memory storage is provided by your hard disc drive.

The common variants in use today are DDR (Double Date Rate) and DDR2 DIMMS (Dual Inline Memory Module)

DDR sticks or modules come in 184 pin DIMMS and replace the older SDRAM type (DDR2 modules come in 240pin DIMM). Both are available in various speeds and capacity and can be used singly or as multiples of the same speed rating.

You should choose your upgrade carefully as any errors or glitches will cause data that you are currently working with to be corrupted. This is also the reason why you should regularly save your data during any important sessions, for instance whilst working on an important document or database file.

Memory is often the bottleneck for computer speed. You need to ensure that you have enough to allow your operating system and application to run smoothly. If there are a lot of programs running simultaneously or you are doing a lot of video editing for instance then you need to ensure that you have enough capacity to allow unhindered operation.

Depending upon your internet use you will probably require around 1 to 2 GB of memory see the PC Components section for some suggested system specifications.

For better performance a lot of motherboards have dual-channel memory controllers which configure your DIMMS in pairs for system memory transfer and access. You will need to have two identical memory sticks and install in the correct slots to ensure enhanced operation.

So select two 512MB DIMMS or two 1GB DIMMS of the same manufacturer and memory type.

You can get non-parity and ECC type pc memory, non parity memory doesn’t provide for error detection, for this you will need to use ECC module but remember that this will slow down the operating speed and you need to confirm that your motherboard supports this.

Motherboards are fussy as regards memory. You need to confirm that the memory and motherboard are compatible with one another. To do this go to the website for the motherboard manufacturer and if it is of reputable make, you should find a list of compatible memory type and manufacturer listed.

Another option is to visit www.crucial .com and use their memory configuration tool.

Crucial, Kingston, Corsair and OC2 are all good quality computer memory suppliers.

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