Upgrading your RAM
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What is RAM and what does it stand for? RAM are two or more chips that allow your computer to start, run, access information from your hard drive, display that information to you, convert those files into information you can access, use, edit, etc… Basically, your computer won’t even run without RAM, you'll simply get a black screen or your computer may not even start. RAM stands for Random Access Memory. The word random refers to that fact that any piece of information can be returned at a constant time, regardless of location of any data.
Types of Ram:
There are a few types of RAM (random access memory) out there for you to purchase such as DDR (double-data-rate), DDR2 (double-data-rate 2), DDR3, SODIMM (small outline dual in-line memory module), DRAM (dynamic random access memory), and SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random access memory).
All the information above doesn't specifically refer to the types of RAM. Rather, the information above is about the components of RAM but not the RAM itself. Here’s the break down….
Double-data-rate synchronous dynamic random access memory – whew, that was a mouth full!
Unlike its predecessor SDRAM which was a single-data-rate chip, this DDR SDRAM had the same general principles of SDRAM, however, it used double pumping without increasing the frequency. What does this mean and how will it help me?! Well, to be perfectly honest, it won’t!
So what do I really need to know about DDR SDRAM?
Well, as of 2009 DDR SDRAM was still being used in some computers and even in mobile devices so there might be a chance that you need to replace an old memory module or you might want to upgrade your ram altogether. If so, you need to identify some key thinks on your RAM chip before purchasing new memory. The first thing you need to know is exactly what type of RAM you’re dealing with. As mentioned above, there is DDR, DDR2, and DDR3 and each has a different pc number. To start, we need to identify our DDR type.
Use the image below of a common DDR2 laptop chip as a reference.
This is the main factor in deciding what ram to buy. DDR, DDR2, and DDR3 will NOT work with each other at all.
Next, we want to identity the PC number which is the next more important thing in your decision making process...
The PC Number is also known as the module number which is just as important as the type of RAM in which you use. You cannot have a different module number than your motherboard is made for and if you're not sure what your PC number is, contact your manufacture for more information on the type of RAM that your machine uses.
Then, we want to determine the frequency at which our RAM operates on.
Frequency is the same as the PC number (within its own set of limitations, of course). It is important to know at what frequency your motherboard will use your memory.
Another good piece of info to know is that amount of RAM you have as a whole and each chip.
In this case, this particular RAM chip is a SODIMM DDR2 PC2-5300 @ 667 MHz that has 512 MB of available memory. With this information, we should be able to go into your local fry's electronics, best buy, or any tech store that sells memory modules and be able to successfully upgrade, update, or replace your RAM!
One of these days, I'll go in depth about RAM and all of the smoke a mirrors associated with computer hardware!