Upgrading your RAM
RAM memory, or Random Access Memory, is highly important to a fast and smooth system on your computer. In fact, a memory upgrade can sometimes be as effective as buying a new computer, and much cheaper.
RAM is not permanent storage, and neglecting to frequently save your data to your hard drive or removable storage will result in lost information in the case of a power failure. RAM can be either dynamic (DRAM) or static (SRAM). DRAM needs to be refreshed frequently, or it forgets the data it is working with, and so it takes more time to access memory. SRAM does not require refreshment because it works by using flip-flop circuitry with two stable states comprising one bit of memory. SRAM, therefore, has more parts and is more expensive than DRAM, but is also much faster.
Of course, computers come with their own RAM already installed. Most today are outfitted with DDR memory, or double-date rate memory. The clock signal – the cycle that synchronizes two or more circuits – activates DDR memory on both the rising and falling edge and so performs twice as fast. Most new computers come with 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM; however, the more memory the better. Windows XP or Windows Vista operating systems require nearly 256 MB to run, so having more RAM will allow for smoother and quicker Web and application usage.
RAM is simple to install; you buy computer memory in DIMMs, or dual inline memory modules, that can be easily upgraded or replaced. They come in a variety of sizes and slip into slots in the motherboard; thus, different memory modules will be compatible with different motherboards. Apple computer memory can be upgraded using Apple's Xserve memory products with their Intel Xeon processors.
- At least 512 MB is necessary for an efficient system, but 1,024 MB is generally an acceptable minimum for truly reliable and fast performance.
- The fastest memory your computer can handle; if you have a new computer, 677MHz memory will greatly improve your computer's speed and efficiency.
- 2GB or more if you use applications heavy on graphics or videos.
- What kind of memory is compatible with my motherboard?
- What is the fastest memory my computer can handle?
- Based on my operating system and type of computer usage, how much memory do I need?
- Can I install it myself or do I need to get it installed by a professional?
- A2Z Computers
- Memory Man
- Viking Components
Common Accessories or Add-Ons
- RAM disks
Computer memory price has decreased over the years, but for DDR2 RAM, $50 to $75 per gigabyte is acceptable and should be expected.
Though most computers come with RAM, it is often not adequate to handle the demands of a modern-day computer user. Running the operating system, applications and the Web requires a significantly higher amount of RAM; therefore, the more, the better. Fortunately, RAM has become increasingly affordable and is easy to add to any computer.