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About Memory (RAM)

What you need to know about memory before you buy...

There are many different kinds of memory used by a PC. But, when we talk about memory here it will be the main system memory. The memory that can make your system faster! This memory holds the instructions from your system's processor and the data it is used on. A computer's memory directly affects its performance so it is very important whether you are buying a new PC or upgrading memory on an old one. It doesn't matter how fast your processor is if there is not enough memory to support it.

The main system memory is called RAM for random access memory. RAM memory can be divided into two categories: static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM).

Static RAM or SRAM holds data as long as your computer is powered on which is why you need to save all of your work before shutting your system down. PCs are usually built with an optimal amount of SRAM. SRAM provides faster processing than its cheaper counterpart, DRAM. SRAM is usually used for Cache memory. It is made up of more electrical components and therefore is more expensive to produce.

DRAM or dynamic RAM is the most common type of RAM memory. Its storage cells must be refreshed every few milliseconds for it to hold data. Even though this is not the fastest RAM, it is what we usually refer to when we talk about adding additional memory to a new system or upgrading memory on an older PC. Systems are normally built with room to add additional DRAM.

In fact, it has never been easier or cheaper to upgrade the memory in your computer. The most important thing to consider is memory compatibility with your system. You can easily find compatibility information in the documentation that came with your system. Oh no, you didn't keep all those papers...not to worry! Memory manufacturers have gotten smarter! They now give us a very simple way to find just what we need through "memory configurators".

Memory configurators are handy little tools that help you find the right memory configuration for your system. By entering information like your system manufacturer and/or computer model name, it will tell you what your system can handle. Like the amount of standard memory, maximum memory, the number of expansion slots and banks in your system.

So where do you find these memory configurators? Most memory manufacturers will have them on their web sites and many online computer supply merchants will also have them. At the end of this article, you can find the links for a few.

Crucial Memory Upgrades
SimpleTech Memory Upgrades

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