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by mccashin

Buy computer memory

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Buying memory for a computer can be tricky. A few simple tips can help.

  • First determine memory type, form factor and speed. This information is usually listed in your documentation or it can be found on memory manufacture's web site. Search Google for "computer memory manufacturers".
  • Some examples of the different types of memory include: DDR-SDRAM, DDR2-SDRAM, DIMM, DRAM, EDO, SDRAM, LIMM, RAMBUS, SIMM, and SODIMM. Often many computers today use a variant of DIMM/SDRAM memory. Laptops often us SODIMMs.
  • Form Factor (Amount of Pins). How many pins does the computer accept? 72-Pin, 30-Pin, 168-Pin, 184-Pin, 240-Pin, etc. This will often be related to the type of memory.
  • Memory Speed - The speeds of memory are  expressed in MHz such as: 266MHz, 333MHz, 400MHz, 500MHz, 533MHz, 667MHz, 800MHz. Make sure you get the correct speed of memory. If a memory chip is too slow it will slow the computer to slowest memory chip installed or not work at all.
  • Determine how many memory slots your computer has and how much memory you wish to add. It's better to add the smallest number of chips possible to get the memory amount you need. This leaves room for expansion later. IE if you have 3 slots with 512Meg in slot 1 and you want 1.5 Gigs total, add one 1Gig piece in slot 2 instead of 2x512 meg and fill both slots.
  • Check you don't exceed the maximum memory for your motherboard or for you operating system. Most 32 bit OSs can only use either 3 or 3.5 Gigs of memory max.