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Taking off from last weeks blog about HDD's and how to upgrade yours, we decided to move on to RAM, another crucial part of the puzzle for any computer system to run.
You've it heard it being talked about on TV, in movies, by your friends and in the paper but what exactly is it?
Ram stands for random access memory, Simply put - it provides space for your computer to read and write data to be accessed by the CPU (central processing unit or brain of the computer)
Ram is the place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's processor. RAM is much faster to read from and write to than the other kinds of storage in a computer, the hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM. However, the data in RAM stays there only as long as your computer is running. When you turn the computer off, RAM loses its data. When you turn your computer on again, your operating system and other files are once again loaded into RAM, usually from your hard disk.
RAM can be compared to a person's short-term memory and the hard disk to the long-term memory. The short-term memory focuses on work at hand, but can only keep so many facts in view at one time. If short-term memory fills up, your brain sometimes is able to refresh it from facts stored in long-term memory. A computer also works this way. If RAM fills up, the processor needs to continually go to the hard disk to overlay old data in RAM with new, slowing down the computer's operation. Unlike the hard disk which can become completely full of data so that it won't accept any more, RAM never runs out of memory. It keeps operating, but much more slowly than you may want it to.
With out ram your computer would not turn on nor would it be able to open programs and applications...
How do i know if i need more ram?
It all depends on how well your system is running. If your system is running fine, no matter what applications your using, then you may not need to purchase more memory. But, if your system is really sluggish on most applications and you've made sure you don't have any spyware, malware and/or viruses, then you may need to purchase more memory.
What kind of ram do i need?
There are 4 key factors to keep in mind when purchasing ram for your pc or MAC.
They are: Size, type, speed and memory slot.
Size - This is the amount of memory that each piece of ram contains, In today’s market ram can be purchased in 512mb, 1GB, 2GB, 3GB, 4GB & 8GB capacities.
Type - There are many different types of ram on the market, DDR3 is the most up to date and current ram available however older systems did use DDR2, DDR and SDRAM.
Speed - Each piece of ram can be purchased in different speeds. This speed works in conjunction with your motherboard allowing the CPU and hard drive to access the ram quicker. For most home users this is not a big thing to keep in mind but for high end gaming computers its every thing!
Memory slot - This specifies the form factor of the RAM your system uses. Most computers/Macs use DIMMs (Dual In-line Memory Modules), while laptops and some early computers take SODIMMs (Small Outline DIMMs).
How much ram do i need?
This purely comes down to personal budget, the amount of memory slots available and what your motherboard can handle.
We recommend downloading a free utility called CPU-Z from www.cpuid.com.
This application will tell you every thing you need to know about your motherboard and what its compatible with.
If your budget allows for it there is no reason not to splurge and purchase the maximum amount of ram possible.
Installing ram is not hard, its the same principal for every computer but the way it is installed differs from system to system i.e how you access the motherboard by disassembling your computer or Mac.
Below are a few of tutorials from you tube on how to upgrade your ram.