When it comes to improving how your PC works, upgrading your memory is one of the fastest, cheapest and the most effective way of doing it. But navigating your way into a memory upgrade is not necessarily as easy as it might seem. There are plenty of options out there and with the help of these five tips, you can find just the right one for your needs.
1. Learn the classifications and types
First, it’s important to ensure you understand what are the different types of available memory options for PC. You can’t simply walk into a store or Google ‘PC memory’ and sort out your memory needs. If you know what the abbreviations and others actually stand for, you can guarantee a better result for your search.
The most used memory options include the following:
- RAM, random access memory
- SDRAM, synchronous dynamic random access memory
- DDR, double data rate
- DIMM, dual in-line memory module
- SO-DIMM, small outline dual in-line memory module
Furthermore, memory modules have different standards. What this means is that you can’t use a different standards on your motherboard. Your motherboard will decide the kind of memory module standard you need, so knowing this is crucial. The most common standards include DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4. The most recent standard of these is the DDR4.
2. Define how much memory you want
Once you are aware of the classification, you can start thinking more about the qualities of the memory. The key question to answer is ‘How much memory do I want?’ Outlining your memory needs is important for two reasons. First, it ensures you don’t end up buying memory that doesn’t meet your needs and you’ll be facing another upgrade soon. The second reason is how it can help you save more money as well. You won’t be spending money on something that’s too much for you or wasting your money on something that doesn’t sufficiently cover your needs.
When it comes to deciding how much memory you want, you need to keep a few limitations in mind. As mentioned, the motherboard is key to picking the right memory. You can’t install more memory modules than there are slots on the motherboard, so make sure to check this. You also can’t exceed the capacity of your motherboard. If it has a 4GB limit per module, for example, you can’t stick an 8GB module in the socket.
3. Select the right memory speed
Aside from considering the memory capacity, you also need to think about the memory speed. The speed helps you to understand the performance of the module and it can be helpful to know in order to ensure your motherboard can handle the module.
You should always stick to the maximum supported speed by the CPU. For example, if your CPU maximum support speed is 1333MHz, you shouldn’t go beyond it. You can find the list of supported memory speeds from the product page of your CPU provider. For example, you can find information on the Intelwebsite for its CPUs.
4. Set your budget
Once you are aware of the specifications you are looking for, you should start thinking about your budget. Memory comes in many different formats and this means the price range can be rather huge as well. It’s a good idea to consider an upper limit for your upgrade and then start looking what different brands offer with your specifications in mind. Make sure you also visit HotUKSavings, which can help you cut the cost of shopping for ram by offering vouchers to your favourite online stores.
Remember that settling for something cheaper, but out of your requirement range, might not actually be a smart move. In fact, it can cost quite a bit more in the long-run, since you have to look for a new upgrade in a bit. If you can, always stretch your budget a bit according to your needs.
In terms of the biggest brands, you should keep an eye out for these memory providers:
5. Be prepared to troubleshoot memory
The final step is all about ensuring you can make the most out of your memory. Your memory can be one of the parts of the PC that keeps failing the most, but luckily, it’s super easy to test and troubleshoot. You can find a good guide to troubleshooting memory from AVADirect.
Knowing how to troubleshoot will help you isolate the module that’s not working, ensuring you don’t spend money on replacing modules that still work. Furthermore, it’s crucial for testing your new memory to guarantee you haven’t bought a module with a defect. If your new memory doesn’t work, check the above to ensure you have the right type for your CPU and motherboard. If you do, contact the customer service of the brand or the retailer for more information.
If you’d like to get more out of your PC, upgrading the memory can be relatively easy and cheap. You just need to make sure to follow the five tips above and you’ll soon have a faster and more reliable computer to use.