Things to Consider Before Upgrade Computer Memory (RAM)

PC/Laptop Tips & Tricks
Things to consider before upgrade computer memory-RAM1
Things to consider before upgrade computer memory

Solve your confusion picking the right computer memory for upgrade. These are things to consider before upgrade computer memory (RAM)

Many things need to be considered before upgrading your computer/laptop components, including RAM.  Buying incompatible RAM (new or used) leads to many negative impacts for your computer.

Instead giving you boost of performance as you wanted, you may get slow performance, hardware failure, and even blue screen of death (BSOD).

Things to Consider Before Upgrade Computer Memory (RAM)

Then, what things to consider before upgrade computer memory (RAM)? If this question is on your mind right now, then you came to the right place.

Here I am going to give you tips how to choose the correct and compatible computer memory (RAM) for your PC/Laptop.

Before upgrading your PC/Laptop memory, you can start to answer questions below;

#1.Do I really need to upgrade my computer memory?

First thing to consider is your necessity. Many users want to upgrade computer memory based on their own self satisfaction. Consequently, computer specs may a lot higher than it should be.

Imagine a daily office laptop with 32G memory. Surely, it will be a waste of resources and your money.

First, you need to check your RAM performance in your system. If you are Windows user open task manager by click Star menu – type “Task manager” – press Enter then select Performance tab.

You can also check for deeper info by clicking Resource Monitor at the bottom.

Things to consider before upgrade computer memory-need upgrade
Checking RAM performance: need to upgrade

Also read: How to Upgrade Your Windows 7, 8, 8.1 to Windows 10 (easiest way)

Look at the graph and see how much free memory available for executing basic tasks. Here, you can analyze and then decide whether you need to upgrade you memory or not.

If you considered that adding RAM is a must then move to the next question.

#2.What type of computer memory supported for my PC?

Don’t have a clue for the answer? Well, you are not alone. Finding the right computer memory sometimes become troublesome for many users.

Various factors determine the right choice of computer memory. Here, I am going to help you to answer.

  • 32-bits vs 64-bits Operating System

    Things to consider before upgrade computer memory-32bit vs 64 bit
    32-bits vs 64-bits

    This factor determines how much computer memory size you can effectively install to your PC. For 32-bits operating system, maximum memory size for handling information is up to 4GB. More than that will be a waste.

    So, if got 32-bits operating system, 4GB memory is your limit, don’t add more memory to your PC.

    For 64-bits operating system instead, you can add memory more than 4GB. For executing heavy tasks, which need a large memory usage, it will surely boost your PC performance.

    Further information related, you can read Differences between Windows 32-bits vs Windows 64-bits You Didn’t Know.

    Note: If you own 64-bits supported processor (CPU) but still running on 32-bits operating system, it is a wise to reinstall it for 64-bits to overcome memory limitation.

    Next, RAM type is another things to consider before upgrade computer memory

  • RAM Types: DDR vs DDR2 vs DDR3 vs DDR4

    DDR (Double Data Rate) is classification of RAM determined based on the performance and the technology applied. The higher number associated on the DDR memory means the more sophisticated technology used.

    DD4 is now the fastest RAM available compared to its predecessor (DDR3, DD2, DDR). If you heard DDR5 lately, it is only for graphic card (GDDR5) which is not yet implemented in your memory system.

    Type of RAM is an important factor you must consider before upgrading your computer memory. Take a note that, none of each RAM successors are forward or backward compatible. It means one motherboard is limited only for one type of RAM.

    Therefore, before upgrading your computer memory you have to find what type exactly your DDR RAM supported for the motherboard.

    There is software out there that gathers information of your system. These programs will display the details for you. One example is CPU-Z. Below is a screenshot that shows the information you need:

    Things to consider before upgrade computer memory-CPU-Z
    RAM Information in CPU-Z

    As you can see above that is the information you are looking for. Type of RAM, speed and latency.

    As alternative, you can get help from http://www.crucial.com/ to decide whats your up-gradable device and what best for you. Also, this website provides a handy tool to analyze your system and then give you an advice.

    Must check: How to clean dirty RAM memory stick and socket

  • Motherboard Architecture: Multi-channel Memory Support

    Motherboard comes as important factor before deciding the right RAM for your system. Modern motherboard commonly supports multi-channel feature.

    Multi-channel memory architecture is a technology to increase transfer data rate between the memory controller and the DRAM memory by adding more channels of communication between them.

    However, some conditions should be taken into account to get full advantages of this feature. To get best performance of multi-channel memory, combining the right multiple RAMs is important.

    It is best to build your memory system consist of the same RAM type, size, voltage and latency. here is why:

    Lets take an example, your laptop has 2 slots of memory available and you want to install 4GB RAM. Which combination will get the better performance for applying dual-channel memory feature:

    1 slot x (4GB), 2 slots x (1GB + 3GB) or 2 slots x (2GB + 2GB)? Here is the answer

    • 1 slot x (4GB) = Multi-channel is not applied
    • 2 slot x (1GB + 3GB) = 1GB each in multi-channel and the rest 2GB in single channel
    • 2 slot x (2GB + 2GB) = Best multi-channel combination

    As you can see above, it is important to make sure each slot installed with the same size, speed and latency.

    Different speed or latency for each slot will make your memory system non-optimal. Because the lowest RAM speed will be used as overall performance standard.

    The faster RAM speed will be decreased to the same level as the lowest RAM due to performance balancing. Therefore, your high speed RAM will be a waste if you combine it with low speed RAM.

    One more thing to consider to take advantage of multi-channel technology is the memory slot. Take a look picture below

    Things to consider before upgrade computer memory-Socket color
    Memory slot color

    If you happen only have a pair memories and your Laptop/PC got 4 slots available, make sure you plug both memory into the same slot color. The same slot color indicates that both work in a dual channel set.

    That is how you get full advantages of multi-channel technology into your memory system. The combining method also works best for triple-channel or quad-channel architecture. This is definitely one of things to consider before upgrade computer memory.

Also check: Should I Remove Laptop Battery to Extend Its Lifetime?

#3.Budget (New or Used Memory)

Best device for upgrade is balanced with your need and budget. Many major companies offer their best memory product. While it is best to get latest supported RAM, which mostly pricey, you can also consider to buy used RAM.

As long as you know what best type for you, used RAM never be a problem.

Wrapping Up: Things to Consider Before Upgrade Computer Memory

Although many things have to be considered, you can upgrade computer memory by playing safe. Since any given motherboard will only be compatible with a single type of DDR memory. All you need to do buy the type that works in your computer.

You can just buy the fastest memory available if you aren’t sure of the exact speed your computer uses. Just remember, don’t mix it with the lower RAM.

Hope this article helps you to learn and decide the best memory to upgrade your PC. If you find this article is useful, share it with your friends.

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