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Memory selection

RAM is a very important part of the computer, which, along with the central processor, determines its speed. If it seems to you that the computer does not have enough memory, you can put in it another bar of RAM. How to choose RAM? To choose RAM, you need to know what type of memory your motherboard supports. There are three main types of memory: DDR, DDR2 and DDR3. DDR memory was used in old computers, now finding a computer with DDR memory is not easy. The most common type is DDR2, and the latest machines have DDR3 memory. You can find out the type of memory from the manual for your motherboard.

It is also important to choose a memory with a suitable clock frequency. Frequency is measured in megahertz and depends on the type of memory, but within one type there is a different clock frequency. For example, DDR2 memory can have a frequency from 667 to 1066 MHz, DDR3 – from 800 to 1600 MHz.

Clock speed memory affects the speed of the computer. That is, of two strips of the same volume, the one with the higher clock frequency will be faster. Usually the optimal choice for DDR2 is 800 MHz, for DDR3 it is 1333 MHz.

But note that if you want to choose RAM in addition to the one already installed, its clock frequency should be the same. The fact is that the computer selects a lower clock frequency from two modules for operation, therefore installing a module with a lower frequency will slow down the speed of the entire system, and installing a module from a larger one will not do anything. The volume of the modules does not necessarily have to be the same.

By the way, about the volume. The most popular memory modules have a capacity of 1024 or 2048 MB (1 or 2 GB, respectively). The optimal volume depends on what you use your computer for. For Internet and office applications, 1 GB can be enough, for games and graphics you need at least 2 GB. However, keep in mind that with a weak processor, more memory is unlikely to help.

If the total amount of RAM installed on your computer is more than 3 GB, you will need to install a 64-bit operating system. The fact is that 32-bit systems “see” no more than 3.25 GB of RAM, and 64-bit systems can support up to 192 GB of RAM (depending on the version of the operating system).

More on the speed of RAM affects the so-called timing (latency) of memory. This refers to the delay time of the signal, which is required to execute a particular command. Without going into details, let’s just say that the lower the timing, the better: from two strips with the same frequency, the faster is the one that has less timing.

To select the RAM, you need to understand the labeling. Typically, the marking indicates the type and frequency of memory, say, DDR2-800. There is another labeling option. Memory type is indicated by PC (PC, PC2, PC3). So, the type of DDR2-800 corresponds to the type of PC2-6400. To find out the clock frequency, you need to divide the number in the marking by 8 and round it up if necessary.

If you buy additional memory in addition to the bar that you have already installed (that is, you plan to use dual channel mode), it is important that they not only have the same clock frequency, but also where possible are from the same manufacturer: it sometimes happens that strips from different manufacturers refuse to work in pairs.

When choosing, you should also pay attention to the manufacturer. It is best to choose a memory from the manufacturer that has proven itself on the market – Kingston, Corsair, Apacer, OCZ, PQI, GelL, Patriot, Hynix, etc. chips, which are then used by other manufacturers.

Choosing RAM is not as difficult as it may seem, but this does not mean that the choice of the memory bar should be taken carelessly: if you want your computer to “fly”, you need to take into account all the possible characteristics of RAM.

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