RAM memory is one of the most important components of a PC. Like SSDs, RAM memory is one of the first things we think about changing to improve the performance of our PC or notebook.
The truth is that there are many different types of RAM memory, and we need to know how to choose the right one for our computer before buying one, otherwise we could end up buying one that is unusable. So let’s explore a little bit the basic doubts about RAM memory in the process of Optimizing the PC to make it go faster.
How much RAM do I need for my PC?
The amount of RAM you may need is defined by your specific needs. That is, if you are a designer who works with heavy graphics, or a video editor who moves a lot of heavy video data, we will recommend a minimum of 12GB of RAM, although 16GB would be ideal. If you are a web application programmer, 8GB of RAM would be more than enough, although 12GB is ideal for any computer.
For gamers, we recommend 16GB of RAM, while the ideal is around 24GB or 32GB, especially if you have many games installed on your PC and like to play the latest editions of each title. And if you’re not into all that, but are a normal user, using your PC or notebook to check email, surf the web, work with Office and open social networks, 8GB will be more than enough for such things.
What is the maximum amount of RAM supported by my PC
This is not a minor detail, first before going to the computer store to buy the RAM what you need to do is to know the maximum amount of RAM supported, because if you buy 16GB extra, but the maximum is 16GB, you will not be able to use all the extra memory you have.
If you are not a technician, you should take your PC to a technician or computer shop to have it checked and see by analyzing the model of the motherboard chipset, the type of RAM you support and how much is the maximum, as well as the amount of free RAM slots you have to use.
Types of RAM: how do I identify the one I need?
One of the most basic things we need to know when we think about expanding the RAM memory of our PC, is the type of RAM memory that can be installed.
This means that we need to determine what specific type of RAM will work and be 100% compatible with our motherboard. One thing to be clear is that the different types of RAM are not compatible with each other, that is, you can’t mix a DDR2 module with a DDR4 and expect it to work, because it won’t as they use different numbers of contacts, you can’t actually directly insert it into the RAM slot if it’s not compatible with your board.
RAM Memory Features
Apart from the fact that the RAM is 8GB, 16GB or the capacity we want, there are several other features that are important to know when choosing to expand the RAM of a computer, let’s see each of them:
On high-performance computers with a lot of RAM, it is normal to talk about so-called “dissipation”. It refers to a cooling mechanism that is incorporated and that helps you cool down when it gets too hot. This is usually seen but mainly in gamers and devices with high RAM usage.
After we know the type of RAM we are going to need for our old PC or notebook, what remains is to learn a little about a very important factor that many go unnoticed: the frequency of RAM memory. The frequency of the RAM is nothing more than its “speed”, to call it by one name. Like CPUs, the RAM frequency runs at a certain number of MHz.
Latency” is the time it takes for the memory to respond to any request made by the operating system. Like frequency, CAS latency is an important factor in evaluating RAM stick performance. The lower the latency, the higher the performance, as opposed to the frequency. Latency is measured in levels such as CL7, CL8 and CL9, for example. In this case, CL7 latency will be faster than CL9 latency.
The flight used by RAM memories is not something that everyone wants to know, but it never hurts to take it into account. It is always advisable to keep it as low as possible, this has a direct impact on the energy and heat consumption it can generate.
As we saw, to expand your computer’s RAM memory you will need to be very clear about the maximum capacity your motherboard will be able to recognize, then you will have to determine the type of RAM memory it supports, as well as the frequency of it.
Tip when buying RAM: you must make sure you distribute the modules equally, that is, if you are going to buy 16GB of RAM, ideally you should do it in 2 slots of 8GB of ram. This way, if one of them is damaged, you will still have the other 8GB, that is to say, you will reduce in a 50% the failure probabilities.
Finally, go to an online or physical store and buy the new RAM sticks, disarm your PC, install the RAM in the free slots (or replace the existing one if it is bigger) and turn on your PC, it should already detect the new Ram.