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How do I Choose the Best Computer Memory?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Many people choose to add memory to their desktop and laptop computers instead of purchasing a new computer. Depending on the type of computer memory that needs to be increased, the task may be accomplished at home, with the right components. There are situations in which the memory upgrade may require the assistance of a professional.

Increasing the amount of random access memory on a system is often accomplished by replacing the memory card or cards in the system. Care must be taken to make sure the new cards are compatible with the make and model of the computer. Unlike many other components, the cards are usually designed for use with a single type of system, or a limited number of systems offered by that manufacturer.

Keep in mind that all systems have limits on the amount of computer memory that can be added. Identifying that maximum amount can be managed by consulting the manufacturer, or by following the instructions found in the owner’s manual to identify not only the current amount of installed memory, but the total memory capacity of the system. This is important, since this will allow you to determine if the system is already operating with the most computer memory possible, or if there is the potential to add more RAM.

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Assuming that the system will support more computer memory, check with the manufacturer to determine if they still manufacture memory cards for your system. If so, chances are you can order them directly, and have the cards in hand in a matter of days. While not all systems are configured to allow easy installation of that new memory, many require nothing more than opening the hard drive, locating the two memory card slots, removing the old cards and snapping the new cards into position. Make sure the system is powered down during the installation; disengaging the power cord is often recommended as a good way to minimize the possibility of shock while installing the new cards.

If the manufacturer no longer provides memory cards for your system, check with other online suppliers. There are vendors who offer compatible computer memory cards for many different types of systems, and at competitive prices. Make sure the vendor offers some type of money back guarantee and warranty on any purchases before choosing to place an order. Should the cards not be accepted by your system, you can request a refund and try a different vendor.

For people who do not trust themselves to choose the right computer memory, it may be better to secure the services of a professional. This is especially true if other system upgrades, such as replacing the motherboard, are necessary before ROM or flash memory can be added. Always get an estimate of the costs before making a commitment, and compare those costs with other services in the area. While having the memory upgrade done by a professional is more expensive, doing so brings peace of mind to those who are leery of making the attempt on their own. In the end, you’ll have a system with as much memory as possible, allowing you to make use of your desktop or laptop for a few more years.

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