How to Upgrade RAM
Most computers can be made faster by simply performing some cleanup and maintenance. But sometimes speeding up a computer takes a bit more than removing junk files, running disk defrag, disabling unnecessary startup items, and tweaking Windows settings. That’s why you should consider adding more RAM (Random Access Memory).
RAM is used as temporary data storage for the operating system and the programs it runs. That’s why the more RAM you have, the faster your system will be. Upgrading computer memory is a low-cost way to speed up your PC. Adding RAM is pretty easy and you can do it yourself without a technician’s help.
Getting the right type of RAM
First of all you need to find out what type and how much memory you need. There are different types of RAM, such as basic SDRAM, DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4. The higher the DDR number, the faster the RAM chips.
If you still have your motherboard manual, you should be able to look up what kind of RAM is right for your computer, how many memory slots your computer has and how much each slot can handle.
If you don’t have the manual handy, you can find the right RAM by
doing an online scan. There are lots of websites, usually online shops that
sell RAM, such as Crucial.com,
where you can perform a free scan and find out what type of RAM is right for
All you need to do is download a small piece of software that doesn’t require installation and run a quick scan. You will then know exactly what sort of RAM is compatible with your system.
Keep in mind that some RAM modules can only be installed in pairs, so check it out before purchasing new memory. Also remember not to mix memory modules with different performance or from different manufacturers.
To look up how much memory you have in Windows Vista and 7, press
the Windows key + Pause/Break key to open system properties.
Do the same for Windows XP or open System,
right-click on My Computer and go to Properties.
The information you need will be listed on the General tab.
How to install RAM
If you have a desktop, do the following:Shut down the computer and unplug the power cord. Also it’s a good idea to wear an anti-static wristband, since static electricity can damage the RAM sticks. Another way to avoid static electricity is to keep one hand on a metal part of the computer case. Open the side of the case. Unplug some cables to give yourself enough room. Make a note of which ones you have unplugged. Find the RAM slots on the motherboard. Usually they are near the CPU. Remove the new RAM from its anti-static bag. Hold it by the edges to have as little contact with the working parts as possible. Line up the memory with the motherboard RAM slot. Ensure that you have the RAM the correct way round. Begin to press down, first gently and then increase the pressure until the memory is installed. Make sure it is seated correctly. Plug in the cables you have unplugged and close the case. Start your computer. Windows should detect the installed RAM automatically. To check it out go to System Properties (Windows key + Pause/Break key) and view the amount of RAM on the General tab.
If you are a laptop user, use a screwdriver to open the panel at the bottom and find the RAM slots. Insert the memory, replace the panel, put the screws back, and boot your laptop. If the memory was installed correctly, the computer will start using it and you will be able to check it out in System Properties.
More about RAM and virtual memory in our ebook “Turbo Windows – the Ultimate PC Speed Up Guide”. Download it for FREE now!