This website is accessible to all versions of every browser. However, you are seeing this message because your browser does not support basic Web standards, and does not properly display the site's design details. Please consider upgrading to a more modern browser. (Learn More).

Inside Your Computer Part 4 – The Memory

Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004

e-mail E-mail this page   print Printer-friendly page

Continuing with the “Inside Your Computer” series, this week we will look at memory. Memory is simply a part of your computer which has information uploaded to it temporarily, allowing instant access. The more memory you have the more information that can be uploaded, enhancing your computers performance.

Memory comes in many shapes and sizes, and has changed throughout the history of computers. For the sake of simplicity I will only cover memory sold with computers in today’s market.

The memory sold today is called DDR. It is broken into two main groups. DDR 184-Pin DIMMs, (Desktop computer memory) and DDR 200 Pin SoDIMM (Laptop/Notebook memory). The DDR 200-Pin SoDIMM memory is available in one speed (2100) and is usually half the physical size of its counterpart, whereas the DDR 184-Pin DIMM comes in several speeds (2100, 2700 and 3200). The picture below shows a DDR 184-Pin DIMM.

Most desktop computers sold in today’s market will be sold only with DDR2100 (this is how you abbreviate DDR 184-Pin DIMMs running at 2100), and it best not to mix with the faster types (DDR2700, or DDR3200) which can cause instability within your computer. If you decide to change to the higher speed memory remember to replace all of it.

So now that you know about different sizes and types, the next thing you need to know the sizes. DDR memory comes in 64mb, 128mb, 256mb, 512mb and 1gb chips.

So how much memory can you install? Well unfortunately this is down to the motherboard installed in your computer. There is three ways to find out, phone the manufacturer of your computer, look up the motherboard manufacturers website, and if you are lucky check out the motherboard manual.

In general though most new computers should be Ok with two 256mb chips of memory, but it is best confirming this before buying.

Finally, this memory can be installed a chip at a time, some people still carry the old belief that you have to install two of the same or it won’t work. Don’t worry as that was along time ago, and PC’s have changed since then