4 GB PC3-8500 Computer RAM

One of the easiest ways to improve your computer's performance is with RAM computer memory. Random access memory, or RAM, is what the computer uses to hold its working data. Data flows from RAM to the CPU, and the more RAM you have the better your computer will perform.

What do the Numbers Mean?

When you look at any piece of computer hardware it has a string of numbers to describe what it is, and RAM is no exception. Consider a stick of 4 GB PC3-8500 RAM:

  • 4 GB: This is the capacity; this stick has 4096 Megabytes or 4 binary gigabytes of capacity.
  • PC3: This is the type of RAM. PC3 means that this memory card is DDR3.
  • 8500: This is the data transfer rate in MB/second.

Upgrading RAM

Upgrading your RAM is like installing any other laptop replacement parts. You have to do it properly or you cause more problems than you solve. Most RAM runs in dual-channel mode, so you need two matching sticks to work in tandem. DDR3 and DDR4 are neither physically nor electrically compatible, so make sure you get the right RAM for your computer.