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8 GB Computer RAM

The more computer RAM you have, the more use you can get out of your system. RAM is the system's working memory, and it controls how many programs you can have open at once and how big a file you can work with. For most users 8 GB RAM is about the minimum you want for smooth operation. Many can also benefit from two 8 GB sticks for a total of 16 GB of RAM.

Types of RAM

There are several different kinds of RAM on the market, and it is important to get the right kind of RAM for your computer. Most computers use either DDR4 or DDR3 SDRAM modules, and they are not interchangeable. Not only do they have different pinouts, but they require different voltages. Always check the type before upgrading your computer's RAM.

Laptop vs. Desktop

Just to add to the confusion, laptops and desktops use different kinds of RAM, even when both use DDR3 or DDR4. The difference is the size of the stick. Desktop RAM uses what's called a DIMM, or dual in-line memory module, which is about 133 millimetres long. Laptops rely on SODIMMS, or Small Outline DIMMS, which are only 67 millimetres long. While they work the same way, they don't physically fit in the same slots.

Memory Speeds

Not all 8 GB memory sticks of the same type are created equal; some are faster than others. An 8 GB PC3-12800 stick of RAM can handle over two million more transfers per second than an 8 GB PC3-10600 stick. It connects to the computer with a faster bus, so everything runs that little bit faster. You may pay a premium, but it's worth it.

Choosing RAM

The right amount of RAM for any computer is the greatest amount the system will support. The more you have, the smoother everything runs. If your computer can support 8 GB of RAM, do not settle for less. More memory is always worth it.

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