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Hardware Changes (Part 3 - Memory):

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Memory Cards:One of the easier options for a speed increase is to add memory. In more modern computers that use DDR, DDR2 or DDR3, you could consider changing your memory to a higher speed and amount. Be careful as the newest high speed memory is not supported by all motherboards. Check with your PC manufacturer or motherboard creator for compatibility.

Also remember that DDR2 or DDR3 is not compatible with DDR, as SDRAM is not compatible with other three. Keeping to the same speed is very important as this can cause system problems, but also reduces the speed of the faster ram to that of the slowest.

Note: You have to use a 64 bit operating system to use more than 3GB of ram.

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 mainly sold today is called DDR2 and DDR3. It is broken into three main groups. DDR 3 and DDR2 with 240 pins,  DDR 184-Pin DIMMs, (Desktop computer memory) and DDR 200 Pin SoDIMM (Laptop/Notebook memory). The DDR 200-Pin SoDIMM memory is usually half the physical size of its counterpart, DDR 184-Pin DIMM comes in several speeds (2100, 2700 and 3200), DDR2 sticks are 3200, 4200, 5300 and 6400. The picture below shows a DDR 184-Pin DIMM, none of the memory sticks are compatible with each other.

All of today's desktop computers are sold with DDR2 or DDR3, and they cannot be mixed, and it is best not to mix with different speed types (i.e. 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 how much memory can you install? Well unfortunately this is down to the motherboard installed in your computer and the operating system you are using. To use more than 3GB of RAM you need a 64bit version of Windows. 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. For Windows right click on "COMPUTER" or "MY COIMPUTER" icon and select properties. This will tell you if your operating system is 64 bit or not.

In general though most new computers should be Ok with two 1GB 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



How to Reinstall Windows