How to Pick a RAM?

If you want to upgrade your PC or are looking to build a new one, your graphics card and processor are essential parts of it, but RAM (random access memory) is also an essential component of the computer system and plays a big role in its performance. Adding more RAM makes your PC faster and improves frame rates when compared to systems with less memory. Whether you’re browsing the web, editing videos, or playing a fast game,

If you don’t have enough RAM for the apps and games you want to run, it will make your PC sluggish, and at times it may not run at all. It’s a little challenging to pick the right RAM with the right generation, capacity, and speed for your PC, with lots of numbers and details to understand before you make the final decision for your new RAM. In this post, we give you a good idea of how to pick the best RAM for your new PC.

What is RAM?

RAM stands for random access memory, a PC component used to store temporary data. It is used for everything that you do on your computer, like playing games and browsing the Internet. It’s faster than the storage devices on the computer. It also keeps graphical assets, textures, and content loaded in RAM so your processor can find them quickly without going into permanent storage to complete immediate processing tasks. The more applications you run at a time, the more RAM you need to keep your system running quickly. Every computing device has ram, whether it’s a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone.

module types:

This is the first factor to consider. The types of memory tell you which memory modules can be supported by your motherboard. The different types of RAM represent the different generations of RAM. The name of this latest generation of RAM is DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5. These are the different generations of rams. If you have an almost-new motherboard, you have to use DDR4 memory modules, which were introduced in 2014 and became standard RAM in 2016. But if you have a bit older motherboard, you should look for DDR1 or DDR2.

The types of RAM are the first thing we discussed, and they are the most important factor because they are not cross-compatible. It means if your motherboard has DDR4 slots, it will not use any other RAM generations without DDR4 because your motherboard is not compatible with any other RAM generation. That is why I say this factor is the most important to consider when choosing a new RAM.

Capacity:

This is the part that most people consider when choosing RAM. They think more ram is good and less ram is bad. Generally, 8 GB of RAM gives you a better computing experience than 4 GB of RAM. Different software has its own requirements for available memory. The video games will include RAM capacity in their recommended system requirements. 

However, you cannot purchase as much RAM for your PC as possible. The reason is that the 32-bit processor will only support up to 4 GB of RAM; if you purchase more than 4 GB, you are wasting your money. According to theory, the 64-bit processor can support up to 4 petabytes. As I discussed above, you should note the specifications of your motherboard before choosing RAM because you want to determine what type of RAM your motherboard can support.

Speed:

This is a complex aspect of the ram, and there are two main factors that make the ram fast: timing and frequency.

frequency: the first one is the frequency, also called the speed of ram. when you are looking for ram you find a list as a DDR4-3200 or DDR4 2666 MHz. These numbers of digits present the frequency of the ram. The memory continually cycles through the writing and reading of your current loaded data. This cycle shows how many times per second the memory goes through that cycle. The DDR4-3200 MHz means the frequency cycles presented are almost 3.2 billion reads and write cycles per second. Therefore, high frequency is best.

Time: The second is timing, also known as “column access strobe latency” or “CAS latency,” which measures the delay between your RAM modules receiving a command from the CPU. CAS latency is given through a series of numbers, like 4-4-4-8, 5-5-5-15, 7-7-7-21, or 9-9-9-24, which indicate the number of clock cycles it takes the memory to perform a particular operation. Basically, smaller numbers give fast memory. But to go here, it’s deeper; generally, the timings do not greatly impact your experience with the modern auto-detect settings and memory controllers on your motherboard and CPU.

Physical form factor

The form factors of RAM (random access memory) defined the size, shape, kind of design position, and similarity of chips with expansion slots and motherboards. The form factor is the most important thing to consider when choosing the new RAM. There are three types of form factors: all those volatile memory kits.

DIMM:

DIMM is an acronym for Dual Inline Memory Module, and its form factor is 64-bit, enabling fast data transfer. It has seen remarkable growth since its birth. When it was released, it came with 168 pins and RAM chips on both sides. Every data bit is stored in a separate memory cell. The conductors on DIMM are electrically isolated, and many modifications have occurred and are still in the making. DDR3 DIMM has 240 pins, which is electrically incompatible with its predecessors.

SO-DIMM:

SO-DIMM (Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Module) laptops and notebooks are designed to be as small and light as possible, as compared to desktop computers. Laptop parts are so tightly packed together that large RAM chips like DIMM or SIMM often do not fit into the overall laptop design. This is the reason for creating SO-DIMMs. The SO-DIMMs are half the size of the DIMM ram. The SO-DIMM came with 72 and 144 pins (conductors) for 32-bit and 64-bit, and with the passage of time, it was upgraded to 204 pins in line with DDR3. 

Micro DIMM:

Micro DIMM This memory module is too small and designed for mini and ultralight notebooks. It is about 45.5 millimeters long and 30 millimeters wide in physical size. This form factor uses 64 bits; the first set came with 164 bits. MicroDIMMs are also available in 144-pin SDRAM and 172-pin DDR. 

Things to consider while Picking a RAM

There are some other valuable specifications that can be helpful for you.

ECC: ECC is used for error checking and correction. ECC is adding a feature to the RAM that allows it to check and ensure that the data it handles is correct and contains no errors. Most users do not have ECC in their RAM. If you are using your computer for high-performance scientific computation, you have to have ECC on your RAM.

Voltage: In modern PCs, you don’t need to worry about the voltage of RAM. The specifications of RAM help understand its power, but they are essential for those who want to overclock and build systems that need very high power.

Registered/unregistered: The physical form factors are mentioned above; registered and unregistered are similar terms here. Standard-user RAMs are going to be unregistered. Registered RAM will have ECC properties, which is very important for those systems that use large amounts of RAM. Registered rams can carry more loads than unregistered rams.

Conclusion:

RAM stands for random access memory, a PC component that stores temporary data. It has different types of RAM, representing the different generations of RAM. The name of this latest generation of RAM is DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5. It is vital to notice which type of generation your motherboard can support. Capacity is also necessary. 8 GB of RAM gives you a better computing experience for everyday use, but if you want too much ram, you should check that your processor can support too much ram.

Form factors matter when you are choosing the RAM because it’s essential to understand which form you will need for your new PC. Above, we discuss three types of form factors: DIMM, SO-DIMM, and Micro-DIMM. The speed of RAM should be considered at the time of picking. We have discussed two factors of speed above. After all these functionalities, check the ECC specification, voltages, and registration of the RAM. Hopefully, this post will help you when choosing the RAM. 

Sajid Ali
Sajid Ali is a tech enthusiast and gamer who loves to write reviews about gaming hardware. He has a passion for staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and loves sharing his knowledge with others. Sajid studied Intermediate Computer Science at Degree College and went on to earn his Bachelor's in Computer Science from GSC. In his free time, you can find him testing out new hardware and software, or playing the latest video games. Sajid's in-depth understanding of computers and his love for gaming make him the perfect author to turn to for all things tech and gaming.