How to choose RAM

RAM affects computer performance. However her wrong the choice can lead to only a slight increase performance.

How to choose RAM: parameters to consider

how to choose RAM

When choosing RAM, it is necessary to consider the following parameters:

  1. Bar size – it is different for desktop system units and laptops;

  2. A generation of memory – the compatibility of the strap and motherboard;

  3. Clock memory frequency – determines the performance of RAM;

  4. Volume depending on the capacity of the installed operating system.

The most important are the first two parameters. Rest need to be taken into account only if you want to provide maximum performance or cannot be reinstalled operating system.

The size of the strap (it is standard)

RAM strips (boards) are available in two sizes – DIMM and SO-DIMM. The first has a standard size and is designed to installation in desktop system units. The second is different reduced dimensions and is used in laptops.

Thus, if you need RAM for the computer – you must select the type of DIMM. For a laptop – SO-DIMM.

They are not cross-compatible, so install a “laptop” memory in the desktop system unit does not work, as well as vice versa.

Generation of memory

Generation of RAM

Computer performance depends on the generation of memory. Besides Moreover, due to the fact that the standards are not cross-compatible, it is necessary choose exactly the type of RAM that you plan to use with available motherboard.

RAM standard DIMM is available in five standards:

  1. DDR

  2. DDR2;

  3. DDR3;

  4. DDR3L;

  5. DDR4.

RAM standard SO-DIMM generation DDR not exist.

DDR (also known as DDR-400) – the very first generation “standard” RAM. Due to its low speed of work, it was rather quickly driven out of the market by a successor, DDR2, however, some very old computers are not yet found.

Find out which generation of RAM is supported computer, you can mark existing strips, inscriptions on motherboard, documentation for it, as well as using programs such as AIDA64.

However, it is worth remembering that generation defines and compatibility. Therefore, install DDR3 RAM in the slot for DDR (or DDR4) does not work. As a result, if required serious upgrade of RAM, you will have to change it motherboard.

Clock frequency

The clock frequency of the RAM shows which speed it can work. The higher this parameter, the faster reading and writing information will occur. However accurate RAM performance depends on clock speed not the bar itself, but the tires on the motherboard, to which RAM is connected.

Regarding the best RAM, the one that works on the motherboard bus frequency. You can find out this parameter with using special programs such as AIDA64.

In principle, nothing critical if the frequency of the RAM bus motherboard the board and the RAM itself will not match, no. Sure, there will be a drop in productivity, and towards the smaller frequency values. It can spread to the entire bus, i.e. even relatively fast trims will run slower if in one of the slots has a slow bar.

Therefore, it is still worth choosing the RAM whose frequency corresponds to the motherboard bus frequency.

Many motherboard models are equipped with two RAM buses with different frequencies. This can be determined visually. If slots for RAM slats are painted in different colors – means bus really two. It is also important to consider when choosing RAM.

RAM size

RAM size

The amount of RAM directly determines the speed a computer. The larger it is, the faster the operating room system.

However, it is worth considering that some operating systems just not designed for a large amount of RAM. So if the system 86-bit (or 32-bit, which is basically the same thing), then the maximum amount of RAM with which it can work, equal to 4 GB. Even if installed on a motherboard more RAM, still only 4 GB will be active.

But 64-bit operating systems can work with significantly more RAM (up to several TB). Therefore, it is important to consider the bit depth of the OS when choosing RAM and, if necessary, reinstall the system.

However, for “working” or “training” configurations, even 4 GB RAM is enough. For greater performance, let alone especially gaming “machines”, you need at least 6 GB or even 8-16 GB.

Other options

When selecting RAM, you can also take into account other parameters that increase its speed or ergonomics:

Intel XPM Profile – Intel proprietary technology that significantly increases RAM performance in games;

Low profile configuration – slats of such RAM have a lower height than usual, therefore they are suitable for installation in narrow or ultra-compact system unit, as well as in configuration, inside of which there are too many wires;

The presence of a radiator – this structural element is effective removes heat from memory chips, reducing the risk of throttling. Fine suitable for games.

The best manufacturers of RAM

best RAM manufacturers

Among the manufacturers of RAM, there are three companies: AMD, Kingston and Corsair.

  1. Kingston is best known for its low-end models. random access memory. They provide optimum performance and at the same time they have a low price. Kingston has expensive models intended for use in gaming computers and server configurations. They are also very productive.

  2. AMD primarily releases RAM for gaming configurations. It features high performance and implementation of the most modern technologies. However, in AMD models practically do not meet additional functionality like radiator or low profile configurations.

  3. Corsair also releases “gaming” RAM, only offers more advanced technology. For example, even relatively inexpensive models are equipped with radiators.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose hard drive and secrets of choosing an SSD drive for your computer.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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