DDR RAM Memory

Most computer owners will need to upgrade their computer memory at some time to run the latest software. Every new operating system, video game, and business application that comes along typically needs more memory than the last version. DDR RAM memory is currently the most common type used in laptops and desktop computers. It is significantly faster than previous types but can only be used in newer motherboards that support it. Computer owners can save money by purchasing the memory separately and installing it themselves, rather than have it installed by a technician. They can also do their own troubleshooting should the memory develop a problem.

Memory is an essential component of every computer. It provides a place where data can be temporarily stored while the processor is working on it. The most common type of computer memory is RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory. It is commonly referred to as RAM memory, a term that has gain acceptance despite being a tautology. Unlike data stored on a magnetic tape, any part of the RAM can be instantly accessed. It is a very fastest type of data storage but also one of the most expensive. For this reason, the capacity of the RAM in a computer is usually much smaller than the capacity of the hard drive.

Computers rely on clock cycles to stay organized and coordinate the transfer of data between the various components. Double Data Rate (DDR) is a trick used to double the amount of data transferred every clock cycle. Data is usually transferred on one side of a clock pulse, but DDR RAM memory uses both the rise and fall of the pulse as triggers to transfer data. The original version of DDR has since been replaced by DDR2 and DDR3. These versions still send data twice every clock pulse but use other improvements to boost the amount of data transferred. Motherboards designed for the later versions do not support the original version because of these improvements.

The DDR RAM memory modules are fairly easy to spot inside a computer. There are usually two or more of them in slots located next to the processor. The slots are long, rectangular pieces of colored plastic with a raised latch at each end. The memory modules are rectangular circuit boards with a row of large black chips on them. At the base of each module is a long line of contacts and notches that fit into the slots. To prevent the wrong memory from being used in the slots, the number of contacts and the location of the notches on the module are unique for each type. Some modules are enclosed in metal heat spreaders to remove heat and keep them cool.

Installing DDR RAM memory is a simple task that many computer owners can do by themselves. Turn the computer off and remove the case cover, then locate the memory module slots next to the processor. The memory often needs to be placed in certain slots so check the motherboard manual to find out which ones to use. Pull the latches back and inspect the slots to make sure there is nothing that will stop the module from being inserted. Memory can be damaged by static discharge so hold the modules by the edges and avoid touching the contacts. Insert a module into the slot and push down on each end until the latches lock onto it.

Like any computer component, DDR RAM memory can fail at any time for a variety of reasons. Signs that the memory may be faulty include random error messages, data corruption, display freezes, and system restarts. Troubleshooting memory can be difficult because the computer will often work normally between these events. The only sure way to tell if the memory if faulty is to use memory checking software. These programs write specific data patterns into the memory and then attempt to read them back. If the read data is different in any way, it is highly likely that the memory is faulty and should be replaced.

This DDR RAM Memory Review is Written/Updated on Jul 16th, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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