Laptop RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is a fast type of computer memory used for the temporary storage of data. Several sticks of RAM can often be found next to the processor on the mainboard. The RAM holds the data that the software running on the processor needs to use frequently. RAM is essential for avoiding delays, because fetching data from the hard drive takes much longer. Unlike a hard drive or USB flash drive, the data in the RAM is lost when the computer is shut down or rebooted. Desktop RAM and laptop RAM are essentially the same thing, but they have a different physical size.

The price of laptop RAM has fallen in recent years, leading many laptop owners to decide that now is a good time to upgrade before prices rise again. The upcoming release of Microsoft Windows 7 is another good reason to upgrade. Laptops that have an older 32-bit processor need a minimum of 1GB to run Windows 7, while those with a newer 64-bit processor will need 2GB or more. Many applications, such as video games and graphics editors, run better with more RAM. Adding laptop RAM also extends battery life by slightly reducing hard drive usage.

The RAM modules used in desktop computers have a long form factor and are called DIMMs, which stands for Dual Inline Memory Modules. Laptop RAM modules have a shorter form factor and are called SO-DIMMs, which stands for Small Outline DIMMs. A SO-DIMM module is about half the length of a DIMM module but has the same width and thickness. It has fewer pin on the contact strip compared to an equivalent DIMM module. There are fewer memory chips on a SO-DIMM module, and the contact strip notch is in a different position to prevent it from being used in a DIMM socket.

Fortunately, there is no need to take the case off a laptop to change its RAM modules. The manufacturers have wisely placed the sockets in a location that is easy to access. Depending on the model, the laptop RAM will either be located under a small panel on the back of the case, or it will be located under the keyboard. Both the panel and keyboard can be removed with a screwdriver, however, the keyboard takes longer to remove and replace.

Before buying new laptop RAM, there are a few things that need to be worked out first. It is important to know the type and size of the existing memory. This can be found out by checking the system control panel, or by using special software that can detect the memory. To avoid buying too much or the wrong type of memory, the laptop specifications should be checked to find out what types are supported and what the maximum amount is. To minimize the risk of compatibility problems, new memory should be the same brand as the existing memory.

Installing new laptop RAM is a task that can be done by most people and takes just a few minutes. First, the laptop should be switched off and the screen closed. If there is a power cable connected, it should be removed along with the battery. The manual should be checked to find out exactly where the memory is located and how it should be changed. Care needs to be taken when handling memory to avoid damage from from static electricity. The best way to prevent this is to wear a grounded wrist band, but the memory should be fine as long the metal parts are not touched.

Once the panel or keyboard have been removed to expose the laptop RAM, the clips holding it in place should be inspected. They will often be spring metal clips, like the ones used in older computers. To remove a RAM module, the clips need to be pulled away from the side notches before the module can move. A RAM module is installed by placing it in a slot and rotating it upwards until the spring clips lock into the notches. Once the laptop is running again, the total amount of memory should be checked to make sure all of the modules are working normally.

This Laptop RAM Review is Written/Updated on Aug 12th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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