How to Add RAM

Question: How I do I add RAM?

Answer:What you’ll find below is an in depth look at how to add memory to your computer to make it perform better. It’s the cheapest way to improve the performance of your computer and to give an older computer a second life for under $100.

For those that have no patience or time to read all this then the fast answer to figure out how to add RAM is use to use the memory advisor tool. It is a free downloadable tool that can scan your computer and figure out what memory you have, how much more memory will fit and then recommend the correct memory chip. It takes the guesswork out of upgrading memory.

If you have a bit more time to read, then check out the information below to learn the details about how to add RAM.

Question: I know computer my make and model. What RAM does it use?

Answer: Pick your computer from the list below and you will be shown a page that shows which RAM chip you need for your computer.

Question: What is RAM?

Answer: RAM is Random Access Memory. It is the part of the computer that processes information. When a program is started, it is loaded into RAM to be run. This also where files are placed by a computer to be worked on. RAM is like a workbench and the larger this workbench the larger the file that can be worked. Imagine if you were building a doghouse. A big workbench would allow you to put the whole thing on at once to work on it and have room for your saw and your sander (i.e. your programs like a photo editor or word processor). If you had a small work bench you would have to take the doghouse apart and load each piece on and off as you worked on it. So in computer terms the more RAM the easier it is to get a big job done.

Question: How do I add RAM to my computer?

Answer: Inside your computer is one or more slots (usually black) that contain memory chips. Most computers ship with only one filled. To add RAM to the computer, you need to find out what kind of RAM (Random Access Memory) your computer takes. The manual that came with your computer’s motherboard should have details on what kind of RAM you will need, how much RAM each slot can take, and how many slots your computer has. When you get the upgrade chips (available from places like they’ll simply snap into the slots on the motherboard.

Question: How do I tell how much RAM my system already has?

Answer: In Windows, click your Start button (bottom left) and click Settings, then Control Panel (in XP, click Start, then Control Panel). Then click the System icon and look at the info listed on the General tab. The amount of RAM in your system will be listed in megabytes MB). In Windows Vista, click Start and type “System” and choose “System” from the list that appears in the menu above and look for the amount of “Memory (RAM)” in the box that appears.

Question: How do I tell my system I have added memory?

Answer: Once the RAM is installed, your Windows 95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP/Vista system will automatically detect the new memory and start using it. Apple computers do this as well.

Question: Do I have to add RAM to get better performance?

Answer: Adding physical memory is always the best way to improve the performance of a computer. But that said there are tweaks you can make to boosts a systems performance. To learn more read this article boosting PC performance without adding RAM.

Answer: Here are some common definitions of the various types of memory:
DRAM, and

Question: I know the lingo, I know what I need, I just need to find it someplace. Can you just cut the newbie stuff and give me links?

Answer: Heck, we like a person who knows what they are looking for. Look on our memory chip list page.

Question: How much RAM can I put in my computer?

Answer: easy
way to figure this out is to pick your system from our RAM selector
dropdown menu. You will need to
know the brand of computer, the model name and the model number of
your system. The web site you are taken to will show you a variety
of memory information about your system. Look at these items on that
Maximum Memory – this is maximum amount of memory possible in your system
Standard Memory – this is the amount of memory that came with your
system when you bought it, unless you specifically had it customized to include
Slots – this is the number of connectors in your computer where
RAM chips can go.
Note: Make sure you review the "Slots" notation on the Crucial
web page. This indicates the number of memory modules that can go into
your machine. If it says 3 banks of 1. Then you just need to buy the
memory chip you need to fill an empty slot. However if it says for
example "3 banks of 2" that means that while there are 6
slots for memory, you have to install these in groups of two. In our
example you’d buy 3 sets of two identical chips. For more information
on this, use the Crucial Memory Selector or use our RAM selector to find the right RAM for you on the Crucial web site.

Question: Can I mix and match RAM in my system?

Answer: .You can mix of different speeds, however your system will not take advantage of the faster memory.

Question: How do I identify RAM chips by sight?

Answer: Use this RAM
ID guide

Question: I am building a computer. Which RAM should I buy for my motherboard?

Answer: Use this Memory Calculator

Question: Is there someone on the Internet that can personally help me?

Answer: You can ask your question on our free help forum

Question: Can you recommend some books on upgrading RAM?

Answer: Yes, try the
Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance Guide

Question: Can you recommend other websites that explain memory?

Answer: There are a number of good RAM information sites. Try: Kingston’s
Ultimate Memory Guide, What
is computer memory?
, Webopedia, RAM
, and PC

Question: What kind of RAM do I need?

Answer: There are many types of RAM: EDO, FPM, SDRAM, SODIMM, RAMBUS, DDR, DDR2 and more. Newer computers use DDR or DDR2. Your manual or manufacturer should be able to explain what kind of RAM you have and need. If you have a brand name computer, a quick way to figure out what RAM you need is to use Crucial’s RAM upgrade guide – pick your computer brand from the list below, and then the model and model number. It will report what type of RAM you need to buy and how much it will cost. If your system is not listed, use the Crucial System Scanner:

The Crucial Memory Advisor™

Select your system and press go!