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Choosing the Right 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM

When you're not well-versed in computer memory, phrases like "DDR3" and "SDRAM" can go right over your head; however, when you're ready to expand your machine's memory, it doesn't hurt to know a few things about buying Nanya DDR3 memory.

What Does Bus Speed Mean?

One of the decisions you'll have to make when purchasing RAM for your desktop or laptop computer is which bus speed you desire.

  • To boil it down to basics, bus speed has to do with how quickly information can be sent to your CPU for processes. These numbers indicate the number of bits that are sent each second and sent simultaneously.
  • To that end, a higher bus speed means a more efficient computer and faster transfer rates.
  • The number after the PC2 refers to the peak transfer speed, so when you pick PC2-8500, the transfer rate is 8500 MB/s.

How Many Pins Do You Need?

You have to be careful when you are buying Nanya memory in terms of how many pins you get. This refers to the notches on the memory module itself.

  • You may see numbers like 204 pins or 240 pins, and you should be able to look at your computer and discover how many pins you need to purchase. Pins aren't interchangeable, so you have to get the RAM with the right number of pins.
  • When your pins don't match up, you won't be able to install the memory correctly.
  • Typically, 240 pins are used for desktops, while a smaller number of pins like 204 is compatible with laptop or notebook computers. These are the contacts that have to connect to your machine in order to function properly.

What Are Modules?

Another choice you'll have to make when purchasing RAM is how many modules you need. The options vary from one to eight and up, so how do you know how many sticks you require?

  • The number of modules depends on how much total memory you want. For instance, you can use two 2 GB sticks for 4 GB of RAM, or your machine may have room for two 4 GB sticks to add up to 8 GB.
  • You'll also need to figure out what your machine is compatible with and purchase the right number of modules for your specific needs.
  • In cases where you are buying 4 GB RAM, you can load up your motherboard with as many sticks as you need or as little as you need, but you can always come back and expand later on when you may need additional RAM memory. In addition, you can buy sticks in bundles or you can purchase them separately based on what your needs are.

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