How to Use DDR2 Memory
Computer memory is one of the most important components of any system. While it doesnt actually perform any data processing, it has the vital task of making sure that the components get the data they need when they require it.
What is DDR2 Memory?
DDR2 is the second generation of double data rate memory and aims to increase bandwidth in order to keep up with the ever-escalating requirements of faster and faster CPUs. What it essentially did was take the already high bandwidth of DDR RAM and effectively double it by further increasing the amount of data carried on each tick of the clock. This RAM has a number of salient characteristics:
- Data Transfer: Transfer rates vary from 4.2 GB per second with PC2-4200 running at a 533 MHz clock, to 8.5 GB per second from a 1066 MHz clock in PC2-8500.
- Packaging: Each Samsung DIMM comes in a 240-pin package that supports 1.8 Volt operation and fits in a standard DIMM slot. It has a single voltage key to ensure that its impossible to install the wrong memory module in a motherboard.
What About Capacity?
One of the more important questions about a memory upgrade is how much RAM you actually need as well as the related issue of how much your system can use. In general, more RAM means better overall performance because your system doesnt have to go to the page file on your hard drive as often. Page files slow things down significantly, but they are one way to enable the use of larger datasets. Before adding RAM, look at the following factors:
- Operating System Support: You dont want more than four 512 MB Samsung DIMMs on a 32-bit operating system as it can only support a maximum of 4 GB DDR2 RAM.
- Motherboard Support: Even with a 64-bit operating system, youre also limited by the amount of memory your computer can physically support. Always check both the total and the supported module size when upgrading.
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