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Enhance Your Computer's Power and Performance by Adding RAM

Your system's memory is a major factor in determining the number of active programs you can run as well as the speed those programs can deliver. If you've ever opened a web browser and wondered why it took so long to load, insufficient memory could have caused the bottleneck you encountered. Using 8GB sticks of PC3-12800 DDR3 memory can have a huge impact on your ability to multitask, letting you take care of work and play.

What is RAM?

Short for random-access memory, RAM is your computer's way to store active information. When the computer is shut off, RAM is automatically cleared of all data. When you are browsing the web, each tab you have open uses up a certain amount of RAM. Because RAM is necessary for almost all tasks performed on a computer, more RAM will allow for faster and more varied multitasking. DDR3 memory is usually nonbuffered memory, meaning it is connected directly to the chip-set controller.

What should you look for when purchasing computer memory?

Your computer's RAM is a key component in your system. Here are a few key things to note when selecting RAM:

  • Capacity: The size in bytes of the memory itself. This will generally be listed in Gigabytes (GB) but will sometimes show as Megabytes (MB). Most users will want to get the maximum amount of GB DDR3 memory their system can handle.
  • Compatibility: There are many different iterations of RAM available on the market. Your motherboard will determine what kind of memory your computer can accept.
  • Speed: Different types of memory will have different speeds, measured in MHz. Generally speaking you want the fastest GB DDR3 memory your system is able to make use of.
What is non-ECC memory?

Non-Error Correcting Code (nonECC) memory does not have the error correcting feature that Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory does. It is more commonly found in consumer products because it is capable of fast speeds. ECC memory requires additional checks to ensure data accuracy through redundancy. This type of error-correcting memory is most commonly found in financial systems or other computer systems that absolutely require 100% data accuracy at all times. PC3-12800 DDR3 1600 MHz RAM is non-ECC memory.

What are the different classes of RAM?

The different classifications of RAM (DDR, DDR2, DDR3, etc) denote the speed range in MHz for the given piece of memory. PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 MHz memory runs at 1600 MHz. Other specifications, like power consumption, are involved. Most users will want to find the highest specification that their system is compatible with.

Other designations are sometimes used in memory as well. This will usually appear as PC3-12800 or something similar. These are also related to speed and theoretical throughput. For example, PC3-12800 DDR3 memory is in the DDR3-1600 classification, with a peak data rate of 12.8 GB/s. As with the above-mentioned classes, it's generally desirable to find the highest specification the system is compatible with. See the manufacturer site for details.

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