Do you want to know how to change RAM memory on PC? You are on the right spot to know the answer of this question. So, you need to change RAM memory, either to expand the one you already have or to replace damaged modules.
You should know how to choose the compatible modules first. How to carry out the change procedure safely both for you and for the memory you are using.
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All that is what you will learn in this simple tutorial explained step by step.
How to choose the right RAM?
Choosing a new RAM module is not just a matter of selecting the right capacity. There are more factors to consider, and that is where many doubts arise from users without technical knowledge with this kind of FAQ:
Can I Mix Generations of DDR?
If you plan to mix a DDR3 module with a DDR4 module, the answer to this question is no. Different generations cannot be mixed.
The motherboard is designed to support one generation of SDRAM, and the pinout may be different, since it won’t even be electrically compatible.
Can I Mix Modules with different clock rates?
If modules of different frequencies are installed, such as one of 1600 MHz and another of 2666 MHz (important: as long as your motherboard supports these speeds).
In principle it would not be a problem, they would work fine, but you should know that both modules would start to work at the lower frequency to be synchronized.
That is, both would work at 1600 MHz in this case. Therefore, although it does not represent incompatibility, it is not recommended, ideally they should be of the same speed.
Can I use Mdules of different latencies?
The answer to this other question is yes. You can mix, but you should know that it will also work based on the slowest modules, that is, the ones with the highest latency. Therefore, it is also not advisable.
What if I use RAM modules of different voltages?
If, for example, you have a 1.35v module and want to install another 1.35-1.5v or vice versa, you should know that the system will work at 1.5v in this case.
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Is means it will be equal so that all the modules are working under the same conditions. Again, it would be compatible, it would not present problems for operation.
It is not recommended, since you would lose the advantages of the more energy efficient module.
What happens if I mix modules from different brands?
Theoretically, there are no impediments to mixing modules from various brands, as long as you keep the above in mind.
On some older systems, mixing flags might lead to BSoD/kernel panics, but on newer ones this is unlikely.
What capacity do I need?
The answer to this question is something more personal. Everything will depend on the needs of each user. For many, 8 GB is enough.
For gaming you may need 16 GB for some titles. And for heavy loads like virtualization, you might want 32 – 64 GB.
SO DIMM or DIMM
The modules you have to order will be DIMMs if they are for a desktop PC. For some AIOs and all laptops that do not have RAM soldered on, the format of choice will be SO-DIMM. You will rarely come across other formats such as micro DIMMs.
In principle, if it is substitution, you could choose a high one (and the lowest possible latency) that your equipment supports.
But if it is to expand, along with an existing one, check the speed of the other module(s) and add the same one as we mentioned before. For example, a DDR4 2666Mhz or a 3200Mhz could be fine for many cases.
DC or QC channels
If there is dual channel (or quadruple) memory, remember to take advantage of it in case it is an expansion. Do not plug the new module into the same channel in use by the current module.
Other factors: You Need to Understand
You will also find other factors to take into account, such as:
This is something you shouldn’t worry too much about unless you’re an over clocker. Better if you choose a format of the same voltage as the module you already have installed (if you have any).
With or without a heatsink for most users it is irrelevant. But if you are going to overclock the system or if the equipment is going to support high workloads, better with.
Many home CPUs do not support ECC memory, that is, error checking and correcting. Only professional or HPC versions support these memories.
However, AMD does have models that support ECC. A very good solution to reduce the error rate, although it is also true that it will be somewhat slower…
Registered/Unregistered or buffered/unbuffered
They are synonyms, and it refers to the inclusion of some registers that make it download part of the work of the MMU that it performs in the unregistered one.
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That allows the motherboard to support higher RAM capacity for HPC. For the PC it doesn’t make much sense.
How to change RAM Memory on PC?
- If you want to change your DIMM or SO-DIMM RAM memory module, it is as simple as following these steps:
- Prepare everything you need (tools such as a Phillips-type screwdriver, ESD wrist strap, etc.) and the new RAM module.
- Please wear the bracelet grounded to avoid damaging chips by touching them.
- Make sure that the equipment is turned off and disconnected from the electrical network.
- Now open the tower casing.
- You will be able to access the motherboard and see where the RAM modules are or the slots to install them:
- If it is a substitution, first open the tabs that capture the module by its sides. Then remove the module by pulling on it.
- Once removed, click the new module by matching the wrist and push until the side retaining clips close and you hear a click.
- In case it is not a substitution, but an extension, then you can proceed directly to click the new module.
- Once they are inserted, the next thing will be to close the case again and connect the equipment.
- Test if it works properly and if the new RAM is detected in the BIOS/UEFI or in the operating system. If so, everything has gone smoothly. Otherwise, check that you have performed the steps correctly.
Don’t forget to comment if you have doubts or problems during the process.
Faizan Ali is a Master in Computer Sciences and has been writing content for computing, gaming and mobile technologies since 2016. He has written content for number of online magazines, websites and blogs and now writes for “the buyers trend”. Feel free to contact him for any sort of writing for your technology related blog, website or magazine.