Table of Contents
WHAT IS RAM?
RAM is essentially a device’s short-term memory. It temporarily stores (remembers) everything currently running on a device, like all OS-specific services and any web browser, image editor, or game you’re playing.
RAM prevents the CPU from digging through the device’s slower storage — like a hard drive or even a solid-state drive (SSD) — every time you request a new browser tab or load a new enemy to shoot. As fast as storage is compared to drives of years gone by, they’re still far slower than RAM.
Data that resides in RAM is readable from any capable component at almost the same speed. Because it has a hard-wired connection to the device, there’s no real latency in cabling or connection.
RAM doesn’t remember everything forever, however. It’s a “volatile” technology, meaning that once it loses power, it forgets everything. That makes it perfect for handling the multitude of high-speed tasks that your device throws at it each day.
But it’s also why storage systems like hard drives and SSDs are required. Unlike RAM, they hold information when the device powers off.
INSTALLING THE MEMORY (RAM)
Most motherboards today come with between 2 and 8 sockets for the insertion of RAM memory. These are usually either SIMMS (Single In-line Memory Modules) or DIMMs (Dual In-line Memory Modules). These sockets may vary in size.
The motherboard usually labels these sockets “SIMMO” through “SIMM7” or “DIMM1” through “DIMM3”, etc. The sockets are almost always filled starting with the lowest-numbered socket first. Most Pentium class or higher motherboards require SIMMs to be inserted in pairs, but DIMMs inserted individually.
To install a RAM do the following steps :
- Locate the memory banks on the mainboard. Most mainboards will have two or three black banks for the memory slots.
- Check the notches of the RAM module.
- Hold the RAM module at an angle of 45 degree.
- Make sure that the retention clips are open, or pressed outward from the banks. Slide the memory into the bank, making sure that the slot on the module orients to the slot on the bank. Also make sure that the short row of pins is lined up with the short gap in the socket, just as the long row of pins should line the long gap in the socket. up with the long gap in the socket.
- Use both your hands to press down (press and hold – do not rock the module) on both sides of the memory until the retention clips lock into position. The clips will fold to lock in the memory.
- You should not have to manually fold the retention clips. They are designed to fold into the lock position when the RAM is seated into its bank. If the retention clips do not fold, remove the chip and make sure that it is oriented correctly.
- You’re about to complete one of the easiest installations/upgrades to your computer. It doesn’t get much simpler than installing RAM, and we’re going to guide you through each step. We’ll also provide some additional information to make sure you’re getting the most out of even the best RAM.
What is RAM, exactly?
1. Consult your motherboard’s manual
As easy as it is to pop RAM sticks into your motherboard, You want to make sure you’re putting the RAM into the correct slots to get the full performance out of them. Which slots you go with will also depend on how many RAM sticks you have.
In a motherboard with two RAM slots, you’ll just put your first stick of RAM into Slot 1 and a second stick into Slot 2. If you just have one stick, you don’t have to fill Slot 2.
In the case of a motherboard with four RAM slots, it’s probable you’ll want to install your first RAM stick into the slot labeled 1. A second stick should go into Slot 2, which isn’t next to Slot 1. If you have a third stick, it would go into Slot 3, which will actually be between Slot 1 and Slot 2. Finally, a fourth stick would go into
But, like we’ve said, consult your motherboard manual. Some motherboards may suggest installing RAM in a different order, such as Slot 2 > Slot 4 > Slot 1 > Slot 3. It all depends on your motherboard.
Don’t worry, though. Your computer should still work if you mix up the order. But, you may miss out on multi-channel capabilities and not get optimal performance if you don’t follow your motherboard’s guidance.
2. Open your RAM slots
Once you know where your RAM needs to go, you’re ready to start installing. Each RAM slot will have two small clips at either side. Press these down to open them. They don’t need to move very far, so don’t use too much force.
3. Line up your RAM
RAM sticks are keyed, which means they have a gap in the connector that will ensure you can only insert them one way. Line up your RAM so that the gap on the connector corresponds with the RAM slot.
4. Insert the RAM
With your RAM lined up, gently press it down into the slot. When the RAM stick is fully depressed, the locking tabs at each side should click back into place. Once they have, you’re all set.