RAM Jargon Explained
DRAM, SDRAM & DDRAMThese terms are the most frequent you’ll probably encounter and they describe the different types of RAM that have been used in PCs and laptops over the last few decades. DRAM was the first type that was invented way back in 1968, before the rise of the home computer. SDRAM became widely used in the early 90s in the mass produced home computer boom, before evolving in Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM at the turn of the millennium.
DIMMA Dual Inline Memory Module is the physical memory module that sits on your motherboard with memory chips sitting either side.
SO-DIMMStanding for ‘Small Outline’ Dual Inline Memory Module, these are smaller versions of DIMMs, which are typically used in laptops and notebooks. SO-DIMMs are physically smaller than a DIMM and have fewer pins, so they are not interchangeable and cannot be used in desktop PCs. If you’ve bought the wrong type for your computer, it will be pretty obvious when you try and install it and you find that it doesn’t fit!
VRAMYou may come across this term from time to time, but it actually describes an obsolete technology that used to exist on the graphics card on a laptop or PC. Nowadays, it’s a term used when talking about memory in games consoles.
GDDRSpecifically referring to the memory used on a graphics card, Graphics Double Data Rate RAM will not typically be found on a computer with a standalone graphics card. Those computers that use an integrated graphics chipset will usually use the main DDR RAM for its operation. If you have a dedicated gaming machine, you are probably going to have specialised high bandwidth memory hardware, with the current standard being GDDR5 which has a huge transfer rate range of between 5-7 Gigabits of information per second per pin.
If you’re unsure about how to improve the performance of your laptop, we would recommend consulting with one of our technical support team to guide you on your way.