Random access memory (RAM) is arguably one of the most of those most influential components in the overall speed of a laptop. As the name suggests, it’s responsible for storing temporary data in an easily accessible location, which subsequently allows for faster speeds when running multiple programs simultaneously.
Each time you run a program on your laptop (or desktop), the operating system (OS) stores some of the data on the RAM until the program ends or the laptop is shut down/restarted. Being that this is a temporary method of data storage, it’s often referred to as virtual memory. When your laptop’s memory is full, the OS will attempt to store the data on the hard drive. This protects the system from crashing, but it’s not as efficient or fast as storing the data on RAM.
Generally speaking, the more RAM (measured in megabytes or gigabytes) you have installed in your laptop, the faster you will be able to multi-task. This is particularly beneficial for users who constantly run multiple programs and processes simultaneously. While processor clock speed and hard drive write speed play a role in a laptop’s speed, RAM is the driving component behind its ability to multi-task.
RAM speed is another critical element that will impact its effectiveness on a laptop. RAM has speed measurements: operating frequency, which is defined as the data transfer rate, and bandwidth, which is the speed at which the memory transfers the data. For example, PC133 RAM functions with an operating frequency 133Mhz and a bandwidth of 1066MB/s.
Laptop Memory Configurator
When choosing RAM for your laptop, it’s recommended that you first check the owner’s manual. A laptop that uses 200-in DDR2 SO-DIMM RAM, for instance, isn’t compatible with 200-pin DDR SO-DIMM sticks and that is where our Laptop Memory Configurator can help. Use our bespoke configurator to find the exact Laptop Memory for your machine. Just locate your manufacturer e.g. Dell, Acer, Sony etc and you will find your model listed and all compatible memory upgrades.
It will help you confirm how many RAM slots (the area in which the memory sticks are installed) are available on your laptop. Desktops typically contain four slots, whereas most laptops contain two. If all two slots are full, you’ll need to replace the current laptop memory sticks with the new ones.
It’s important to note that 32-bit operating systems are designed to use a maximum of 4GB RAM. Even if you have 6 to 8GB RAM installed, your laptop will only use 4GB if you are running a 32-bit OS. Windows Vista and Windows 7 users can check to see which version they are running by clicking the Start button, followed by right-clicking Computer, and choosing Properties. Under System type, you should see either “32-bit Operating System” or “64-bit Operating System” listed.
Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of RAM Memory and the role in plays in laptops.