How do you choose RAM for your Windows PC?
Choosing RAM for your Windows PC
If you want to choose RAM for your Windows computer, there are many factors to consider. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need DIMM (desktop) RAM or SODIMM (laptop)?
- Do I need DDR4, DDR3, or DDR3L RAM?
- What clock speed should my RAM have?
- How many RAM modules do I need?
DIMM form factor for desktops
There are 2 form factors for RAM: DIMM and SODIMM. For a Windows computer, you always need DIMM memory. The DIMM form factor is a bit larger than SODIMM and is specially made for desktop PCs. The other version is more compact and therefore suitable for laptops. This is the first thing you should consider when choosing RAM for your computer.
Do I need DDR4 or DDR3 RAM?
There are currently 2 RAM standards available: DDR3 and DDR4. This says something about the speed of the memory and about the support of the computer's motherboard for the RAM. DDR3 doesn't work with DDR4. Support for DDR3 RAM is mainly found in older computers. The faster DDR4 was introduced in 2014 and can be found in most computers from that year.
What clock speed should my RAM have?
The speed of the RAM also plays a role in your choice. This is called the clock speed and is expressed in Megahertz (MHz). This must match the speed that the PC's motherboard supports. For example, if your PC supports a RAM with a speed of 1600MHz, it makes no sense to insert 2100MHz RAM. Always make sure that these speeds match.
How many RAM modules do I need?
Be the first to check how much space you have for extra memory. Most desktops have space for 2, 3, or 4 memory slots that can accommodate a RAM module. This differs per PC. Some high-end models even have 8 slots. If a PC has 2 or more slots, there's often only one in use. You can therefore expand this with a second (similar) RAM module, or more if you want.