• Increasing your computer's RAM, or memory, is one of the easiest upgrades you can make. The difference in performance can be dramatic, and the hardware is relatively inexpensive. The key is to match the upgraded memory to your particular laptop, and to follow the instructions for installation.

    Evaluating Your Computer's RAM Capacity

    Determine how much RAM your computer has, and what the maximum RAM capacity is. The present configuration is often included on the specification sheet which came with the computer when it was purchased. The computer manufacturer or the merchant from which you purchased the computer may also be able to supply this information. Be sure to match the computer model correctly in order to accurately determine how much RAM you can add.

    Purchase Additional RAM

    If you purchase RAM upgrades from the computer manufacturer, you are guaranteed that the new hardware will be compatible. However, many third-party outlets provide matching services, either online or through a trained representative, to assure that your RAM purchase will actually work with your computer, often at considerable savings over the manufacturer's price. While some third party retailers can match the RAM they offer with just your computer model name and number, others require specific specifications, such as whether your computer uses SO-DIMM or DRAM memory. The amount of RAM you ultimately purchase depends on your budget. More RAM does equal more capacity, but for many home users, it's not necessary to purchase excessive amounts of RAM. The increase in capacity will not be offset by the increase in price. However, for gamers and other power users, the more RAM the better, up to the maximum capacity of the computer. RAM is often available in 256 or 512MB or in 1, 2 or larger GB capacities.

    Upgrading RAM

    For many laptops, replacing the RAM is a simple operation. Make sure the computer is completely powered off and remove the battery and ground yourself before beginning. Make sure your work area is clear of dust and static electricity. You will most likely need a small Phillips head screwdriver to remove the plate which covers the memory sticks. You should also balance the memory so that you don't have one memory stick with 512MB and a second with 1GB; use the same memory capacity with both sticks. The precise procedure differs with each laptop, however, the manufacturer should provide detailed instructions for replacing RAM, usually on the website under the support menu.


    How to Upgrade Memory

    How to Replace RAM on a Laptop

    How Do I Identify and Upgrade the Memory on My Dell Computer?

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