Your computer cannot function without a random-access memory (RAM). The RAM primarily stores temporal data for running programs. It enables you to slide in and out of apps without losing your data. RAM quality and speed affect your computer’s performance.
The computer hardware industry is highly competitive. As a result, several brands manufacture RAM in various sizes, capacities, and shapes.
So, this takes us to the question, does it matter which RAM brand you have installed on your computer?
Does RAM Brand Matter?
Of course, RAM brands matter! Many models are available on the market in different capacities and qualities. And quality makes all the difference.
The brand installed on your system determines the quality of the brand you get. So, RAMs may have the exact specifications, but quality and durability will differ from brand to brand.
Performance-wise, there’s little difference between RAM brands. They all perform nearly the same. However, we may not say the same in terms of durability. And it’s also essential to buy a product that will last for a long time.
Then, there’s also the matter of customer benefits like after-sales service and warranty, where the difference between brands becomes apparent. And Brands like Corsair, Kingston, G Skill, and Crucial excel in this regard.
Recommended RAM Brands
There are many RAM manufacturers in the market. However, we list below some top recommendations.
- Silicon Power
- G Skill
Apart from quality, these brands offer excellent after-sales service. In addition, their products are reliable and durable.
Regardless of brand, all RAMs have the same functions. So, let’s have a recap.
Functions Of RAM
The RAM is an indispensable component of your PC. It’s so important that your computer cannot boot without the RAM. We enumerate below some functions of the RAM.
To read files:
The RAM works hand-in-hand with the Word File. The Word File is the storage part of your device that stores data permanently, while the RAM stores data temporarily.
When you open a file, it will take a while to load before opening. So, as the file loads, the RAM reads it, duplicates it, and then stores it as short-term memory.
Acts as temporary storage:
The RAM temporarily stores information about the programs you open on your system. It helps you keep track of progress on all running programs, so you don’t have to start all over again. It also saves frequently used programs.
If you open some programs often, the RAM may clear out other less opened programs and save the frequently used ones. In essence, the RAM enables your system to work faster.
When you install software on your system, it must load on your RAM before it becomes accessible.
RAMs come in different capacities and speeds. So how do they link with the computer’s performance?
RAM Speed And Performance
Several factors determine your computer’s RAM speed and, consequently, its overall performance.
Apart from the CPU and primary storage, another factor determining a PC’s performance is the memory speed. It’s a given that all RAMs don’t have the same speed. The parameter that defines RAM speed is the data transfer rate, measured in MegaHertz (MHz).
Earlier RAMs were single data rate (SDR) memory as they could only read or write once in a single clock rate. The implication is that the RAM can’t initiate another read/write operation until after completing a previous command.
Modern RAMs have evolved to double data rate (DDR) memory, meaning they can initiate a second read/operation while a previous one is still in progress. The latest edition of the DDR RAM is the fourth generation (DDR4). It’s currently the RAM with the most rapid data rate (1600 MHz).
Another factor that determines RAM speed is its module pairing. The principle is that the memory module pairing must match.
You should install DDR4 in a Double Data Rate memory module, not in a single or mismatched memory module. Otherwise, the computer will not function well.
Latency is key
Latency rate refers to the amount of time it takes the RAM to receive, process, and send data back to the CPU. Latency rate reads thus 7-8-8-24.
The number on your memory module tells you the rate at which your RAM can carry out some of its functions. The lesser the numbers, the faster your RAM will read/write data.
If you use your PC for surfing and general stuff, you may not bother much about the RAM. However, if you’re a gamer or a creative professional, RAM speed will interest you.
For routine tasks such as watching films, surfing the internet, and exchanging emails, 8GB RAM will be sufficient. However, if you use heavy apps, you’ll need at least 16GB and upwards.
The running apps on your PC will take up some RAM space to function. The reason is that the more apps you open, the more data is stored on the RAM. So, heavy apps need more RAM space. If you open more apps on a limited RAM space, your computer will begin to slow down.
Note that more RAM space doesn’t necessarily mean a faster PC. There should be a balance between data rate, latency, RAM size, and usage. However, it’s advisable to have more RAM size than faster RAM.
Fortunately, you can always upgrade your RAM when you notice that it’s beginning to slow down. So, how do we go about this?
How To Upgrade your RAM
A RAM upgrade is possible from time to time, especially for those who constantly have to access large files. RAM upgrade is one of the easiest upgrades to make in a laptop. Here’s how.
Identify the amount of RAM you need:
Go to Windows Task Manager. Right-click on the Taskbar. Then, click on the Task Manager. You’ll then see the Performance Tab in the Task Manager.
You’ll see the amount of space you have used and the amount left. You’ll also see the physical slots available for adding more RAM.
Find out if your laptop accepts upgrades:
An upgrade is impossible with some laptops because the RAMs come either sealed or soldered onto the motherboard. Others may have a specific RAM capacity they can take. Using Crucial’s Memory Advisor Tool, you can put in your RAM brand and laptop model.
A page will open, showing information on the maximum amount of memory your system can take and how many RAM slots it has.
Open your panel:
Next, it’s time to slot in your new RAM. First, shut off your laptop, and unplug it. Next, open the panel of your computer and identify where the memory bank is. If you need to unscrew every screw to open it, do it.
Avoid electrostatic discharge:
Before you begin work on your laptop, you need to ground yourself. This measure will help avoid any shock or hazard.
Remove memory module:
If memory slots are all in use, you’ll need to remove the memory module, so you replace them. To remove the memory module, unlock the clips holding it, and they will give way. Then, gently lift it out, ensuring you don’t touch the gold connectors at its bottom.
Slot in your new memory module:
At a 45-degree angle, carefully install the new memory module, ensuring the gold connectors are facing down. Firmly, but gently push the module into the motherboard till you hear a ‘click’ sound.
Close up the panel:
That shows the memory modules are in place. Go on to push the module inside till it is in and the clips are holding it firmly. You can now close up the panel. Power up your system, and go back to the Task Manager to confirm your new installation.
Types Of RAM
There are two main types of random-access memory: dynamic and static RAM.
Static Random-access Memory (SRAM):
This type of RAM has been in existence since the 1990s. It needs a constant power supply because it retains data and doesn’t refresh or reload. It remains static. SRAM is volatile memory; it loses all stored memory when the power goes off.
SRAM offers some advantages. It uses less electricity and is faster. However, it is expensive to manufacture and is low in capacity.
Dynamic Random-access Memory (DRAM):
DRAM is the opposite of SRAM. DRAM needs a constant refresh every millisecond to enable it to retain data. The capacitors responsible for storing data in DRAM need constant energy refreshing because it discharges energy.
No refreshing of energy equals no data storage. DRAM is also volatile memory: once the power goes off, all the stored data is lost.
DRAM has the advantage of being cheaper to produce and has more storage capacity. However, it consumes a lot of power and is relatively slow.
There are many RAM brands in the market, offering models of different sizes, speeds, and capacities. The question about whether the brand you have installed matters often pops up very often.
The fact is that RAM brands matter. All RAM may perform nearly the same, but they’re not of the same quality and durability. In addition, some brands offer better after-sales service and warranty policies.
Factors like data rate, latency, and capacity affect RAM speed and performance. And if your current RAM is underperforming, you can always upgrade to a more capable one.