Choosing the Right Amount of DIMM RAM for Your Computing Needs

RAM (random access memory) is a temporary holding cache that the CPU accesses when transferring data. If there's enough RAM, computers are able to handle commands and tasks optimally. When there's not enough RAM to handle the workload, computers may routinely falter or shut down altogether.

How Do You Decide How Much RAM Is Enough?

The amount of RAM you need depends on the computer tasks you want to accomplish on a daily basis. There should be enough RAM available so the desktop or laptop doesn't overload from too many commands.

  • 1 GB: For very light usage, 512 MB to 1 GB of RAM is enough for web browsing, checking emails, and creating simple documents. Keep in mind that your PC won't be able to maneuver between several programs and you can't keep several tabs open at once without major slowdowns.
  • 4 GB: A 64-bit DIMM data system with 4 GB of RAM can handle several applications at once. Computer speed is much faster so you can keep eight or more tabs open simultaneously and move through programs like Adobe Photoshop with ease.
  • 8 GB: If you edit videos and photos as a hobby or professionally, your computer will be able to access numerous media files at once. Since the processor can keep up with requests, graphics will be crisp and clear.

What's the Difference Between DIMM and SIMM Modules?

SIMM modules were first used during the 80s and 90s and can only work with 32-bit operating systems. It was possible to pair the modules for faster performance, but they took up more room on the motherboard. As faster processors were produced, DIMM (dual in-line memory modules) were developed to handle the increased speed. DIMMs could also hold more memory thereby increasing a computer's speed and performance.

What Are Different Types of RAM Memory?

  • DDR: Double data rate, sometimes referred to as SDRAM II, was an upgrade from SDRAM modules as the transfer rate was doubled. The module also uses less energy than SDRAM so they run cooler. Some computer builders use an older double-sided DDR chip to rebuild an older computer. Likewise, the technology is still in use to convert signals from analog to digital.
  • DDR2: Twice as fast as DDR RAM, DDR2 is neither backward or forward compatible with other memory interfaces.
  • DDR3: Depending on which DDR3 chip is used and compatibility with the computer's motherboard, memory clock speeds range from 400 to 1200 MHz. Most DDR3s support 201 and 250-pin DIMM modules.