Custom-Built PC: The Basics of PC Memory

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When setting up a custom-built PC, certain things are to be considered. One of these is the Random Access Memory or RAM. The RAM is your computer’s main memory. Software and applications must go through the RAM of the computer first before you can execute them.

Therefore, it is important to know the basics of what RAM is to help you choose the right one for your PC. Here are certain things that you should consider for choosing the right RAM for you.

Capacity

The capacity of the RAM will determine how many processes and applications you can work on simultaneously. Nowadays, computer RAMs come in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities. A computer with low RAM capacity will not have enough memory to run two or more programs simultaneously.

When choosing RAM capacity, it is best to first determine what you will need it for. If you are a person who multitasks on the computer and has many windows and applications open simultaneously, it is best to choose a high-capacity RAM ranging from 8GB to 32GB.

ram

Another thing to consider is the number of memory slots in your motherboard. Most motherboards come with two, three, or four memory slots. However, there are high-end motherboards that come with as much as eight memory slots.

The number of slots on your motherboard will help you determine the memory capacity per stick for your custom-built PC. For example, if you want to have a gaming PC with 32GB capacity and your motherboard only has two slots, you may install two 16GB memory sticks. Likewise, if your motherboard has four memory slots, you may slowly build up your computer’s capacity by installing an 8GB memory for each slot based on your budget.

Cell Type

RAM cells are volatile storage of memory, meaning that when the RAM cell’s power is lost, you will also lose the stored memory. There are two types of RAM cells: Static RAM (SRAM) and Dynamic RAM (DRAM). Static RAMs retain bits of data as long as there is a continuous supply of power. On the other hand, Dynamic RAMs store data bits in a capacitor and transistor. Between the two, SRAMs are more powerful, faster, and are more expensive.

Stick Type and Clock Frequency

When you plan to have a custom-built PC, it is important to check your motherboard’s compatibility with all other components. Your RAM type must be compatible with your motherboard. The advancement in technology has created newer variants of the SRAMS known as the Double Data Rate (DDR).

As its name implies, a DDR memory stick doubles the motherboard’s speed by transferring two chunks of data per clock cycle. DDR sticks have evolved into generations that could transfer twice the amount of data per clock cycle. Today, the latest version of DDR is the DDR5 which was released in July 2020.

When choosing a stick type, it is best to determine if it is compatible with your motherboard. The latest DDR5 memory sticks will still work with motherboards that have DDR3 slots. However, earlier motherboards that support DDR and DDR2 memories can no longer accept higher DDR versions.

Knowing the basics of computer memories will allow you to create a custom-built PC that will not hang or lag when you use multiple applications simultaneously. If your budget will allow it, maximize the memory that you will install on your PC.

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