There's never been a better time to upgrade RAM

RAM prices fell throughout 2010, and all signs show they’re going to dip even lower in 2011.

Slow PC? Cheap RAM could fix the problem...

Slow PC? Cheap RAM could fix the problem...

How to upgade

Start by downloading the System Scanner from Crucial. This will tell you exactly what memory your computer takes, along with how many memory slots you have. (Don't worry, you haven't got to follow up by buying anything from Crucial.)

Unfortunately, notebook RAM upgrades nearly always involve replacing the entire existing memory, because most notebooks only feature two slots that are usually already occupied. This happens because it's always cheaper for laptop manufacturers to fit RAM in pairs, rather than as a single expensive module.

However, desktop users might have a few RAM slots free and might be able to simply add in more alongside.

Upgrading desktop computers is usually easy, and will involve little more than cracking open the case and firmly inserting the DIMM modules into the slots on the motherboard.

Laptop manufacturers usually make RAM upgrades easy, and you might have to remove a compartment cover on the bottom of the case using a technical screwdriver, or perhaps slide aside clips in order to lift the keyboard out of the way. Whatever the case, check the manual for details, or contact the manufacturer direct.

One tip for notebook users is to ensure the computer is shut down before performing the upgrade, and not in sleep or hibernation mode. It's a good idea to unplug the power supply and temporarily disconnect the battery too, if that's possible.

Be careful where you buy your RAM. This is one situation where it's a good idea to avoid eBay. Ensure you buy branded modules, made by reputable manufacturers, such as Samsung, Hynix, Kingston or Crucial. If the retailer simply doesn't reveal who manufactured the module (or the chips it contains) then move on.

Once you receive the RAM, an application like SIW will allow you to view the manufacturer details, so you can ensure you haven't been ripped off with cheap, generic memory that's likely to fail sooner rather than later.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags memorydesktopdesktopsComponentsram

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Keir Thomas

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?