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Computer Memory

The term computer memory refers to the parts of a digital computer which retain physical state (data) for some interval of time.

In its most common usage, "computer memory" refers to very fast storage which does not retain its stored data when the power is turned off. Compare this to "storage", such as hard drive space, which is slow but keeps its data even without power. An analogy is to think of the storage as human memory, with the hard disk computer memory as long-term memory, and the computer memory as short-term memory.

In a home computer, computer memory will often take the form of:

* Random access computer memory, or RAM, which is used to temporarily store things such as programs and data while the computer is using them. Since RAM computer memory can be accessed at very high speeds, it is well suited for this task.

* Cache computer memory is a small amount of very high speed dedicated computer memory. Cache computer memory is used to allow quicker access to data which ordinarily is slow to retrieve. Because of cache computer memory's high speed nature, storing data into cache computer memory before it is actually accessed can allow quicker response times. Cache computer memory is often found in microprocessors and hard drives among many others.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Memory (computers)"

What is computer memory?

The definition of computer memory

Computer memory is used to save bytes of data and programs either temporarily (computer memory type: RAM) or permanently(computer memory type: ROM) or cache data within an electronic computer. A computer memory stores and interprets data in binary format which is a series of 1s and 0s.
The computery type of memory, RAM usually known simply as "memory" is an acronym for the word Random Access Memory which of course is the computer memory we discussed above.
People sometimes confuse "computer memory" with the Hard Disk which is not a computer memory in the save way because it can save much more data than computer memory, but computer memory is supposably faster.
The amount of computer memory in the computer is very important because it established how many programs can be running simultaneously, and how much computer memory is available for each program. Computer memory is generally available as gigabytes or GB. A personal computer with a basic amount of computer memory (512MB), Windows XP, and an Internet browser will perform very slow because of its computer memory. While a computer with 2GB or more of computer memory will perform much faster.

Let's make a simple distinction of RAM vs. Hard Disk.
RAM computer memorydoesn't preserve information when the computer is turned off. Where as, the Hard Disk does retain information when the power to your personal computer is turned off.

Today's computer memory implements the use of integrated circuits that have transistors made from silicon. The two main types of memory at the very top level are volatile and non volatile memory.

An emachines memory card

How to install an emachines memory card

There are two essential sorts of memory card that can be installed in an eMachines computer. The first is an external memory card, which may take several diverse forms. These memory cards are used as extra storage devices, and are most frequently used for tasks like transferring multimedia like pictures from digital cameras onto a computer's hard drive. The second category of memory card is an internal card, which is usually used to upgrade your system's RAM. Whether you're upgrading your eMachine's RAM or just transferring data, knowing how to install the memory card is the first step.

1.Shut down your eMachines computer and remove the power cable.

2.Detach the thumb screws and slide the cover from the emachines computer. Depending on you model, there may be one or two screws to detach. If they are too tight to be removed by hand, they can be detached with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

3.Insert your internal emachines memory card into the fitting slot. The slots for memory are normally positioned behind the processor, and will in most cases be black. There will also be clips on either side of the slot that will snap into place when the card is fully inserted.

4. Restore the cover to its original place and secure again the thumb screws.

Computer Memory Upgrade
Frequently Asked Questions about Computer Memory Upgrade
How to upgrade your computer memory ?

Purchase the right memory for your computer memory upgrade.
First of all we need to know that computer memory varies in many ways. Most computers nowadays use DDR2 or DDR3 types of memory as their main computer memory (RAM - Random Access Memory). Firstly you have to find a computer memory chip which is compatible for your motherboard. But even then among compatible memory chips, there are a number of manufacturer's from which to choose. It's not only crucial to purchase RAM that's compatible with your computer, it's important to choose top quality RAM. Many computer problems are a result of the use of bad quality RAM. For top quality RAM without paying extra the place to go is Corsair, Crucial or Kingston.
Crucial memory comes with a lifetime guarantee and ships free. And they take the uncertainty out of knowing which RAM is right for your computer with their handy RAM advisor. Start by selecting your computer make (such as Compaq computers, Dell computers, Gateway computers, etc) or motherboard (such as ABit, ASUS, EPoX, MSI, etc.), clicking Go and then follow the selections to find the RAM compatible for your computer memory upgrade! The page listing the compatible memory modules will also show the maximum amount of memory your particular brand and model of computer supports.

Do You Need a Memory Upgrade?
How often should you upgrade your memory ?
When your computer is running slow,getting freezes or crashes, you could fix all that with a proper a memory upgrade. Operating systems, software and multimedia files keep getting bigger and more demanding each year, which can slow down many of the top of the line computers. If a virus scan shows that your computer is clean and you're still having performance problems, it's time to get some more RAM.
PC RAM plugs into a DIMM slot inside your desktop and connects using 168-pin, 184-pin or 240-pin slots. You'll need to know which type of memory connector you have on your motherboard, as this will limit your choices. The goal is to get as much RAM as possible into the available slots.
Desktop Memory Upgrades
Desktop computer memory is available in three varieties: SDRAM and DDR RAM and RD RAM. Although SDRAM was the standard a few years ago, it's now the slowest type of PC memory available. DDR SDRAM is faster than SDRAM, making it a popular choice for memory upgrades.

How much computer memory should I have?
A proper answer whould be as much as your computer will hold. Although the computer may function with 512MB of RAM or even less, nowadays 1024MB is a reasonable minimum. Especially computers running under Windows XP and Windows Vista should have at least this much, but you should see a performance improvement with 2048MB of RAM. It's fully acceptable to have more than 2048MB , especially if you are using Windows Seven.
You should also know that when you use more than 3048MB of RAM then you can use 64-bit operating systems which can overall improve your computer performance.

What's the cost-performance consideration when it comes to computer memory?
It's safe and easy to say you should get the fastest memory your motherboard supports (see MHz speed) and you should also have as much memory as your computer or motherboard supports. RAM is a botteneck that imprisons overall system performance. It's not just the speed of the RAM that counts, but more important its about the quantity of RAM (computer memory) and sometimes a well-known vendor can make a difference. In plain terms, one type of memory may be 33% faster than another, yet the overall system performance you actually observe without severe computer memory testing will more likely be in the range of 5% to 10% if are good enough to notice it.

What is SDRAM, DDR, DDR2 and DDR3? These terms mentioned are types of RAM. SDRAM was manufactured first, so of course it is the slowest of these memory types, followed over time by DDR, then DDR2 and then DDR3, with each providing greater memory speeds, at least theoritically. A computer cannot use two different memory types simultaneously. In most cases the newer the motherboard, the better the memory chip, again theoritically speaking.

Laptop DDR Computer Memory
Reasons to Upgrade laptop computer memory
I don’t know about you, but I always seem to be pushing the envelop with what my laptop can do. I used to get frustrated and just go out and buy another laptop and give my old one to one of my kids. I spent a ton of money this way–that is until I learned that a notebook memory upgrade was a whole lot less expensive than a new laptop.
A good laptop ddr memory upgrade will definately increase the overall stability and performance of your laptop. If your RAM is not sufficient it could mean that your computer is spending a lot of its time moving chucks of files back and forth your hard disk. A laptop memory upgrade will solve this problem, by giving the laptop essentially a more convenient space to work on.
More accurately, here are a few great things a laptop memory upgrade can do for your laptop.
A laptop memory upgrade will drastically improve your computer’s performance. You’ll see this not only in speed (which will be at least 15% better), but also in the number of programs your computer can run simultaneously.
If you replace or add a memory module that is faster , you’ll increase the general speed and stability of your laptop, too.
If you add more memory on your computer or laptop then you automatically open the room for new hardware or software upgrades that would interest you in the future.
Most laptops nowadays face a problem with memory and if you are a gamers you will need plently of memory. Games are always great and fun to play, especially if it's a game you couldn't before on your laptop. With a laptop memory upgrade, you’ll take care of this issue once and for all.
Do you like multimedia and file editing? Your computer has to be able to move a lot of data and files around effortlessly and quickly for this to work as expected. And that's another good reason for the memory upgrade for your laptop.
Finally, your increased memory will make surfing the Internet even better!
Okay, let's say that you’re convinced about the laptop memory upgrade…the question now is, what's so good about the DDR memory upgrade?
Memories are read by computers per each cycle of the computer’s clock. What’s great about DDR, or double data rate, is that it reads the memory not once per cycle, but twice. This fact instantly makes those memory types twice as fast as single data rate memory types.

Laptop Memory Upgrades Do you really need This?
DDR3 Laptop memory is now the state of the art. And if you’re interested in upgrading, this is usually the way folks go–buy more memory. But is this the thing to do? And do you really need to upgrade your laptop's memory ? Let’s take a look at this question, so you can see if DDR3 memory upgrades are something you need, or just a waste of time and money.

Why would you consider upgrading your laptop memory ?
You can see if your laptop wants more memory by inspecting the following symptoms. Slugginess, or it inclines on locking up when there are a lot of windows open. If your computer is slow and unresponsive, then this could easily be soothed by laptop memory upgrades, such as adding a new 1GB memory chip module. Your computer essentially has two memories, so to speak, the RAM and the internal main hard drive. The RAM is where it puts data and programs it’s using currently. If the RAM is too small, then your computer will be spending a lot of its resources moving bits and pieces of files to and from the hard drive.
Ditto for a computer that doesn’t perform well when there are a lot of windows open. This is usually caused by the same problem, lack of enough memory. And has the same solution ddr memory upgrades.
So, how much memory do you need anyway? Well, it used to be that you only needed about 128Mb of RAM just for basic functions, say 256 Mb for something like word processing. If you’re on the internet for any period of time, you’re probably looking at at least 512 Mb of RAM. Notice I said used to be–as in two years ago. Now, I don’t care who you are you’re probably doing a lot of teleconferencing, audio and video streaming, and other high data jobs with your computer. Personally, for this 1Gb, which is what most notebooks and laptops currently come with is not enough. I like 2 Gb. That seems to make my computer and all its applications run smoothly.
So, memory upgrades are definitely mandatory and essential if you are into computers or laptops.


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Computer Memory Article by Svetlana Lozovenko
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