How to Choose best RAM for Laptop/Desktop – Guide

If you’re buying RAM for the first time – or building a PC – the terminology and choice of options can feel overwhelming. To make things even more confusing, faster or more expensive RAM might not be the right choice for your computer. you could end up up spending an unnecessary amount of money on a RAM upgrade that does little to improve your PC’s overall performance. So how do you choose the best RAM for your computer? For a process to run smoothly, all these elements must have the proper specifications. You can have the latest CPU and the fastest SSD, but with sloppy or undersized RAM, you would miss out on all the benefits these new technologies can offer. RAM is short for random access memory and is the component that stores all the data your computer is using at any given time – the operating system and all the applications you start. Random access means that data can be read and written in almost the same amount of time, regardless of where the data is located in memory. This makes the RAM about a hundred times faster than the fastest SSD or hard drive, but the amount of data this memory can hold is limited compared to the main storage device. RAM is also volatile memory. It can only store data while the computer is in use. When the device is turned off, this component is emptied. Think of it as your computer’s short-term storage, while the hard drive or solid state drive is more like long-term storage.

How to Choose the right RAM for Laptop/Workspace

How much RAM do you need?

At the time of writing :updated, 16GB is considered the optimal value for the price-performance ratio in the context of normal work tasks. If you’re running multiple apps simultaneously and have a dozen Chrome tabs open, you should still have enough space before you notice a drop in performance. For workstation computers used for graphics rendering, scientific modeling, and CAD applications, more than 16GB makes sense. It is not uncommon for 3D design workstations to come with up to 32 GB of RAM.

Find the right RAM upgrade for your system

First, note that laptop memory and desktop memory are different and not interchangeable! The same goes for server memory. RAM upgrades are sold as memory modules or sticks. Each module has a specific capacity – most commonly you will find 4GB RAM, 8GB RAM and 16GB RAM. It is not advisable to mix and match RAM modules in your system. Cross-brand modules are fine if they have the same form factor and voltage, but ideally all RAM modules should come from the same set. You can find RAM modules in packs of 2 or 4 (or more if buying for multiple systems) optimized to be used together on the same motherboard.

Motherboard and RAM compatibility

Your computer’s motherboard also determines the RAM capacity as it has a limited number of DIMM slots into which RAM is plugged. Computer RAM modules are standardized by the DDR form factor. Motherboards only support one of them, and which one usually depends on the age of your motherboard. The most common variants for desktop PCs include:

Operating system RAM limitations

The operating system you use can affect the maximum amount of RAM you can use on your computer. Note that these limitations apply to workstations running virtual machines serving multiple instances of an application or operating system. The user machines final need not worry about these limitations. Systems running Windows 10 Home are limited to 128 GB of memory. In Windows 10 Pro, Education and Enterprise environments, you can use up to 2TB of RAM. Older Windows systems have a lower limit. For example, the maximum RAM limit for the 32-bit version of Windows 7 is 4GB.

Final note

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