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Laptop Memory (Part 2)


  Computer memory in itself can be a little bit confusing at times.  There is brand name memory chips and generic memory chips.  There are different types of memory that will work only in some laptops and not others.  I will try to give you some insight into what is what.  So to began with let us start with memory types.  A memory type called DDR2 by specification is the most common used memory in most new laptops today.  However, a memory type called DDR3 by specification is beginning to show up in some newer computers.  In most older computers your will see either very old PC100 and PC133 memory specifications or just plain DDR memory specifications.

Laptop memory RAM Upgrade - Memory upgradeTo understand the difference between memory specifications, just remember that the newer the memory specification is, the faster its memory speed. DDR memory will be slower than DDR2 memory and DDR3 memory will be faster than DDR2 memory. Also, memory comes with different timing clock 400 and DDR2 533.  The speed of the memory simply means that it is able to read and write data to memory, faster during a computer saving a word processing document.  Sometimes memory will also be listed and designated with its bandwidth speed such as DDR400/PC-3200. 

Cool Tip: Did you know that older memory for older laptops is normally more expensive than newer memory for newer laptops. Supply and demand makes this the case.

 Format and type that memory is refer to as:

  • PC100/133 
  • DDR 333 / PC-2700 
  • DDR 400 / PC-3200 
  • DDR2 400 / PC2-3200 
  • DDR2 533 / PC2-4200 
  • DDR2 667 / PC2-5300 
  • DDR2 800 / PC2-6400 
  • DDR3 800 / PC3-6400 
  • DDR3 1066 / PC3-850  



Does Your Laptop Have Room For More Memory?

Is there room for more memory to fit into your laptop? Perhaps it does and perhaps it does not.  A laptop memory upgrade might not work for you.  Let see if we can figure it out. 

Almost all laptop computers generally have two physical memory slots available and only two, on its mother board. This means that you are limited to how much memory you can have installed in your laptop.  Some laptops will allow you installed up to 4GB of memory, while others will limit you to only 1 or 2 GB.  It all depends on the mother board memory specificationlimit that is installed in your laptop.  So the advise here is if you already own the notebook, check out your users manual for your limit. Also be aware that you may have to dump the memory that is already installed in order to upgrade the memory.

Why you might ask? Remember you only have two slots to work with that means you can only have two memory modules in your laptop at any given time. Its a win lose situation. Out with the old in with the new. Sad but true. However your laptop will run 4 times better and faster most of the time. If you are looking to purchase a new or refurbished notebook be sure to ask or check the specifications to make sure how much memory comes with it and what is the max amount of memory the laptop computer mother board allows. Be sure to ask first and not later!

 Here's how it will work based on a 2 slot memory configuration on your mother board:

  • 2 slots can have either 1 512meg in each slot for a total memory of 1GB or 
  • 2 slots can have either 1 1GB in each slot for a total memory of 2GB or 
  • 2 slots can have either 2 2GB in each slot for a total memory of 4GB 

Cool Tip: You must get the right type of memory depending on your motherboard specifications.  Check with your motherboard users manual or your laptop vendor website.



Can you install the memory yourself?

Yes!  Is it easy?  Absolutely!  Installing memory into a laptop today is as easy as turning the computer on its backside and opening up a small door to gain access to the memory slots.  Laptop memory upgrades can almost always be performed by you at no cost for labor.


Here are some tips when installing memory

1. Always make sure the laptop is powered off and unplugged from the wall.

2. Remember to handle the memory card gently and be sure if your are pron to static
electricity that you discharge yourself first by touching a doorknob first before
touching the memory stick.

4. Flip the laptop over and locate the memory panel. Use a screwdriver to open the panel.

5. The memory modules are in the slots and locked with small clips at the ends. Pull the clips and remove any memory that you plan not to use again.  Insert the new memory stick or sticks.  Gently is the key word here in not breaking the clips.

4. Put the new memory module inplace by firmly but gently pushing it into the slot and allowing the clips to snap back in place on both sides.

5. Close the panel. Screw the screw on the panel with your screwdriver. The new memory will be automatically detected upon your laptop power on sequence.  In other words, turn it back on and you are good to go.




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