Picking out the Right Kinda RAM

So I decided after this post was getting lengthy that I’m splitting up picking out the RAM for you and installation into two posts because it’d just be WAYYYY too long.

Before you read this, here’s my previous post -> here <- , which is about what RAM is and how it works and all that good stuff that you should probably know. I highly recommend that you go and at least skim it over to see what part of the computer you’re/we’re working with.  Just a quick tip/side note, when I was learning to build, I quickly realized that when I knew what I was working with, learning how to install that particular part or buying/selecting that particular part was a lot easier and faster. Today, we’re gonna be talking about how to install RAM. Ram is pretty easy to install if you ask me. I feel like the bigger challenge to RAM is figuring out how much you need and the type that your motherboard accepts.

Today, we’re gonna be talking about how to install RAM. Ram is pretty easy to install if you ask me. I feel like the bigger challenge to RAM is figuring out how much you need and the type fits your computer specifically/the best.

Okay so let’s again start with what the ram looks like, here’s your pic:

 

So to recap some of the important stuff from the old post about RAM. RAM by itself looks like the green stick. Those are typically the cheaper alternatives when you’re buying ram because they don’t have the metal around them so they’re harder to handle and they look less fancy. That being said, the RAM with the metal around it is still RAM.

Of course, performance and brand play a role in the cost of RAM, but I recommend that if you’re on a low-budget, don’t go for anything based on it’s looks rather buy something based on its performance. If you’re SO concerned about making sure everything looks the same, use the color black because it matches with everything and a lot of parts are just black in general. That being said, that is my only opinion and you may fully disagree. Going back to company and performance though, I also recommend not going for items that are too cheap. If they are ridiculously cheap, they probably are faulty or don’t last long. Lastly, I also recommend buying parts that are certified used if you are on a budget. Yes, I just said buy a used computer part. They are generally a lot cheaper than brand new parts and last for a fairly long time (I’ve NEVER had a problem with a used part, my whole computer is pretty much used). That being said, make sure that if you are buying a used part, that you have done your research and you know that you aren’t getting scammed.

Okay, so how does RAM affect your computer?
It affects the speed of your computer (the more RAM the faster the computer, generally). In “gaming” or in “process language”, it affects how fast your game will load or how fast your process will start up or do a task that you asked it to do.

How Important is RAM?
It depends on what you’re using it for. RAM is, of course, important, but don’t chunk your money into RAM. RAM sticks are cheap though, do if you can upgrade or add more you should. If you’re gaming then don’t chuck your money into it. If you’re doing graphic design and that kinda stuff, more RAM may be necessary/something you prioritize. But there are FAR more important components to your computer and that’s where you should invest your money.

Now if you if you’ve heard of RAM and you’ve looked up some prices as to how much they cost, you might have realized that they fluctuate a lot. But before we go into why they fluctuate in prices, let’s go into the rules of RAM.

***IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO READ THIS WHOLE POST OR IF YOU DON’T LEARN ANYTHING AT LEAST REMEMBER THESE RULES, BECUASE IF ONE OF THESE RULES ARE BROKEN OR YOU ACIDENTLY ARE NOT AWARE OF ONE OF THESE THINGS, THEN YOU PROBABLY JUST WASTED YOUR TIME AND MONEY!!!***

RULES OF RAM:
Throughout this, we’re going to keep this simple. Yes, there are exceptions to some of these rules, but for a beginner, you shouldn’t get any more complicated than this.

  1. RAM has different “types” (we’ll just call them that since I’m too lazy to look up the actual term). These “types” correspond with the same “slot type” on your motherboard. These “types” consist of:
    • DDR1
    • DDR2
    • DDR3
    • DDR4
      • You CANNOT put a DDR1 RAM stick/type in a DDR2, 3, or 4 slot type. It must go in a DDR1 slot type. Same thing goes with all the rest of them, you can’t put a DDR4 type in a DDR3, 2, or 1 slot type. You can only put RAM sticks/types in the same exact RAM slot type. It WILL NOT WORK IF YOU SWITCH THE SLOTS AND STICKS. Everything MUST match! Now for some of ya’ll who still don’t understand here’s a chart of everything that can and cannot go together:
        • DDR4(stick/type)= DDR4 (slot type)
          • DDR4(stick/type)≠  DDR3, DDR2, DDR1 (slot type)
        • DDR3 (stick)= DDR3 (slot)
          • DDR3 (stick/type)≠ DDR2, DDR1, DDR4 (slot type)
        • DDR2 (stick/type) = DDR2 (slot type)
          • DDR2 (stick/type) ≠ DDR1, DDR3, DDR4 (slot type)
        • DDR1 (stick/type) = DDR1 (slot type)
          • DDR1 (stick) ≠ DDR2, DDR3, DDR4 (slot type)
            • To simplify this for some people: your RAM stick must correspond with your motherboard (same RAM stick type and motherboard type to work).
            • For my Visual learners: shapeblocks
              • Ram works like this shape box thingy pic above. The triangle block will not fit in the rectangle slot because they just don’t fit. The triangle block only fits in the triangle slot. Now imagine the triangle being a DDR2 ram stick/slot and the rectangle slot being a DDR3 motherboard slot/slot type, the DDR2 ram stick/slot/triangle isn’t gonna fit into the DDR3 motherboard slot/slot type/rectangle slot.
  2. The cheapest and the worst RAM is DDR1, the most expensive and best type of RAM is DDR4 (that excludes GB amount), so the numbers are in numeric order from lowest to best (1 is the worst, 2 is the second worst, 3 is the third worst, 4 is the best).
  3. When buying RAM, make sure that the voltage is equal to or less than the voltage that your motherboard accepts.
    • Check your motherboard manual or specs when purchasing
  4. RAM amount (so how much ram you’ll find in a computer) typically go in the amount of 1gb, 2gb, 4gb, 8gb, 16gb, 32gb.
  5. RAM is typically never sold in singles. They are either sold in two or four packs, so you’ll buy two 1gb RAM sticks to get 2gb of RAM, or you’d buy two 16gb RAM sticks to get 32gb of RAM.
  6. When buying RAM, make sure that your motherboard can take that GB amount of RAM. Some motherboards can’t take more than a certain amount of GBs and can’t take less than a certain amount of GBs (typically though you can put however much GBs you want and be fine).
  7. RAM speed (latency and frequency) doesn’t really matter (this rule one of the most importtant)
    • I decided to make another post on this issue because it’s kinda confusing and long so go check it out -> HERE <-

Okay, so that’s enough with the confusing rules. Let’s actually apply them. So when purchasing RAM you have to consider how much you’re going to pay for. Now it’s not recommended at ALL to buy any RAM sticks that are DDR2 and DDR1 (refer to step 2). DDR3 and DDR4 are the best ones to buy. Remember, when you buy a DDR4 stick that is cheap, you have to buy a motherboard that is also DDR4 (refer to rule 1). So buying everything is a balance. If you’re trying to build a cheap build, I recommend that you go for a DDR3. If you have a lot of money to buy then I most definitely recommend DDR4.

So now that you’ve picked out the type of RAM stick, let’s look into the GB amount (refer back to step 3 to get GB amounts). It’s really difficult to figure out how much ram you should buy. Now never put anything less than 2gb in your computer.  Some people are cool with 2gb, but honestly, with everything on the internet and how heavily we rely on RAM, it’s just not smart in my opinion.

Now if you’re just building a regular computer and again you don’t want to put much money into it, then you should be fine with just 4gb (this is like if you’re just searching the web and maybe downloading a few games here and there). By 4gb I mean two 2gb RAM sticks because the total amount of RAM GB is divided between two sticks (refer to rule 4). That being said, 4gb is starting to become “outdated”, but it is still typically around the minimum (for eh quality) when comes to gaming. Instead of 4 being the standard for a new computer that you see advertised on TV, it’s 8gb (refer back to rule 3 if you don’t understand where I’m getting these numbers from). So naturally, I’m going to recommend 8gb (two 4gb RAM sticks) the most.

Most games require 8gb as their recommended amount of RAM. That being said, a lot of people like to go above 8. Yes, you can increase your RAM and get a better load time, but I recommend that you chuck your money into parts of the computer that are more important like your CPU and your GPU (we’ll get into what those are later). Adding more than 8gb of RAM is pretty much for the HARDCORE gamers (like the game has crazy high requirements and they game for like 10 hours plus) or for the people who do graphic design and all that weird yet really cool artsy stuff on computers.

Now there are sites that specifically will help you determine how much RAM you need if you’re still a little confused but they’re all pretty much gonna say what I just told you.

Is there a possibility of buying too much RAM?
Well probably yes if you can’t buy other parts of the computer and you have more than 8gb of RAM but also if you’re just not using it. If you’re just an average person who’s gonna use it to look up how to do homework and you put 16gb in your computer, then you’re just wasting your money.

So I was going to put how to install RAM here, but the post is seeming really long and lengthy and I remember when I was learning to build computers, I hated articles that just went on and on without getting to the point. So I think I’m gonna end it right here and start a new post specifically about how to install it.

Okay here are some links on which pretty much reiterate what I just said:
http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/store-how-much-memory-required

And thanks for reading, I really appreciate it!

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