Adding RAM to your PC can only be a bang for your buck if you choose one that fits your computer needs. If you're into gaming, you ought to buy a higher RAM that you could find in the market. If you only use your computer for school or office tasks, high RAM can work, but can also be pointless if you want to be cost-efficient in building your computer. If you haven't figured out how to choose one yet, here's a quick guide on how to do that.
Module size of your motherboard
In order to decide what type of RAM you need for your home-built computer, you must first buy a motherboard. This is because a motherboard is where RAMs and mostly all other hardware are assembled in to. If you end up buying a RAM that doesn't fit or not compatible with your motherboard, it's going to be a waste. Most motherboards in Singapore are only capable of holding one type of RAM.
What type of RAM do I need?
The typical SDRAM is now becoming obsolete. Today, you will most likely find DDR-SDRAM and RAMBUS.DDR2 and DDR3 are already becoming common nowadays, and they're fast, stable, and quite affordable. Meanwhile, RAMBUS is a more expensive variant which pretty much offers the same compatibility as DDR2 and DDR3.
If you're assembling a computer around the Intel Core i7 processor, DDR3 RAM is the most suitable because it is capable of data transfer rates twice those of DDR2. It perfectly goes with the processor's speed.
Also, check for whether or not your PC has a memory bank. In some PCs, it’s the slot closest to the CPU, it is usually labeled as bank 0. If your motherboard has this and if you’re building your own PC, it should be filled first before the rest of the memory slots. A memory bank is designed to compensate relatively slow speed of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) or core memory, by spreading memory addresses evenly across memory banks. If your computer has this, you’re better off buying a DRAM.
How much speed do I need?
SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, and RDRAM are rated to match or exceed the PC's frontside bus speed, which is the speed at which data moves between the CPU and RAM. If your system comes with PC66 SDRAM, you can use PC100 SDRAM to replace it and get the faster speed, as long as your PC's front side bus supports the higher rate. But if you mix RAM of different speeds, all RAM will operate at the speed of the slowest chip.
In addition, it’s important to note that the higher the memory, the more expensive it gets. Whether or not you should buy the highest RAM available that you could find is solely up to you. However, your computer or set up can limit your options, depending on how much RAM they are capable of holding and how many RAMs you can actually squeeze into your module.
Before you choose, go back to the most fundamental part of your computer - your motherboard. Choose the best that will complement its limitations.