One of the easiest ways to boost performance for any PC is to add memory to the system. But before you go to get that memory upgrade, be sure to gather information about your computer to ensure you get the right memory for your system. You need to know what type of memory the computer uses, the memory module sizes and what already exists in the system.
How Much Memory Do I Have?
Find out how much memory is in the computer by examining the BIOS or operating system. For Windows, this can be located by opening up the System properties from the Control Panel. Also open up the case while the computer is off and find the memory slots to determine how many modules are installed and how many slots are available. If all the slots are full, you may have to take some out to put more in, if the system can use larger modules.
How Much Do I Need?Check your operating system and application programs. Often they will have a printed "Minimum" and "Recommended" memory listing somewhere on the package or in the manual. Find the highest number out of "Recommended" section and try to plan on having this much or more memory by the time you are done upgrading your system memory.
What Type Does Your Computer Support?
Look through the manuals that came with your computer or motherboard. Included in the documentation should be a listing of the specifications for the memory supported. This is important because it will list exactly the type, size and number of memory modules that are supported. Many retailers and memory manufacturers have this information in case you can't find the manuals.
How Many Modules Should I Buy?In general it is best to try and buy as few modules as possible for the amount of memory that you wish to install. This will increase the potential for future upgrades on the system. Thus, if you have 3 memory slots, one of which has a 1GB module in it, it would be better to buy another 1GB module to get to 2GB of total memory than to purchase two 512MB modules.