You need to get more RAM to improve your old computer, or you’ve decided to purchase parts to build your own PC. You are unsure about the best RAM to purchase, its capacity, and how to install it. This article is for you.
RAM is a random access memory device used in computers. RAM memory can be accessed randomly, reading and writing almost simultaneously. Compared to the disk devices, data access speed on this memory is much higher. As a result, RAM serves as a short-term data repository for the CPU to access and analyze.
It can be claimed that RAM significantly contributes to the smooth operation of your PC and increases processing speed. Below, we’ll go over some specific points you should consider when selecting your RAM memory. These topics will offer you a fundamental grasp of the specs you need to pay attention to, enabling you to select the best decision that matches your PC’s performance at an affordable price.
How Does Your RAM Operate?
If compared with other long-term storage devices in the computer such as Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid-State Drive (SSD), the data access speed of RAM is much higher. For instance, the maximum bandwidth of modern high-speed SSDs, such as M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0×4, is roughly 8GB/s.In today’s SSD generation, the bottleneck issue has been thoroughly reduced to improve its performance. Read/write speed on SSD can be up to 7GB/s. Compared with RAM speed, like DDR4-3200 its speed is 3200 megatransfers per second (MT/s) equivalent to 25.6GB/s or like DDR5-4800 has access speed of 38.4GB/s.
It should go without saying that the CPU will process data on storage devices far more slowly than it does in RAM. Data processing on a PC proceeds in the following order: when a program is running, data is copied from disk devices to RAM for CPU access, processing, and temporary storage. Then the final result will be saved back to the long-term disk devices for storage.
RAM Memory Buying Guide
RAM is a crucial component that keeps your computer running stable and smoothly for such a long time. You must select a RAM module from a reputed and dependable manufacturer. Additionally, you should be aware that various RAM module brands have various production lines.There are differences in the input materials, mold production, and printed circuit. Some manufacturers exclusively use components from several manufacturers when creating their RAM modules. Furthermore, if you’re upgrading your old PC, the mixing RAM brands is also an issue to be aware of.
There are various brands that have been evaluated by professionals for your consideration. Some of them are listed below.
As a leading developer and manufacturer of PC components, you may find RAM modules from the newest generation such as DDR5, DDR4, and more with a wide range of parameters, including capacity, speed, and CAS. These products come from models like VENGEANCE RGB PRO, DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB, DOMINATOR RGB DDR5, and so on.
This is a brand with 25 years of experience in hardware manufacturing, especially memory and storage devices. Crucial can help you choose the most suitable RAM module for you by declaring your PC or motherboard configuration right on their website.
Kingston is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of memory and storage solutions. One of their best selling RAM models right now is the Kingston FURY series.
The capacity of RAM is typically not calculated in any particular way. The simple guidelines are as follows.
Unless a PC is exceptionally demanding, 16GB is typically a reasonable capacity for the majority of apps at a competitive price. You can install dual-channel with a memory RAM kit of at least 16GB (2 x 8GB) or as much as 32GB (2 x 16GB) or more for gaming PCs. For PCs with normal loads that are solely used for standard operations like word processing or web browsing, email, etc., you may select a RAM capacity of 4GB.
Many people believe that the faster RAM, the better. The truth, however, is that you may waste your money without getting the intended results. The RAM is the short-term storage device that the CPU uses to carry out processing. The memory controller on the CPU decides this access speed.
The image below is the specifications of the Intel Core i9-11900K, the compatible RAM of this processor is DDR4, and its maximum speed can reach 3200 MT/s.
In fact, you want to pick high-speed RAM if you use an integrated GPU (the graphics processor unit that is built into the processor). Heavy tasks on your PC, particularly those involving graphics or gaming software, will be much improved.
You won’t need to spend a lot of money on high-speed RAM if you utilize a dedicated graphics card. The more appropriate choice would be to upgrade the NVMe SSD’s capacity and select high-performance graphics cards.
RAM’s form factor merely refers to the specifications of its size. If you choose RAM for a desktop, the form factor is DIMM, with LxH (mm) = 133.35 x 31.25. Additionally, RAM for laptops has a smaller size with a SO-DIMM form factor, LxH (mm) = 69.6 x 30.
Single Channel or Dual-Channel
RAM is linked to the CPU through the data bus. A data bus, usually referred to as a channel, is the 64-bits wide bus. A RAM module is only connected to the CPU by a single channel. With dual-channel we need to install two (02) RAM modules and have a data bus of up to 128-bits wide. The bandwidth will therefore theoretically double. However, dual-channel will actually boost your PC’s performance by 16–17%.
Most motherboards these days support dual channel, so you should get two RAM modules for your PC. It’s called a memory kit, the set of two identical RAM modules such as 16GB (2 x 8GB) or 32GB (2 x 16GB).
Single-Rank or Dual-Rank
A memory rank is a set of memory chips that make up 64-bits wide. Single-rank RAM is a 64-bits device. Likewise dual-rank RAM is a 128-bits device.
So you may ask a question. What is the purpose of using dual-rank RAM (128-bits wide) connected to the data bus of 64-bits wide? Memory cells in RAM are capacitors and store data on the principle of electrical charge. These cells will be leaked during operation. So they need to be re-charged regularly. With dual-rank, read/write along with memory cell refresh (re-charged) are performed concurrently, improving the performance of RAM.
Dual-rank RAM can increase RAM speed by about 4%. However, as I mentioned above, if you use a dedicated graphics card, dual-rank is not really necessary.
Each motherboard is only designed for a certain generation of RAM, and different generations have distinct notch layouts. You can’t intentionally plug DDR-3 into a motherboard that supports DDR-4 RAM.
DDR-4 is currently the most often used version. The latest generation of DDR-5 is starting to be used with Intel processors 12th generation onwards. To choose the appropriate RAM generation, it is important that you carefully read the CPU and motherboard specs.
Cooling and Lighting
There are many different RAM module types with heatsinks and attractive lights available on the market today. From a purely professional standpoint, this is decorative for improving the product’s elegance and attractiveness only. In reality, RAM does not produce much heat when it is operating, thus with a well ventilated computer case, it will be sufficient to ensure cooling for RAM’s functioning.
What is The Right RAM for Your PC?
So the most crucial points will be finalized when you decide to purchase RAM memory for yourself. Capacity, of course, 16GB is the common option. Dual-channel is a typical practice with today’s motherboards. Depending on the capabilities of your PC, a memory kit of 16GB (2 x 8GB) or more is what you should get. Finally, take into account the above in setting your budget. Hopefully, this article will be of some value to you.