The quickest and cheapest way to improve your PC speed and performance is to ensure that it has sufficient system memory installed. As operating systems and virus protection applications grow and updates are loaded, so the needs of the system increase.
So what is System memory?
Today’s systems need a certain amount of memory to run adequately. Systems with insufficient memory will run slowly and sluggishly. The current recommended minimum amount of system memory for Windows is shown in table 1:
|Windows version||Current Service Pack||Published minimum||Recommended|
|Windows XP||SP3||512Mb (1/2 Gigabyte)||1Gb +|
|Windows Vista||SP2||2Gb||2Gb +|
|Windows 7||SP1||1Gb||2Gb +|
How to I Check My System Memory?
Click the right mouse button (right-click) and left click on Properties.
After a short delay you will see details displayed for your computer system.
There are a four pieces of information you need from this screen.
- The Windows edition (Windows 7 Home Premium)
- The Service Pack loaded (Service Pack 1)
- Installed Memory (8.00GB)
- System Type (64-bit)
How Much Memory Can I Install in My System?
This can vary by hardware but is also restricted by system type and the Windows edition. If you have a 32 bit system you are limited to a maximum of around 3.5Gb of system memory regardless of the Windows edition. The maximum for 64 bit systems is much higher; 8Gb for Windows 7 Home through to a massive 192Gb for Windows 7 Professional.
What Type of memory Do I Need?
This is a bit of a minefield as there are various memory types. Memory modules for a desktop/tower system are known as DIMMs. Memory modules for a laptop are SoDIMMS. The company Crucial, a low cost memory manufacturer, have a very good tool on their website that will examine your system, tell you what type of memory this uses, how many memory slots you have and the memory that is installed in those slots.
The tool to check your system can be found at http://www.crucial.com. Go to the site and a little way down the page you will see the option to run the scanner. Follow the onscreen instructions to run the tool. It is a perfectly safe tool to run. Once the scan is complete the tool will not only tell you the system specifics but will also provide optional links for you to purchase the memory direct from Crucial.
How Do I Install The Memory DIMMs?
Whether you have a desktop or laptop system, memory modules are easy to install.
Desktop systems will have their DIMMS on the main circuit board of your system. Turn off power and remove the side cover of the system. You will see 2-4 memory slots inside the machine. Generally they have two sprung ends that clip the modules in place (marked 2 in diagram).
To remove a module you push these lugs outwards which will release the module which can then be removed.
When re-installing the lugs are forced inwards automatically when you re-insert a module and they will click audibly when back in place.
The diagram shows a module being re-inserted.
Laptop systems will have a small panel, usually accessible underneath the laptop and often secured by two screws. Most laptops indicate which panel by having a small picture of a memory module on inscribed.
Laptop SoDIMMS are either installed laying flat or sometimes at an angle. Look at how the modules sit when removing a module from your laptop.
There are two sprung clips on each side which you push outwards to remove a SoDIMM. These auotatically click into place when a new SoDIMM is inserted.
Note also that memory DIMMS and SoDIMMS have cut outs on the base which prevent them being re-inserted the wrong way around. Check that the cut outs align with the socket before pushing the modules into the system.
Help! I Want More Memory But I Don’t Feel Confident Installing It?
Although this process is straight forward some users will understandably be hesitant and a little concerned about manipulating the hardware inside their systems. If this is you the contact your local service engineer who will be more than happy to help.
If you live in the South Lincilnshire, Rutland, North Cambridgeshire area I would be happy to assist.
Good luck and speed up that PC.