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Home > Computer Memory

Cheap Computer Memory

The main function of computer memory (system RAM) is to provide your computer's CPU with quick and easy access to large amounts of data. Most of the Cheap Computers you can get today have only a minimum amount of RAM. Since upgrading your computer's memory is one of the cheapest and easiest upgrades you can make, it's good to know more about the main types of computer memory.

Types Of Computer Memory


As of early 2010, the most commonly used form of RAM is called DDR (Double Data Rate). You will see this displayed as DDR2 or DDR3, with DDR3 being the newer, more powerful type of RAM. Since our site is about bargain computer equipment, we should point out that DDR2 is much cheaper and still performs quite well when compared with DDR3 RAM, which can cost about twice as much for only a slight improvement in performance.

The decision to use DDR2 or DDR3 is made when you select your motherboard, or if you buy a pre-built system, then by the motherboard that comes pre-installed. You will have to use only the type and make of DDR memory that is compatible with your computer's motherboard, so always take that into consideration when buying new or refurbished computers. If you want to save money, stick with DDR2.

The Benefits of More RAM


Many consumers do not see the full benefits of adding more system RAM. Instead, they focus on computers with good video cards and big hard drives, but with only a minimal amount of system RAM. The fact is that system RAM is a key performance feature that will improve nearly every aspect of how your computer operates. With more system RAM, your computer can load much more data into temporary memory and reduce the work load placed upon the computer's CPU and hard drive.

System RAM keeps temporary data -- the data you are actively using -- available for the CPU to quickly load. If it can't hold all of the data in system RAM, then it has to read and write that data to the hard drive, which will take longer. Because RAM access times are much faster than your hard drive access times, all of your applications will generally load faster when you have more RAM.

How Much RAM Memory Is Enough?


With the launch of Windows 7 in 2009, the minimum amounts of computer memory have changed. If you run the 32-bit version of Windows 7, the minimum is 1 GB of RAM. For the 64-bit version, you need at least 2 GB. The latest version of Mac OS also requires a good amount of RAM. Released around the same time as Windows 7 in late 2009, the Mac OS X Snow Leopard software requires at least 1 GB of RAM.

So, if you buy a new or refurbished computer with at least 2 GB of RAM, you should be in the clear when it comes to computer memory. More is always better, but it's often a cheaper option to buy the RAM memory upgrade modules and install them yourself rather than to buy a pre-built system that costs a lot more for just a little more RAM.

It is actually still possible to find Cheap Computers for sale, mostly Pentium 4 systems, that only have 256 MB to 512 MB of RAM installed. If you decide to get one of these older systems, you will probably have to stick with the Windows XP operating system. Of course, with the current low prices for older types of computer memory, it would be very easy to get a cheap memory upgrade for one of these older systems.

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