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RAM
Identifying what RAM you have


RAM, Random Access Memory, is where your O/S, programs, files, and data is stored while in use. This is the 'scratchpad', or 'work area' of your computer. Any programs or files that the computer needs are first loaded into RAM. The more RAM your computer has the more 'stuff' your computer can be working on at the same time. When you try to have more programs and files open than can fit in your computer's memory, the operating system 'swaps' it out. Meaning, it creates a special file on your hard disk and copies some of the 'stuff' in memory to the hard disk. Now, RAM is around a thousand times faster than your hard disk. So, when your computer doesn't have enough RAM it has to do more 'swaps', therefore slowing down your computer. Which means, a good way to boost your systems performance is by adding more RAM.

EDO, Extended Data Out, is an older style of RAM. It has 72 pins, which can be either gold, or tin plated. This type of memory is used in some older style Pentium and Pentium MMX computers. It is incompatible with today's newer style of RAM and is not usable in newer systems.

SDRAM, or sometimes referred to as S-DRAM, or SD-RAM. It is now sometimes being referred to as SDR, or Single Data Rate, Memory when specified from DDR memory mentioned below. It has 168 pins, and comes in PC-66, PC-100, and PC-133 ratings. The ratings denote the Mhz that the RAM is runs at.

DDR SDRAM, Double Data Rate SDRAM. It is also referred to simply as DDR. This newer version of SDRAM has 184 pins and comes in ratings of PC1600, PC2100, PC2700. MHz ratings are 100, 133, and 166 respectively. This memory transfers 2 pieces of information per clock cycle, hence the DDR notation.