Laptop memory comes in different types. These differences are due to memory technology, the function of memory and other computer hardware components. Determine the right kind of memory for your Windows® laptop with the Task Manager utility program. Alternatively, use the Hardware Overview utility in a MacBook® for the right Mac memory. Both tools will help you determine which memory modules are compatible with your device in terms of speed, capacity and format.
A RAM card for your laptop is a critical component for short-term data access when loading applications, editing a spreadsheet or browsing the web, which means that the speed and amount of memory in the system play a crucial role. However, RAM for your system's speed depends entirely on your laptop’s motherboard. A motherboard that supports RAM with clock speeds of up to 1600MHz will only utilize speeds to that limit. The clock speed, cycle or frequency is the number of cycles RAM runs in a second. So, a laptop memory with a clock speed of 2133MHz can perform 2,133 cycles per second. The higher the cycle numbers, the greater the amount of data your laptop can read and write.
You probably use your laptop to do lots of things simultaneously. As you edit a document, you are pulling up pictures from memory cards and browsing the Internet. Each active app requires memory, and is competing for limited resources, but you can overcome this by installing high-density memory modules in each slot for seamless multitasking. If the laptop motherboard and operating system allow it, upgrading to an 8GB or 16GB of RAM ensures faster loading of applications and switching between open programs. Upgrades of more than 16GB of memory capacity are advisable for users running resource-intensive games, creative applications and various computer-aided design solutions.
All you need is the owner’s manual, a screwdriver and a few minutes to install a laptop memory stick. However, you need to pay attention to the type of RAM your laptop uses. The most common RAM used in modern laptops is DDR SO-DIMM, an acronym for Double Data Rate Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Module. It comes in three versions: DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4, with each version faster and using less power than the previous one. The DDR4 SO-DIMMs has up to 260 pins, with each achieving up to 2Gbps transfer speeds, and consuming less power than earlier generation sticks.
Unlike your laptop memory, flash memory is a non-volatile storage medium that retains information, even after cutting off power. Despite the name, when it comes to data transfer and storage, flash memories are closer in operation and form to solid-state drives than an external RAM for laptop devices. Flash memory is commonly used in USB card readers, printers, small electronics and portable media players.