The RAM, or Random Access Memory, is one of the easiest and most effective upgrades you can perform on your desktop computer. RAM is a form of volatile memory that allows your computer to temporarily store what it is computing. It is your computer’s short term memory, and is extremely important!
If you have been experiencing problems booting your computer, seeing on-screen visual issues, or perhaps even the dreaded “blue screen of death”, you may want to replace or upgrade your RAM. Most people notice a slowdown of the computer when doing things that are graphics intensive, such as playing games or having several programs or windows open at once. This is a sign that your RAM might need upgraded or replaced.
The procedure to replace RAM is a simple one. Turn off and unplug your computer, and open the case to expose the internal components. The RAM is located on the motherboard of the computer in narrow slots. There is typically a bank of several slots, often there are four. There are small plastic retaining clips holding the individual sticks of RAM in place. Gently open the clips and remove one of the sticks. You can use the information on the label to determine the memory size, speed, etc. This information can be used to find the exact replacement type. Check the documentation for your motherboard to confirm the maximum amount that can be installed; you don’t want to purchase more than the motherboard can handle! There are many types of RAM and they are not all interchangeable. Only use the proper type for your motherboard, or you can risk damage to the crucial components. Replacement RAM can be found online, or at your local electronics retailer.
Once you have the replacement modules, they simply snap back into the slots on the motherboard. The retaining clips should snap into place when you press the RAM stick into the slot. Repeat the procedure with any of the other RAM modules that need attention. Close the case back up and you are ready to go! The computer will recognize the new RAM when the system is booted, and you should notice immediate improvement.