Navigating the Memory Upgrade Jungle


There has never been a better time to increase memory capacity. Consider that the increased use of memory-intensive applications such as video encoders has already caused 1 GB configurations to go mainstream. With Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Vista OS release, well - let’s just say that nobody expects any favors from Big Brother when it comes to memory use. Proof of what is to come can be found in Tom’s Hardware Guide’s recent article How Much RAM Do You Really Need ?.

Though maximizing memory on new system builds is as easy as choosing a standard kit, several questions arise when upgrading existing systems, especially when the builder is a major OEM. What memory speed and type is required ? How much RAM does a particular system support ? What issues might affect compatibility ? Is there any reason to buy name brand RAM ? And what resources are available to aid end users in selecting the proper product ?

We’ll look into these issues and more in this article. As we delve deeply into the memory upgrade jungle, we’ll consider the problems that could affect any purchase decision, and what resources major brands - such as Apacer, Corsair, Crucial, Kingston, Mushkin, PNY and Viking - offer to assist potential customers.

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.