How to Upgrade Your Computer's RAM

How to Upgrade Your Computer's RAM. To increase the random-access memory (RAM) of your computer, you must know the type of RAM it uses, how the RAM is presently configured and how many open RAM slots are available.

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Check the owner's manual or motherboard manual to determine if RAM is parity or non-parity. The website of the company you purchased the computer from usually will tell you what kind of memory your computer needs as well.

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Find out the speed of RAM (for example, 60 nanoseconds).

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Determine whether the computer uses single in-line memory modules (SIMMs) or dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs).

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Find out whether the computer uses regular, FPM, EDO, or Synch DRAM.

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Determine the number of pins on the motherboard: 30, 72 or 168.

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Remove the cover from the machine to find the number of open RAM slots. Look for between two and eight same-sized parallel sockets on the main circuit board. Usually at least two of those sockets will contain RAM - ruler-shaped circuit boards with chips on one or both sides.

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Purchase additional RAM that matches existing memory specifications.

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See the Related eHow "How to Install RAM" to learn how to put in RAM yourself; you can also get it installed (recommended if you don't feel comfortable opening up your computer case).