Random Access Memory, or RAM, provides a valuable function within the architecture of the computer system. RAM acts as a temporary storage facility for pertinent data that is being used by a running program or the operating system of the computer. This data can quickly be accessed by the computer's processor and put to use in whatever function is needed. RAM is housed in physical microchips which are directly connected to your computer's motherboard using a series of slots. Depending upon the type of computer you are using, your RAM slots may vary considerably. Identifying the different types of memory slots being used today and the slight variations in their functionality will help ensure that you have the information you need to keep your computer operating at full capability.
Exploring Different Types of RAM
The need for various types of RAM slots is directly due to the fact that multiple RAM formats are in use today. For desktop computers, SDRAM and DDR are the most popular formats of RAM in use, while laptop computers will commonly feature SODIMM RAM, a smaller version of DIMM RAM. In any of these scenarios, the type of RAM being used can vary considerably with respect to its operational speed and capacity. That being said, the performance specifications of your RAM will not influence the type of slot it uses. As a general, rule, a unique slot type is matched with each of the primary categories of RAM in use.
Types of Memory Slots in Use Today
When you examine your computer's motherboard, you will most likely be able to identify the memory slots attached to it. RAM and its corresponding slots are often identified by the number of pins being used to connect them. For example, your desktop computer may utilize a 168-pin SDRAM module. When attaching RAM to a computer, it is absolutely imperative that the metallic pins on the RAM stick correspond directly to the port in which it is being attached. With that in mind, these pins and the sockets connecting to them on the motherboard act as a unique identifying and matching tool for the RAM and its corresponding slot.
Different Quantities of RAM Slots
Upon close examination of your motherboard, you will be able to gain a good idea of how many RAM slots are available for use. It is quite common for consumer-grade computer systems to have between two and four RAM slots. For more professional hardware, up to six RAM slots is not unheard of. To identify these slots, you should look for a series of long, thin sets of elevated pin ports, commonly located on both sides of the CPU unit. Of course, the specific design and build of your desktop or laptop computer will determine precisely where these RAM slots are. Once you have located the slots, you can plug in the corresponding RAM hardware you have purchased. Keep in mind, however, that these slots are often intended for a specific RAM unit. If you notice that the pins on our RAM stick are incompatible with the port itself, do not try to force them together, as this could damage both the RAM hardware itself and your computer's motherboard.