Choosing the Best RAM Upgrade Option

By +Rod Bland

Choosing the best RAM upgrade is usually easy once you have answered the question of "How much memory do I need?". Sometimes though, there may be multiple brand and capacity options displayed on our website for your particular system.

Also, our very comprehensive memory buying guide answers just about every question there is about buying the right memory upgrade.

Following are some frequently asked questions on this topic:

I've figured out which module(s) I need, but there is more than one brand available (e.g. Crucial, Samsung). Which is better?

We offer memory upgrades from several vendors, depending on how specialised the memory is, known compatibility requirements, and availability. In all cases, every module shown for a particular system is guaranteed compatible, and of the highest quality, with a lifetime warranty. Read more about premium vs generic memory

There are multiple sizes of modules - which should I buy?

For every model we show a 'Recommended' memory upgrade. This is selected based on the highest capacity upgrade which is both in stock and the best priced. If you need to see all choices, then simply choose the 'Show all Memory Upgrades' button. Also see the page - How much memory do I need?

My system has a different speed module to the one you recommend. Will it still work?

For non-mac systems we offer the highest speed DDR/DDR2/DDR3/DDR4 modules which are programmed with all of the available speeds. So for instance, if your system required DDR3-1066, we will recommend DDR3-1600 modules with programming to operate at DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1066 where the system requires it. This will provide maximum performance if installed with other modules of the same speed and will also match speeds with any existing modules if they are slower than the new RAM purchased.

For Mac systems we only offer the correct speed modules as per Apple specifications to ensure 100% compatibility.

Do I need to install the memory in pairs?

In DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 capable systems, installing memory in pairs of the same size and speed offers the best possible performance by enabling a feature called dual channel model which theoretically doubles the maximum data transfer rate between the memory bus and the memory modules.

However, in testing done by Tom's Hardware and Laptop Logic - the real-world performance improvement between single and dual channel configurations was 5% at best.

Since 2010, triple channel and quad channel configurations are also supported in some systems, which provide further performance improvements.

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Without a doubt, compatibility is the most important factor in buying a RAM or storage upgrade for your laptop or computer, and not all upgrades are created equal. Your RAM, SSD, HDD or accessory must be compatible with your system — or it simply won't work.

Using the RamCity Upgrade Finder is the surest way to ensure that the upgrade you purchase has been lab tested to ensure 100% compatibility. 100% guaranteed. Or your money back. Read more about our guarantee