Expanding your computer’s Ram (random access memory) is a simple upgrade with instant rewards. It’s a cost-effective way to boost your PC’s performance speeds, and can bring a new lease of life even to older computers.
Put simply, Ram is your computer’s working area. When you open a photo, play a video or launch a program, part or all of the data is temporarily stored in your computer’s Ram, then released back to the hard disk when you’re finished.
This is a fairly simple job that you can do yourself, with the aid of a small screwdriver. Follow our steps below to learn how to add Ram to your computer.
1) Find out what type of Ram you need
It’s important to find out which type of Ram your computer is compatible with before you buy new memory. Thankfully, there’s a simple free online tool that can help you find out exactly what you need. Open a web browser and go to www.crucial.com/uk/systemscanner, then on the front page, click the Download the scanner button. Save the file and double-click it to run it.
Once the scan has completed you will see the type of memory you currently have installed, the maximum amount of memory your computer can accept, and the number of memory slots available under the Memory Type heading.
The scanner tool sometimes explains that the best performance comes from using ‘matched pairs’, which means using two identical Ram modules of the same size and make.
2) Buy new Ram
Don’t feel obliged to purchase the Ram that is offered for sale through the Crucial scanning tool. You may be able to buy the same Ram modules through other sites, such as Amazon or eBay, for less. It’s worth noting that the Ram you need is sometimes offered in two different varieties, DIMM (usually for desktop PCs) or SO-DIMM (for laptops). Make sure you buy the right type.
3) Open your computer to add Ram
Check the instruction manual that came with your laptop or look on the underside of the device for the Ram bay access panel. You will usually need a small Philips-head screwdriver to open it. Before you do so, switch the computer off, unplug it from the mains and remove its battery. We also recommend unplugging any accessories and using an anti-static wristband during the entire installation process.
With the panel removed, you will be able to see your old Ram. Carefully remove the older modules by lightly releasing the metal or plastic clips until you can slide them out fully. Install the new Ram by lining up its notches with the corresponding notches in the memory slot. Gently push it down until it clicks into place. Screw the access panel back on and restart your computer.