Hardware Topic
   >  What to Upgrade
   >  Before you Begin
   >  Upgrading PC RAM
   >  Upgrading PCI/Graphics Cards
   >  Upgrading Drives
   >  Upgrading a PSU
   >  Upgrading a CPU
   >  Upgrading a Motherboard

 

Upgrading PC Memory (RAM)

Choosing the New Memory

This is possibly the most crucial part of a memory upgrade. It is imperative that you buy Memory DIMMs supported by your motherboard. The best way to do this is as follows:

It is imperative that you buy Memory DIMMs supported by your motherboard

  1. If you have an off-the-shelf computer, then look at the label on the rear to find the manufacturer's product number; if you have a self build, you'll need to open up the computer case and look for a motherboard serial number

  2. Once you have a product or motherboard number, bring up a browser and navigate either to the PC/motherboard manufacturers website or to the website of one of the main memory manufacturers. For this example, I will be using the website for Crucial.

  3. Enter your product or motherboard number into the website:Typing your motherboard number into the Crucial website

  4. Click on the "Find It" button to start the search; the details of your system (e.g. DDR2/DDR3, etc) will then be displayed:
    The motherboard details returned by the Crucial website

  5. Scroll down to see the available upgrades for your machine:The compatible memory upgrades from the Crucial website

  6. Once you see the part you want, type the part number for the DIMM into a price comparison site to find the best price!


Removing the Old Memory

The removal of RAM modules is very straightforward: the only complication is ensuring the module or computer is not inadvertently damaged by static electricity:

  1. Before starting work, deploy anti-static controls and ensure the power is off

  2. Prepare an anti-static bag or box to place the old DIMMs in once they are removed (-to avoid static damage)

  3. Remove the access panel(s) from your computer case: these are located on either side of the case and will either be secured with screws or thumbwheels

  4. Locate the existing Memory DIMM(s) on the motherboard and push down and outwards on the white clips at either end of the DIMM: they should click open to 45 degrees or so. The DIMM itself may bob up a little, but it should still be seated in the socket

  5. Grasp the DIMM by the edges (-like you would a CD/DVD) and pull the DIMM up and out of the motherboard (-it should come easily: it not, go back and verify the previous step was completed correctly)

  6. Place the removed DIMM in the anti-static bag or box prepared earlier

  7. Repeat the above steps for any other DIMM that requires removal


Installing the New Memory

Installing new RAM modules is simply the reverse of the removal process:

  1. Before starting work, deploy anti-static controls

  2. Remove the access panel(s) from your computer case if not already done: these are located on either side of the case and will either be secured with screws or thumbwheels

  3. Locate the existing Memory DIMM slots on the motherboard (-see example below):Two DDR3 DIMM slots on a motherboard

  4. Remove the new RAM DIMM from it's packing and place it in the desired slot on the motherboard. Ensure the notch in the DIMM lines up with that in the socket before proceeding; if necessary, rotate the board to see if the notch is now aligned. If you cannot match the notch to the socket at all, then you have purchased the wrong type of RAM (-e.g. you have bought DDR3 RAM for a DDR2 motherboard)

    Inserting the new RAM DIMM
  5. Place your fingers on the top edge of the DIMM and push down reasonably firmly: the white clips on the ends of the socket should snap into place and hold the DIMM firmly. Do not apply excessive force here: if you are having to push hard then verify that the notch in the card is correctly aligned with the socket

    Securing the new RAM DIMM

    In the picture below, you can see that the clips on the first RAM stick are vertical, showing the stick is properly secured. The difference in the clip position can be seen in relation to those of the RAM slot next to it (-being pointed to), which are unsecured: Secured vs Unsecured RAM DIMM

  6. Repeat the above steps for any additional DIMM that requires fitting

  7. Refit the access panel(s) to your computer case


HomeSite IndexDesktop GuideServer GuideHints and TipsHardware CornerVideo SectionContact Us

 sitelock verified Firefox Download Button