Replacing Your PC’s RAM – RAM Ads

This post is for those of you who are comfortable replacing RAM in your PC and want to understand how to interpret the RAM ads on the Internet.

Know the Terms – DDR, Buffered, Registered, ECC

  • The more RAM that is installed, the faster the PC. Use as much memory as your motherboard and OS can support, within your pocketbook.
  • Using DDR/DDR2/DDR3 modules will improve performance. DDR refers to Double Data Rate and processes data twice for each pulse of the system clock, once on the upcycle of the pulse, and once on the downcycle of the pulse. DDR2 is faster than DDR and DDR3 is still faster than DDR2.
  • Use buffered or registered modules if the motherboard supports it. Buffers and registers hold the data and amplify it immediately before the data is written to the memory module. Some modules use buffers, some use registers, and there are some that do not use either of them. If a DIMM uses buffers, it is called a buffered DIMM. If the DIMM uses registers, it is called a registered DIMM. If the module does not support the feature, it is called an unbuffered DIMM.
  • Use the fastest memory possible that the motherboard will support. If using more than one module, ensure that all of the modules are of the same MHZ speed. If not, the system will default to the slowest module, or with some PCs, will cause system instability.
  • Although many PCs use only single channeling, using dual-channel or triple channing will improve performance, providing the motherboard supports it. You must install matching pairs of modules with dual channeling or have 3 modules match with triple channeling.
  • If the board supports ECC (error correcting code) memory modules, use them. Although there will be a very slight decrease in performance, it will increase the reliability of the system. If the motherboard supports parity, use modules with parity.
  • CAS (column access strobe) and RAS (row access strobe) Latency, refer to the two ways that measure access timing. Both CAS and RAS indicate how many clock cycles required to write or read a column or row of data from the module. The lower the value, the better the speed. These two terms CAS and RAS, are referred to as CL and RL also.

Reading RAM Internet Ads

Let's look at the following advertisement for memory and breakdown the technical specifications so that it is understandable:

  • Looking at the first ad, notice the first specification listed: DDR2 PC2 6400. First of all the DDR2 is pretty clear, the module has DDR2 technology.
  • The next item listed is PC2. IF you are using DDR2 modules, there will always be a 2 after PC.
  • The 6400 means that the speed in bandwidth is 6400 MB/sec (megabytes per second; doing the math: 800MHZ speed X 8 bytes of data per clock tick = 6400MB/sec).
  • The CL=6 means that the module uses CAS for measuring the access timing and it takes 6 clock ticks for the module to access data on a memory read or write.
  • Unbuffered means that the module does not use buffers.
  • Non-ECC means that the module does not use ECC (error correcting code).
  • DDR2-800 means that this DDR2 module runs at 800MHZ (system bus speed).
  • The 1.8V is the voltage the module uses to operate.
  • 256Meg X 64 means that the data path is 64 bits and to find the total amount of ram on the module, multiply them and divide by 8 to convert to bytes. Doing the math, 256Meg X 64 = 16384 Megs. Now we divide by 8 to convert to bytes =2048Megs, which is 2.048Gig (we can drop the .048 portion). So one module contains 2 Gigbytes of memory.
  • If you ever see 72 instead of 64 in the advertised formula, that is a clue that the memory is ECC memory. 


ram ads

To get additional tips on how to speed up your PC, you can view it here.

PC Skills – Your Ticket to Success

What an age we live in. Computers are  so versatile,  if you have a great idea for using a PC to enhance your career goals, there's a 90% chance someone has written the software for it; if not, no problem-you can hire a technical person to write it for you. Having computer skills is practically a requirement now for your long-term success in your chosen career.

This blog is about acquiring  computer skills for success in your career. And that includes a lot, ladies and gentlemen.

But how much do computers really impact our career and daily lives? Without even thinking about new and unique ways of using a PC, let's consider some of a PC's standard usage areas that are already the norm.

Areas That Use PC Skills


  1. Internet Information Gathering
  2. Business / E-Commerce
  3. Email
  4. Photo creation / editing
  5. Video recording / editing
  6. Audio recording / editing / mixing
  7. Watching Television
  8. Radio listening
  9. Online Education / Online Degree
  10. Word Processing
  11. Spreadsheet
  12. Database
  13. Presentation Graphics
  14. Engineering Design / Number Crunching
  15. Accounting
  16. Taxes
  17. Security
  18. Police / Detective / PI work
  19. Gaming
  20. Virtual Reality training

I thought up these 20 categories in about 5 minutes.  I'm sure I could get to 100 without too much trouble.  We haven't even scratched the surface yet.

I'm making a major assumption here. . . you're an ambitious person who is looking for a vehicle to success.  Consider the PC as that vehicle. Think about every successful person you know. Do they know how to use a computer? Without even meeting them, I already know the answer: Yes!

So the question is not whether learning PC skills is worth your time. The question is, "What is the best and most efficient way of learning a PC skillset that will ensure my success?" The answer is right here. You're reading it right now. I'm going to discuss exactly how to go about doing that very thing.

You have to learn how to walk before you can run. Likewise, you must learn the essential PC skills before moving ahead to the more advanced ones. What are these basic computer skills?

Essential PC Skills

Once you are skilled at the above items, you are on your way. Then, you can go after anything you want that uses a PC and you will be ready.

Let's look at each one individually:

A computer is a device that is useful because of two things:

  1. It can accept an input from a human. Although there are many devices on the market that will connect to a computer, the most basic ones are from a keyboard and mouse.
  2. It can produce a useful output that we can view, make decisions and interpretations from, and assist us in our information gathering ability.

In order for the computer to produce a useful output, it must have an operating system that allows it to interact with the user in such a way that is understandable and easy to use.  The Windows operating system does that very thing. Windows allows a person to visually see what information is on the computer; it shows what kind of actions to perform are possible; and by breaking down the parts of a computer system into sections via its Control Panel, the user has control over major aspects of it. Thanks to Microsoft, the Windows operating system has revolutionized the way humans use computers.

It has been said that the wealth of a country is directly proportional to the speed with which it can process and exchange information amongst its people. Likewise, the wealth of an individual is directly proportional to his or her ability to quickly process information, make rational, informative decisions with that information, and share it with the appropriate people in a timely manner. With that said, it is obvious that knowing how to use a browser to surf the Internet, where information is king, is one of the most important skills a person can achieve.

Look again at my list of 20 popular uses of a computer. Think about how many of those items are things that are a part of one's daily life. I see distinct areas of a person's life that encompasses these things. They not only increase your ability to have a career, they are becoming instrumental in your home and personal life.

Learning essential PC skills not only greatly enhances one's prospects for success, but can vastly improve the quality of life in all areas. This skillset is one you cannot afford to be without.