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RAM for Your Hardware

Picking out RAM can be very confusing because there are so many different
types of it. The following are two main points that will take the complexity out
of buying RAM:
Type of RAM your hardware requires:
n You can usually go to the web site
of your computer manufacturer, type in your model number, and find the
exact type of memory that will work with your hardware. Alternatively,
you can visit the manufacturer of your motherboard. I recommend writing
down the type of memory your manufacturer states you need and buying
the memory from a different company. Use a price comparison web site
to find the best deal on the type of RAM you need. Often buying direct
from the major computer manufacturers are more expensive. After you
know what kind you need, you can get it from pretty much anywhere
and usually much cheaper if you buy it online.
Number of open RAM expansion slots:  n To add additional memory to
your computer, you need to consider the number of open RAM expansion
slots you have on your motherboard. Most computers have either two or
four slots and, depending on your manufacturer or whether you built it
yourself, you may be using up all the slots. If your slots are all in use, don’t
worry —   you can still upgrade your RAM given you are not already at
the max your machine supports. Pieces of RAM usually come in combina-
tions of 256MB, 515MB, 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of memory per stick. Say you
have two RAM slots and they are both currently filled with 256MB RAM
chips; you can still buy two 515MB chips to replace them, which doubles
the amount of RAM you have. Ideally if you have a lot of slots free it is a
good idea to buy DDR memory in pairs so you can take advantage of the
dual channel architecture. You will notice two different colored DIMM
slots on your motherboard if you system supports dual channel.
Installing Your New RAM
After you have ordered or picked up your new RAM, it is really easy to install it
yourself. Keep in mind that opening your case may void your warranty. Having
fun yet? Follow these steps to pop in your new memory:
  1.  Unplug all the cables on the back of your computer, including the
power cable.
  2.  Use a Phillips screwdriver or push the case release button to remove
your case.

3.  When you have access to your motherboard, locate the memory expansion
slots, as shown in Figure 15-1. Attach your anti-static wristband at this
time. Don’t have one? No big deal. Just touch any part of the metal case
frame with your hand to discharge yourself.
 4.  Removing any existing pieces of RAM is very simple. Push the plastic
or metal clips away from the sides of the stick of RAM. This will usually
cause the RAM to pop out.
  5.  Putting a new stick of RAM in is just as easy. While the plastic clips are open
(pushed away from the sides of the slot), align the chip the correct way so
it fits in the slot properly and gently push down. As the stick of RAM goes
down, it will cause the plastic clips on the sides to snap in place.
Put your case back on and hook up your cables and you are now finished. If
you have any errors when your reboot on your BIOS screen or if your computer
does not recognize the new RAM you put in, make sure you got the right kind
of memory and that it is seated properly in the slot.

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