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What Ram Memory Is Compatible With Your Motherboard?

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By Author: allhdd
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Before you start thinking about RAM capacity and frequency, you need to make sure that the RAM is compatible with your motherboard and processor. The wrong type of module simply won't work, while RAM with the wrong specifications may underperform your PC.

module type

RAM comes in sticks, or memory modules, that fit into memory slots on the motherboard. RAM that is not compatible with your system will not fit or function properly.

Modern computer motherboards support DDR4 RAM. DDR4 should not be confused with DDR3, the previous generation of SDRAM. They are not interchangeable and you cannot replace (for example) 8GB DDR3 with 16GB DDR4.


Computers use a type of RAM called SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory). "Synchronous" DRAM is in sync with the processor frequency. SDRAM has improved over time, offering benefits such as lower power consumption, faster transfer rates, and more stable data transfer.

DDR4 SDRAM is the current standard for modern computers. DDR4 stands for "Double Data Rate 4" and is the fourth generation of DDR technology that replaced SDR (Single ...
... Data Rate) SDRAM. DDR4 offers faster data transfer speeds, larger capacities, and lower voltages than the previous generation.

If you're building a new PC or upgrading the RAM in a relatively new system, chances are you're dealing with the current standard of DDR4 SDRAM.

Why is DDR4 not backward compatible? Because it has different timings (see below), voltage, and a number of pins, among other things. To prevent accidental installation, the key notch on DDR4 modules is behind a different pin than on DDR3 modules, preventing it from slipping into DDR3 slots.

There are some easy ways to find compatible storage. Check your system or processor documentation, run a system profiling utility, or use an online memory compatibility tool.

form factor

DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory Module) are larger RAM modules designed for desktop motherboards.

SO-DIMMs (Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module) are smaller modules for laptops, IntelĀ® NUC Mini PCs, and some Small Form Factor (SFF) Mini-ITX motherboards.


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