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    Everything you need to know about laptop RAM

    What is laptop RAM and how is it different from desktop RAM

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is extremely fast memory where your laptop stores data and instructions it’s currently working with. When your laptop starts up, most of the operating system loads into RAM, as do any applications you launch. In addition, most laptops use processors with integrated graphics. That means the GPU is also sharing that RAM.

    So RAM is critical not just to the functioning of your laptop, but to its speed and performance as well. Too little RAM, and the laptop will become sluggish. In extreme cases, you will be unable to run some software and lack of RAM can mean not being able to install the newest version of an operating system.

    Laptop RAM is the same as Desktop PC RAM, but in a smaller form factor called SO-DIMMs (Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Module).

    What are the advantages of updating laptop RAM?

    The advantages of updating laptop RAM come down to performance. A laptop with plenty of RAM to work with offers snappier performance. It can open more applications at the same time, and have more tabs or windows open without taking a performance hit.

    It’s important to note that some laptops, especially ultra-portables and MacBooks, ship with their RAM soldered to the motherboard. In this case the RAM cannot be upgraded or replaced—so make sure to pick a model with plenty of RAM if you choose one of these laptops.

    How much laptop RAM do I need?

    Depending on the operating system, the minimum RAM for a laptop ranges from 2GB to 4GB. For a Chromebook, 4GB is usable, but for Windows or macOS, the minimum will deliver very poor performance. Most Windows laptops and MacBooks today ship with at least 8GB of laptop RAM installed and may users prefer 12GB or 16GB.

    For performance and gaming models, 16GB of laptop RAM is typical and 32GB of laptop RAM is not unheard of.

    Different types of laptop memory

    Laptop memory comes in different generations. The most common found in entry level laptops and Chromebooks is DDR3 laptop RAM. For higher performance, look for a model equipped with faster, DDR4 laptop RAM.

    SO-DIMMs are offered in different capacities, including 4G, 8GB, and 16GB, and they are typically installed in pairs. So-DIMMs also have other specifications including clock speed, latency, bandwidth and transfer speed. These specifications are included in the code on the laptop RAM package. That code will look something like this: 16GB DDR4 2666 MHz CL19.

    Laptops will have a maximum amount of RAM they can support. Going over that maximum is a waste of money because the operating system will ignore the extra.

    The key to a successful laptop RAM upgrade is to check with the manufacturer for RAM requirements, then choose SO-DIMMs with a code that matches exactly.

    Everything you need to know about laptop RAM

    What is laptop RAM and how is it different from desktop RAM

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is extremely fast memory where your laptop stores data and instructions it’s currently working with. When your laptop starts up, most of the operating system loads into RAM, as do any applications you launch. In addition, most laptops use processors with integrated graphics. That means the GPU is also sharing that RAM.

    So RAM is critical not just to the functioning of your laptop, but to its speed and performance as well. Too little RAM, and the laptop will become sluggish. In extreme cases, you will be unable to run some software and lack of RAM can mean not being able to install the newest version of an operating system.

    Laptop RAM is the same as Desktop PC RAM, but in a smaller form factor called SO-DIMMs (Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Module).

    What are the advantages of updating laptop RAM?

    The advantages of updating laptop RAM come down to performance. A laptop with plenty of RAM to work with offers snappier performance. It can open more applications at the same time, and have more tabs or windows open without taking a performance hit.

    It’s important to note that some laptops, especially ultra-portables and MacBooks, ship with their RAM soldered to the motherboard. In this case the RAM cannot be upgraded or replaced—so make sure to pick a model with plenty of RAM if you choose one of these laptops.

    How much laptop RAM do I need?

    Depending on the operating system, the minimum RAM for a laptop ranges from 2GB to 4GB. For a Chromebook, 4GB is usable, but for Windows or macOS, the minimum will deliver very poor performance. Most Windows laptops and MacBooks today ship with at least 8GB of laptop RAM installed and may users prefer 12GB or 16GB.

    For performance and gaming models, 16GB of laptop RAM is typical and 32GB of laptop RAM is not unheard of.

    Different types of laptop memory

    Laptop memory comes in different generations. The most common found in entry level laptops and Chromebooks is DDR3 laptop RAM. For higher performance, look for a model equipped with faster, DDR4 laptop RAM.

    SO-DIMMs are offered in different capacities, including 4G, 8GB, and 16GB, and they are typically installed in pairs. So-DIMMs also have other specifications including clock speed, latency, bandwidth and transfer speed. These specifications are included in the code on the laptop RAM package. That code will look something like this: 16GB DDR4 2666 MHz CL19.

    Laptops will have a maximum amount of RAM they can support. Going over that maximum is a waste of money because the operating system will ignore the extra.

    The key to a successful laptop RAM upgrade is to check with the manufacturer for RAM requirements, then choose SO-DIMMs with a code that matches exactly.