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  From the February 2016 Issue of Prestwood eMag
Tech RAM:
Get the Correct Memory Modules to Make Your PC Run Better
Posted 7 years ago on 7/10/2014 and updated 10/24/2020
Take Away:

This article describes an online test you can run on your PC to detect the correct type of memory it will use as well as the maximum amount.


I can’t begin to count the number of people I’ve met through my computer repair business who thought they had to buy a new desktop or laptop computer because they thought it ran too slowly. Don’t get me wrong – there is a time and place for purchasing a new system. But in many cases it happens because the computer is trying to run too many programs with a limited amount of memory. The machine slows down because it doesn’t have enough memory capacity to handle the tasks it is given. It’s sort of like pouring a gallon of liquid into a quart sized container – overwhelming!

So where do you go to select the right memory modules for your PC? There are many types of memory available because of all the different models of computers that are out there. Running back and forth to your neighborhood computer store and hoping the memory modules you grabbed off the shelf will be compatible with your machine will most likely waste your time and solve nothing in the end. So what’s the solution?

To address this issue the right way, you need to find out what type of memory your computer will run. The best route to take is to run an online memory test. This scans the hardware of your computer for a few moments and then displays a report in a new browser window. There are a lot of online memory scanners available. The one I like to use is from the Crucial memory website (Crucial is part of Micron Technology, Inc.), or more specifically: “http://www (dot) crucial (dot) com/systemscanner/”. This will allow you to download a software tool to your computer called “CrucialScan.exe”. Just double click on this downloaded file and wait a minute or two for the scan to complete.

You will soon see a web page report that shows some hardware information about your computer after the scan. In the upper right hand corner you will see a section titled Quick Configurations. This shows how much total memory is currently installed in your machine and what portions of that total memory are installed in the memory module slots inside the computer. Just below this you will see memory upgrade and/or replacement recommendations by Crucial that are compatible with your computer in a section titled Computer Memory. Each recommended memory module includes pricing and a link to add it to your shopping cart.

On the left side of the report, it shows the model of your computer in the upper left hand corner. Below this is more specific information about the memory in your PC. This includes memory type, maximum memory your computer can run, currently installed memory, total memory slots in the machine, available memory slots and the maximum amount of memory each memory slot can accept. 

With all this information at your reach, you won’t need to waste time and fuel chasing around town looking for the right memory for your computer. After a PC has had the memory significantly upgraded, you may notice it has more of a fluid feel in the way it starts up and loads programs. This is because it doesn’t have to work as hard to load software as it used to when the memory was much less. It’s sort of like comparing two cars – one with power steering and the other without. The car with power steering is like a computer after receiving the memory upgrade. It handles much more easily and with less effort as it should. To learn more about the troubleshooting topics I address, please see the "fix my computer" section on my website.


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