Choosing the best RAM upgrade is usually easy once you have answered the question of "How much memory do I need?". Sometimes though, there may be multiple brand and capacity options displayed on our website for your particular system.
Following are some frequently asked questions on this topic:
I've figured out which module(s) I need, but there is more than one brand available (e.g. Crucial, Samsung). Which is better?
We offer memory upgrades from several vendors, depending on how specialised the memory is, known compatibility requirements, and availability. In all cases, every module shown for a particular system is guaranteed compatible, and of the highest quality, with a lifetime warranty. Read more about premium vs generic memory
There are multiple sizes of modules - which should I buy?
For every model we show a 'Recommended' memory upgrade. This is selected based on the highest capacity upgrade which is both in stock and the best priced. If you need to see all choices, then simply choose the 'Show all Memory Upgrades' button. Also see the page - How much memory do I need?
My system has a different speed module(s) to the one you recommend. Will it still work?
For non-mac systems we offer the highest speed DDR/DDR2/DDR3/DDR4 modules which are programmed with all of the available speeds. So for instance, if your system required DDR3-1066, we will either offer DDR3-1066 modules if they are still available, or recommend DDR3-1600 modules programmed to operate at DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1066. This will provide maximum performance if installed with other modules of the same speed and will also match speeds with any existing modules if they are slower than the new RAM purchased.
For Mac systems we only offer the correct speed modules as per Apple specifications to ensure 100% compatibility.
Do I need to install the memory in pairs?
In DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 capable systems, installing memory in pairs of the same size and speed, although often recommended, is usually not necessary. Installing modules in like pairs enables a feature called dual channel model which theoretically doubles the maximum data transfer rate between the memory bus and the memory modules.
However, in testing done by Tom's Hardware and Laptop Logic - the real-world performance improvement between single and dual channel configurations was 5% at best. You can learn more about why it might even be better not to utilise dual channel mode here.
Since 2010, triple channel and quad channel configurations are also supported in some systems, providing more simultaneous bandwidth between the RAM and memory controller.