Mike’s Monday Moment

I would like to welcome you to the first installment of Mike’s Monday Moment. I am Kelly’s husband Mike and this segment will mostly be about topics that interest me such as computers, games, sports, and generally what is on my mind at the time.

That being said, if you will lend me a moment of your time I will be discussing computer memory or RAM(Random Access Memory). Most people are under the impression that the more memory you have the faster your computer will run. While having more memory can increase performance, if you aren’t careful of the speed and rank of your memory you could be inadvertently slowing down your loading speed.

Memory comes in different speeds. You may have seen DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 in reference to your RAM. Without getting too technical and boring, DDR or Double Date Rate has been the standard for memory and DDR3 is the latest specification. To understand the speed you will look for the number that comes after the DDR3, i.e. DDR3-1333. Essentially the 1333 is the speed and the higher the number the better, or so it may seem. This is also used to determine the PC rating. You may see the PC rating for DDR3-1333 as PC3-10600. Basically this is another way to measure the speed and you multiple the DDR3-(number) by 8 to get this result due to the transfer rate.

So now Rank comes into play. To put it in terms you can understand the higher number of rank on your RAM the slower it will potentially function. Rank basically divides the memory stick into usable sections. For example, if I have a 2GB memory stick at rank 1 it can access the entire 2GB at one time. But I have a 2GB memory stick at rank 2 it can only access 1GB at a time. So if your program is written across the both sections of the memory stick it will cut your loading speed in half. So that 1333 speed is now 666.5, yes that is as evil as it sounds.

As far as I’ve seen there are Rank 1, 2 and 4. I know, Rank 4 sounds bad but it is usually on memory with more space like 4GB and 8GB. So when you break it down 4GB of RAM at Rank 4 can access 1GB at a time, bringing the loading speed down from 1333 to 333.25 which seems very slow considering what you paid for.

It doesn’t seem as bad for the 8GB since it can access 2GB at a time, it just depends on if the program is all written to that same section of your memory.

Finding the Rank of RAM is not the easiest thing to do since it is rarely advertised. Sometimes in the serial number you may see R1, R2, or R4 but it’s not something you can search for.

I hope this was informative and not boring. If you have upgraded your own memory or feel comfortable opening your system and taking a peek, check the serial number on your RAM to see if you can find the Rank. Hopefully you like the results but if not, then hopefully this educated you for when you decide to upgrade.

See you next Monday,
Mike

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