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What are different types of laptop memory?

It is important to note that all three RAM types serve the same function in delivering brief memory support when a laptop is running. However, each type has its own important differences both in design and performance so they aren’t compatible with each other and can’t be mixed and matched.

  • Static random-access memory (SRAM) is RAM that does not need to be periodically refreshed. Memory refreshing is common to other types of RAM and is basically the act of reading information from a specific area of memory and immediately rewriting that information back to the same area without modifying it. SRAM is used as cache memory for CPUs, as buffers within hard drives, and as temporary storage for LCD screens. SRAM is faster and often found in smaller quantities than DRAM.
  • Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) was the first type of memory to run in sync with the processor bus (the connection between the processor, or CPU, and other components on the motherboard). Most 168-pin DIMM modules use SDRAM memory. SDRAM memory is rated by bus speed (PC66 equals 66MHz bus speed; PC100 equals 100MHz bus speed; and PC133 equals 133MHz bus speed).
  • SDRAM (DDR SDRAM) performs two transfers per clock cycle (instead of one, as with regular SDRAM) and features a two-bit prefetch buffer. 184-pin DIMM memory modules use DDR SDRAM chips. Common speeds for DDR SDRAM include PC1600 (200MHz/1600Mbps), PC2100 (266MHz/2100Mbps), PC2700 (333MHz/2700Mbps), and PC3200 (400MHz/3200Mbps), but other speeds are available from some vendors.

Read our beginners guide to computer memory.

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What is laptop memory?

Laptop RAM or otherwise known as Random Access Memory, provides computers with the virtual real estate they need to briefly manage information and resolve issues. The more memory you add to your laptop, you reduce the amount of times the computer has to read data from the hard drive, which speeds the laptop up.

How does laptop memory work?

As essential to your laptop as the hard drive and processor, the correct amount of memory is critical to your laptop’s speed and performance. When the processor and memory work as one, the memory portions the processors workload and the performance of the machine is enhanced, allowing you to complete common jobs quicker.