In Windows: RAM Upgrades
If you’ve bought RAM for a Macintosh recently, you already know the basics of buying and installing RAM in a PC. But when it comes time to buy the actual RAM upgrade, you’ll discover that choosing the kind of upgrade to buy is dramatically more complicated in Windows than on the Macintosh.
For information on how Windows manages memory, see Memory Usage.
What kind of RAM to buy. Since the time when PCs used the 80386 processor, PCs have accepted SIMMs (Single Inline Memory Module) and DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory Module), just as Macs do. Depending on the age of your PC, you may need to buy RAM upgrade boards known as 30-pin SIMMs, 72-pin SIMMs, or the modern DIMM boards. In general, you can install DIMMs one at a time, but you must install SIMMs in pairs.
In buying RAM upgrades, you may also encounter such terms as DRAM, FPM RAM, EDO RAM, and so on. For definitions, see the sidebar “The RAM Upgrade Glossary.” The bottom line: call your PC’s manufacturer to find out what kind of memory chips to order if you’ve decided to buy a memory upgrade.
How much RAM to buy. How much memory you’ll want for your PC is another question. As on the Macintosh, more is always better, and successive versions of Windows require ever more RAM. Use Table 18-1 as a quick reference for how much you’ll need.
Buying the right RAM. You can determine what RAM to buy in a number of ways, including looking through the PC’s system documentation, calling the original vendor, ...