O'Reilly logo

PCs For Dummies® Windows®, 7 Edition by Dan Gookin

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 8. PC Memory

In This Chapter

  • Understanding memory

  • Using chips and dips (and DIMMs)

  • Measuring memory quantity

  • Discovering how much memory is in your PC

  • Adding memory to your computer

  • Understanding virtual memory

  • Observing weird memory terms

Memories, like a PC full of RAM....

Your computer craves memory for its temporary storage. With plenty of memory installed in the console, your PC has ample elbow room to handle a variety of tasks easily and swiftly. When the computer lacks enough memory, things get cramped worse than a tour bus overflowing with sweaty-drunk PhDs returning from an all-you-can-eat kimchi bar. But, I digress. When it comes to PC memory, more is better. This chapter tells you why.

What Is Computer Memory?

If your computer were a sport, memory would be the field on which competition would take place. Memory is where the action is.

Your computer needs memory because the processor has no storage. Well, it has some storage, but not a lot. Basically, the processor works like a calculator but without the paper tape. Computer memory acts like that paper tape to help the processor store information and work on data.

The reason that memory is only temporary storage is that memory chips require electricity in order to maintain their information. So, when you're done creating something in memory, you must save that information to long-term storage in the PC's mass storage system. But for working on things, creating stuff, and engaging in general computer activity, memory is where ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required