What's the deal with RAM?
Every so often we are inundated with urges to simply buy new parts for our systems (you know it happens). Of course, the latest and greatest CPU's, video and 3D cards, sound cards, and peripherals have been on our gaming wish lists, but what of the less spoken of components?
When we think of upgrades for our computers, the most commonly thought of part is probably the CPU. After all, who can resist the latest 500-600+ MHz Intel and AMD offerings? Additionally, there have been great steps made in the 3D video field, with the 3dFX and Nvidia battle, and also in the sound arena, with A3D vs. EAX. But what about RAM? Undoubtedly, RAM is one of the most important functional parts in a computer, especially for those of us who are overclockers. At the same time, though, RAM probably has some of the least exposure.
How much variety is there?
For example, when buying new RAM, do you want SIMMs or DIMMs? What's all this talk of 8 ns, or 10 ns? EDO or SDRAM? ECC? What is the difference between asynchronous and synchronous, or all the hype of CAS2 and CAS3? All of these questions and more are important considerations when buying RAM, and making incorrect decisions about RAM can sometimes cause mysterious problems with your system. On the flipside, some consumers are probably spending more on hyped-up RAM technology than they should, when this money can be spent on other upgrades.
This is where the FS RAM Guide comes in. We'll define some basic technologies of RAM, as well as explain the important terms and jargon that you should know, and what you shouldn't waste your time with. We will hopefully demystify the hype surrounding certain technology, and tell you what's on the horizon for RAM, now that bus speeds are moving up. Also, which RAM types are looking to take over the new, faster bus speed market? We hope you walk away after reading this article with not only a pretty clear idea of what kind of RAM you will need and want to buy, but also with a good understanding about what some of this stuff does and how some of it works.