Before you purchase a computer, it is best to know what type of hardware is included. The reason that this is so pertinent is because the hardware specifications of a computer determine whether or not it’s able to perform certain processes.

Read on to learn a little more about the different types of hardware for your computer and what each type of hardware is responsible. This month we are focusing on RAM, what it does and what factors to take into account when purchasing a stick or two.

RAM Type: DDR, DDR2, DDR3

RAM is an acronym that stands for random access memory. RAM determines how quickly the memory can be processed and used to perform certain duties. The RAM of your computer must be compatible with the motherboard, which is responsible for all of the actions that can be completed on your computer.

For the most part, memory boards support only a single type of RAM. There are select cases, however, where the memory board is able to support two different types of RAM.

RAM type has evolved with time and the oldest of the three types, DDR, has been around the longest. It is often used to update old PC’s. DDR2 was in the spotlight for a while, but lost its appeal once DDR3 hit the market. This is the most recent type of RAM and it is used for a number of different platforms, including Intel 1366 and 1156, AMD, and AMD3.

The Frequency

There are a number of default frequencies available, ranging from 65.5MHz to 1,000MHz. You will find that you must choose a frequency that is compatible with the RAM, as well as the motherboard in order for your computer to run efficiently. The larger the number, the more quickly your motherboard will be able to perform actions without being stressed or freezing up.

CAS Latency

CAS (column address solution) latency describes the timing of the computer. More specifically, it is the number of cycles that your motherboard requires to perform an action. If this is compatible with the motherboard, the CAS latency will operate efficiently.

Dual Channel

Dual channel technology describes a double bandwidth, which allows your computer to run faster. Though it says dual, it does not run at twice its speed. It is, however, still more efficient. For example, when a Pentium 4 processor by Intel is run using a Core 2 Duo, it has been shown to increase the activity by at least 5% in tests.

Operating System

The final area we are going to look at is the main operating system. This is often either 32-Bit or 64-Bit. Some of the most well-known operating systems include Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10, Linux, and others. The operating system also must be compatible with your motherboard and helps to determine the amount of RAM that can run on your computer.

As you go about choosing the hardware for your computer, be sure that compatibility is at the forefront of your mind. Choosing hardware that are incompatible with each other will either make your computer run slow or disallow it from running at all.