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Memory Buying Guide

Memory Buying Guide

Topics:

Looking to upgrade your PC's memory?
Why upgrade your system memory
Why use Dell memory?
What if you don't have a Dell system?
How much memory do you need?
How can you be sure you purchase the right memory?
How do you install memory?
Another system performance maximizer: Consider upgrading your hard drive or CD/DVD drive.
Interested in memory for digital cameras, PDAs, or printers, or USB Removable Memory?
Dell DDR Memory
Dell DDR2 Memory
Dual-Channel Memory
System memory glossary
Flash Memory Glossary

Other Links:

How much memory do you need?

In general, the more you do, the more memory you need! The applications you use on your PC dictate how much memory you need for the best possible performance, the smoothest graphics, the speediest downloads. To figure out how much memory you need:
  • First, review the charts below to get an idea of the right amount of memory for your computing activities.
  • Then follow the next set of steps to determine the amount of memory you have on your system and the maximum amount your system can handle.
  • A few calculations will give you a good idea of the best memory upgrade for the power you need.

Office Functions
BasicWord processing, email, spreadsheets, fax/communications, Internet 128MB - 256MB
AdvancedComplex documents, running multiple applications, business graphics, presentation software128MB - 512MB
Presentations
Light to MediumProposals, graphical presentations, project management, databases, Internet128MB - 256MB
Medium to HeavyStatistical applications, large databases, complex presentations, video conferencing128MB - 512MB
Multimedia
Light to Medium2-4 color line drawings, multimedia presentations, photo editing, web development, sound editing256MB - 1GB
Medium to Heavy3D CAD, animation, complex photo editing, real-time video, digital imaging, solid modeling1GB - System Max

For older versions of Microsoft®  operating systems, please follow these guidelines.

Light to Medium2-4 color line drawings, multimedia presentations, photo editing, web development, sound editing256MB - 1GB
Medium to Heavy3D CAD, animation, complex photo editing, real-time video, digital imaging, solid modeling1GB - System Max

For Dell Systems To determine how much memory you have on a Windows 95 or later system, right-click your system's My Computer icon and click Properties. Subtract the amount of memory in your system from the maximum memory to get the amount you can install. For example, if your maximum memory is 1024MB RAM and you currently have 128MB RAM, you can add no more than 896MB to your system (1024MB - 128MB = 896MB).

To find out how much memory your system can hold, locate your Dell Service Tag number (sometimes referred to as an Express Service code), a unique five- to seven-digit alphanumeric code found on a white bar-coded label affixed to your system.

Help me locate my tag. With your Service Tag number, follow the three easy steps found after you login to the http://support.dell.com website to determine how much memory your PC can take. Maximum Memory and Number of Slots will be displayed beneath the system name at the top of the Memory Selector Results page.

For Non-Dell Systems sTo determine the amount of memory that is currently installed, right-click the My Computer icon on your Windows desktop, and select Properties from the pop-up menu. On the General tab, you'll see the amount of installed memory listed in the lower right side of the box, just below the information about your PC's processor.

To find out how much memory your PC can hold, look on the manufacturer's website or revisit the documents that came with your system. Most systems released in the last year or two have a maximum memory of between 512MB and 1GB.

Offers subject to change, not combinable with all other offers. Taxes, shipping, handling and other fees apply. U.S. Dell Home new purchases only. Dell reserves the right to cancel orders arising from pricing or other errors.

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