Help Me Choose: Memory

Your computer’s memory is like a highway, handling the flow of data to and from the processor. The more memory you have, the more applications you can operate at once. More memory can also help ensure your computer is ready to handle the applications of tomorrow with little performance disruption.
Before you decide how much memory to add to your new computer, first consider how you plan to use your computer. If you’ll primarily be sending email and browsing the internet, then a basic memory configuration will work. But if you’ll be playing games, working with multimedia or performing other intensive tasks, you should consider adding more memory.

Your computer memory is otherwise known as RAM, which stands for random access memory. RAM serves as the temporary storehouse for the flow of data. It remembers what programs, applications and documents you use most frequently so it can access these as quickly as possible. Without sufficient RAM, a computer’s operation can slow down considerably as the computer starts using hard drive space to handle the data flow.

Dell recommends a minimum of 4GB of memory for Windows PCs.

A system with more memory can:
  • Load web pages faster
  • Handle more open files at once
  • Open large files quickly
  • Have more programs open at once
  • Operate more efficiently overall

DDR3 vs. DDR4
DDR3 is double data rate 3rd generation and DDR4 is the 4th generation. DDR4 offers faster speeds, lower voltage (meaning lower power consumption) and higher maximum memory capacities.

Low power memory – special versions of both DDR3 and 4 offer lower voltage versions (meaning lower power requirements and longer battery life). XPS products typically use lower power versions of memory to maximize battery life.

MHz or speed of memory – the faster the speed of your memory (ie- the MHz), the faster your system memory will be able to run applications. The majority of the market is using 1600MHz memory. Some XPS products offer higher speeds like 1866MHz or 2133MHz.