Memory Buying Guide

Memory Buying Guide


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

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Flash Memory Glossary

Compact Flash: A common type of flash memory card that incorporates a controller and is about the size of a matchbook. There are two types of cards, Type I and Type II. They vary only in their thickness, with Type I being slightly thinner. A CompactFlash memory card can contain either flash memory or a miniature hard drive. The flash memory type is more prevalent. These cards are most commonly used in digital cameras and PDAs.

Memory Stick: Sony's proprietary technology for capturing, transferring, and sharing digital images, digital photos, and PC files. Used in products such as digital cameras and PDAs. (See Memory Stick Information below or visit www.memorystick.com for more information.)

MultiMediaCard: This flash memory card is about the size of a postage stamp. Initially used in the mobile phone and pager markets, today they are commonly used in digital cameras and MP3 players. Rapidly being replaced by Secure Digital.

NAND Flash (Flash Memory Cards): Solid-state removable memory that does not require power to retain information. These cards are small and reliable. Cards read and write in high-speed serial mode, handling data in small block sizes.

NOR Flash (Embedded Memory): Used in devices like cell phones and PDAs, NOR Flash provides high-speed random-access capabilities, like being able to read and write data in specific locations in the memory. Can retrieve data as small as a byte.

Secure Digital: Introduced as a second-generation derivative of the MultiMediaCard standard (offers backward-compatibility with MultiMediaCards). Secure Digital includes the addition of cryptographic security protection for copyrighted data/music and a fourfold increase in data transfer rates. These cards are most commonly used in digital cameras and PDAs.

SmartMedia: The cards usually incorporate a single flash chip with no controller. Thus, they depend on the host controller to manage all memory reads and writes.

USB Flash Drive: (Also known as: a pen drive, jump drive, thumb drive or key drive) A USB Flash Drive can be used with any computer that has a USB port. Within a few seconds of plugging it in to the USB port, a new drive appears on your desktop. They are very simple and easy to use. They have solid state storage, good transfer speeds, durability, portability, and expected data retention of ten years. With all of these features they can replace the floppy, the Zip disk, and the CD-R/RW all in one small product.

Memory StickMemory stick is an IC recording media that uses flash memory. Since it records various types of digital products, it can be used for a broad range of applications.
Memory Stick PROMemory Stick PRO is an advanced media format that incorporates various capabilities and expandability, such as high capacity, high speed technology and data protection technology. All the advanced technologies, working in concert with optimized Memory Stick PRO format-compatible devices, enable various applications including real-time recording and playback of high-resolution moving images. The combination of the media of this format and compatible devices brings a new level of high quality digital playback and capture, enabling users to view, listen to and enjoy incredibly rich entertainment. The Memory Stick PRO format offers Memory Stick PRO media and Memory Stick PRO Duo media.
Memory Stick DuoMemory Stick Duo is a smaller-sized Memory Stick media designed for ultra-compact and wearable devices. By using the media with a dedicated adapter, Memory Stick Duo can be used in standard-size media slots of other Memory Stick compatible products.
Memory Stick PRO DuoA compact media designed for mobile applications in the broadband era. Provides the expandability and new capabilities to meet the needs of next generation applications. By attaching an adapter, it can also be used in products compatible with Memory Stick PRO media.
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.