Making the Most of Digital Camera Memory Cards

Digital cameras are revolutionizing the world of home and professional photography, but they are married to memory cards just as traditional cameras are married to film. Making the best use of memory cards can have a very big impact on your enjoyment of digital photography. Choosing the right memory card for the job can be as important as choosing the right film for a traditional camera.

If you are new to digital cameras, the digital camera memory cards are the most important parts of any digital camera, without which they may not work at all. So if you are handling a digital camera or planning a purchase, you must know more about the memory cards used in these cameras.

Something many new digital camera owners find counter-intuitive is that bigger is not always better with a digital memory card. The actual response speed of your digital camera can depend greatly on the memory card it is using. The speed that your camera writes new pictures to the digital memory card is partially dependant on the transfer speed of the digital camera but is also dependant on factors in the memory card itself. Memory cards that have “buffers” can take the data into a faster type of memory and then transfer the data from there to the slower “flash memory” which provides the main storage of almost all digital camera memory cards. Some digital camera provide their own buffer memory to allow you to take your next picture while the previous picture is being transferred to the memory card.

When you delete an image from the memory card of your digital camera, the flash memory is “reconfigured” because of special issues having to do with how this memory stores data. Normally this is an issue that you don’t have to worry about at all. However, if you have a very large memory card and delete an image, you may experience a several minute delay while “house cleaning” is performed on the memory card. Because of this, do not delete images while you are taking pictures. Instead wait until you are at home, your hotel or in the car before reviewing your pictures and deleting the ones you don’t want. Smaller cards take less time for this “house cleaning” so many experienced digital camera owners will choose to have more than one medium sized memory card instead of one very large one.

Now the question arises-how many memory cards are enough for your camera? On an average basis, you must have at least two memory cards for your digital camera. That is, if you are using it in a normal and average fashion.

Most professional photographers choose to carry about four to six memory cards. This helps them shoot smoothly and constantly. If they run out of memory, they just take the loaded card out and insert the fresh one. Because memory cards can malfunction (just like traditional film canisters, but not as often), you should choose to have at least two memory cards at all times. By having at least two cards, you can work with one and keep the other in reserve for emergency. Having at least one extra memory card for your digital camera will also ensure that you have the backup protection needed if you run out of space on your first card or in the possible event of the first card malfunctioning.

The next important issue is how to take proper care of these memory cards. The memory cards may seem like some small and fragile piece of technology, but they are actually fairly sturdy. The flash memory is encased in a stiff plastic shell which can withstand normal wear and handling. At one end of the memory card is either a set of little holes or copper strips. These are the sensitive part of the card. Any voltage source or a large jolt of static could corrupt the memory and probably cause permanent damage to the card. When the card is not in your camera, it is best to keep it stored in a protective case or in your camera case. Putting it in your pocket could cause a short (from your keys perhaps) or dirty the electrical contracts. There have been instances where the users have misbehaved greatly with them and the memory cards have yet survived and continued to function correctly. But, this does not mean that one should not care for them.

When it is time to transfer your data from the memory card to your PC, it is best to have a memory card reader, or have a PC with a built-in reader. The data cables provided with most digital cameras are very slow compared to the speed of a “direct reader” and it is often easier to review, copy and delete images from a memory card when using a reader instead of through the data cable connection.

When traveling, X-Rays have never been shown to corrupt the data on, or damage, a digital camera memory card. The memory card is also not magnetic in nature so the motors in the X-Ray machine’s conveyor belt should not be able to cause any harm either.

Armed with knowledge comes the power to benefit from that knowledge. If you have learned something new about digital memory cards, hopefully you will benefit by enjoying your digital camera more and finding more opportunities to take great pictures.

GenF20 Review

Dave Saunders loves to share his interest and experience with technology and gadgets. You can find other news and articles on digital memory cards at

Memory Cards Complete Guide

Ever wondered what are these tiny chips? Confused by the names?

We are here to help you.

This article is about the various memory components available in the market for mobile phones.

Memory Stick

MS Memory Stick is a removable flash memory card format, launched by Sony in October 1998, and is also used in general to describe the whole family of Memory Sticks. This family includes the Memory Stick Pro, a revision that allows greater maximum storage capacity and faster file transfer speeds, and Memory Stick Duo, a small-form-factor version of the Memory Stick.

50.0 × 21.5 × 2.8 mm

Memory Stick Duo

MS Duo

31.0 × 20.0 × 1.6 mm

The Memory Stick Duo, which is slightly smaller than the competing Secure Digital format, was developed in response to Sony’s need for a smaller flash memory card for pocket-sized digital cameras and cell phones, as well as Sony’s PSP. Memory Stick Duos are available in all the same variants as their larger cousins (normal ones limited to 128 MB, larger Pro Sticks, with and without High Speed mode, with and without MagicGate support), and a simple adapter (often sold along with the Memory Stick Duo) allows a Duo to be used in any device that can accept their larger cousins.

Memory Stick Micro M2

15.0 × 12.5 × 1.2 mm

In a joint venture with SanDisk, Sony announced a new Memory Stick format on 30 September 2005. The new Memory Stick M2 (“micro”) measures 15 × 12.5 × 1.2 mm and could theoretically have 32GB in the future. Maximum transfer speed is 160MB/s. It will come with an adaptor, much like the Duo Sticks, to ensure compatibility with current Pro devices.

Multi Media Card


32 × 24 × 1.5 mm

The MMC card or MultiMediaCard was introduced in 1997 by SanDisk Corporation and Siemens AG. At that point the MMC card was the smallest memory card, about the size of a postage stamp, in the market based on flash memory technology. The MMC card is very similar to the Secure Digital Memory Card, actually the SD Memory Card is based on the MMC card. They have almost the same form factor the only differences are that the SD Memory Cards are slightly thicker and they have a write protection switch.

Since the MMC card had slow transfer speed, 2.5 MB/sec, in comparison to other memory cards, mostly compared to SD Memory Card, a new high performance version of the MMC card was introduced in 2005 by the name MMCplus. The MMCplus has today the highest, up to 52 MB/sec, theoretical data transfer speed in the whole memory card industry.

The MultiMediaCard Association announced that by the end of 2005 the secureMMC application will be available only for the MMCplus and MMCmobile memory cards. The secureMMC is a copyright protection application that features DRM, Digital Rights Management, and VPN, Virtual Private Network, capabilities.

Reduced Size Multi Media Card


16 × 24 × 1.5 mm

MMCmobile (RS-MMC)

RS-MMC, Reduced Size MultiMediaCard, was introduced in 2003 by the MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) as the second form factor memory card in the MultiMediaCard family. The RS-MMC is a smaller version of the standard MMC card, approximately half in size, and was specifically designed to be used by mobile phones and other small portable devices.

Dual Voltage Reduced Size Multi Media Card


16 × 24 × 1.5 mm

In 2005 the Dual Voltage (DV) RS-MMC was introduced. It is basically the same card like the standard RS-MMC but operates with dual voltage, 1.8V and 3.3V, leading to lower power consumption which contributes to longer lasting battery life for the host devices. The DV RS-MMC and the RS-MMC are completely compatible with each other but since some mobile phones, mostly from Nokia, only operate with 1.8V cards the regular RS-MMC will not work. We recommend to always buy the Dual Voltage RS-MMC for being sure your memory card will function with the electronic device.

MMCmicro Card


12 × 14 × 1.1 mm

The MMCmicro, formerly known as S-CARD introduced by Samsung, was adopted and introduced in 2005 by the MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) as the third form factor memory card in the MultiMediaCard family. MMCmicro is the smallest, about the size of a fingernail, memory card in the MultiMediaCard family and among the smallest in the world. It was specifically designed for being used in mobile phones and other small portable devices.

The MMCmicro memory card is available with an adaptor, MMCplus. This makes it not only compatible to all MMC and MMCplus slots but also to all SD Memory Card slots. It is important to keep in mind that music stored on MultiMediaCards my not be able to play back when inserted into a SD Memory Card slot due to the copyright protection features supported by the SD slots.

Since the MMCmicro is the latest memory card to be developed and introduced to the market it is not that compatible to many mobile phones and electronic devices yet. Still it is expected to be one of the memory card formats that will dominate in the mobile phone industry among the frontrunner microSD and the under development Memory Stick Micro.

Secure Digital Card


32 × 24 × 2.1 mm

The SD Memory Card or Secure Digital was introduced in 2001 by SanDisk Corporation, Matsushita (Panasonic) and Toshiba. The SD Memory Card was based on the MultiMediaCard, MMC, memory card standard and has almost the same form factor, the size of a postage stamp, the only differences are that the SD memory card is slightly thicker and has a write protection switch. Since MMC cards are thinner than SD Memory Cards they can be used in all SD Memory Card slots but not vice versa.

The SD Memory Card is today the most common used memory card. It can be found in most digital cameras, PDAs and in many other electronic devices. The SD Memory Card slots can be used for more than flash memory cards. The SDIO, Secure Digital In & Out, is the general name for the many expansion modules that can be found in the SD Memory Card’s form factor. SDIO modules can be inserted in the slot and be used for other functions like Bluetooth adapters, GPS receivers, digital cameras, TV tuners, etc

miniSD Card


21.5 × 20 × 1.4 mm

The miniSD was introduced in 2003 by SanDisk Corporation in cooperation with Matsushita (Panasonic) and Toshiba. Later in that year the miniSD format was adapted by the SD Card Association as the second form factor memory card in the Secure Digital family. MiniSD is a smaller version of the SD memory Card format, about 60% smaller in volume, and offers the same benefits as the SD Memory Card expect of the writing protection switch.

MiniSD was designed specifically to be used in small portable electronic devices like digital cameras and mobile phones. But since all miniSD memory cards always come with a SD Memory Card adaptor, they are compatible to all SD Memory Card slots and thereby provide compatibility with the rapidly growing number of SD Memory Card compatible devices in the market.

MiniSD was the second, after SD Memory Card, memory card to be adapted by the SD Card Association, which today consists of three members. In 2005 the microSD was introduced as the third, and smallest, member of the Secure Digital family.

microSD Card also known as Transflash


11 × 15 × 1 mm

rashFlash, formerly known as T-Flash, was introduced by SanDisk Corporation in 2004 as the world’s smallest memory card, approximately the size of a fingernail. TransFlash was specifically designed for being used in mobile phones. Motorola was the first mobile phone manufacturer to adapt the TransFlash memory card standard.

In the 3rd quarter of 2005 TransFlash was adapted by the SD Card Association as the third form factor memory card in the Secure Digital family, after SD Memory Card and miniSD. After the adoption, TransFlash changed name to microSD. The microSD has exactly the same dimensions and specifications as the TransFlash and therefore both memory cards are completely compatible to each other.

Today the microSD is the most common used memory card in mobile phones and the SD Card Association’s objective is to make microSD a de facto memory card standard for all mobile phones. All TransFlash and microSD cards always come with a SD Memory Card adaptor, which makes them compatible to all SD Memory Card slots. The microSD is about 10% in size compared to SD Memory Card and about 30% compared to miniSD.

xD-Picture Card


20 × 25 × 1.7 mm

The xD-Picture Card was introduced in 2002 by Fuji Film and Olympus as a replacement to the older SmartMedia Card. It is produced exclusively by Toshiba and can be found branded only under the name of Fuji Film and Olympus.

The xD-Picture Card format was developed to be used in digital cameras and is more or less only used in Fuji Film and Olympus digital cameras. Like SmartMedia Card, the xD-Picture Card does not incorporate a controller chip which allows it to have a small form factor but at the same time making it dependable to the host device’s controller chip.

GenF20 Review

Varun Krishnan [] is a mobile phone/web enthusiast. He is a web developer and SEO consultant. He’s currently heading

Notebook-Laptop Memory (RAM) Upgrade In 5 Minutes Or Less

This article is set up in two parts, one part about RAM overview and a second part about RAM upgrade. If you are curious on how the RAM works, you will find a detailed summary that should give you all the information that you need to know about RAM, organization and speed. If you just want to read the how to upgrade section, move on directly to part two Upgrade your laptop ram in 5 minutes or less.

1 – RAM Overview

There are two big categories of random access memories:

* Dynamic memories (DRAM, Dynamic Random Access Module), not very costly. They are in most cases used for the central memory of the computer

* Static memories (SRAM, Static Random Access Module), quick and expensive. SRAM is notably used for cache memories of the processor

Functioning of the random access memory

The random access memory is constituted of hundred of thousand small condensers storing charges. When it is loaded, the logical state of the condenser is equal to 1, otherwise it belongs to 0, what means that every condenser represents one bit of memory.

Given that condensers off-load, it is always necessary to recharge them in a space of regular time called cycle of refreshment. Memory DRAM requires cycles of refreshment for instance (Ns) is about 15 nanoseconds.

Every condenser is coupled with a transistor allowing to “recover « or to change the state of the condenser. These transistors are lined up in form of matrix, that is they achieve a hut memory (so called memory) by a line and a column.

So, for a memory of type DRAM, the time of access is of 60 nanoseconds (35ns of delay of cycle and 25 ns of time of latency). On a computer, the time of cycle corresponds contrary to the frequency of the clock, for instance for a computer pulsated in 200 MHz, the time of cycle is 5 ns (1 / (200*106)).

As a result a computer having a frequency well brought up and using memories the time of access of which is much longer than the time of cycle of the processor must perform cycles of wait to access to the memory. In the case of a computer pulsated in 200 MHz using memories of types DRAM (which the time of access is of 60ns), there are 11 cycles of wait as a cycle of transfer. The performances of the computer are of as much diminished as there are cycles

Formats of Random Access Memory (RAM)

There are numerous types of random access memories. These all come in the form of barrettes of memory attachable on the motherboard.

* SIMM (Single Inline Memory Module): it is about printed circuits among which one of the faces has fleas of memory. There are two types of barrettes SIMM, according to the number of connector cables (30 or 72)

* DIMM (Dual Inline Memory Modulates) are from memories 64 bits, what explains why it is not necessary to match them. Barrettes DIMM have fleas of memory on both sides of printed circuit and have also 84 connector cables on each side, what endows them with a total of 168 brooches. They have bigger dimensions than barrettes SIMM (130x25mm).

* RIMM (Rambus Inline Memory Module, conscripts also RD-RAM or DRD-RAM) are from memories 64 bits developed by the society Rambus. They have 184 brooches. These barrettes have two notches of location (détrompeurs), avoiding very risk of confusion with the previous modules. Considering their well brought up speed of transfer, barrettes RIMM have a thermal film made responsible for ameliorating the clearing up of warmth. As in the case of DIMM, there are modules of smaller size, called SO RIMM (Small Outline RIMM), intended for laptop computers. Barrettes SO RIMM include only 160 brooches.

* DRAM (Dynamic RAM, dynamic RAM) is the type of memo most spread at the beginning of the millennium. It is about a memory from which transistors are lined up in a matrix according to lines and of columns. A transistor, coupled with a condenser gives the information of a bit. 1 byte consisting of 8 bits, a barrette of memory 256 Mb DRAM will contain 256 therefore * 2^10 * 2^10 = 256 * on 1024 * on 1024 = 268 435 456 bytes = 268 435 456 * 8 = 2 147 483 648 bits = 2 147 483 648 transistors. A 256 Mb barrette has so in reality a capacity of 268 435 456 bytes, that is 268 Mb! These are memories from which the time of access is 60 ns. On the other hand, accesses memory are made in general on data lined up consecutively in memory. So the mode of access in gust (burst mode) allows to achieve the three successive data in the first one without time of additional latency.

* DRAM FPM to speed up accesses to DRAM, there is a technology, called pagination consisting in achieving data located on the same column by changing the address of the line only, what allows to avoid the repetition of the number of column between the reading of each of the lines. They speak then about DRAM FPM (Fast Page Mode). FPM allows to acquire time of access in the order of 70 – 80 nanoseconds for a frequency of functioning that can go from 25 to 33 Mhz.

* DRAM EDO (Extended Data Out, Goes out of data ameliorated sometimes also called “hyper-page”) appears in 1995. The technology used with this type of memory consists in addressing the following column during the reading of the data of a column. It creates an overlapping of accesses allowing to save time on every cycle. The time of access to memory EDO is therefore about 50 – 60 nanoseconds for a frequency of functioning going 33 – 66 Mhz. So, RAM EDO, when it is used in mode gust allows to acquire cycles of form 5-2-2-2, that is a benefit of 4 cycles on the access to 4 data. As much as memory EDO did not accept the upper frequencies in 66 Mhz, it disappeared in aid of SDRAM.

* SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM, translate synchronous RAM), appeared in 1997, allows a reading of data synchronized with the bus of the card-mother, contrary to memories EDO and FPM (qualified as asynchronous) having their own clock. SDRAM allows therefore to free itself from time of wait owed to synchronization with the card-mother. This one allows to acquire a cycle in mode gust of form 5-1-1-1, that is to say benefit of 3 cycles in comparison with RAM EDO. In that way SDRAM is able of working with a cadenza going until 150 Mhz, allowing him to acquire from time of access about 10 ns.

* DR-SDRAM (Direct Rambus DRAM or else RDRAM) is a type of memory allowing to transfer data on a bus of 16 wide bits to a cadenza of 800Mhz, what confers on him a band passer-by of 1,6 Go / s. As SDRAM, this type of memory is synchronized with the clock of the bus to ameliorate exchanges of data.

* DDR-SDRAM (Double Dated Miss SDRAM) is a memory based on technology SDRAM, allowing to double the rate of transfer of SDRAM with equal frequency. Reading or writing of data in memory am accomplished on the basis of a clock. Standard memory DRAM uses a method conscript SDR (Single Data Fails) consisting in reading or writing data in every forehead going up. DDR allows to double the frequency of reading / writings, with a clock pulsated in the same frequency, by sending data in every forehead going up, as well as in every downward forehead. Memory DDR has in general a commercial appellation of type PCXXXX where “XXXX ” represent the debit side in Mb / s.

* DDR2 (or DDR-II) allows to attain twice as well brought up debit sides as DDR with equal external frequency. They speak about QDR (Quadruple Dated Fail or quad-pumped) to indicate the method of reading and used writing. Memory DDR2 uses in effect two channels separated for reading and for writing, so it is able of sending or of accepting twice more data than DDR.

2 – Upgrading Your Laptop RAM

upgrading a notebook memory is a specific simple process pending that you have the right RAM and you are somewhat delicate.

There are different types of RAM, and you must choose the one that is compatible with your notebook computer. Memory is also a fragile, so you need to be very cautious when installing it. You should ensure that the laptop is turned off and disconnected from any exterior power supply. No lights should be visible.

It is a lot easier to install RAM on a laptop versus a desktop PC. Access to the memory slots is via a panel generally located in the bottom of the laptop. Once you have opened this panel with a small screwdriver you can see the existing memory. you can check the exact type of memory that your Notebook currently uses, because it is usually shown on the front of the memory strips and will be evident when you open up the memory panel.

The memory strips are generally locked in with small clips on the ends of the strips. To take out existing memory, simply flip the clips and then remove the memory strips gently from their holding place. If you are simply adding memory, and there is space available, just add the new memory, gently pushing it in to ensure it is fully seated in the slots, and then push the clips to hold the new memory in place.

Once you have replaced or added your Notebook computer memory, replace the access panel, and then screw the panel back in place. Lastly, power up the notebook, When the PC starts up, it will count the memory and tell you how much RAM is loaded on your laptop.

As long as you have right memory, the whole operation should take less than 5 minutes, you can then enjoy your faster, less crash prone laptop.

GenF20 Review

Christophe Catesson – Communication Manager for Laptop and notebook reviews and ratings, most popular laptops, industry news, Forum, Q/A.

How to Make Your DDR3 Laptop Memory Easier by Remembering These Simple Facts

Might you be out searching for DDR3 memory for a laptop but somewhat dazzled by the display of information and misinformation out there making your laptop memory upgrade all the more tricky? If we’ve guessed correctly then here’s a quick rundown on key facts of DDR3 laptop memory to get your on the right track.

What is DDR3 laptop memory?

DDR3 laptop memory is as of 2011 the latest memory technology to greet modern laptops. DDR3 is an evolution to its predecessor, DDR2 laptop memory, much in the same way as the latter was the successor to DDR and SDRAM laptop memory.

DDR3 laptop memory is faster than DDR2 due to doubling the data bus speed, an enhancement first introduced with DDR2. In DDR2 laptop memory the data bus speed ran at double the speed of the memory chips present on the DDR2 SODIMM memory module. DDR3 takes the same data bus, however runs it at twice its original frequency. Consequently, in DDR3 laptop memory, the data bus operates at four times the speed of the individual memory chips. In comparison to DDR2 laptop memory, DDR3 is capable of achieving the same memory bandwidth as DDR2 but in doing so only needs to run at half its frequency. This efficiency coupled with support for higher frequencies contribute to superior performance to that of DDR2 or older laptop memory.

Does my laptop really require DDR3 memory?

DDR3 memory started gaining popularity since its advent in late 2008. The type of memory for a laptop your own laptop requires primarily depends on the year it was manufactured. The build date (very often closely related to the purchase date and typically found on a sticker on its base or within its documentation) is a further indication.

A supportive indicator for identifying the type of laptop RAM your system requires is to run some diagnostic software.

A non-problematic method to find this out is to download and run software such as CPU-Z – it’s a free application which can be easily found via Google. Once downloaded and launched, click on its ‘Memory’ tab and subsequently also the ‘SPD’ tab. This will inform you whether your laptop uses DDR3 memory, its specification and timings. If you notice it stating DDR2 then write down the type of DDR3, examples include PC3-6400, PC2-4200, PC3-8500 and PC2-10600. Next, write down an indication that this is the type of DDR3 memory for a laptop you need to buy.

Great, I need DDR3 memory for a laptop, but how much can I install?

DDR3 laptops support between 4GB and 16GB of RAM. Some, usually older DDR3 laptops have the memory controller featured within what’s known as a northbridge chipset. Others, usually newer DDR3 laptops have a memory controller present within the CPU (Central Processing Unit) thus processor die. The exact amount supported by your laptop will depend on either – regardless whether the memory controller is external or internal to the processor.

If you would like to upgrade to the maximum supported amount and wish to find out whether this is 16GB then a quick way is to check how many SODIMM memory slots your laptop contains. If it’s four (some may be located on the underneath side of your laptop, others under the keyboard) then the maximum will be 16GB. Similarly, if your laptop only supports two SODIMM memory slots then with a high degree of accuracy you can expect your laptop to support up to 8GB RAM maximum.

Also, take into account that in order to utilise more than 4GB or more of RAM, you need to be running a 64bit Operating System such as Windows XP Professional x64 (potentially problematic when running on laptops due to limited driver support), Windows Vista x64 (any edition), Windows 7 x64 (any edition) or any alternative such as a suitable release of Linux or MacOS.

I’m ready to buy, so it’s i.e. PC3-8500 DDR3 I need and the rest will be problem free?

The specification of DDR3 memory for a laptop you need is whatever was reported by CPU-Z as noted above. If it stated PC3-8500 then yes, you will require DDR3 memory otherwise known as PC3-8500 DDR3. If it displayed PC3-6400 then you can still purchase PC3-8500 or PC3-10600 DDR3 in view of the fact that DDR3 computer memory is inherently backwards compatible. Meanwhile, if CPU-Z reported PC3-10600 then while you can buy and install a lower DDR3 specification (PC3-6400 or PC3-8500) this is not recommended. Doing so will cause your system to down clock the frequency at which it the memory runs, namely 400MHz for PC3-6400 or 533MHz for PC3-8500. A slower memory frequency will yield a lower memory bandwidth, which reduces computer performance.

As far as DDR3 memory for a laptop goes, you will need to buy 204pin SODIMM memory modules. A SODIMM (Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module) is a mini type of a DIMM used in desktop computers. If you’ve seen a DIMM before then a SODIMM will normally be about 50% of the length of a desktop DIMM module.

For DDR3 laptops you only need to install a single SODIMM memory module for your laptop to function, however it makes perfect sense to install pairs of DDR3 SODIMM memory modules. The reasoning is quite simple. Virtually all DDR3 memory laptops support what’s known as dual channel mode. In compliant laptops, dual channel mode effectively links the data paths of two memory modules (DDR3 in this case) to run them simultaneously. All read, write or copy operations performed on the memory are thus in effect run at double their original bandwidth. The net result of this is improved memory throughput – this in turn contributes to the overall performance of your laptop.

I just have to ask – can my DDR3 laptop memory upgrade go wrong?

DDR3 laptop memory upgrades are amongst the least prone to causing problems due to a straightforward trait of the industry. With the computer memory industry much settled and controlled by only a handful of big players, and thus airtight to smaller players at times all too willing to not always follow JEDEC (Joint Electron Devices Engineering Council) standards to the last “T”, it’s practically safe to say that all DDR3 SODIMM memory modules produced are compatible with each other.

Much the same is also true in terms of memory controllers that by the time that DDR3 appeared were tweaked to no longer cause issues when mixing single and double-sided SODIMM memory modules.

There is however one thing you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind, namely for best performance always install identical DDR3 SODIMM memory modules. Via doing so you’ll automatically enable what’s known as dual channel mode. What is meant by identical? By identical you need to install two likewise DDR3 SODIMM memory modules that are a) the same capacity and b) also the same specification. The brand of DDR3 laptop memory isn’t as significant, nevertheless if you want things to be ideal then doing so will also work well.

GenF20 Review

Find out more on DDR3 Laptop Memory including lots more on various other types of laptop memory at Laptop Memory Upgrades.

What is the Best Way To Improve Memory and Concentration?

There is no question that in today’s world many are concerned with improving memory. Many causes contribute to this phenomenon; some are more closely linked to older generations, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, while others are more closely linked with younger generations, such as Attention Deficit Disorder. Across the generations, while the symptoms may differ, the goal of improving memory is one that is held in common.

Whether you are an older person experiencing the first effects that aging is having on your memory or the parent of a child who is having difficulty concentrating and focusing at school, improving memory is something that you will want to look into in order to begin working toward solving these problems of deficient memory.

While there are many ways to improve memory, some methods focus more on mental exercise and others focus more on working directly on the balance of natural chemical activity in the brain. Both approaches have a scientific base and the clinical trial results to back them up. Improving memory consists of two things: one is in preventing further memory loss and the second is in restoring memory function that has previously been lost. While mental activities that encourage your brain to work harder may help to prevent further memory loss, in order to improve memory not only in terms of prevention but also in terms of recovery, a memory-aid dietary supplement may be a good option.

There are currently many supplements available that aim to improve memory in adults and children by reversing the process of memory loss and by recovering some of the memory function that has already been lost. When asking yourself how to improve your memory, your first question might be whether or not you are willing to add substances to your body. If you are not willing to take supplements or drugs, regardless of them being natural or pharmaceutical, you’ll want to check out strategies for improving memory that involve mental exercise. If you are interested in taking a supplement as an answer to how to improve memory, take a look at some of the ingredients found in memory-aid supplements.

For example, Huperzine A is an alkaloid that comes from a moss growing in China. In clinical studies, this element enhanced not only memory function in Alzheimer’s patients, but also improved memory function in high school students. Huperzine A is thought to slow down or stop the process of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine breaking down in the brain. Another element to help you improve memory is the ingredient, Phosphatidyl Choline. This ingredient also works on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, but in a different way than Huperzine A does; namely, Phosphatidyl Choline is essential to the formation of acetylcholine in the central nervous system.

Also in many supplements are: DMAE to reduce age spots in the brain, B-complex vitamins affecting memory function and focus, gingko biloba for increasing memory, concentration and clarity, gotu kola for reducing fatigue and improving memory and green tea extract for overall cognitive performance.

There are many other ingredients in most memory-aid supplements, formulated to interact with each other to give the best possible result. The percentages and amounts of each ingredient are carefully structured in order to very seriously go about the business of improving memory. If you’ve been asking yourself how to improve your memory, a dietary supplement is one of many possibilities for going about improving memory.

GenF20 Review

Mike Stevens has been studying the causes of memory loss and cognitive decline for years, and has written many articles on the subject. He is well-versed in ways to improve memory and contributes regularly to, a site discussing ways to increase mental ability and prevent memory loss.

PC Memory

PC’s have become increasingly memory-hungry in recent years, and the minimum desirable memory seems to go up year by year. Now, 8 MB of memory is no longer a large amount, it is the minimum required in most situations.

Types of Memory

ROM (read only memory)

Permanent memory that cannot be reprogrammed easily or cannot be reprogrammed at all and that retains it’s contents when the system is turned off. The basic input or output system software (BIOS) for a PC is installed in ROM.

DRAM (dynamic random-access memory)

Used for the main system memory in a PC RAM is memory that can be modified easily by the computer. Each memory location in DRAM functions like a little battery that is charged and discharged to store data. The charges in DRAM fade with time, and a memory-refresh operation is required to maintain data in memory. DRAM is not as fast as SRAM, but it is considerably less expensive and generally is used for system memory for that reason.

SRAM (static random-access memory)

A type of RAM that does not require a refresh operation. Memory locations in SRAM work like switches that retain their settings as long as power is applied. SRAM is faster than DRAM, but is used sparingly because SRAM costs considerably more. High-performance systems often use SRAM caches to buffer I/O to slower DRAM memory. Much of the performance of a high-speed system relates to the way in which the designers have used SRAM.

When you add memory, it’s important to obtain memory that matches the speed requirements of your system. All memory types have a speed rating that is specified in nanoseconds (ns). Speeds range from 40 ns (fastest and most expensive) to about 100 ns (much too slow for most new PCS). Most memory you encounter will have a speed rating in the range of 70 ns. Your system will not run faster if you buy memory that is faster than it requires. You might want to purchase memory, however, that is slightly faster than the minimum. Memory performance varies, and some manufacturers hold tighter tolerances than others. Buying faster memory ensures that the memory you buy will meet or exceed your system’s requirements.

Starting with the 80386, most CPU’s have the capability of out-running most DRAM, and system designers have used a number of techniques to slow down memory access. An early approach was to use wait states–“do nothing” operations that slowed down processing to a speed that the memory could cope with. Wait states are a serious drag on system performance, you should avoid systems that require them. The need for wait states was eliminated largely by the incorporation of cache memory into the system design.

Memory Expansion

The discussion about buses makes the point that most expansion buses operate at much slower speeds than faster CPU’s can support. A Pentium processor can perform burst-data transfers rates as high as 528 Mbps and is capable of outrunning even a PCI bus, which is limited to 60-66 MHz operation. For that reason, it is not practical to install memory expansion cards with most bus types. With the exception of some proprietary memory-expansion designs, it has become common to install all memory directly on the motherboard, where it can be more directly serviced by the microprocessor. A special memory bus on the motherboard operates at CPU speeds.

Most memory sold today is packaged in single in-line memory modules (SIMM’s), which consists of memory chips that are preinstalled on small circuit boards. When you obtain SIMM’s you need to be aware of several characteristics:

* SIMM modules have a width of either 1 or 4 bytes. One-byte wide SIMM’s use a 30-pin package and 4-byte wide SIMM’s use a72-pin package.

* SIMM memory capacities typically range from 256 KB bits to 8 MB bits.

* SIMM’s can be used individually. In many cases, however, SIMM’s are used in banks of two or four SIMM’s. You must review your system specifications to see what you need. On Pentium systems, SIMM’s must be installed in matched pairs.

All SIMM’S have a bit with. Traditionally, x86 PC’s have used parity memory requiring nine bits of memory for each byte of storage. IBM designed PC’s to use the ninth bit for parity checking of each byte of data. Parity checking is an elementary method for detecting memory errors. As a result, bit widths have typically been expressed in multiples of nine for Intel PC’s. Prior to the Pentium, many x86 systems used memory packaged on 9 bit SIMM modules. These modules incorporated memory that was one byte wide, usually with 9 bits per byte to implement memory parity. A SIMM with a 1 MB capacity would be configured as a 1X9 SIMM, meaning that its size is 1 MB bits by 9 bits.

Some 80486 and all Pentium systems use 32 or 36 bit SIMM’s in a 72 pin package. A 1X36 SIMM contains 4 MB of memory because it has a width of 4 bytes. Macintoshes have always used non-parity memory, a trick that has been adopted as a cost saving measure by many manufactures of x86 PC’s. By discarding the parity chip, manufactures can make use of less expensive 32 bit SIMM’s. A 1×32 SIMM carries 4 MB of non parity memory.

It is very important to match SIMM’s to your systems specifications. Also, if your system uses multiple SIMM’s in banks, try not to mix brands or even different production runs in a bank. SIMM’s can be arranged in banks so that a performance technique known as “paging” can be used. Paging distributes data for a byte across several chips, which might be in different SIMM’s in the bank. Unless the SIMM’s closely match each other’s characteristics, bit-read errors or parity errors might occur.


Parity is a primitive error checking technique that can determine when most errors occur but can’t correct errors. With the philosophy that no data is better than bad data, IBM designed the original PC to lock up when a parity error was detected. Parity errors are now relatively rare, and nearly all vendors have abandoned use of parity memory. Better than parity is error correcting (ECC) memory. ECC is a technique that not only detects errors but can correct errors that affect a single bit. ECC is a feature of a few elite super servers. The Pentium Pro has features that enable it to support ECC memory.

Memory and Windows NT Server

Windows NT Server, like most servers, is designed to take full advantage of any memory that is available. So that it’s not dependent on the performance limits of hard disks often the slowest things on a server-a network operating system makes heavy use of memory in order to cache data. This is one of the most important techniques for improving server OS performance.

Although Windows NT Server will run with 16 Mbps of RAM, you almost certainly want to add more. Windows NT attempts to keep the programs and data it is using in memory. When memory is exhausted, Windows NT uses disk-based virtual memory as adjunct storage. Although virtual memory enables Windows NT to keep more tasks in operation, the necessity of swapping code and data between memory and disk slows down processing considerably. Windows NT will perform much better if the programs and data it needs fit entirely into RAM.

Workstation Memory Requirements

The memory required for a workstation depends on the operating system. Software vendors will state minimum requirements for marketing purposes, but you usually will be rewarded by adding memory. As with servers, extra RAM enables workstations to reduce reliance on hard drives.

Here are some suggestions for memory with various operating systems:

*Microsoft Windows 3.1

Although it will run with 4 MB of RAM, Windows will spend an exorbitant amount of time swapping data to disk unless you have a minimum of 8 MB.

*Windows NT Workstation

The specifications say 12 MB, but more will improve performance. Besides, it’s easier to configure most systems with 16 MB of memory, so go for the extra 4 MB. Power users should have 24 MB or more for best performance.


Ignore the stated minimum of 4 MB and install at least 8 MB.


Install 16 MB or more.

DOS can’t directly access more than 1 MB of memory, but can use expanded memory to increase the memory available to applications. Expanded memory consists of extra memory, installed outside the DOS range, that is swapped into DOS memory in 4 KB to 16 KB chunks by a memory manager. An application can access one memory chunk and then request another. That method is not as good as directly accessing several megabytes of memory, but it’s better than being stuck with a 1 MB limit.

PC’s equipped with 80386 and later processors can simulate expanded memory without the need for special expanded memory hardware. This is accomplished by using an extended memory manager to make memory above 1 MB available to an expanded memory manager, which then performs the memory swaps.a

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How to Improve Your Memory With 5 Easy-to-Find Memory Supplements

Are there memory supplements, memory enhancement drugs, or memory enhancers, that actually improve memory, lessen the risk of age-associated memory loss, as well as help concentration?

In a word, yes. But…caveat emptor.

In this article, I will give you basic, core information on memory supplements that actually work as well as vital information on those so-called memory aids you should avoid like a telemarketer.

Needless to say, there’s been a lot of information, not to mention disinformation, floating around in this Information Age regarding dietary supplements and natural health remedies at large.

It’s often difficult to know what’s good, what’s bad, and who is just trying to make a fast buck. So, with that in mind, what are the best memory boosting pills you should take? They are:

Ginkgo Biloba
Omega 3 fish oils
Gotu Kola
“So, what are the so-called memory supplements I should avoid,” you ask? Avoid the following:

Growth hormone
Let’s discuss the five legitimate memory boosters first.

Good Memory Supplements – Ginkgo Biloba Herbal Remedy

The popular Ginkgo Biloba herbal remedy is fast becoming one of the best memory supplements in the world. It is by far the most popular alternative remedy for memory problems as well as memory enhancement.

To be concise, this herbal memory remedy has been shown in clinical tests to improve memory, concentration, and retention — even in Alzheimer’s patients! It reestablishes and enhances chemical messaging between neurotransmitters in the brain.

It also increases blood flow to the brain so if you’re taking aspirin or another blood thinner, consult with your doctor before taking this supplement or any supplement for long-term use.

(If you have a blood clotting disorder like hemophilia or a vitamin K deficiency, you especially should talk to your doctor before using any new memory supplement or drug.) If Ginkgo Biloba’s tremendous memory-boosting powers weren’t enough incentive to use it, it’s also a potent antioxidant, helping to slow aging.

This supplement is actually medically prescribed in Germany and elsewhere in Europe for the memory impaired. It’s good to see that and while its popularity is growing here in the US as well one wonders what Big Pharma’s next move will be.

Recommended dosage for Ginkgo Biloba per day is approximately 120 mg to 240 mg a day. Some prescribe less, some more but that is a good, general guideline.


Unlike many supplements, this substance has been tested extensively on both healthy as well as memory-impaired adults. Phosphatidylserine has consistently shown itself to both improve memory and concentration without the serious side effects that so characterize many drugs today.

This remarkable substance, like Ginkgo Biloba, facilitates communication between neurotransmitters as well as lowering the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that researchers believe interferes with cognitive function. If it’s not a memory supplement, it’s certainly a great memory-enhancing drug.


Piracetam is actually not a nutritional supplement but a prescribed drug. It is also among the first memory boosting pills that was marketed in Europe. It must be prescribed by a doctor but is available online.

What’s remarkable about this drug is that it doesn’t have any serious side effects — there’s very few drugs that can make that claim.

Originally prescribed as a motion sickness aid, piracetam has been shown to significantly improve age-related memory problems — even with those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps with improving chronic cerebral ischemia, or decreased brain blood flow.

Mild side effects include insomnia, nausea, headaches, tremors, nervousness, etc. The severity of the side effects are reported as mild.

This one’s a keeper.

The recommended dosage is 2,400 mg to 4,800 divided in three separate dosages.

Omega 3 Fish Oils & Omega 3 Supplements

What about Omega 3 supplements?

There are many health benefits of Omega 3 fish oil supplements including reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and improved brain function is one of them. Omega 3 fish oil supplements are not memory supplements per se.

However, this versatile supplement is pound for pound the most capable nutritional supplement in the world. It is also very affordable. If your budget is tight and you want to optimize your budget, consider fish oil supplements.

TIP: Studies have shown the fatty acid DHA as the primary precursor for improved brain and heart function in Omega 3 supplements. So, make sure your fish oil supplement has DHA over EPA. In addition, make sure your fish oil pills are molecularly distilled. This ensures that it is free of contaminants. Also look for memory boosting pills that are made from deep-water fish like the hoki.

Yes, omega 3 fish oils are fantastic. They not only help your brain function but also limit the severity of manic depressive episodes in those thus afflicted. It should be in your arsenal of regularly used memory supplements.

This one’s a keeper too.

Gotu Kola Extract

Gotu Kola extract comes from an herb that is red-flowered that grows in the southern US, China, middle and southern Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Australia. African elephants have a strong disposition to this plant, which may help account for the saying, “memory like an elephant.”

But if it’s good for elephants, is it good for humans? Yes, it is.

This versatile herb while helping memory function primarily as it helps increase blood flow to the brain, it also helps build connective tissue, soothe burns and wounds, and is believed to contribute to longevity. It’s even been used to help those with cirrhosis of the liver.

This article thus far has dwelt upon the good, but what about the bad and the ugly? What scams or feigned memory boosting pills should you avoid you ask? They are:

Growth hormone
Let’s first talk about Growth Hormone. This is a protein that is secreted by the pituitary gland. It promotes cell growth, which of course is vital to good memory function. However, not only does it not increase cognitive function, but the risks of using this supplement are significant.

Growth hormone causes blood sugar issues, fluid retention, and high blood pressure. Research also shows it stimulating the growth of cancerous tumors — even if they’re microscopic in size.

Consensus? Avoid growth hormone like you would the Ebola Virus.

It may have its place but it should not be classified as a memory supplement.

Phenytoin, or Dilantin as it is also known by, is a anticonvulsant drug prescribed to treat epilepsy. Even though there are no clinical studies to date to support the claim that this is a memory boosting drug like Piracetam, it is wrongfully promoted as such.

Side effects of this drug are substantial and even deadly. It harms the liver, blood, and the thyroid causing in some cases death. It also causes severe insomnia and incites slurred speech. You should not take this drug unless prescribed by a knowledgeable physician.

This one’s not a keeper — avoid it like the tax man.

Last but certainly not least is Vincamine. This is actually an herbal supplement that is made from the periwinkle plant. It’s purported to enhance concentration, memory retention, as well as increase blood flow to the brain — critical to good memory enhancement.

While Vincamine does increase cerebral blood flow, long-term usage of this herbal can cause severe sleep problems including insomnia. It can also induce life threatening and irregular heart beats.

In summary, while there are certainly fantastic herbals, nutritional supplements and drugs that enhance mental function, there are also alternatives that could literally be deadly.

Don’t buy the sales hype, think for yourself and don’t buy impulsively. As this article has shown you, there are great memory supplements out there and now you know which ones to use and which ones to avoid.

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Glenn Reschke is the webmaster of a site on nutritional supplements info, a website in the top 3% of all websites offering info on general health and the webmaster of a site on the health benefits of cayenne pepper.

DDR Laptop Memory – Upgrading Your Laptop Successfully Without the Fuss

You’ve probably landed on this page because you either want to get up to speed with what DDR laptop memory is or you’re bang in the middle of trying to upgrade your laptop but stuck what to do. Well you know what? You’ve probably landed on a page that can help!

A good place to start is an introduction to DDR laptop memory…

Types of DDR laptop memory

DDR stands for Double Data Rate and is an enhanced (faster) form of SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory). Virtually all laptops sold today as well as those sold since circa 2002 use a given (older or newer) version of DDR laptop memory. Put it in plain English DDR memory is faster than standard SDRAM because it can transfer data on both the falling and rising edge of each clock cycle and hence the ‘double’ in its name. There’s absolutely no reason you should remember this but just note that if you ever see DDR SDRAM mentioned anywhere, be sure to appreciate this is the exact same thing as plain vanilla DDR.

So moving on, what types of laptop memory do we have?

DDR laptop memory, otherwise known as DDR1 (though this isn’t an official name instead referred to as just DDR) or DDR SDRAM is the oldest and slowest. It’s predominantly available in capacities up to 1GB (per module) and at speeds of up to 400MHz (effective).

DDR2 is an evolution to DDR with some internal enhancements to boost performance and usually available in capacities up to 2GB (per module) and speeds up to 1066MHz (effective).

DDR3 is presently the latest form of laptop DDR memory and is yet a further evolution of DDR2 boosting speed a further notch. It can be found in capacities up to 4GB (per module) and speeds up to 1600MHz (effective).

Notice that we could have said DDR2 SDRAM just as DDR3 SDRAM. For simplicity sake, stick to remembering that there’s DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 because quite frankly this is what you’ll encounter most! Luckily, the industry seems to prefer the shorthand naming convention.

You may also want to discover more about DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 laptop memory.

How do the above types relate to your laptop? This we’ll examine next!

What type of DDR laptop memory do I need?

When upgrading laptop memory you need to identify what type of DDR memory is used thus supported by your laptop. Failing to do this will mean a failed upgrade for a very simple reason – all versions of DDR are incompatible with each other and use a different type of slot connector, which differs in the number of pins (and several other technical aspects).

Speaking of memory slots we need to introduce memory modules. In contrast to desktops your laptop uses a smaller form of memory slot that consumes less space. As a result, the memory modules used in laptops are smaller too. You may or may not have heard the term DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) before, especially if you’ve upgraded your desktop computer (now is a great time to jog your memory!). Laptops use SO-DIMM’s – simply append ‘Small Outline’ to a DIMM. The name isn’t very important except what this means in practise, namely you cannot install a DIMM in a SO-DIMM memory slot and vice versa. DIMM’s are considerably longer than SO-DIMM’s and are not designed for use in laptops. Before going further we should also point out that you may stumble upon SO-DIMM written as SODIMM – this is the exact same thing!

So just to recap, we know the different types of DDR, that various versions of DDR don’t mix and also that we can’t use any DIMM’s lying around the house and/or office (should you have any) in our laptop. Next we need to conclude just what type of DDR memory we need, specifically what will work in our laptop.

A good indicator what type is right for you is your laptop’s age. Laptops produced in the years 2001-2003 will be very likely be DDR based. Laptops produced in the years 2004-2007 will be DDR2 and finally, laptop made since 2008 will be DDR3 (though some use DDR2). Armed with this information you’ll know whether to buy a DDR SODIMM, DDR2 SODIMM or maybe a DDR3 SODIMM.

A second aspect you need to evaluate is the memory controller within your laptop. A simple method to find this out (and be told what type of DDR is right for us) is to run some diagnostics software on our machine. The truth be told, there are tens and tens of alternative ways to approach this. We recommend downloading and running CPU-Z, it’s entirely free – download CPU-Z here. This simple yet helpful application will amongst other aspects tell us what memory our laptop uses therefore supports (remember what we said about not mixing types of DDR?). Click on the ‘Memory’ tab and also the ‘SPD’ tab. There you will find the name DDR, DDR2 or DDR3 followed by various odd looking numbers such as the memory frequency and different timings. You will also find the name that corresponds to the sub-type of DDR laptop memory used by your laptop – this will be something along the lines of PC2-5300, PC3200, PC3-8500 etc. Simply piece the two together (i.e. DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR PC2100, DDR3 PC8-8500) and you’ll know what to buy and therefore install.

Find out more about DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 SODIMM modules.

We know what memory we need, a logical next step is therefore to decide where to buy it!

Where to reliably buy DDR laptop memory

In this day and age when the Internet overwhelms in options from where to buy laptop memory it’s impossible to provide a definitive list of safe online outlets. For this sole reason we won’t journey down this route but instead suggest you buy your laptop memory upgrade from names that have been in business for years and are thus reliable. As for the make of memory you may end up buying from any of these stores, do pay note if it comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty – almost always it will, but should this not be the case then let this make you think twice about clicking the order button!

Check out where to buy DDR laptop memory that’s right for your laptop.

How to install DDR laptop memory

The good news is that regardless what type of DDR laptop memory your laptop uses, installation is very much the same for either. The only key difference (except of course for installing each in a compatible memory slot) is that in the case of DDR2 and DDR3 laptops, it’s good practise to install memory in pairs (i.e. two modules at a time). Doing so enables the so called dual channel mode on suitable laptops, which triggers a performance boost (enhanced memory throughput). If you have such a laptop then just remember to order two modules instead of one.

Most laptops feature access to the memory bay underneath. For this reason most of you will want to turn your laptop upside down. Needless to say, you should turn it off first! In other cases your memory might be under the keyboard or touchpad (let’s guess….Lenovo/IBM Thinkpad perhaps?). In either case getting inside (lifting the memory bay cover or similar) will be easy providing you have the right Philips screwdriver. In some cases you may want to consult your laptop’s manual (these almost always tells you where the memory is installed) for clues what screws need unscrewing (usually 2-3). It’s important you earth yourself throughout the entire process as electro-static impulses can damage laptop memory. Either buy a cheap anti-static wristband or remember to touch something made of metal such as a table leg regularly. Either method will keep your body discharged and therefore safe for handling laptop memory.

Once inside, simply remove the existing memory module by pulling the latches at either ends in an outwards direction (if you need to free up space) in which case the existing module will pop up. Simply pull it out once loose. If you don’t need to free up space and simply want to insert the new module, align the latch on the slot and module correctly and then insert the module at about an angle of 45 degrees. Once the gold plated pins are hidden (inserted) in the memory slot, press down until the DDR laptop memory module clicks into place!

Next, turn on your laptop and your memory should register all and well. If your laptop fails to turn on then one or more memory modules might not be inserted properly, or possibly (rarely) faulty.

You may prefer to follow a step by step laptop memory illustrated installation guide instead.


Upgrading DDR laptop memory can be difficult but needn’t be. First and foremost don’t overwhelm yourself with knowledge that won’t necessarily help you when it comes to buying and installing laptop memory. Of course, there’s no stopping you reading up in detail about laptop memory upgrades but just remember there are aspects you may want to know but don’t need to know. Save yourself the confusion!

Secondly, set your mindset into save mode as you’ll want to remember that DDR laptop memory comes in various versions (DDR, DDR2, and DDR3) and neither can be mixed. What type your laptop makes use of is heavily tied to its age. Thirdly, save your desktop memory for your desktop PC and your laptop memory for your laptop PC, they don’t mix, even if your use pliers and DIY is your second name! SODIMM only!

Fourthly, use a program such as CPU-Z to display the type of memory used by your laptop, this includes the type but also model (i.e. PC2100, PC2-4200, PC3-8500 etc.). If you praise simplicity above everything else then check out the where to buy DDR laptop memorysection of this website.

Fifthly, only buy your laptop memory upgrade from reliable sources and never forget that quality brand name memory always comes with a lifetime warranty. Should you spot otherwise then let it raise your eyebrows – the chances are its problematic and you may just want to think again before ordering. Take special note if the price seems too good to be true.

Last but not least, take a deep breath before installing your new DDR laptop memory SODIMM modules, you don’t need to be a computer guru to do it. Just keep in mind that you’re handling sensitive electronic components so be sure to earth yourself.

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If you are planning on upgrading your laptop’s memory and need help then visit the Laptop Memory Upgrades website or Laptop Memory Upgrades Guide for advice.

SODIMM Memory Frequency, Capacity, Timings – How to Balance Your Next Laptop Memory Upgrade

Your laptop grinds under the strain of software memory requirements forcing you to purchase a laptop memory upgrade. The question is, how do you go about buying an upgrade that reaps the most benefits? We’ll take a look at this below.

SODIMM Memory Frequency

Regardless of the type of memory, be it SDRAM, DDR, DDR2, DDR3 etc. memory frequency pays a pivotal role in its performance. You see, frequency influences the speed at which bytes can be read and written to and from a SODIMM memory module.

The faster the frequency of a SODIMM memory module, the greater the bandwidth available to your system, thus ultimately the software you run. Some software benefits more than others when more bandwidth is available, nevertheless it’s generally a good idea to have more of it if possible.

Of course depending on your model of laptop, it might not be possible to make use of higher frequency SODIMM memory modules. The underpinning for this is simple, while a laptop supporting for example PC2-4200 DDR2 SODIMM memory that runs at 533MHz effective can have a higher rated SODIMM memory module of the same type but higher grade installed (i.e. PC2-5300 DDR2 running at 667MHz), the net result will still be memory that runs at a maximum of 533MHz. This is true unless of course the memory controller in that laptop supports the frequency of the faster memory. Normally laptop manufacturers already install the fastest grade of memory during production..

Should you conclude that your laptop does support faster SODIMM memory modules, it may just be worth upgrading all the installed memory to whatever highest grade is supported. Memory frequency is the number one contributor to memory bandwidth therefore by in large performance. Do note how we wrote “all” the installed memory. You see, for your laptop to run at the faster memory frequency, all installed SODIMM memory must meet this specification thus be of the same grade. If your laptop has two SODIMM memory slots (this is the norm) then in practise both SODIMM memory modules must be identical. For example, in a DDR2 memory based laptop this might be PC2-6400, in a DDR laptop PC3200, in a SDRAM laptop PC133 or any other available combination. Simply follow this line of thought and you’ll be okay.

SODIMM Memory Capacity

The amount of memory you have installed in your laptop is what generally speaking ultimately defines how smooth software runs. Consequently, while memory frequency is a key factor to SODIMM memory performance, the capacity of memory installed is fundamental for overall system performance.

How much memory you need is dependant on what software you run. Unfortunately, there’s no golden rule that magically works for each and every application out there. Fortunately however there’s an old principle that lends a helping hand: more memory always helps. Essentially what this translates to in practise is this: install more memory than you need as this way you’re far less likely to run into slowdowns, providing of course the slowdowns are the result of low system memory and not, per se, the processor, graphics card, storage device etc.

Does this sound too good to be true? Regrettably yes, for three reasons. Firstly, buying too much laptop memory will likely aid laptop performance at the cost of upsetting your wallet. Secondly, in an ideal world all laptops, be them new or old, would support the currently maximum capacity of available SODIMM memory modules. Obviously the world isn’t an ideal place and thus you can only upgrade to the maximum capacity supported by your laptop’s memory controller. Thirdly, if you’re running a 32bit Operating System on a laptop supporting 4GB or more of memory then just keep in mind that even though the memory will work, applications will not use the full 4GB. This is a limitation of 32bit addressing, only some of this namespace is available to system memory, the rest must be used for addressing other types of memory within your laptop, for example that of the graphics card. To overcome this on laptops that support it, upgrade to a 64bit Operating System.

Starting to sound slightly complicated? Let’s break this down into simple English. What you should deduct from this is as follows: buy as much memory as your wallet and laptop allows but consider the limitations of 32bit Operating Systems. If you plan to upgrade to 4GB or more of memory and have a newer laptop then upgrade its Operating System to a 64bit version. If your laptop supports 4GB but only 32bit Operating Systems then just keep in mind that the maximum your applications will likely see visible thus use is around 3.25-3.5GB.

SODIMM Memory Timings

Computer memory feature what’s known as timings. These are numerical values which represent delays in how a SODIMM memory module operates. The actual values vary depending on the type of memory (i.e. DDR2) and whether the given SODIMM memory module is mainstream or a performance part. Such delays control all the types of commands that get executed when your computer issues a read, write or copy command. Such timings are stored on each SODIMM memory module in what’s known as a SPD (Serial Presence Detect) chip, located on the same PCB (Printed Circuit Board) as the memory chips.

Because memory timings are ultimately delays then one might think it’s logical to assume that lower timings are better. This can be answered as true but only to an extent. You see, there is only so much that these timings can be lowered, even if a SODIMM memory module has been binned as a performance part. This is due to synchronisation issues. Memory timings control how slow or how fast a given operation is processed by a SODIMM memory module. If it’s set too fast then the outcome may be unstable operation. At the very least this will cause erroneous software behaviour, or if you’re less fortunate a system halt.

Since enhanced memory timings can only contribute so much to real-world system performance (circa 5% real-world performance boost), it’s really a case of deciding whether you believe the added speed boost (i.e. slightly more memory bandwidth, somewhat lower memory access latency) is enough to warrant the price premium. Various tests over the years suggest no, even if you install “performance” SODIMM memory, you’re not likely to feel the difference in any type of software but benchmarks.


There are some important facts to recall from the above. First and foremost memory frequency plays a pivotal role in memory performance, otherwise defined at the speed at which memory read, write and thus copy commands get processed. The higher the memory bandwidth, the more it indirectly influences overall system performance. Secondly, memory capacity is what directly affects the overall speed of your laptop by having a direct influence on computer performance. The more memory you have installed, the far less likely you are to run into slowdowns caused by insufficient memory resources available to the Operating System and other software. Thirdly, memory timings act as an icing on the cake (for a better term) to both memory frequency and capacity.

The above is the theory, but what should you do when getting ready to buy your laptop memory upgrade? Always get the highest frequency of SODIMM memory your laptop supports by determining the highest speed grade supported by its memory controller. Wherever your wallet permits, also try and upgrade to a healthy amount of memory, above what you’re bound to currently use thus leaving yourself some headroom. Do however remember that your laptop’s memory controller also limits the maximum capacity you can upgrade to. Finally, where feasible (something you will have to deduce yourself), choose a SODIMM memory module(s) with faster (lower) timings – if performance parts aren’t available then the most you will lose is about 5% overall system performance.

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If you are planning on upgrading your laptop’s memory and need help then visit the Laptop Memory Upgrades website or Laptop Memory Upgrades Guide for advice.

Do You Have A Poor Memory?

Of all the mental faculties of humans, the faculty of memory has been the most mysterious from times immemorial. Most of us think that if a person is born with a good memory, he is lucky. We tend to categorize people into two segments – those with a good memory and those with a poor memory.

We believe that a person having a poor memory is cursed for a life time and no matter what he does, there is no way of improving one’s memory capacity. A very small percentage of world population has a fairly good knowledge of how memory works, why most often our memory fails us and how, at times, we can remember certain things so well.

Interestingly, any two individuals on this planet have exactly the same capacity for memory. This may sound incredible, as it is in opposition with our daily experience of witnessing people with varying levels of memory.

If we really get into the basics, every human being has exactly the same mass in the brain. If we take a look into the basic units or the building blocks of the brain – the brain cells or the neurons – any two brains contain approximately the same number of them. It is estimated that every human brain consists of billions of neurons.

Each neuron is capable of making millions of connections with other neurons. All the possible interneuron connections run into several trillions. Coming to the number of inter-neuron connections, the more the merrier. The reason being, the more connections you have, the more is the “processing speed” of the brain. Viewed in this perspective, the memory capacity one can summon from the brain is awesome.

There is absolutely no reason why any individual has to suffer from a poor memory. The individual differences in respect of memory capacities, which we perceive are just the differences in the utilization levels and not those of built-in capacity.

The situation may be likened with two manufacturing units with exactly the same installed capacities. One of them may be fully harnessing its potential and deriving maximum potential. The other might have been ridden with several problems and hence is performing far below the actual capacity.

The point is any two individuals in this world have the same built-in capacity of memory. But how much positive result they take out of it, actually depends on how they utilize the innate potential.

Good memory Vs. Bad memory

If that be the case, then, how do you explain the unmistakable experience of witnessing some people having good memory and some other people having bad memory? In fact, there is nothing like a good memory or a bad memory. Every person has good memory in some areas and also bad memory in certain other areas.

For example, a student may find it too difficult for him to remember the Newton’s laws of Motion. The same student may have an excellent memory for facts and figures on Tennis. People around us tend to brand us as a person with a good memory or otherwise, depending on whether they attach importance to what we remember or what we forget.

In the above case, the student may be branded as a person with a poor memory by his elders and teachers as he was unable to remember his academics. Whereas, his friends etc. may be all praise for his memory, as he can reel off so many facts and figures on Tennis.

The student in question now has a choice. He can accept his friends’ version that he has a good memory. Or he can succumb to the verdict of his authority figures that he has a very poor memory.

If you were that student, what is your choice? Of course, your friends version, right? Please understand that this is only the starting step. To improve your memory in your so-called “weak areas”, you need to use certain memory improvement techniques. Using these techniques, it is possible to improve your memory to an incredible level.

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Nishant Kasibhatla is a Grand Master of Memory at The World Memory Championships. He is the CEO of Memory Vision – The Memory Training Company. To get your free ?5 lessons Mini Memory Course”, visit