DIMM - (Dual In-line Memory Module) Nomenclature:
Memory upgrades yield the most profitable results for the investment incurred.
Memory prices fluctuate often according to various factors. We've walked the RAM walk with 4 Meg, 30 pin SIMMs to 64 Meg, 72 pin SIMMs buffered / unbuffered variety. With SIMMs we were speed conscience seeking 60ns RAM.
Using DIMMs, our focus has changed to the RAM Specification (PC 100 / PC 133) & higher densities (64/128/256/512 MEGs per SDRAM DIMM stick). We now recommend using 128 Meg (168 pin) PC 100 SDRAM DIMMs. More memory, less space running faster,cooler and more efficiently.
10ns SDRAM DIMMs ( 168 pin Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory, Dual In-line Memory Modules) are just a little faster than 60ns EDO DRAM SIMMs (72 pin Extended Data Out Random Access Memory, Single In Line Memory Modules).
With the introduction of SDRAM DIMMs, Memory started with the same caveats. PC 66 RAM helped although we still walked a DIMM path.
When Intel introduced PC 100 specs everything went to a level playing field. No longer were we faced with trying to decipher the specifics of MotherBoard Brand, Model and Revision Numbers to know what specific RAM worked on which specific MotherBoard. (That only applies now to MotherBoard Bios Upgrades!).
In an apples and apples world of comparisons, three components have always traveled the upgrade path together. They were: RAM, MotherBoard and Processor.
Our world of choices and potential upgrade paths have a lighter load since RAM is now more likely to work generically like other components in a PC.
Need something better as defined as newer Technology? Get a new MotherBoard! As PC's becomes more of a commodity, so too are MotherBoards as they also become easier to replace.
MotherBoards and RAM are still PCB's requiring TLC from static electricity - ESD. Also... Do NOT handle those contact edges!!! You'll cause oxidation causing other connectivity problems later on!
Leading, Bleeding or Cutting Edge Technology...
As for RAM these days... Buy RAM! As long as you know the standards wars and know the technology you've adopted within those wars, stand firm in your resolve as to where your RAM will continue to give service. As a Rule on Building a PC, we strongly recommend using 1 - 128 Meg PC 100 SDRAM (169 pin) DIMM. This is a 1 slot solution giving you room to grow or room to throw when you're ready to move on to the next generation of whatever. A Current Technology approach.
Let someone else bleed. It gets bloody expensive otherwise!
Always be sure and purchase from a reputable source. After all, RAM these days is basically free. We're just paying a handling charge! We suggest testing your RAM (reads SPD chip on RAM PCB) to make sure you get what you thought you bought even though it's free. RAM and Power Supplies can give you all kinds of grief without ever accepting responsibility.
(See Build Or Buy A PC CD Index – Disc 1, 9-29-99 Ram_test Folder.)
Although we currently advocate PC 100 SDRAM DIMMs, PC 133, RDRAM (RAMBUS RAM) and DDR SDRAM among others are soon to be coming online. Standby standards, hold on consumers! Houston, we're going to have problems! Let's see who supports what before we take the leap.
If you'd like more information regarding DIMM specs, please see our How To Build Or Buy A PC CD Index.
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