Replacing Memory in a PC

Replacing Memory in a PC

Computer users are always hungry for more speed.  Applications are continuously taking up more resources as software becomes more complex, visually aesthetic and more powerful.  And one of the most important resources in a Personal Computer (PC) is Random Access Memory (RAM).  Applications running on operating systems such as Microsoft Windows can run faster if it has more memory (Of Zen and Computing, 2006).  The newer types of memory hardware are also faster than the older models.  Thus, replacing old memory modules in a PC is beneficial because it will run the computer faster, it will save the user valuable time, and it facilitates more multi-tasking applications to run.

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First, the computer user must figure out what type of memory the computer currently has and how much new memory it can hold by referring to the PC’s hardware manual.  New memory modules are much cheaper now than it used to be and one can purchase more memory per dollar than in the past.

Next, locate the memory sockets in the PC.  The computer should be turned off and the user should be grounded with an anti-static wrist strap.  Open the computer case and search for the long sockets where the memory modules are located.

If the computer has existing single-inline memory modules (SIMMS), which was invented by Wang laboratories (Wang vs. Mitsubishi, 1997) and used from the 80s to the 90s, then remove them by pushing down the plastic tabs located at the sides of the modules.  One can either use his or her thumbnails or a small flat-head screwdriver.  Some computers have metal tabs instead of plastic ones.  Simply do the same process with these tabs.

Then, install the new SIMM.  The SIMM can only fit one way, so if it does not seem to fit, turn it around and try the other way.  Tilt the SIMM at an angle and match the notch for it.  Make sure that the SIMM completely fits the slot and that it is perfectly level.  Then lift it upwards until a click is heard.

However, if the computer has the newer dual in-line memory module (DIMM), which is the predominant type of memory used today, then remove the old modules to be replaced.  It is often easier to remove than SIMMS.  Simply push the plastic tabs located at the sides of the socket and the DIMM will be lifted out.

There is also a memory type that is newer than DIMM, which is called RIMM.  It does not stand for “Rambus in-line memory module” as some people erroneously believe.  Kingston Technology created the trademark for “RIMM” and it does not have any other meaning (Menon 2001).  It is smaller; thus, it uses up lesser space and has a different set of PIN characteristics.  If the PC concerned has a RIMM, remove it in the same way.  But some RIMMs have terminators attached to the motherboard.  If it does, simply remove it too.

Then attach the new DIMM or RIMM modules to the slots.  Align the module to the slot and match it up with the notches at the bottom.  Then evenly press it down until the plastic tabs at the side snap it up into place.  If a RIMM is being attached, remember to attach the terminator to the motherboard.

Finally, turn on the PC and save the new memory settings.  When it boots, the CMOS screen will appear and the BIOS will recognize the new memory modules.  Save the settings and reboot again.

In the end, replacing PC memory is easy to do as long as one has correctly purchased the correct memory modules for the computer.  Once this is done, everything is a breeze.


Menon, P. (2001).  RIMM.  Available from,,sid5_gci555430,00.html

Of Zen and Computing.  (2006).  “Speed up your computer by adding more memory.”  Available from <>

Wang vs. Mitsubishi. (1997).  United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Court.  Available from <>

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