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There’s an easy cure for a slow computer: more memory. Designed to help your system run faster and smoother, Crucial® Laptop Memory is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to improve your system’s performance; Load programs faster, increase responsiveness, run data-intensive applications with ease, and increase your laptop’s multitasking capabilities.

But when you’re looking to upgrade your PC’s memory and have a fixed budget, is it better to get more memory (gigabytes) or the fastest DRAM (MT/s)?

Is more memory or fast memory better?

If you have never installed computer hardware that requires a memory (RAM or DRAM) upgrade, then “8GB 2666 MT/s RAM” may not make any sense to you.

You know your laptop requires a memory upgrade, but when you are faced with 4GB 2400 MT/s, 4GB 2666 MT/s, 8GB 2400 MT/s, and 8GB 2666 MT/s, how do you know which one to choose?

Here is some guidance in how to choose the right memory upgrade for your laptop and deciding on whether you need more memory or faster memory.

Memory density and speed

First of all, let’s make sense of those numbers and letters.

Memory is broken down into density and speed:

  • Density, also known as capacity, is the maximum amount of data the module can hold altogether.
  • Speed, also known as frequency, is the amount of commands (megatransfers) that the memory can send to the central processing unit (CPU) in a certain period of time, which then gets processed into what you see and do on your computer.

For example: An 8GB 2666 MT/s memory module has a density of eight gigabytes (8GB) and

has a speed of 2666 megatransfers per second (2666 MT/s).

Choosing density over speed

For memory to perform well, it requires both density and speed to counterbalance one another, but if you’re forced to decide, choose density. It’s more of a priority issue rather than an either/or situation. Density is the first priority, speed the second.

Laptop uses

  • Word documents:
    General word documents don’t require much RAM, you only need enough to give your laptop some extra room above the active data of your operating system (OS).
  • Excel spreadsheets:
    If you create large detailed spreadsheets, these can cause your laptop to become slow and can even grind your device to a halt if they’re complex and don’t have enough memory density to hold all the active data. Memory with at least 8GB density is a must, and faster memory speeds will also have a benefit on processing all that active data.
  • Web browsing and video streaming:
    More density or speed in your memory won’t affect the speed of your internet connection, but your web browsers and video streams along with your device as a whole, will run more efficiently if it has sufficient RAM.
  • Gaming:
    Many games require at least 4GB of RAM to run, but it is recommended to install at least 8GB to run them well. And, because games use so much active data, memory speed can make an impact while gaming.

Crucial® by Micron

The memory density and speed relationship are similar to moving:

  • Memory density is like the size of the moving van – the larger the van is, the more boxes and furniture you can load into it.
  • The roads, number of lanes, and speed limits that the moving van drives on are similar to the limitations of your computer’s CPU, motherboard, and other components.
  • Memory speed is comparable to how quickly the movers load and unload the boxes and furniture in the moving van.
  • Increasing the size of the van and the speed of the movers makes moving faster and more convenient, and the benefits of both are more noticeable when there’s more to move.– Crucial® by Micron

In the ever-changing world of technology, any component more than five years old is usually in need of an update. At seven years old and counting, that’s where DDR3 memory is at: laptops can only do so much with it.

Since the introduction of DDR3 memory technology in 2007, processors have doubled in capability, SSDs have revolutionized throughput, and graphics cards have drastically increased frame rates, leaving memory as a limiting factor. With Crucial® DDR4 SODIMMs, crush the DDR3 memory bottleneck and unlock a new standard of performance.

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