DDR Laptop Memory – Upgrading Your Laptop Successfully Without the Fuss

You’ve probably landed on this page because you either want to urge up to hurry with what DDR laptop memory is or you’re banging within the middle of trying to upgrade your laptop but stuck what to try to to. Well, you recognize what? You’ve probably landed on a page which will help!

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

Types of DDR laptop memory

DDR stands for Double rate and is an enhanced (faster) sort of SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory). Virtually all laptops sold today also like those sold since circa 2002 using a given (older or newer) version of DDR laptop memory. Put it in plain English DDR memory is quicker than standard SDRAM because it can transfer data on both the falling and rising fringe of each clock cycle and hence the ‘double’ in its name. There’s absolutely no reason you ought to remember this but just note that if you ever see DDR SDRAM mentioned anywhere, make certain to understand this is often the precise same thing as plain vanilla DDR.

So moving on, what sorts of laptop memory can we have?

DDR laptop memory, otherwise mentioned as DDR1 (though this is not a politician name instead referred to as just DDR) or DDR SDRAM is that 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 spice up performance and is typically available in capacities up to 2GB (per module) and accelerates to 1066MHz (effective).

DDR3 is presently the newest sort of laptop DDR memory and is yet an extra evolution of DDR2 boosting speed an extra notch. It are often found in capacities up to 4GB (per module) and accelerates to 1600MHz (effective).

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

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

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

What sort of DDR laptop memory do I need?

When upgrading laptop memory you would like to spot what sort of DDR memory is employed thus supported by your laptop. Failing to try to do this may mean a failed upgrade for a really simple reason – all versions of DDR are incompatible with one another and use a special sort of slot connector, which differs within the number of pins (and several other technical aspects).

Speaking of memory slots we’d like to introduce memory modules. In contrast to desktops, your laptop uses a smaller sort of memory slot that consumes less space. As a result, the memory modules utilized in laptops are smaller too. you’ll or might not have heard the term DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) before, especially if you’ve upgraded your personal computer (now may be a great time to jog your memory!). Laptops use SO-DIMMs – simply append ‘Small Outline’ to a DIMM. The name is not important except what this suggests in practice, namely, you can’t install a DIMM during a SO-DIMM memory slot and the other way around. DIMM’s are considerably longer than SO-DIMM’s and aren’t designed to be used in laptops. Before going further we should always also means that you simply may encounter SO-DIMM written as SODIMM – this is often the precise same thing!

So just to recap, we all know the various sorts of DDR, that various versions of DDR don’t mix, and also that we will not use any DIMM’s lying around the house and/or office (should you’ve got any) in our laptop. Next, we’d like to conclude just what sort of DDR memory we’d like, specifically what is going to add to our laptop.

A good indicator of what type is true for you is your laptop’s age. Laptops produced within the years 2001-2003 are going to very likely be DDR-based. Laptops produced within the years 2004-2007 are going to be DDR2 and eventually, laptops made since 2008 is going to be DDR3 (though some use DDR2). Armed with this information you’ll know whether to shop for a DDR SODIMM, DDR2 SODIMM, or even a DDR3 SODIMM.

A second aspect you would like to gauge is that the memory controller within your laptop. an easy method to seek out this out (and be told what sort of DDR is true for us) is to run some diagnostics software on our machine. the reality be told, there are tens and tens of other ways to approach this. We recommend downloading and running CPU-Z, it’s entirely free – download CPU-Z here. this easy yet helpful application will amongst other aspects tell us what memory our laptop uses, therefore, supports it (remember what we said about not mixing sorts of DDR?). Click on the ‘Memory’ tab and also the ‘SPD’ tab. There you’ll find the name DDR, DDR2 or DDR3 followed by various odd-looking numbers like the memory frequency and different timings. you’ll also find the name that corresponds to the sub-type of DDR laptop memory employed by your laptop – this may be something along the lines of PC2-5300, PC3200, PC3-8500 etc. Simply piece the 2 together (i.e. DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR PC2100, DDR3 PC8-8500) and you will know what to shop for and thus install.

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

We know what memory we’d like, a logical next step is therefore to make a decision where to shop for it!

Where to reliably buy DDR laptop memory

In this day and age when the web overwhelms in options from where to shop for laptop memory, it’s impossible to supply a definitive list of safe online outlets. For this sole reason, we cannot journey down this route but instead suggest you purchase your laptop memory upgrade from names that are in business for years and are thus reliable. As for the make of memory, you’ll find yourself buying from any of those stores, do pay note if it comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty – nearly always it’ll, but should this not be the case then let this cause you to consider clicking the order button!

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

How to install DDR laptop memory

The good news is that regardless of what sort of DDR laptop memory your laptop uses, installation is extremely equivalent for either. the sole key difference (except in fact for installing each during a compatible memory slot) is that within the case of DDR2 and DDR3 laptops, it’s good practice to put in 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’ve got such a laptop then just remember to order two modules rather than one.

Most laptops feature access to the memory bay underneath. For this reason, most of you’ll want to show your laptop the wrong way up. Needless to mention, you ought to turn it off first! In other cases, your memory could 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) is going to be easy providing you’ve got the proper Philips screwdriver. In some cases you’ll want to consult your laptop’s manual (these nearly always tell you where the memory is installed) for clues what screws need unscrewing (usually 2-3). it is vital you earth yourself throughout the whole process as electro-static impulses can damage laptop memory. Either buy an inexpensive anti-static wristband or remember to touch something made from metal like a table leg regularly. Either method will keep your body discharged and thus safe for handling laptop memory.

Once inside, simply remove the prevailing memory module by pulling the latches at either end in an outwards direction (if you would like to release space) during which case the prevailing module will crop up. Simply pull it out once loose. If you do not get to release space and easily want to insert the new module, align the latch on the slot and module correctly then insert the module at about an angle of 45 degrees. Once the gold plated pins are hidden (inserted) within the memory slot, depress until the DDR laptop memory module clicks into place!

Next, activate your laptop and your memory should register all and well. If your laptop fails to show on then one or more memory modules won’t be inserted properly, or possibly (rarely) faulty.

You may like better to follow a step-by-step laptop memory illustrated installation guide instead.


Upgrading DDR laptop memory is often difficult but needn’t be. First and foremost don’t overwhelm yourself with the knowledge that will not necessarily assist you when it involves buying and installing laptop memory. Of course, there is no stopping you from reading up intimately about laptop memory upgrades but just remember there are aspects you’ll want to understand but don’t get to know. Save yourself the confusion!

Secondly, set your mindset into save mode as you’ll be wanting to recollect that DDR laptop memory comes in various versions (DDR, DDR2, and DDR3) and neither are often 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 personal computer, they do not mix, albeit your use pliers and DIY is your second name! SODIMM only!

Fourthly, use a program like CPU-Z to display the sort of memory employed by your laptop, this includes the sort but also model (i.e. PC2100, PC2-4200, PC3-8500, etc.). If you praise simplicity above everything else then inspect the where to shop for DDR laptop memory section of this website.

Fifthly, only buy your laptop memory upgrade from reliable sources and always remember that quality name memory always comes with a lifetime warranty. do you have to spot otherwise then let it raise your eyebrows – the probabilities are it’s problematic and you’ll just want to re-evaluate before ordering. Take special note if the worth seems too good to be true.

Last but not least, take a deep breath before installing your new DDR laptop memory SODIMM modules, you do not get to be a computer expert to try to do it. Just confine in mind that you’re handling sensitive electronic components so make certain to earth yourself.







By Mk Faizi

I am a blogger.