A Guide to PC Memory

When it comes to improving the performance of your PC, purchasing additional RAM is despite the least expensive yet most effective route a person can take. While the solution appears simple, the dizzying array of memory available for purchase today can make the actual decision process problematic for all but the tech-savvy individuals. A very wide selection of differenting RAM types are available for purchase today, SDRAM, EDO, RDRAM, and DRAM to name a few. Knowing how to determine what RAM types are compatible with your current PC setup and what RAM choice will give you the greatest performance are key to making the correct decision.

The purpose of this guide is to give the reader a general understanding of what RAM is, what types of RAM exist, and how to decide what RAM would make the best purchase choice.

What is RAM?

The acronym RAM stands for Random Access Memory. RAM is where data is stored within your PC so that said data can be accessed by your PC's processor, or CPU. RAM should be considered as temporary memory within your PC, in order for RAM to maintain its data storage it must receive a continuous pulse of electricity. Any data that exists solely within a PC's RAM will be deleted when the PC is shut off or loses power.

PC's utilize several common technologies to store data internally on a more permanent level than RAM. These storage mediums include ROM – Read Only Memory, Hard Drives – which store data magnetically in a permanent – or depending on your usage – semi-permanent fashion, CDRWs, DVDRWs, Floppy Disks and Tapes. All of these data storage methods can be considered more reliable than RAM data storage, although none of them offer the speed of data access that RAM does.

RAM stores data that is essential for a PCs immediate operation and does so in an extremely fast and reliable way. RAM allows for a PC to operate at speeds that would be unachievable if it were replaced by more permanent data storage mediums. Think of RAM as a "fast lane" on an expressway. RAM allows for a function or application's most important data to have the fastest possible access to the processor. RAM exists as a "fast lane" for data that needs immediate attention by your PCs CPU. As such, the more RAM your PC has accesses to, the more "fast lanes" that are available for your PC's functions and applications to access your PC's CPU, the faster your PC will perform.

Types of RAM

SDRAM, DDR-SDRAM and RAMBUS are the three major types of RAM, or PC memory, in use today.

Modern RAM

Before the introduction of SDRAM, PC memory is operated asynchronously from a PC's Clock Speed. This asynchronous operation would create data bottlenecks within a PC itself and slow overall performance. Clock speed is the speed at which a microprocessor executes instructions; Every computer contains an internal clock that regulates the rate at which data is processed and synchronizes a PC's individual components. As it stands to reason, the faster a PC's clock speed, the faster a PC's CPU can process data. Before RAM was synchronized to operate at the same speed as the rest of a PC's components, a PC's CPU would be would be forced into the occasional delay while waiting for the RAM to be available to accept data. In theory, as long as SDRAM operated at the same speed as the system clock, it would be available to the system on a regular and consistent basis – thus eliminating data bottlenecks. By regulating RAM and tying its performance to the system clock, memory manufacturers have been forced to increase memory performance to match PC clock speeds.

SDRAM:

SDRAM – Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory – was the natural result of the PC industries search for better RAM and PC performance.

SDRAM is available 66, 100 and 133MHz speeds, known as PC66, PC100 and PC133 respectively. 66MHz RAM, in theory, would perform 66.6 million cycles per second and would be compatible with a 66MHz clock speed. Generally memory is considered to be backward compatible, so a pc with a clock speed of 100MHz could accept a memory module with a clock speed of 100MHz. The drawback being that the memory will only operate at the 100MHz speed.

SDRAM is no longer the memory of choice for modern PC's, however, due to the many PCs still on the market that utilize SDRAM, it is certain that memory manufacturers will continue to produce this memory for some time. SDRAM has been in the marketplace for some time and as such is widely available for purchase as a used yet guaranteed product. This used availability offers the buyer the opportunity to save a great deal of money on its purchase, yet sacrifice a bare minimum with regard to reliability as RAM has no moving parts and is generally very durable and long lasting.

DDR-SDRAM:

DDR and DDR2 – Double Data Rate SDRAM – was again a natural result of the PC Industries search for better RAM and PC Performance. DDR memory has been available since the late 1990's and is a great leap forward in RAM performance. Essentially, DDR RAM achieves its improved performance by transferring data to the processor twice, instead of once in the case of SDRAM, per clock cycle. Theoretically, a RAM module that refreshes the processor twice per clock cycle should equate to twice the performance offered by SDRAM. In reality DDR does not really offer twice the performance of SDRAM, however it is a signaling improvement over the older standard.

Types of DDR and DDR2 memory that are available include PC1600 – 200MHz, PC2200 – 533MHz, PC4200 – 533MHz, PC4200 – 533MHz, PC3500 – 400MHz, PC3500 – The first number represents the maximum memory bandwidth, in megabytes, that a RAM module can provide per second. The second number, MHz, is the clock speed that the module is compatible with. As with SDRAM, the memory is backward compatible, a PC2100 chip with a 266MHz clock speed with work with a PC with a clock speed of both 266MHz and 200MHz.

DDR and DDR2 memory are the current standard in the PC industry and will continue to be manufactured for some time. As with SDRAM, DDR and DDR2 types have been in the market for some time and are available as used or refurbished. Both used and refurbished DDR memory can offer substantial savings when purchased while giving the user similar reliability to new product.

RAMBUS:

RAMBUS – RDRAM – was developed by the RAMBUS Corporation and can be considered to be a proprietary version of RAM as only the RAMBUS company manufacturers it. RAMBUS is a high-performance version of RAM generally found in high-end business class PCs. Today very few manufacturers use the RAMBUS standard as DDR and DDR2 memory offers similar, and in some cases better performance. RAMBUS memory can be found in speeds of PC800, PC1066 and PC1200. Usually you can purchase RAMBUS PC800- () the () will contain a number that references the chips speed in nano-seconds, ie PC800-45.

Memory and Performance:

While adding more memory does not ensure faster performance, not enough memory will guarantee slow downs. Having plenty of memory installed on your PC helps to ensure that your PC operates at its peak speeds and efficiency. Adding memory almost always results in a performance boost, especially if you run larger applications or multiple applications simultaniously. It is important to note that if you triple your current installed memory you will not see a three-fold boost in performance. You will almost always see some gain in performance, but you will go a long way in eliminating slow downs.

It will always be my contention and a good rule of thumb that you can never have too much memory. Maxing out you configuration with memory will help to guarantee the peak performance of your PC.

How to Choose Memory:

Choosing memory is dependent on several factors. First is the consideration of compatibility. Whether you are building a new PC or simply adding memory to an existing system, it is of key importance that the memory you purchase is compatible with your motherboard. Most motherboards accept a specific standard of memory, SDRAM, DDR, DDR2 or RAMBUS. To determine what type of memory that your PC will accept, you can either consult your motherboards owners' manual, or, if this is not available, inspecting the motherboard for brand and model number will allow you to go online and determine the compatible memory type .

Generally a motherboard that accepts SDRAM will accept memory modules that have a higher rated speed in MHz than what is specified by the board's manufacturer. For example, if your current motherboard has a clock speed of 66MHz and accepts PC66 SDRAM, you can install either PC100 or PC133 RAM chips. The board will only utilize the memory at its maximum speed however, so a PC133 SDRAM module will only operate at 66MHz speed. It is important to determine what RAM speeds – MHz – that your board is compatible with before making a purchase.

You should also consult either you owners manual or online documentation to determine the maximum memory that your board will support and physically inspect the board to determine how many available memory slots there are. Usually you will want to use the largest and fastest RAM chips that your board will support and fill all available slots with matching memory speeds. For example, your board has three available slots and currently one is in use by a DDR PC2100 266MHz RAM module. You discover that your board will accept DDR RAM up to PC2700 333MHz speeds. If you were to fill the remaining to slots with PC2700 memory, your memory would only function at the speed of the slowest RAM module, in this case 266 MHz.

New vs. Used:

Due to the sheer amount of memory manufactured within the last years, you will find an abundance of used memory for sale. When it comes to getting the most for your money, it should be noted that purchasing used memory is a great way to save money while getting similar reliability and performance as compared to new. RAM has no moving parts to speak of and as such is highly durable and reliable.

Spend some time researching prices between new and used memory modules. If you can purchase used or refurbished modules from sellers who will offer warranties, you may be making a major mistake spending that extra money on new RAM.

A little research on your part can help you to not only ensure that you see the maximum performance out of your PC set up, but also go a long way toward saving you money both in the short and long term.

Copyright 2006 www.hcditrading.com , Brad Calli

Branding Vs Advertising Vs Promotions Vs Marketing Vs Public Relations

Many people are confused as to the differences between branding, advertising, promotions, and public relations. For that matter, the actual process of "marketing" is misunderstood just the same. To give you a basic understanding, marketing is not a one time event or activity, it is a process, a combination of things which blend together By definition, Marketing is the act of mixing product, price, place, and promotion. But first, on to …

Branding.
A great example of branding is Apple. IMac, iPod, iTouch, iPhone, iTunes. Get the point? Apple has created a massive brand strategy using the "i" element. Think of the Ritz-Carlton, LifeTime Family Fitness, Hilton Hotels, and what do you see? First class service, luxurious amenities, excellent service? Now, how about Best Western, 24-Hour Fitness, Motel 6? What kind of "Brand" is each of those? Can you see the contrast? What is your company brand? Are you sure? If you think you're a high-end facility, do you show it? Would you see the front desk clerk at the Ritz-Carlton wearing a button promoting the frequent guest club? Would you see a front desk clerk at a Motel 6 wearing a $ 1000 suit? Does everything you do, say, print, write, and provide consistent with your brand message? If not, you may want to consider who your true target audience is, and work at ensuring you continue to provide services that directly relate to them.

Advertising
Advertising is the actual process of displaying your message. Advertising on the radio … Advertising on tv … The one act of making something happen. Tie your Advertising and your Branding together, you have the Marketing Process. If you are just "advertising" without any direction, any goal, any unity, then you're just a lost puppy wandering aimlessly hoping someone will give you a good home.

Promotions
A promotion is typically a one-time event for a specific purpose or goal. Whereas marketing is ongoing, a promotion can be a one-day, one week, one-month, or even one-hour event. In retail, a "SALE" is typically a promotion. Car dealerships offering Zero percent interest is a limited time promotion. They typically have a specific start and end date, and have a very clear understanding of the ROI (return on Investment) any particular promotion should achieve to make it a success.

Public Relations
PR, or Public Relations, typically revolves around un-paid news sources and focuses on your business as it relates to the community. If you see a positive, or hopefully positive, story on the news or an article in the newspaper, this is the type of press a Public Relations firm may help you get. They have strong relationships with the news media and often feed them stories about their clients, in hopes of some free press. You, too, can harness the power of free press and public relations, although it can be difficult at times to get noticed, which is the PR firm's strongpoint.

Marketing
Marketing is the process that drives all the above elements. It directs the feel, image, and tone of the advertising, promotions and public relations. To each of these elements, there are experts in each of these fields. You can hire a company just to handle your branding, and another to handle your advertising, marketing, and yet another for your public relations. Of course, as a small business owner, you may not always have the budget for such companies. You can learn how to achieve the same results at http://TheMarketingWire.com and get the latest in marketing news, education and resources to help build and grow your business.

Five Multi-Channel Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake # 1: Nothing is Connected

Rather than setting up individual channels as lonely little islands on the internet, you can integrate them so they work together seamlessly and can be managed from a single, centralized tool. Hootsuite, for instance, gives you the ability to post content in the Hootsuite dashboard and automatically post it to any (or all) other channels through one easy-to-use interface. But if you do not have an integrated system, you risk spending too much time posting to individual channels or worse, not posting anything because the task looks too big and time consuming.

The Fix:

Integrate your marketing channels. By integrating marketing channels, you can work with a "write once, publish to many" model that saves time and ensures consistency across all your marketing. You may need some outside professional help with the integration work itself, but it is well worth it in the time and effort you'll save when making posts or running marketing campaigns in a multi-channel system.

Mistake # 2: New Information is Infrequent or Sporadic

Marketing is an ongoing activity – you can not just set up a website and a social profile or two and think that you're done. It is critical that you add new information, articles, posts, and comments on a regular basis. Without consistent activity, your marketing efforts will do little to promote your business, bring in new leads, or help build customer loyalty and engagement.

With sporadic or infrequent updates, you also open the door for your competitors to gain momentum, visibility, and new customers if your social profiles just sit there with little activity. It's important that you commit to a sustained, ongoing effort to "feed and care" for your multi-channel strategy in order for it to get results for your business.

The Fix:

Create a Content Pipeline. A Content Pipeline can be as simple as printing out a monthly calendar, then selecting the days you want to post or add new content to your website, social profiles, and / or other marketing channels. For example, if your business newsletter has three articles, you can use one article each week as a new social post, then share a link to an interesting blog post (on your website or elsewhere) as the post for the fourth week. Having everything planned out ahead of time makes it easy to keep information flowing smoothly in a multi-channel system.

Mistake # 3: No Mobile Site

  • There are more than one billion people using mobile devices today.
  • More than 61% of mobile users say that if they do not find a mobile site , they will immediately leave to keep searching for one.
  • 50% of users said that even if they liked a business, they would use it less often if the website does not work on a mobile device.

Still think you do not need a mobile site for your business?

A mobile site is not the same as a desktop site displayed on a smaller screen. Mobile sites have less content but are typically more focused and to the point. They also include unique features like click-to-call buttons, larger text, "thumb-friendly" navigation and links, etc. A regular desktop site when viewed on a mobile device is often very difficult to use, as the links and buttons are too tiny to use on a small touch screen, and the content is all but unreadable due to size.

The Fix:

If you do not have a mobile site, or if your regular desktop website is less-than-wonderful when viewed on a mobile device, consider adding a mobile website for your business.

Mobile devices are now the first screen of choice for users, meaning that more people could be accessing your website from a mobile phone or tablet than their PC or laptop. What type of mobile experience is waiting for your visitors?

About 93% of small businesses do NOT yet have a mobile website, so if you're one of them, this is a great opportunity to reach more customers right away, plus get a jump on your competitors!

Mistake # 4: Missing or Incorrect SEO

Ever since Google's Penguin and Panda updates in 2012, SEO techniques and ranking signals have changed – a lot. If you had SEO work done during or prior to 2012, chances are that the techniques used are not only outdated and non-standard today, but they could even work against you in the search engines (like sites with technical errors, old SEO tactics, Deprecated HTML, etc.).

Today, search engines have little regard for websites that are built with outdated, non-standard code, or that contain technical errors or outdated SEO tricks. If your site was optimized more than two years ago, it is probably time to re-evaluate the techniques used on your site and repair or correct as necessary.

If your site is not properly coded and optimized, it will eventually hurt your search engine positions.

The Fix:

Optimize your website, social profiles, email campaigns, and mobile campaigns so that everything meets with today's standards and gives the search engine spiders exactly the information they need to accurately read and index your online assets. Do not forget that content freshness, originality, and share-ability are now important ranking signals to Google, so make sure your multi-channel strategy is addressing these criteria as well.

Mistake # 5: Not Enough Quality Website Content

Google now counts quality content as one of its major ranking factors, so if your website has old content, has not been updated in a while, or has very little index-able content on the pages, it's time to fix it. Pages with only a couple of paragraphs of text, or pages with stale content, are going to be dropped in favor of pages that have fresh content and top-quality information, articles, and other original material.

The Fix:

Make sure your website has plenty of interesting, high-quality information that users will find compelling. Also make a plan for adding new content to your website at least monthly, and make sure that your content is fresher and of better quality than what your top competitors provide. Websites that do not have fresh, useful content are going to be dropped from the search results – do not let your site be one of them.

The Multi-Channel Advantage

By avoiding these five common mistakes in your multi-channel strategy you can more easily manage your online marketing efforts while gaining the benefits of increased customer engagement, a more visible online presence for your business, and improved search engine rankings – all at the same time .

The Top 5 Gadgets of 2012

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. Believe it or not they make the world go round. Whether we love them, hate them, need them, use them, or just plain want them; gadgets are cool. Yes, if nothing else they’re cool! Life can be tough at times and gadgets are there to make things a little easier (and have fun while doing so). It was a real shame to hear “Q” in the new Bond movie, Skyfall, say that gadgets are a thing of the past, part of an “old” generation and have gone out the window for Double “O” agents. Why do that? We want to see a gun doubling up as a homing beacon, or a trip wire dispenser. The bottom line is we all love gadgets and here are few to look out for this Christmas season.

HOME: – liGo BlueWave

Given the popularity of mobile phones, landlines are slowly becoming a thing of the past. But for those unwilling to carry their “hand extensions” everywhere they go so as to not miss a call, need look no further than the new liGo. Connect liGo to your mobile via Bluetooth technology and simply plug-in your landline. Now you can answer up to 3 different mobiles via your home phone (corded or cordless) and make use of dialling out with those 1000′s of unspent inclusive mobile minutes from anywhere in the home. Impressive, right? Especially useful for those of us whose mobile carrier signal suffers severe paralysis anywhere except for the most cumbersome of places. It’s fully iPhone Voice Dial and Siri compatible as well. What more could you ask for?

HEALTH/FITNESS: – Garmin 910XT

Looking to get fit and stay healthy? This little device may quickly become your best friend. Sporting all the goodness of Garmin that runners have come to love, this GPS watch will do more than just track your run. Non-runners, or those keener on other disciplines have swimming or cycling mode fully supported, along with multi-sport and triathlon mode – you’ll be sure to find fitness indoor or out a pleasure whatever the weather. With ANT+ wireless technology you can connect your foot pod or heart rate monitor (HRM) or both if you fancy and get instant feedback on up to 4 different workout statistics at once and full workout review upon completion at your PC. With accurate GPS tracking you’ll soon be pushing yourself harder, faster, and further than you ever have trying out the Xbox Kinect, and be “cool” while doing so. Although it comes with a steep price tag compared to simpler and cheaper models for fitness newbies unsure of whether fitness is for them, it’s a good a multi-sport fitness aid and one you’ll be sure to hold onto for many a year, the 910XT gives great bang for your buck in the long run.

FUN: Archos Gamepad

This 7-inch 1024×600 resolution device is truly built with gamers in mind. Packing Android 4.1 JellyBean straight out of the box, the Gamepad is a fully functioning tablet with a lot of twist. Under the hood, it boasts an impressive 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with a Rockchip RK3066, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with Micro SD support for more. The major appeal of the device is the built-in dedicated gaming buttons that most console and handheld gamers are used to with controls, buttons and triggers to keep everyone happy. Due on the market at any day, at a possible price tag of just over £100 this is one to look out for. Okay, it’s no PS Vita, but with an Android platform, HDMI port and all things tablet worthy, it’s not trying to be a one trick pony handheld console. An awesome gamer tablet it surely is.

TV: LG EA93 21:9 monitor

For the serious cinematic experience seekers look no further than the LG EA93 21:9 aspect ratio monitor. Sporting 1080p HD resolution but on a massive 2560 horizontal pixel display making it a visual utopia bettering the 16:9 by a mile and then some. Imagine coupling up 2 of these babies via its Dual-Link connectivity and we are talking one major screen viewing area. There’s the standard HDMI, USB 3.0 ports and others, giving you everything you need from a screen. Bear in mind though, it’s not the same height as an IMAX screen, but nothing is, so you’ll still get a little cropping here and there, so be warned. Otherwise, welcome to cinema at home.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Sony NEX-6

Although a love for film and all the darkroom developing fluid goodness that comes with it still has a place in many a heart, there’s nothing like having a good quality digital camera to hand when you want a good photography experience without lugging around your DSLR, and no, an iPhone simply won’t do. As a step between the NEX-5N and NEX-7 the NEX-6 is perfect for those wanting beautiful 16 megapixel photos in a small package. The APS-C sized sensor produces wondrous low light pictures, preferable over the NEX-7′s 24MP offerings, and you can pixel peep til your heart’s content on the flip out screen. Using the same amazing OLED viewfinder found on the NEX-7 and Alpha A99 models, manual focusing is a doddle, whilst if autofocus is your preferred modus operandi then it’s as fast and accurate as you can get in mirror-less technology, even if not quite beating the competition in the higher price bracket. With Wi-fi included in the body, uploading your pics couldn’t be faster or easier, using the PlayMemories app. Using Sony adapters you get compatibility for all your Alpha, Leica and third-party Tamron/Sigma lens offerings, meaning you can use your favourite lenses as usual just on a smaller scale.

So there you have it! A little something for everyone to dip their hands into. One thing’s for sure with these gadgets, you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you’ve tried them so jump on board, the ride is wild!