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Computer memory for your Windows environment

In this guide, Contributor Bernie Klinder reviews computer memory types, chips and memory form factors differences and explains how to determine computer memory needs for your Windows environment.

For network administrators, computer memory is the performance lifeblood of our components -- especially in a Windows environment. Providing workstations and servers with adequate computer memory affects processor speeds, upgrades in disk subsystems or other software-based performance tweaks.

You may know that, but you may not be familiar with the basic differences among computer memory types or what the advantage or disadvantage may be when choosing one memory type over another for a server or workstation.

Typically, the systems manufacturer and/or the type of motherboard limits the choice of memory that's available. To start, computer memory chips are classified by several different criteria, including:

  • Memory form factor: the type and size of the memory module on which the chips are mounted.

  • Memory chip type: the method used to store memory (static or dynamic) as well as the specific technology used on the memory chip (EDO, SDRAM, DDR).

In this computer memory guide I will explain the various memory form factors and chip types. In short, you'll walk away understanding the basic difference between SO DIMM and MicroDIMM, and be an expert on how to choose memory for your server or workstation.

I've broken the guide into four sections: Form factors, Memory types, Types of DRAM, and Error-Correcting Code (ECC) memory and parity.


 Home: Introduction
  Form Factors
  Memory Types
  Types of DRAM
  Error Correcting Code and Parity

About the Author: Bernie Klinder is a technology consultant for a number of Fortune 500 companies. He is also the founder and former editor of, a comprehensive resource index for IT professionals who support Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 and BackOffice products. For his contributions to the information technology community, Bernie was selected as an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) by Microsoft.

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