Once you have chosen your motherboard and CPU, the type of RAM you need to use is pretty well already defined. There remain two issues in your decision - the speed of the RAM and what amount of RAM you chose to purchase. Puget Systems sells only high quality RAM, and all of the brands / types we offer have lifetime warranties from their manufacturer!
When deciding how much RAM to buy, you need to think a little bit about what you plan on using your computer system for. If you plan to run many programs at once or work with large files, then you stand to receive large benefits by buying more RAM. We recommend a minimum of 2GB of memory for all of our systems, and the upper limit is only determined by your motherboard and operating system. Each motherboard will have a certain number of slots, each of which can support a certain size module - this will be shown on the specs page for each board, and our configuration tool will limit your choices accordingly. On the operating system side, 32-bit versions of Windows are restricted to about 3 - 3.5GB of memory at most; installing any more than 3 or 4GB if you plan to use one of those versions becomes a waste. 64-bit editions have a much higher maximum, effectively beyond what almost any motherboard can support; for more info on that topic check out this article.
There are three factors that affect the speed of memory, which are outlined below:
1) Memory type - DDR (double data rate), DDR2, DDR3, etc. Each new standard allows for higher bandwidth, discussed next, but usually at the cost of higher latency (the third factor). There are also other improvements made with each generation, though, which can contribute to better performance. The type of motherboard you have selected will make this choice for you, unless you want to go back and change that the only things that you need to be concerned about are the next two.
2) Bandwidth, measured in MB/s (PC3-12800, as an example, theoretically provides 12,800MB/s) or MHz (PC3-12800 is also known as DDR3-1600, for 1600MHz). The more bandwidth there is the more total memory can be moved around per second, which can help with some programs - but since all memory today is high-speed in this regard it doesn't make a massive difference.
3) Latency, measured in clock cycles. This will sometimes be broken out into several specs, like 8-8-8-24, or often just shortened to one - like CL8 (CAS Latency 8). Lower latency means that when a bit of data is requested it takes less time to find it, which translates to slightly faster overall performance. Often this can actually have a larger impact that memory bandwidth, but different applications are more sensitive to each aspect of memory performance.
Some specialized types of memory also have other attributes, like ECC (Error Checking and Correcting) or REG (Registered). Those usually only matter in servers and other specific situations, but if you have questions about them or any other part of configuring a computer please feel free to contact us.
|DDR4-3200 16GB||DDR4-3200 32GB||DDR4-3200 8GB ECC Reg.||DDR4-3200 16GB ECC Reg.||DDR4-3200 32GB ECC Reg.||DDR4-3200 64GB ECC Reg.||Samsung DDR4-3200 128GB ECC Reg||DDR5-4800 16GB||DDR5-4800 32GB||Kingston SODIMM DDR5-4800 16GB||Kingston SODIMM DDR5-4800 32GB|
|Number of Modules||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|Memory per Module||16GB||32GB||16GB||32GB||64GB||128GB||16GB||32GB||16GB||32GB|
|Memory Type||DDR4||DDR4||DDR4||DDR4||DDR4||DDR4 RDIMM||DDR5||DDR5||DDR5 SODIMM||DDR5 SODIMM|
|Speed Rating||PC4-25600||PC4-25600||PC4-25600||PC4-25600||PC4-25600||PC4-25600||PC5 38400||PC5 38400||PC5 38400||PC5 38400|
|Actual Speed||3200 MT/s||3200 MT/s||3200 MT/s||3200 MT/s||3200 MT/s||3200 MT/s||4800 MT/s||4800 MT/s||4800 MT/s||4800 MT/s|
|Voltage||1.2 Volts||1.2 Volts||1.2 Volts||1.2 Volts||1.2 Volts||1.2 Volts||1.1 Volts||1.1 Volts||1.1 Volts||1.1 Volts|
|Net Weight||0.017 kg||0.019 kg||0.017 kg||0.019 kg||0.022 kg||.05 kg||0.22 kg||0.22 kg||0.017 kg||0.017 kg|