Tips for Upgrading Memory
- The first step to upgrading the memory in your computer is to either restart the computer and enter the BIOS Setup Utility or use the automated feature mentioned in the next paragraph. On the BIOS Main page, verify how many memory slots are not populated. If all slots are populated, you must replace existing memory modules with memory modules of the same type, but with more megabytes (MB).
- Gateway has two automated methods on the Gateway Web site to assist in determining which kind of memory is installed in your computer.
- Memory Locator - Gateway makes it easy for you to locate the correct memory for your computer. The Gateway Memory Locator feature offers Gateway Certified Memory upgrades specific to your serial number.
- Serial Number entry - On the Support Home page, enter the serial number of the computer being upgraded. This method searches our database for that computer's original configuration using the computer's serial number as a reference point. As the information is retrieved, it is displayed in your browser and stored on your computer for quick reference when you want to review it again.
- On the configuration screen, look for the entry called "memory". The description gives the details on how much memory and the type of memory that was originally installed in the computer. Memory modules used for upgrading need to match the modules already installed in respect to the following categories except for size:
- Size: Memory modules are listed by how much random access memory (RAM) is contained on the module. Memory modules come in multiples of 16. The most common are 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, and 512 MB. Refer to the product specifications on your computer's motherboard for maximum size of memory modules that are supported.
- Category: Memory modules are generally categorized as single-inline memory modules (SIMMs), dual-inline memory modules (DIMMs), or Rambus dynamic RAM (RDRAM) interface memory modules (RIMMs). Sub-categories of DIMMs are single data rate (SDRAM) and double data rate (DDR) memory modules. SIMMs and DIMMs can be used as a single unit. RIMMs need to be used as a pair or in conjunction with a RIMM Continuity Module (C-RIMM).
- Parity: The next item to know is whether the memory module in the computer is parity (ECC) or non-parity (non-ECC). Most Gateway desktop computers use non-ECC memory.
- Speed: Another item to know is the speed of the memory module. This information can be found either on the configuration pages or on the Main page of the BIOS information. SIMMs normally have the speed annotated by nanoseconds (ns) only. DIMMs and RIMMs have a rating like PC66, PC100, PC133, PC266, PC333, PC600, PC800 or PC1066 with an optional secondary rating of nanoseconds.
Note: Do not mix memory speeds or install memory that has a faster rating than the motherboard. This will stop the computer from starting, report less memory than you just installed, or cause errors in the operating system. e.g. If you are using PC133 with undesired results, try PC100, etc.
- Clock-cycles: The clock (4-clock, 2-clock) speed is vital in determining if the DIMM is compatible with the motherboard. This information is generally available in the specifications of the memory module already installed in the computer.
- Technology: As products change, so does technology. Newer memory modules may be faster and have more capacity than what is presently in your computer. The motherboard in your computer has to be compatible with the technology that it is based on. Some memory modules are based on 64-bit and 128-bit technology, while others are based on 256-bit technology. Refer to the specifications of your motherboard to ensure compatibility.
- Placing the memory module on the motherboard is done by aligning the notches of the memory module with the notches in the slots on the motherboard and pressing down until the latches rotate up to hold the module in place.
Note: Some desktop cases may need to have drives or cables temporarily removed for access to the memory slots. Specific information on the procedure to install memory modules can be found in your computer's user guide.