When it comes to memory or RAM, it’s a required part of building any computer system. RAM comes in two form factors – DIMM, and SODIMM. DIMM stands for dual inline memory module, and SODIMM stands for Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module. If you are building a desktop computer, then it’s the DIMMs that you need. If ordering a laptop, it will likely already come with SODIMM modules. It’s important to understand the distinction between RAM and a hard drive. A hard drive is for storing information, while RAM is volatile and any information stored in the memory is erased when the computer is restarted.
DDR is a simple sequence of improvements. It started with DDR (or just DDR1)…. well really, it was called SD RAM. Then came DDR2, 3, and now 4. As each DDR series was released, RAM became faster, more powerful, etc. The bus speed of the RAM (or clock speed) increases with each series. Newer motherboards using the Intel LGA 1151 socket or the AM4 AMD socket use DDR4 RAM. Easy to remember, right? AM4 motherboard, means DDR4 RAM.
The clock speeds supported with DDR4 memory are DDR41600 up to DDR43200. The module names begin with PC4-12800 and go up to PC4-25600 respectively. The memory clock speed @ DDR41600 is 200 mhz and DDR43200 is 400 Mhz.
The clock speeds of DDR3 are DDR3-800 up to DDR3-1600. The memory clock is 100 mhz up to 200 mhz respectively. You can see that with DDR4, the capability is there to improve the clock speed up to twice as fast as possible with DDR3.
Minimum 4 GB RAM
At the time of this writing (late 2018), the only two RAM form factors that currently make sense are DDR3 and DDR4. DDR3 is quickly becoming irrelevant, with DDR4 the current defacto standard. With that being said, in today’s age the minimum amount of RAM you want to have is 4 GB. In most cases, it’s best to have 8 GB. If you’re running games, you’ll definitely need a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. If you want to play high end games, 16 GB of RAM is good to have.