Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Adding RAM & Saving $$$

Computers need memory to function.

When it comes to running "big" programs or multi-tasking (i.e. burning dvd's, surfing the net, running applications, etc.), the computer may lag (or slow down) if it doesn't have enough available resources. One of those resources is its memory or Random Access Memory or "RAM."

One possible solution to this is to add more RAM. I could pay others to do this for me or I could purchase and install the RAM, myself, saving myself time, money, and trouble. That's what I chose to do.

So, what steps did I take? The one that saved me over $200!
  • I went to (link in the margin).
  • I used their MEMORY ADVISOR TOOL to choose RAM for my computer.
  • I chose 2GB of RAM (two 1GB RAM chips).
  • Crucial's prices were the lowest, so I made the purchase Friday, 5/4/7.
  • Shipping was free since my order was over $40.
  • The RAM was delivered, Tuesday, 5/8/7. (2 business days.)
Once the RAM arrived, I needed it installed, so I grabbed a small screwdriver, my laptop, and my Treo (to take pictures). Then I sat down at my desk.

For simplicity's sake, I'll just show pictures of the installation of the new RAM. Removing the old RAM was basically the same process in-reverse: (click on any photo to enlarge)
1) First, I turned off the laptop, removed the laptop battery (w/ battery symbol), pressed the power button (again), removed the RAM "door" or panel (w/ computer chip symbol), and removed the old RAM*.
2) I kept one hand on some metal part of the computer casing, at all times, so static electricity wouldn't damage the computer components.

3) There are two slots for the RAM. I removed each new 1GB RAM chip from its static-free packaging, then slid one into the lower slot at a 45-degree angle. (There's a groove that ensures that I won't put it in upside-down or backwards.)
4) Next, I pushed the chip down to a 0-degree angle until the clips "click" and hold the RAM securely into place.
5) That's one down. Now, I push the second 1GB RAM chip into the upper RAM slot, at a 45-degree angle.6) Then I pushed the RAM down to a 0-degree angle or flat until the metal clips click, holding the RAM securely into place.7) Then, I replaced the cover or "door." In the upper-right corner of this image, you can see the old RAM being temporarily stored in the opening where the battery used to be.8) I used the small screwdriver to secure the door/cover and that was that.9) I'll probably sell the old RAM (which, of course, recoups some of what I spent), so I put it in the static-free packaging that the new RAM used to be in.
I know some of my readers try to avoid advertising other people's products for free and, to some extent, I agree. However, I think we, as consumers, benefit when we pool our knowledge and experience, sharing information about products and services we do or don't dig.

That's what I've done here and I hope it proves helpful to someone out there. Of course, this applied to my situation so your mileage may vary. Consult your own devices' documentation before any do-it-yourself'ing.

In my case, I paid about $104 plus tax for 2GB of RAM from Crucial, paid nothing for shipping, installed it for free, and didn't have to do without my computer for x-amount of hours or days.
Final price: $104 plus tax

According to Best Buy's site, 2GB of RAM would've cost about $270 plus tax. It would've cost a minimum of $3.99 to ship (unless I got it at a local store) and my experience tells me that it would've cost around $50 for Best Buy's "Geek Squad" to install it for me.
Final estimated price: $320 plus tax

Total Savings: $216 plus tax

* - Removing the old RAM simply required doing the following (while holding a metal part of the computer case):
a) Pulling the (top) two metal clips open until the RAM chip pops up to a 45-degree angle.
b) Pulling the (top) old RAM out.
c) Pulling the (bottom) two metal clips open until the RAM chip pops up to a 45-degree angle.
b) Pulling the (bottom) old RAM out.


DJ Black Adam said...

Informative. Great post.

B. Good said...

Go-go gadget West!

Remnants of U said...

Great info! I didn't realize that Best Buy cost so much...and no shipping, hmm thanks!