We encounter the question of what RAM is compatible with our PC daily, but perhaps never correctly answer it. This is because many factors must be considered when you want to buy new modules, which can make things quite confusing for users who are still starting in the world of overclocking.
What is a motherboard?
A motherboard is a printed circuit board on which the essential components of a computer are housed. These include, but are not limited to: CPU, graphics card (if any), memory, and expansion cards such as WiFi or sound cards. The circuitry that allows these components to communicate with each other is located within the motherboard.
For this very reason we decided to write an article about it and today we will see together which memory types are compatible with most motherboards on the market (both Intel and AMD) and which brands have a global or regional distribution. In addition, we'll also list some tips regarding compatibility problems, as well as some tricks you can use to determine if your motherboard is compatible with a specific type of RAM.
The type of memory you choose must be compatible with the capabilities of your computer's motherboard. Your computer was built to take advantage of one of the following types of memory technology:
- SDR (single data rate) technology primarily appeared in systems manufactured before 2002.
- DDR (double data rate) technology began to appear in systems manufactured in 2002.
- DDR2 (second generation double data rate) technology began to appear in 2004.
- DDR3 technology began to appear in 2007.
- DDR4 technology began to appear in 2014.
Each type of memory is commonly used with a different motherboard, but the same type of memory can be installed on your motherboard if it's compatible. Some motherboards allow installing more than one type of RAM, while others only use a single type. It depends on the model and revision of your specific motherboard. In addition to this, new revisions may come with updates that will add compatibility for certain types of RAM or new technologies that weren't available at release or from previous revisions.
The easiest way to determine compatibility is to read your motherboard's manual. Most motherboards have a list of compatible memory modules, but they may be hidden deep in the documentation or buried under dozens of pages. We recommend using an Internet search engine to look for "your motherboard model + specifications" and then searching within the results.
If you are unable to find the information you're looking for, try contacting technical support directly, as some manufacturers provide direct access to this type of information on their websites.
The new DDR4 technology uses a different architecture that is not compatible with previous technologies, just like DDR3 was not compatible with DDR2 or DDR1 memory types.