While shopping for computer upgrades, you may have seen the terms "PC5300" and "PC2700" in reference to a computer's RAM and wondered about their significance. These terms refer to different types of computer memory, and understanding how they differ can prevent you from purchasing a computer upgrade that you will be unable to use.
PC2700 and PC5300 are two different types of RAM, used as the main system memory in a computer. However, they are based on different technologies. PC2700 is a type of DDR-SDRAM, while PC5300 is DDR2-SDRAM. The two types of RAM are not physically compatible. In desktop computers, DDR2-SDRAM modules have a greater number of pins. In notebooks, DDR2-SDRAM modules have a specially-positioned notch which prevents them from being inserted into the incorrect type of upgrade slot. You cannot upgrade the memory in your computer to PC5300 RAM if you are currently using PC2700 RAM.
The naming convention for DDR-SDRAM is based on the amount of data that the RAM is able to transfer per second. PC2700 RAM can transfer a maximum of 2,700 MB/sec, while PC5300 RAM can transfer up to 5,333 MB/sec.
Although PC5300 RAM is able to transfer data up to twice as quickly as PC2700, it actually costs less to purchase. This is because there are few computer motherboards still in production that utilise DDR-SDRAM, resulting in lower demand for the RAM modules themselves. As of 2009, expect to spend £45 for 2 GB of PC2700 RAM in 2009, as opposed to £19 for 2 GB of PC5300 RAM.
Identify the type of RAM in your computer by examining the instruction manual for the computer or motherboard, or by examining the RAM modules themselves. Most RAM modules have a sticker that clearly identifies the RAM manufacturer, type of RAM (DDR vs. DDR2), and speed (PC2700 vs PC5300).
PC2700 and PC5300 RAM are based on DDR-SDRAM and DDR2-SDRAM respectively, both of which are older technologies. Although many computers using DDR2-SDRAM are still in production, this RAM technology will eventually be replaced by the newer DDR3-SDRAM, which provides speeds of up to 12,800 MB/sec. This increased speed will become necessary as computer processors continue to grow faster.
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