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Choosing Your SDRAM
by Dean Kent, Real World Technologies
Though SDRAM has been available for several years, there is still some misinformation being spread in the marketplace about the speed and performance benefits. There is a lot of marketing hype, and very little accurate information that is readily available. Even many of the vendors who sell the products and web sites that claim to de-mystify the terminology do not fully understand the technology, and therefore contribute to the problem. This results in many users asking how to determine if a given module is PC100 compliant, or whether CAS2 is better than CAS3, or will PC100 SDRAM work in an old motherboard. The purpose of this article is to explain the technical concepts behind the buzzwords and manufacturers' claims, to arm you better as you set out to find the memory that is right for you.
Note from the Editor: This is an
advanced article with some potentially confusing topics; unfortunately, the nature of
SDRAM today is that it is confusing, and if you really want to understand all of
the nuances of how the technology works, you have to "get your hands a bit
dirty". If you have not yet done so, it is strongly recommended that you read the System Memory section of the Reference Guide; and you
should also review the section on SDRAM if it is
new to you.
Next: DRAM Basics