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published 18/12/2003 | mdstone
Member since : 11/07/2000
Reviews : 114
Members who trust : 98
About me :
Many thanks to those who read and rate my reviews. Just remember, an opinion is just an opinion and everyone is entitled to one!
Pro cheap prices, good customer service
Cons Haven't found one yet!
very helpful




Wether you're an expert when it comes to upgrading PCs, a beginner who doesn't have a clue, or you're somewhere in the middle, Crucial can satisfy all your memory upgrade needs to boost your PC performance.

What is memory? (skip this part if your not a beginner)

Memory, or RAM (Random Access Memory), is a crucial component in any PC. It is where the Operating System, applications and data that is currently in use are kept in order for them to be quickly accessed by the processor. The more RAM you have in your PC, the more data that can be stored in memory and the quicker data will be accessed. The data inside a RAM module (memory stick) is different to that of a Hard Disk or floppy disk, as the data is only there for as long as your PC is running. If you turn off your PC, the memory loses its data, but when it is turned back on, the operating system and current tasks are loaded back into memory through the use of the Hard Disk.

Sometimes we also use Virtual Memory, which is additional memory that is allocated on your Hard Disk and not RAM, as an overflow if the RAM is running slow. However, this is much slower to access and read from.

RAM is often compared to a person's short-term memory.

How do I know what RAM to buy for my PC?

There are a number of ways you can find out what RAM you have in your PC.

1) The first thing to do would be to check your computer or motherboard (mainboard) manual and locate the section on RAM. It should tell you here, what RAM your PC can take, it's speed, it's type and the maximum configuration.

2) If you are buying from Crucial, then you will be getting inside your PC in order to fit your new RAM. So if you open your PC case having switched off your PC and unplugged all your cables, you can quickly locate your RAM, which should be one or more green sticks of memory slotted into a thin black RAM slot. These will normally be 2 or more slots right next to one another somewhere near the processor (which has a large heatsink fan on top of it!). A diagram in your manual will also point out its exact location.
Once you know where it is, you can remove the memory by un-clipping the white clip that locks the RAM in place and lifting them out gently.
If you look at the sticker on the side of the RAM, it should tell you the speed, size and type, such as PC2100, 256MB and DDR.

3) Using the Crucial site will also tell you what RAM is in your machine. Make sure you select the United Kingdom site on the home page and then select your make of PC system from the drop down menu in the middle of the screen.
Once you have located your PC model from a selection of drop down menus, you will be presented with a list of your system's RAM details.
If for example you were to do a search on a Compaq 2120, you would discover that your PC requires EDO RAM with the following information:
Maximum memory: 128MB
Standard memory: 16MB removable
Slots: 4 (2 banks of 2)

4) If you 'right-click' 'My computer' on your desktop (for MS operating systems) and choose 'Properties', you should arive at the 'general' tab displaying information about your PC. Here you can see how much RAM you have in your system, although it will not tell you what type.

Using the Crucial site

Most people who buy from Crucial will know what type of memory they are looking for, and the site is well designed enough for you to find what you require.

cliking the 'Memory Upgrades' link from the home page will present you with a page consisting of 'Top System upgrades', the system search facility that I described above, and a drop down menu to search for memory by type.

When I look for prices on my RAM, I know that I will need PC2100 DDR RAM, so from this list I can easily select DDR PC2100, 184-pin DIMM and a list of all this type of RAM will be shown together with the price.

If you are unsure whether to buy SODIMM or DIMM, the answer is simple. SODIMM RAM modules are much smaller than that of a DIMM module and are used in laptops. DIMM modules are used in PCs and this is what you will require.

Buying from Crucial

Once you have selected what RAM you want to buy, you won't have to worry about security, as the site is very secured with encryption of your card details.
I have been buying from Crucial for more than 4 years and never had a problem with them.

You may wonder what the difference is in buying RAM from Crucial, compared to other online sites?, well Crucial specialise in memory, so you know you are looking at quality for a good price.
The memory that you buy also comes with a lifetime warantee!, so if you ever have a problem with it, you can send it back and they will insue you with a replacement.

Crucial Technology are a divison of Micron Technology Inc, so don't get confused when you receive an e-mail from as confirmation of your order when you buy.

RAM prices

The prices of memory are very competitve. You can expect to pay around £48 inc VAT and delivery for a 512MB DDR PC2100 module and around £25 for 128MB SDRAM PC133.

Ocasionally Crucial do a web offer where they reduce the prices of certain RAM, so look out for these in order to take full advantage.

As the prices of memory goes up and down all the time, there is never a good time to buy, but be assured that Crucial always update their prices and you can even sign up for the newsletter to keep you posted.

Returning Items

Crucial ask that you return faulty goods by Royal Mail Special Delivery as proof of purchase is not enough. This will set you back about £3, but it's a small price to pay when Crucial don't charge you for returning.

Before sending any faulty items back to Crucial, you will need to send them an e-mail, which they normally reply to within 2-3 working days to get an RMA number.

Once you have the RMA number, you can return the item to Crucial at their address, and when they recieve your item, they will send out a replacement.

I have only ever had to return 2 items to Crucial and both times I had received a replacement within 3 days of returning the faulty item.

As if that wasn't enough, they also give you a tracking number for your item by e-mail, so you can trace it wherever it is.

Further help

In the customer support section of Crucial, there is a link to the Crucial 'Live Chat', where you can speak to a memory expert online, which is open from 7am-6pm.

I have used this service before and it was great. I connected to the live chat, spoke to an expert within minutes and managed to get an RAM number to return one of my RAM modules that were faulty.

Final Thought

I have spent a lot of money buying RAM from Crucial over the years and never had a problem with them. Their customer service is excellent and they are a well respected company with cheap prices. Crucial should be your first stop for memory and i'm sure you will find nothing but good reviews on them by other members.

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Comments on this review

  • pcwiz11 published 01/09/2010
    Very well written. Good job!
  • Louise90 published 04/09/2005
    Really good review! Well worth the E! Louise. x
  • Lil_Miss_Pink published 04/02/2004
    Ex! op... easy to understand... good info :)
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Type: Computers & Electronics

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Listed on Ciao since: 26/02/2001