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My machine certainly isn't the newest one. It can handle most current games when I turn down the settings to medium/low. Core specs are (according to SiSoft Sandra):

CPU: Intel i5-2500 RAM: 4GB of RAM Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 2850 1GB

I don't have any money to buy a new system, but I guess I can afford to upgrade my RAM to 8 or 12GB, hoping it will improve my performance a bit.

My problem is that I'm not that good when it comes to hardware and compatibility. I simply don't know if RAM I see in an online store will work in my machine. Please help me understand this.

SiSoft Sandra gives me the following details for my RAM:

Speichermodul
Hersteller : Kingston
Modell : 99U5458-005A01LF
Serialnummer : 112B8368
Typ : 4GB DIMM DDR3
Technologie : 8x(2048Mx8)
Geschwindigkeit : PC3-10700U DDR3-1334
Monitor Standard Timings : 9-9-9-25 4-34-10-5
Version : 1.00
Herstellungsdatum : Sonntag, 10. September 2017
Setze Takt @ 457MHz : 6-6-6-16 3-22-7-3
Setze Takt @ 533MHz : 7-7-7-19 3-26-8-4
Setze Takt @ 610MHz : 8-8-8-22 4-30-9-5
Setze Takt @ 686MHz : 9-9-9-25 4-34-10-5

Well, I guess I get the "DDR3" part, I can search for that in online stores. But it get's tricky after that. I see "1334" in the description of some RAM modules, but also "1334 low voltage" - are they compatible? Then it says "PC3-10700U". I can't find that in the stores (atelco.de for example) at all, the closest I see is "PC3-10667U". Did they just round up? And then there is a value for latency (I guess). CL7, CL9, CL2, CL10, ... what do I need?


Edit: As requested in the comments here are the mainboard information as shown by Sandra:

Hersteller : MSI
MP Unterstützung : Nein
MPS Version : 1.40
Modell : H61M-E33 (MS-7680)
Typ : Mainboard
Version : 2.0
System BIOS : 63-0100-000001-00101111-030211-Chipset
Anzahl von Speichersteckplätzen : 4
Maximal installierbarer Speicher : 32GB
A1_BANK0 - A1_DIMM0 : Kingston 99U5458-005.A01LF 112B8368 A1_AssetTagNum0 DIMM Synchron DDR3 4GB/64 @ 1.33GHz
A1_BANK1 - A1_DIMM1 : Leer
A1_BANK2 - A1_DIMM2 : Leer
A1_BANK3 - A1_DIMM3 : Leer

(sorry it's in German, but I think it should be understandable. If not, please ask and I will try and translate)

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You should probably verify that that's actually your bottleneck, otherwise it's a waste of money. When you are experiencing trouble, is your RAM 100% used? –  nerdwaller Nov 13 '13 at 21:32
    
The best way to purchase memory is to check the motherboard manual have you done that? –  Ramhound Nov 13 '13 at 22:20
    
To add to @Ramhound comment: A method to check Hardware spec (without going through finding your original invoice, or opening up your PC / Laptop) is use HWInfo. It will tell you what motherboard it have (and all hardware attached to it), and once you have the motherboard details you can look up what kind of RAM the motherboard supports, and buy RAM accordingly. –  Darius Nov 14 '13 at 0:13
    
We can give you much better advice if we know what motherboard you have. It sounds like your best option is to get another 4GB module that's as similar to this one as possible. That will give you dual channel memory if you install it correctly. –  David Schwartz Nov 14 '13 at 0:41
    
Edit: can't seem to format comments correctly, will edit original post to include mainboard information –  Konadi Nov 14 '13 at 1:41
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1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

As long as you get at least 10667, you should be fine. I tend to get slightly faster and use it at lower ratings, as higher rated sticks tend to be more stable / compatible at lower speeds.

You shouldn't have to worry about CL7/CL9 etc. Just get a part that is DDR3 and PC-10667 or better, and install it. Your BIOS will usually recognize it when you install it and you're good to go - no fiddling, no hassle.

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Nothing wrong with under-rating your hardware, but why (rhetorical 'why' seeing as how you explain your reasoning)? It's a waste of money to buy more expensive RAM and use it at lower settings. I'd recommend buying what you need - RAM is rated at a certain speed for a reason. –  valsidalv Nov 13 '13 at 23:05
    
Fair point. My reasoning was around the fact that generally there is little (if any) price difference between RAM speed bumps [of the same brand]. For example, a basic Crucial PC-10667 stick is running for $63, whereas the same qty of PC-12800 is running for $64. –  Joshua Nov 14 '13 at 1:53
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