Types of RAM: How to Identify and their Specifications

There are many different types of RAM which have appeared over the years and it is often difficult knowing the difference between them both performance wise and visually identifying them. This article tells a little about each RAM type, what it looks like and how it performs.

FPM RAM
FPM RAM, which stands for “Fast Page Mode RAMÃ is a type of Dynamic RAM (DRAM). The term "Fast Page Mode" comes from the capability of memory being able to access data that is on the same page and can be done with less latency. Most 486 and Pentium based systems from 1995 and earlier use FPM Memory.

FPM RAM
FPM RAM



EDO RAM
EDO RAM, which stands for "Extended Data Out RAM" came out in 1995 as a new type of memory available for Pentium based systems. EDO is a modified form of FPM RAM which is commonly referred to as "Hyper Page Mode". Extended Data Out refers to fact that the data output drivers on the memory module are not switched off when the memory controller removes the column address to begin the next cycle, unlike FPM RAM. Most early Penitum based systems use EDO.

EDO RAM
EDO RAM



SDRAM
SDRAM , which is short for Synchronous DRAM is a type of DRAM that runs in synchronization with the memory bus. Beginning in 1996 most Intel based chipsets began to support SDRAM which made it a popular choice for new systems in 2001.
SDRAM is capable of running at 133MHz which is about three times faster than FPM RAM and twice as fast as EDO RAM. Most Pentium or Celeron systems purchased in 1999 have SDRAM.

SD RAM
SD RAM



DDR RAM
DDR RAM, which stands for "Double Data Rate" which is a type of SDRAM and appeared first on the market around 2001 but didn’t catch on until about 2001 when the mainstream motherboards started supporting it. The difference between SDRAM and DDR RAM is that instead of doubling the clock rate it transfers data twice per clock cycle which effectively doubles the data rate. DDRRAM has become mainstream in the graphics card market and has become the memory standard.

DDR RAM
DDR RAM



DDR2 RAM
DDR2 RAM, which stands for "Double Data Rate 2" is a newer version of DDR which is twice as fast as the original DDR RAM. DDR2RAM came out in mid 2003 and the first chipsets that supported DDR2 came out in mid 2004. DDR2 still is double data rate just like the original DDR however DDR2-RAM has modified signaling which enables higher speeds to be achieved with more immunity to signal noise and cross-talk between signals.

DDR2 RAM
DDR2 RAM



RAMBUS (RIMM) RAM
RAMBUS RDRAM is a type of ram of its own, it came out in 1999 and was developed from traditional DRAM but its architecture is totally new. The RAMBUS design gives smarter access to the ram meaning that units can prefetch data and free some CPU work. The idea behind RAMBUS RAM is to get small packets of data from the RAM, but at very high clock speeds. For example, SD RAM can get 64bit of information at 100MHz where RAMBUS RAM would get 16bits of data at 800MHz. RIMM ram was generally unsuccessful as Intel had a lot of problems with the RAM timing or signal noise. RD RAM did make an appearance in the Sony Playstation 2 and the Nintendo 64 game consoles.

RD RAM
RD RAM


Memory Module and Bus Standards/Bandwith

Module Standard Module Format Chip Type Clock Speed (MHz) Cycles per Clock Bus Speed (MT/s) Bus Width (Bytes) Transfer Rate (MBps)
FPM SIMM 60ns 22 1 22 8 177
EDO SIMM 60ns 33 1 33 8 266
PC66 SDR DIMM 10ns 66 1 66 8 533
PC100 SDR DIMM 8ns 100 1 100 8 800
PC133 SDR DIMM 7/7.5ns 133 1 133 8 1,066
PC1600 DDR DIMM DDR200 100 2 200 8 1,600
PC2100 DDR DIMM DDR266 133 2 266 8 2,133
PC2400 DDR DIMM DDR300 150 2 300 8 2,400
PC2700 DDR DIMM DDR333 166 2 333 8 2,667
PC3000 DDR DIMM DDR366 183 2 366 8 2,933
PC3200 DDR DIMM DDR400 200 2 400 8 3,200
PC3500 DDR DIMM DDR433 216 2 433 8 3,466
PC3700 DDR DIMM DDR466 233 2 466 8 3,733
PC4000 DDR DIMM DDR500 250 2 500 8 4,000
PC4200 DDR DIMM DDR533 266 2 533 8 4,266
PC2-3200 DDR2 DIMM DDR2-400 200 2 400 8 3,200
PC2-4200 DDR2 DIMM DDR2-533 266 2 533 8 4,266
PC2-5300 DDR2 DIMM DDR2-667 333 2 667 8 5,333
PC2-6000 DDR2 DIMM DDR2-750 375 2 750 8 6,000
PC2-6400 DDR2 DIMM DDR2-800 400 2 800 8 6,400
PC2-7200 DDR2 DIMM DDR2-900 450 2 900 8 7,200
PC2-8000 DDR2 DIMM DDR2-1000 500 2 1000 8 8,000
RIMM1200 RIMM-16 PC600 300 2 600 2 1,200
RIMM1400 RIMM-16 PC700 350 2 700 2 1,400
RIMM1600 RIMM-16 PC800 400 2 800 2 1,600
RIMM2100 RIMM-16 PC1066 533 2 1066 2 2,133
RIMM2400 RIMM-16 PC1200 600 2 1200 2 2,400
RIMM3200 RIMM-32 PC800 400 2 800 4 3,200
RIMM4200 RIMM-32 PC1066 533 2 1066 4 4,266
RIMM4800 RIMM-32 PC1200 600 2 1200 4 4,800


Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
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Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

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