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6.2. HOW TO READ A BANK SCHEMA
A bank schema is a diagram of rows and columns that shows the
number of memory sockets in your system. This diagram is a
theoretical bank layout and not an actual system board layout; it
is designed to help you quickly determine configuration
requirements when adding memory modules.
In a bank schema, each represents a memory
Example: = 4 memory sockets
Each column in the diagram represents a memory bank. The
number of " " symbols in a column represents the number of memory
sockets in a bank. Upgrading is performed one bank at a time. For
example, if there are four columns with two in each column, upgrading is done two
modules at a time. However, if there is just a single row of
, upgrading may be
performed one module at a time.
8 sockets =
(Modules may be installed one at a time in any combination)
(Modules must be installed two at a time)
|8 sockets (4 banks of 2)
|4 sockets (1 bank of 4)
|(Modules must be installed
at a time)
The standard memory (base amount that the system was shipped
with) appears in the diagram as either removable or
Removable memory comes in the form of modules that fit into
memory sockets, and, if desired, can be removed and replaced with
modules of higher capacity. Removable memory is represented by a
"" symbol with a number
next to it: 4 that a 4MB module is in the first
socket and that the second socket is empty.
Non-removable memory usually comes in the form of memory
chips soldered directly onto the system board. It is represented in
the bank schema in brackets: [_4MB_] indicates 4MB of non-removable
memory soldered onto the board and two available memory
If your system is not included in the configurator, you may be able
to find out how many sockets are in the system and how many are
filled by pressing the F1 key during system startup. If your system
supports this, a screen will appear that indicates how many memory
sockets are in the system, which ones are filled and which are
open, and what capacity modules are in each socket. If pressing the
F1 key during startup doesn't produce this result, check your
computer's system manual for more information.
As a last resort, you can open your computer and take a look at the
sockets. (Important Note: Before removing the cover of your
computer, refer to the computer's system manual and warranty
information for instructions and other relevant information.) If
you do open the computer, you may be able to identify "bank labels"
that indicate whether memory are installed in pairs. Bank numbering
typically begins with 0 instead of 1. So, if you have two banks,
the first bank will be labeled "bank 0", and the second bank will
be labeled "bank 1."
HOW SHOULD I FILL THE SOCKETS?
In most cases, it's best to plan your memory upgrade so you won't
have to remove and discard the memory that came with the computer.
The best way to manage this is to consider the memory configuration
when you first buy the computer. Because lower-capacity modules are
less expensive and more readily available, system manufacturers may
achieve a base configuration by filling more sockets with
lower-capacity modules. By way of illustration, consider this
scenario: a computer system with 64MB standard memory comes with
either two (2) 32MB modules or one (1) 64MB module. In this case,
the second configuration is the better choice because it leaves
more room for growth and reduces the chance that you'll have to
remove and discard lower-capacity modules later. Unless you insist
on the (1) 64MB module configuration, you may find yourself with
only one socket left open for upgrading later.
Once you have purchased a computer and are planning your first
upgrade, plan to buy the highest-capacity module you think you may
need, especially if you only have one or two sockets available for
upgrading. Keep in mind that, in general, minimum memory
requirements for software applications double every 12 to 18
months, so a memory configuration that's considered large today
will seem much less so a year from now.
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