Off the shelf, netbooks are priced and designed for affordability and portability. Oftentimes, this leaves netbooks wanting in the speed and performance department. While most netbooks cannot be upgraded to match the performance of desktops and higher end laptops, you can squeeze a bit more speed out of them by upgrading their RAM. It's a low cost upgrade, and one that's well worth it for anyone who intends to do any level of multitasking on their netbooks.
The Type of RAM
There are two common types of RAM for computers: DDR2 and DDR3. Although DDR3 is inherently faster than DDR2 most systems have not been designed to take full advantage of the speed increase, so the large jump in price from DDR2 to DDR3 is not really worth it. That being said, since most netbooks come with 1 GB of RAM the next step up is 2 GB. For each of these, unless there is some sort of sale going on at a local store you know of it is cheaper to buy online, and the prices will be listed as so.
The Top Five
Crucial 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM
One of the largest memory chip manufacturers in the world, Crucial has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings. Not only do they make RAM chips, but also solid state drives and both are noted for their reliability. The lowest price for a new 2 GB RAM module is around $29 without shipping.
G. Skill 2 GB DDR2 SO-DIMM
This company doesn’t have as much of a presence in the United States so it might not be as well known, but it promises high-quality products and delivers. Even with this increase in quality there is a drop in price. Some other well known companies sell modules with the same specifications a few dollars more so at $29 this is definitely a good value. If your notebook has heat problems before the memory upgrade, a model with a heatsink is available for $32.
Corsair 2 GB DDR2 SO-DIMM
Corsair is well known for making high speed gaming hardware of excellent quality. They have very positive reviews from all of their customers, but are also known for being a little bit pricier. They are just as durable as the other RAM, but with an average starting price of $32.
Kingston 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM
The Kingston company has a firm foundation in memory chips and as such is definitely one of the competitors for this netbook RAM. Unfortunately even though its performance isn’t especially exceptional its base price starts around $36.
Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 2 GB DDR2 SO-DIMM
Although Mushkin is one of the less well known companies and is rather new in terms of notebook memory, its customer satisfaction is as high as or higher than other major netbook memory companies. Unfortunately this also comes with a slightly higher price starting around $34.
Which is the Best?
Most of the technical specifications of these chips are the same or similar so the only decision to be made is using price and durability. Heat is also a factor to consider and what type your computer is compatible with.