* Prices may differ from that shown
Crucial is to computer RAM what google has become to search engines. If you have been advised to purchase extra memory (not to be confused with disk space, of course) for your computer then you need only point your browser to crucial.com and you will find an ever-easy resource to hand.
Currently the home page prominently features Crucial's best weapon - the memory advisor tool. Although it may help, you really don't need any technical know-how at all, you merely need to click 'scan it' and run the program when asked. The scanner then performs behind-the-scenes information reports on your computer and, when finished, proceeds to show you on-screen the purchasing options appropriate for you.
In the past you may have had to download seperate tools off the web and try to dig up model numbers or speed ratings in order to properly match components, or you might have had to take a look inside your PC and inspect the current hardware to get like-for-like addons. Crucial's scanner tool has removed the need for any of that, allowing absolutely anyone to see what will be compatible with their system. Beyond that you merely need to know how much you want to spend - if you know that, you simply have to pick an option from the shopping section on the right hand side of the report page. This is an appreciation of how simply Crucial's developers have made it for the average joe to get it right first time without the element of doubt.
To help you further evaluate your options, the on-screen report even shows you a graphical representation of the slots on your PC's main board, showing you which slots are already occupied by a component and the memory rating of the modules. All memory modules for home computers slot into the large motherboard, which all have a row of empty slots to accommadate varying amounts of components as necessary. It shows you how many slots are empty, and using Crucial's references to main board part numbers you are even shown how much maximum memory the board can utilise. The information really is detailed yet easy to see and understand, and provides the final missing piece to make memory purchasing something you can do from the computer chair with no need to go taking the side off the computer. Saves time, saves tools!
As a technician for an IT company, I have seen reams and reams of memory modules from crucial.com installed in customer's PC's and we have had no experiences of memory going faulty after installation, and we've been using it for 2 years or more. We've also had great accuracy from crucial's all-important scanner tool, saving us time and removing any human error from the equation - we've had it pick the wrong memory only once out of many uses, which was entirely forgiveable due to ambiguous and aging hardware. Profit is also not shaved off delivery times either, as every order has been shipped very quickly and arrived promptly! This all proves crucial can provide good prices at no compromise to quality or efficiency, and for the foreseeable future will be our resource for memory.
Bit of an intro (bear with me) I have recently (obviously) bought Windows 7 as part of the Ultimate Steal for students (even though I'm only part time), before you purchase it is recommended that you download and run the upgrade advisor for this product to ensure your system is tickety boo. I did this and the recommendation was I needed more RAM (story of my life). I dusted off the product information I got with this PC and blah blah blah I went to their website where after scrabbling on the floor to look for serial numbers it brought up an option to buy RAM - but said it needed to know lots of things about my PC (even though I'd given the serial number). Feeling abit confused.com I decided to ask about at work.
So the first person I spoke to suggested a website but couldn't remeber the name, the following day they returned with a little leaflet, the website was Crucial. I understood that you downloaded a little application that scanned your system and told you exactly what you had got and what you could have.
I googled Crucial - the UK site (as there is an American one), and there on the homepage was the download tool (bang in the middle of the page), I pannicked abit seeing a selection of three drop down menus next to this with a zillion choices - but no fear - do not bother with these and just agree to the terms and conditions for the tool and download, within no more than 30 seconds it came up with a page that knew what my PC was the memory that was in it, how many spares slots I had and what memory I could replace this with. In addition it also advises that max memory you can go to. And a few other things that are useful if you understand more techy things than me.
The prices for the available memory choices are immediately flagged up and these were far more competitive than going direct to the manufacturer.
Also beneath the basket options also came up for a screw driver with a non magnetic tip and a anti static wrist band. I also bought both of these as I could see on the leaflet I was given that these things were required.
Delivery was outlined as 1 - 5 days and arrived prompty. Deliveries do require a signature but alternate delivery addresses to billing addresses can be added.
Installion was simply and I was happy.
In my opinion, Crucial.com is the best resource for RAM, and other computer memory relasted items on the net. The website is very easy to use and their prices are some of the cheapest around. I have used this site many times when upgrading my computer memory on both desktops and laptops and have used the website without flaw every time. When you go to the site, you can choose you computer model from drop down lists, or let the site scan your system and identify your computer model automatically. Once this is done, it will show you a picture of your computer, so you can verify it is the right one and below, show you a list of available memory for it, in different configirations ie 1x 2gb or 2x 1gb. It will let you know how many memory slots your computer has, how much each one will accept and the maximum memory your compuer can handle. It also has a list of frequently asked questions to help you in your choice. Once purchased, the memory is usually delivered the next day and comes well packaged (but without uneccecerry packaging) with a handy guide on how to install it which is tailored to you comuter.
My laptop was cheap and only came with 256k of RAM, which resulted in everything being slow so I decided the cheapest way to speed things up was to buy extra RAM.
At first I hadnt got a clue how much memory my computer could take and what type of memory I needed, a number of sites give you this information. I had also read up on high density and low density RAM so i wasnt 100% if what I was buying was going to be compatible. I found the Crucial website www.crucial.com they guarantee the upgrades will be compatible or your money back, so gave them a try.
The website is really easy to navigate you can get information you need in a couple of ways either by downloading "scan my system" which does what it says and gives you details of what memory you currently have. Alternative ways include looking at the system information under my computer or looking inside your computer. The 2nd search option is just as straightforward you just select the make and model of your computer from the drop downs and it will display information about the type of memory you need what the computer comes with (which may not be accurate as upgrades may have been put in your computer before purchase, so it may not match the factory standards which the crucial website assumes), also what the maximum memory is - mine was 2Gb and then it lists what options you have with the prices, yopu simply select how much memory you want and add to basket. So a very straightforward process.
Price is great - very competative and with free delivery its perfect. You can pay for special delivery but I didnt see a need and from order to receipt of goods was 3 days so very quick. Certain sites such as quidco give cashback from this website. I paid £25 for 2 x 1Gb and putting them in the computer was a doddle within a couple of minutes I was back up and running and the difference in speed was huge, I cannot believe I didnt do it sooner especially as memory is so cheap now. They offer free support and installation guides are also avaialable. They update you via email of the order status and you can login and track your order.
The memory came delivered in sealed bags within a ridgid cardboard box sealed in the plastic delivery envelope, so well packaged, which you need given the fragile nature of the memory boards. Payment is either by card or paypal which is useful.
You can also purchase USB memory, solid state drives and flash cards and the same drop down search facilty is available.
Crucial is an excellent website. Having bought a laptop a year ago that had Windows Vista on, it came with insufficient RAM (it only had 564MB where as 1GB or even 2GB is perfect for to running Vista) without coming across as a complete coffin dodger.
To be honest, I'd never fitted RAM and was only aware that different models of different computers use different kinds of RAM, I didn't even know how to find out what my RAM was though as couldn't find it on the System section in the Control Panel.
After a bit of googling it became apparent that there was a website called Crucial which could help me out!
Crucial.com is the dogs, if you are using internet explorer as your browser then you just click "scan my computer" on the left, if you are using another browser like Mozilla, Opera or Safari then you may need to download a little program (takes a few seconds) that scans your desktop.
It comes up with a nice simple diagram depicting how many slots you have, how much RAM you have, how much RAM your computer can use and which type(s) of RAM work with your computer (includes model number). I then bought two whopping 1GB's of RAM from an internet auction (not e-bay *scumbags!*), gently slid it into it's slot and hey presto, running much quicker now! It's like changing gear or something!
I definitely recommend Crucial! Speed up your computer and check it out!
~ Choosing Memory ~
Lets get one thing straight; there is no need to be scared. The subject of memory (the electronic kind) can be daunting, and it is possible to enter the Crucial website feeling unsure of yourself, only to become overwhelmed by the jargon and the choices, which then results you running and screaming from the computer (probably straight to the morons at PC World).
Trust me, it doesnt have to be like that. Remain calm and remember to breathe. Crucial do all sorts of memory, so first you need to determine what you need. Is it a flash card for a camera? A memory stick so you can make your files portable? Or do you need the scariest memory of all: RAM? Dont be put off by all of the links on the homepage. Remain calm and think about it logically.
If you dont know what you want (i.e. you cant remember what it looks like, let alone what its called), refer to manufacturers websites and your product documentation. If you have a vague idea of what it is that you want, check out the handy pictures that Crucial provide to go with their items. This should help you find the kind of memory you need and there are always extra help pages to help you choose what you need and explain the jargon and specifications. Are you remembering to breathe?
Now on to RAM. RAM is by far the scariest kind of memory. There are so many options that it can completely fry your brain. Even if you know how much you want, you then have to find the right type (DDR, DDR2 or SDRAMM? SIMM or DIMM?), the one with the right number of pins and then you have to consider the processing speeds. Crucial provide links under all the products that take you to a page explaining what it all means, and dont start panicking if its still all too overwhelming, there is another EXTRA SPECIAL utility that Crucial provide.
Before I tell you about the EXTRA SPECIAL utility, I would like to draw your attention to the Crucial Memory Advisor tool. This is very handy if you know the manufacturer of your PC/motherboard (the bit that holds the memory) as you can use the dropdown list to help identify the kind of memory you need. This makes the whole process so much simpler, but it is no good if you had your PC custom built by a friend Thats where the System Scanner comes into its own.
The system scanner scans your PC to find out what kind of motherboard you have. It can then tell you exactly what kind of memory you need, and will provide you with recommendations. This is what I did. I also had my PCs motherboard manual and so I could confirm that the analysis of my machine was accurate and the System Scanner enabled me to buy exactly the right type of memory for my computer.
~ Buying Memory ~
The Crucial website is pretty simple once you have decided what memory you want and have added it to your shopping basket. The purchasing process is very similar to all other online retailers and is very quick and simple to use. There is no need to sign up for an account and log in before you can buy anything; you just do this in the process of checking out.
There are a number of buttons on the page, which can be confusing, but if you remain calm and follow the instructions and the text, you should be fine.
~ Delivery ~
My memory was delivered by Royal Mail by special delivery. You need to bear this in mind if you cant get to your local sorting office during their really random opening hours. It is possible to get your memory delivered to an alternative address, but you need to inform your credit card company and get the address authorised. (All this is made clear on the website.)
My order was confirmed and dispatched within 48 hours, and arrived in less than 72 hours.
~ Installing ~
If you have bought RAM, as I have done, Crucials service does not stop there. When you complete your purchase, you are made aware of a link that you can refer to for instructions regarding installing your memory when it arrives.
When the e-mail informing you of the dispatch arrives, it also has a link to this page. Finally, in the box the memory comes in, there is a quick reference guide to installing the memory.
Now, installing memory is actually really easy. You have to make sure that you are grounded (not that you are emotionally and mentally stable, grounded as in you are free from static) and then you line the memory up with the slot and press it in firmly.
The website goes through all the steps (9 of them) in lots of detail, with pictures and in easy to manage chunks. The leaflet in the box is much more succinct, but between them you should find enough information, and in the format you prefer to enable you to successfully install your memory.
~ Overall ~
I think the Crucial website can seem a bit daunting. It can be difficult to find the products you want at the best prices by just clicking on the right links and the links can appear on the left, right, middle, top or bottom of the page which sometimes makes it a little tricky to navigate.
The help is invaluable for those of us who are not total computer nerds/freaks/geeks and the memory advisor tools are by far the most reassuring way of helping you buy the right kind of memory.
Communications, delivery and the packaging of the product were excellent and the supporting documentation was very handy. In addition to this Crucials prices are excellent (I had a look on PCIndex and couldnt find anything cheaper) and my order was delivered free.
So, I would recommend Crucial based on this (my first) transaction with them, and I hope that you have as much success with them as I have done.
I recently came to the conclusion that it was time for me to carry out an upgrade on my PC. The processor was still fine but the machine was crying out for some more memory (RAM). To be honest I had absolutely no idea where to start although I did know that I needed SDRAM and that I wanted a second set of 64mb to take me up to a more reasonable 128mb in total. I had heard of Crucial before, they are supposed to be THE memory experts. So off I went to www.crucial.com/uk and tried to see what horror was awaiting me. From the front page everything is very easy to find – you’re instantly greeted with a drop-down menu to enable you to select the initial manufacturer. It’s possible that your machine may not be listed but if you’ve got one of the more common manufacturers like Compaq (as I have) then you’re virtually home and dry. So, select the manufacturer, then choose your system model(eg Presario) and finally the specific model number(5286 in my case). This will present you with the available RAM upgrades for your PC. Yes, it really is as simple as that. The next thing you will notice is the price, they do vary as RAM prices do tend to fluctuate but today I could have bought 64mb of RAM for £19.79 + VAT (incl. p&p). Now for less than £25 for 64mb of RAM is very impressive indeed if you know what price you could be looking at. As an indication, only a year ago (when there were some shortages) a guide price would be roughly £1 per meg. Compared to that the price is very impressive especially as the p&p is ‘Special Delivery’. When you’ve selected the memory you wish to purchase the rest is very simple. You’ll need to enter various details including your name and address of course plus your payment details. This is all done securely and you will get an e-mail to confirm that the order has been made. You’ll also be given an order reference which will help you track the status of th
e order which I find can be very useful and prevents you from having to call them unless there is a problem with the order. In my case I ordered on a Friday and the order arrived the next morning – I have to say that I thought that was incredibly impressive especially as Crucial dispatched the order from Scotland and I live in Wiltshire. This may be a little faster than the typical time but I presume it would have arrived on Monday instead which still would have been excellent. If you’re looking for a good quality product at a great price then I can’t recommend Crucial highly enough. Everything on their website is well laid out and there is plenty of technical information if you require it. Also, they guarantee that providing you’ve given the correct information that the RAM will work. If not, they’ll sort it out for you (refund/replacement etc). I’ll certainly be going back and here’s an extra tip (because I’m so good to you!). You get 10% off their normal prices for ordering online anyway but this link will give you an additional 5% discount! All you have to do is enter a five digit number (ANY number!) and then follow the route as normal – if you don’t believe me try it with and without the link! The instructions are on the page anyway. http://www.crucial.com/uk/webpromo/ Hope this is of use to you all – they certainly get my vote.