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There are several differences between laptop and desktop computers. The most obvious difference is, of course, desktops are stationary and laptops are portable. More importantly, though, is that upgrading them can be a completely different process. Again, this sounds obvious.
A common mistake made by people who may not have a lot of computer experience is purchasing the wrong kind of upgrade. Take RAM as an example. Computer memory used in laptops is not the same as in desktops. Often times people do not pay close enough attention to the designation before making a purchase.
It is important to know how many memory slots your system has. Desktops usually have four and laptops only two, or even one. If your laptop has 1GB of RAM in two slots it will have a 512MB chip in each slot. This means that you do not want to buy a 2GB chip, but rather two 1GB chips. Do you need DDR RAM or DDR2 RAM?
Current higher performance laptops will max out at 4GB, while it is becoming more and more common to see desktops with 8GB. Computer memory can make or break your whole experience, so make sure to know what you are purchasing.