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Boost Computer Performance by Adding Memory (RAM)
By James Wise
posted November 17, 2009
TECH TIPS – There are several things that
affect the performance of a computer. We’ve talked about some things
you can do software
Today, we’ll talk about Memory (RAM) which is one of the physical
components of a computer.
First, you need to know how much RAM you have. There are a number of
ways to determine this, but one easy way is to go to start, control
panel, system. You can also get to this screen by pressing the
“Windows” key and the “Pause/Break” key together. In the example below,
you can see that I have 2 GB of RAM (it’s listed as 1.99 GB actually).
You can also check how much memory you have (as well as other system
information) with various software programs. Two such options are:
Belarc Advisor: http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
Speccy System Information: http://www.piriform.com/speccy/download
An advantage of these programs is that they also show you how much
memory is installed in each slot. This can be very helpful if you want
to buy more RAM and want to try to re-use at least some of your old
The next question you might have is “How much RAM should I have”. The
answer to this depends on what you are doing with your computer and
what operating system you are running. For “casual” use I believe the
following values are reasonable:
Minimum: 512 MB (256 MB MIGHT also be okay but I would really recommend
at least 512 MB)
Recommended: 1-2 GB
Minimum: 1 GB minimum (but I would really recommend at least 2 GB)
Recommended: 2-4 GB
If you have specific needs (like video editing, gaming, running
“virtual machines”, etc…), you may need more.
If you have decided you would like to add more RAM, I would recommend
going to http://www.crucial.com/
and using the “memory advisor” tool on this page. You can enter your
computer information (manufacturer, product line, and model) and see
how much memory your computer can handle, how many slots you have for
memory, what type of memory you have to use, and whether or not you
need to use matched pairs of memory). There are also videos showing how
to install memory on this page.
You can also purchase memory from Crucial if you would like but once
you have the memory type, you can certainly purchase it elsewhere if
you would like or find a better price elsewhere.
Prices for memory will depend a lot on the type, size, etc… but as a
rough idea, memory upgrades are typically between $20 and $100.
Important to remember is that if all your memory slots are full, you’ll
have to replace one or more memory chips with new ones if you want to
upgrade. In other words, if you have two slots and they each have 128
MB of RAM and you want to go to 512 MB, you’ll have to replace one chip
with one of 384 MB or more OR replace both with chips of 256 MB or
If you have questions about this or need any help, just email me (EdgefieldTechHelp@gmail.com).
I apologize for not writing a column last week. I was on a
business trip to Salt Lake City and ran short on time.
© Copyright 2009
original material is property of
EdgefieldDaily.com and cannot be reproduced, rewritten or redistributed
without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com
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