January 22nd, 2012 / No Comments » / by rajeshmago
Many people buy a PC with only the minimum amount of memory (RAM) on it. The reasons for this are different, but usually computers with the minimum amount of RAM are slightly cheaper than the others with more RAM, so appear to be a good deal.
Other PC users have older computers that might have had an OK amount of memory installed at the time of buying, but keep fighting to keep up with the memory needs of new applications on their old PC.
Installing more RAM (Random Access Memory) is a relatively cheap way to increase performance in old and new computers as well.
If your computer is 2-3 years old and it is running somewhat slower now, then it’s strongly advised that you consider purchasing a memory upgrade before you decide to buy a new computer.
The most of people that I converse with about computer memory upgrades, especially those who had a computer over 2 years old wonder at the increase in overall performance after installing more memory. Typically, it can extend the useable duration of the average PC by another 2-3 years, at a mere fraction of the cost of buying a new one.
Doing a memory upgrade is usually a simple process, requiring at most a Phillips screwdriver to either undo the memory hatch on your notebook, or to remove the cover or case if you have a desktop PC (the major effort). Once you have access to the memory slots (while PC is OFF), it’s just a simple matter of pushing the new memory module/s into the spare slot/s firmly, closing the hatch or putting the case back on, putting the screw back in, and rebooting the computer.
I will advise that you show your computer’s previous memory modules to the hardware shop dealer from where you are buying additional RAM. This is to make sure that you buy memory that works with the older PC memory.
Installing memory can be a slightly more difficult exercise if your PC’s memory slots are fully occupied, but a competent memory dealer should be able to provide you with advice on the upgrade options available and whether or not you will need to remove one or more of the existing modules to make space for larger ones.
The question a lot of folks ask me when considering purchasing a memory upgrade is "What size of memory upgrade should I purchase?"
I usually answer this with a question: "Tell me about the sort of tasks you perform on your computer?"
Generally speaking I recommend you install 2 GB if you are running Windows XP or some other Microsoft later OS on your computer. Microsoft say that the minimum is far less (256 MB only), but it really is the minimum in my opinion.
2 GB of installed memory will give you enough memory space for Windows to load and a little spare for a couple of web browser windows (use Firefox), an email client, antivirus and antispyware application and a spreadsheet or word processor etc.
If you run OSX or a flavour of Linux Operating System, I still recommend 1 GB as a minimum.
If you only have the generally accepted minimum of 256 MB (megabyte), this is only enough to load Windows XP. As you start up other applications, your PC will begin to allocate "virtual" memory. This means that a portion of your computer hard drive is used for moving around data in the same way that physical memory is used only, it goes a lot slower. This slowness is because a computer memory is purely an electronic device while a hard disk is electromechanical and thus comparatively slower.
The approximate cost of RAM at the time of writing was $25-32 per 2 GB Kit which is not much.
If you do photo editing job on your computer in addition to the basic stuff, think about going up to 4 GB of installed memory. If you are a home video buff or play a lot of computer games, then 4 GB is really going to keep you happy in terms of speed.
Memory upgrades are available from variety of sources, and made by a lot of different manufacturers. Kingston is probably the best known memory manufacturer, and they make modules for most of the top OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer), who rebrand Kingston memory labeling it as their own.
As suggested earlier too, before buying a RAM upgrade, be sure to ask if the memory is guaranteed to be compatible with your PC or laptop, and is backed by a no fuss return policy. Always ensure a lifetime warranty applies as well on the memory that you are going to buy.
So if you or your kids are bugged up with their 2-3 years old computer running too slow, instead of buying a new computer immediately, try to do a suitable (1 GB – 2 GB) economical memory upgrade. RAM’s are cheaper nowadays and doing a memory upgrade is easier too, so go for it and save your hard earned money by not buying a new PC without trying it!
Note/Tip: In some of the cases where a PC is infected with viruses, spyware, adware etc., there may not be noticeable change in computer performance after a memory upgrade. Clean PC of malware and check the performance after a memory upgrade.