Is your computer running a little sluggish these days? Do you find that it can’t keep up with everything that you want it to do? A memory upgrade may be all that you need to speed things up. And it can be a fairly cost-effective solution.
What does memory do?
You may not fully understand what all of the parts in computers are, so we’ll explain what memory does.
Memory chips within your computer are there to “remember” things that are occurring at this moment. When you open a program or a window, it is loaded into your computer’s memory.
Memory runs a lot faster than your hard drive, so that’s why currently running programs are loaded into memory. What you’re using right now should run fast, right? That’s why it’s in memory!
What happens if I don’t have enough memory?
Your computer tries its best to help you out. If you have a lot of programs open and the computer doesn’t have enough memory to support that, your computer will start storing that information on the hard drive. Like we said before, your hard drive is a lot slower than memory. So that’s why things get so bogged down.
Why is my relatively new computer running slow already?
Memory isn’t very expensive, but it is another cost computer makers have to consider when building computers. Computer makers like Dell, Gateway, and HP often sacrifice putting in much memory to be able to offer lower prices. They want to offer low prices so they can get your business!
It’s a year later, and your computer doesn’t feel so new anymore. You probably got a good deal, but you may have to invest a little more in order to make your computer more enjoyable to use.
I have an older computer. Is all hope lost?
Older computer systems can be upgraded to a point. Computers that are five to ten years old are limited in how much memory they can support. These older computer motherboards usually will only support between 512 megabytes and 1 gigabytes of system memory. As of December 2006, most new computer motherboards will support 1 gigabyte to 4 gigabytes of system memory.
With all of this talk of gigabytes and megabytes, how much memory do I need?
Because memory is an added cost, most new computers will only come with 256 megabytes up to 1 gigabyte of memory.
If you use your computer mainly for light word processing, checking email, and surfing the Web, 512 megabytes is probably enough.
If you play a lot of computer games, you will need more memory than that. Because today’s games are so complex, we recommend having between 2 and 4 gigabytes of memory. You will also probably want to consider installing a more powerful graphics card as well. (Graphics cards contain their own set of memory just for displaying stuff on your screen.)
Keep in mind that Microsoft and Apple recommend 256 megabytes of memory just for you to be able to turn on your computer. That doesn’t even take other programs into consideration.
Tell me more about graphics cards and how they affect my computer’s speed.
Video memory is just as important as your computer’s system memory. A lack of one or the other can cause sluggish performance.
Insufficient system memory will cause sluggish performance because when accessing programs, there is not enough system memory to load them (i.e. Internet web browsing, email, etc.).
Insufficient video memory will cause a sluggish performance when accessing graphics-intense programs such as video clips, web sites with animation, and games. When a computer doesn’t have enough video memory, it will start using your system memory to load graphics. If no system memory is available, your computer may freeze up.
If your computer wasn’t the priciest on the block, then there’s a chance that you may want to consider upgrading your video card. We recommend having a 128 megabyte video card if you only use your computer for word processing, email, and surfing the Web. If you are a major multitasker or play a lot of games, we recommend a video card with at least 256 megabytes of memory.
If you are in the Columbus, Ohio, area and feel that your computer needs a boost, contact Perfect PC for help with memory upgrades and installation. We strive to make your relationship with your computer a smooth one!