Is your PC or Laptop too old? Do you need to upgrade software, but your computer is too slow?
If a computer lacks the power to run the latest software — or when a PC just seems slower that used to be — many people decide that it’s time to simply buy a new computer.
RAM Upgrade: Cheap Fix For A Faster Computer
Sometimes an under-performing PC or laptop can give us the excuse we want to upgrade to a new machine; on the other hand, it might be possible to spend less money and make your older computer feel as good as new.
When your computer seems to be slow, there are several things that you should try:
- Ensure that your computer is free of any viruses, spyware or malware.
- Check to see whether your computer is burdened by unnecessary background processes (which often show up as little icons in the system tray, down in the lower-right corner of your screen)
- Perform normal preventive maintenance, such as freeing up as much hard drive space is possible, and defragmenting your hard drive
- Investigate the possibility of upgrading your computer’s RAM to provide additional memory and better performance
Keep your computer longer by adding RAM
If your computer is fundamentally healthy, but you would like to extend its useful life by another year or more, you should definitely investigate whether it’s possible to add additional RAM your system.
RAM (which stands for random access memory) refers to the hardware component that provides memory for your computer. Your computer’s memory is where it stores the program code for your operating system (for example, Windows Vista) plus the code for the currently-running applications, and the data used by those applications.
Upgrading your computer’s RAM can provide one of the best, most cost-effective, methods for improving your system performance. When your computer does not have enough physical RAM, it begins to use the hard drive to create “virtual memory” to supplement physical memory (i.e. RAM).
Modern computers depend upon the virtual memory to enable us to run multiple applications at the same time: the programs we have open but are not using (also called backup applications) get swapped out to virtual memory, while our current tasks are placed into high-performance RAM memory.
When the programs that were using require more RAM than we have available, the computer begins to overuse virtual memory – this results in a huge performance hit to our computer.
Fortunately, RAM upgrades are not too expensive, and don’t necessarily require professional installation.
If you’re considering a RAM upgrade, you’ll want to do the following:on the
- Determine the amount of RAM you have
- Determine the type of RAM you have
- Determine the speed and maximum amount of RAM your computer can handle
- Determine the amount of RAM you require
- Determine the amount of RAM you will buy
RAM Upgrade… How-To Do It Yourself
Microsoft has a good, step-by-step tutorial called “RAM: Add more memory to your computer” which can guide you through this process.
Another good place to start (if possible) is by checking with the company that manufactured your computer. Dell, Gateway, Hewitt Packard and other major computer manufacturers usually provide detailed information on their support websites. In many cases, you can visit the website, enter your computer’s serial number (usually found somewhere on your computer), and you’ll find out the amount of RAM installed in your computer when it was sold, and the type and amount of RAM it is capable of supporting.
With that information, you can begin price shopping, buy the memory you need, and install it yourself. You can find many helpful video tutorials that will show you how.