You’ve probably heard it plenty of times from computer experts: having computer problems? Upgrading your RAM will clear that right up. But how much RAM do you actually need? Can it really cure all computer slowdowns instantly?
Today, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about RAM upgrades.
How much RAM do you actually need?
The amount of RAM that your computer requires will differ according to your software needs. Every operating system requires a different amount of RAM, and avid PC gamers will want quite a bit more RAM than an average computer user.
Just running an operating system like Windows 7 requires a certain amount of RAM. The 32-bit version of that operating system requires at least 1 gigabyte of RAM, while the 64-bit version requires 2 gigabytes. In practice, you should have twice that amount for optimum system performance, and 4 gigabytes is a good amount to aim for.
Meanwhile, some of the latest PC games may require up to 4 gigabytes of RAM just to run the game, but having 8 gigs or even 16 gigs of RAM is what you will need to make the game run at its best.
Is RAM expensive?
RAM has varied in price over the years, but in general, it is one of the cheapest upgrades you can make on your PC. Popular online computer parts retailer Newegg lists a package of two 4 gigabyte sticks of RAM for only $49.99 (in both US and Canadian dollars).
If you’re installing a stick of RAM in your desktop PC, then it’s important to get the right type of RAM. Each type has a unique Pin, and most modern motherboards use the 240-pin system. However, if you’re installing RAM in an older PC, then you may have to consult the motherboard manual to find out exactly which type of RAM you need.
If you’re particularly worried about your PC’s performance, then you should also pay attention to the frequency of the RAM, as well as its timing. This makes a particular difference to over-clockers and those who like to tweak their PC to the best possible settings.
Is RAM really the only problem with my PC?
In some cases, upgrading your RAM won’t improve your PC’s performance at all. You may already have more than enough RAM in your computer, and something like your video card or processor (CPU) could be restricting your performance. Any component that restricts your PC’s performance is called a bottleneck, and it’s important to identify your computer’s bottleneck before making any hardware upgrades, or you could end up wasting your money.
Furthermore, things like viruses and malware could be causing slowdowns and crashes on your computer – not your amount of RAM. If this is the case, then you would be better off investing in a good antivirus program than a stick of RAM. You would be surprised by how many system resources one virus can suck up.
The bottom line
To sum up, here is an ideal amount of RAM that each type of PC user should have:
-For basic Windows 7 performance: 2 gigabytes of RAM
-For optimum Windows 7 performance: 4+ gigabytes of RAM
-For serious gamers and over-clockers: 8 to 16 gigabytes of RAM