Does Your Computer Need More RAM to Make It Faster?

One of the most crucial functions in a PC, gaming system, or smartphone is Random Access Memory. It’s the part of a device that sets the upper limit of the tasks the device can perform at any given time. When you start a program, the computer processor issues a command to retrieve the program from the hard drive. Once the files have been accessed, the computer requires a workspace to interact with the data and perform its functions.

The digital counterpart for this workspace is the RAM, where the computer places the programs temporarily as you work with them. In the meantime, the processor can access that information with ease and speed. Generally, the more RAM space you have on your computer, the larger the workspace your computer has to function. This means that your programs will work faster.

If your computer has a limited RAM size and is running slower, you might be wondering whether adding its size will make it faster. Keep reading to find out what to do.

More RAM Means Better Speed

Adding more RAM to your computer is bound to speed it up more than any other upgrade you might make. This is because the most popular apps that run on Microsoft Windows are resource hogs. Running two or more applications simultaneously makes them compete for the digital workspace. Windows swaps their code and data between the hard drive and RAM, a factor that slows down the computer to a snail’s pace.

When you increase the RAM size, you reduce the amount of swapping your operating system has to do, hence improving the system performance. Besides, upgrading the size of your RAM is one of the easiest and fastest upgrades you can make to enhance the speed of your computer system.

Additionally, increasing the RAM size of your computer also leads to better multitasking. This comes in handy, especially when you’re using applications like Outlook, Photoshop, or Firefox. Having a spacious digital workspace allows you to quickly switch between multiple applications without the OS writing the process memory out of the page file. The page file performs almost the same as the RAM, but it stores data on the much slower hard drive.

While more RAM more not necessarily increase the speed of your PC, it allows you to do more things at the same time.

More RAM Doesn’t Make Single Tasks Faster

On the downside, increasing the size of your RAM will not increase the speed of single applications. For example, if you want to expand your RAM from 3 GB to 8 GB to increase the speed of the Excel application, you might not help the situation. The only thing additional RAM will do is help you do more things at once, but not faster. If you have many windows open as you work on Excel, you will see some improvement, or you could just close the unused windows.

How to Know When to Upgrade

If you have 2 GB RAM or less in your computer, you can benefit from a memory upgrade, unless you don’t use your PC as often. Check out the usage of your memory by opening the Task Manager to see if it’s reaching the limit. If you consider your devices to be power users, you may want to consider upgrading to 3 or 4 GB of RAM.

To analyze whether your PC uses the memory to the maximum, the best tool to use is the Resource Monitor. It’s present in Windows 7 or Vista and gives you a quick overview of the resources in use and what they are being used for. The most important thing to pay attention to is the Hard Faults graph. It provides information on the number of times an application attempts to read memory, but is pushed into the page file due to limited memory.

Factors to Consider When Upgrading Your RAM

Before you buy more RAM for your machine, here are a few things to remember:

  • Memory Sticks: Ensure you get the appropriate memory sticks for your computer. Newer computer models use either DDR3 or DDR4 RAM modules. If your machines are old enough to use DDR or DDR2 RAM, it probably won’t make any economic sense to pay for an upgrade. You’re better off spending that money on buying new computers.

You also must be sure about the maximum amount of memory your computer can support. Installing more memory beyond what your computer can support is counteractive. Different computers have varying capacities but have two limits on the RAM: the motherboard and the operating system. The lower limit on these two equals the maximum RAM capacity of your computer.

  • Install Memory Modules in Matching Pairs: For the best experience when adding a new RAM module to your computer, consider adding them in pairs. Two or four modules at a time will enhance the speed of your system and will have fewer hiccups.
  • Use RAM with the exact specs as the existing modules: if you mix your RAM module with memory sticks with different specifications, you risk exposing your computer to instability problems. If you want to install faster memory than the existing PC memory, consider removing the old memory sticks and replacing them with new ones.
  • Have a professional install the memory for you: if you’re not well-versed with the components inside your PC, you can have a professional install it for you.

Final Thoughts

Having a slow-working computer can be frustrating when you have many tasks to accomplish. Most people associate this problem with a low RAM space and think that adding more RAM will solve the problem. While increasing the RAM may not necessarily increase space, it will make it easier to use multiple applications at a go.

Adding RAM to your computer can be challenging, right from determining the module on your computer to buying suitable memory sticks. If you want to take a step in this direction, consider having a professional help you establish the best way to go about it. Radius Executive IT Solutions is a company that specializes in helping businesses in Boston and New England meet their IT needs. Call us today to book an initial consultation to find out how we can help your business.