When upgrading your computer to make it faster, or noticing a less than desirable performance of applications and operating system in general, there is a question every user should ask themselves: should I add more RAM? The answer is almost always a yes. Adding RAM is an upgrade that practically guarantees a noticeable increment in performance in the execution of programs of the average user and even up to those who use professional multimedia editing software and modern videogames.
How do I know how much RAM do I use?
Every operating system comes with its own tool for monitoring the use of system resources.
On Windows 8 you have the Task Manager, which can be accessed through the combination of the keys CTRL+ALT+DEL, or using the search function in the Start menu or through the context menu of the task bar. In the Processes tab you can observe what the operating system is doing at any moment and how much RAM it’s using. In the Performance tab you can see what portion of the total available RAM is being used.
Ubuntu and most Linux distributions based on Debian (the most popular) include a System Monitor. Its functionality is practically identical to the previous tool, although in this case the Performance tab is called Resources.
OS X users have the Activity Monitor. It shares several features with the previous tools: the user checks the processes that are being executed at that moment on the computer, how much RAM is being used and what percentage it represents of the total available RAM of the system.
By observing these tools you can figure out whether or not you need more memory, but there are other aspects that should be taken into account. Some applications regulate their usage of RAM according to the amount of freely available RAM. That is to say, if there is more available RAM, they will take advantage of it to achieve greater performance. This is something you won’t notice by studying the information from these tools, and it’s one of the reasons why adding RAM to your computer is an upgrade that will always produce a noticeable improvement in performance.
How much RAM do I need?
Operating systems and applications of today can operate with 2GB of RAM, but it is highly recommendable to upgrade and add more RAM. The difference that you would notice by adding more RAM to your computer depends on your day to day usage of your computer, and what type of computer it is. First, it is important to know whether or not your computer has a 32 or 64 bit processor. If your computer has a 32 bit processor, it is limited to only 4 GB of RAM, meanwhile 64 bit processors can support much more RAM. It is also necessary to know what type of use your computer receives: web browsing and reading email, or editing videos and enjoying the latest in videogames.
- If you have a 32 bit processor and you’re interested in web browsing: 2 GB of RAM are more than sufficient.
- If you have a 32 bit processor you use multimedia applications or videogames: expand your RAM to 4GB.
- If you have a 64 bit processor but use low resource demanding applications: 4 GB of RAM are more than sufficient to fulfill your requirements.
- If you have a 64 bit processor and you’re interested in using professional applications or videogames: in this case you should opt for 8 GB of RAM or more. Be sure to check out the system requirements of the software beforehand.
What benefits will I obtain with more RAM?
- Your computer will be better at multitasking.
- Your computer will have less or even no performance drops when running several programs or opening several files simultaneously.
- More efficient web browsing, as your hardware is used by the browser to increase performance.
- Faster loading of HTML5 or Flash web content.
- Access to a larger number of applications and videogames that require more memory.
Remember that you can contact 911-computer.com and ask for one of our professional technicians to visit you at your home. He can advise you on the type and brand of RAM memory that is best suited for your computer needs. We offer technical consulting, computer maintenance and repair in Houston, TX. Contact us!