Installing a Good Amount of Ram Can Help You Avoid Headaches

By: IC

When it comes to computers the most common problem is the operational speed. When users first buy a computer with the famous and common Windows based operating system they are often impressed with the amount of hard disk space, the graphics card, the fabulous wide screen, the nice keyboard and the many cute extras smart sales people include as a bundle in order to make the sale.

Computer savvy users understand that the most important thing in a computer besides storage capacity and processing speed is the RAM memory capacity/speed. RAM stands for "random access memory" simply put, this is the memory all your applications use to operate once they have been launched or clicked. If you notice, once you open an application there is a small lag between the click and the fully launched program, the reason you have to wait a bit is because the program is being loaded into RAM as well as all the modules, extensions and plug-ins it uses.

Once it is open the application "caches" all the information in your RAM modules instead of the hard drive because RAM can be accessed much faster than the information in the HDD. As the application uses RAM to buffer data the computer slows down because other programs might be running and demanding for some RAM space as well, this is the reason why many people say "the more things you install in your PC the slower it gets" and it is true.

If your computer has very little random memory then the operating system can lock up, freeze or show you error messages and the all time famous BSD (Blue screen of death), when this happens it is often because a program has requested/used a lot of memory resource which were not available or because of poorly coded programs which are often downloaded from the web (freeware)

In order to optimize your PC you must learn how to use the task manager, this is the small but useful window that comes up when you press Control + ALT + Delete. In Windows XP it will bring up the window immediately, in Vista however you need to select the "start task manager option" once you have pressed the three key combination. The task manager window will show you how much memory you have available, the number of programs running and which program is taking a lot of memory space as well as CPU power; if you determine a certain application is using too much memory or CPU you can choose to terminate it, if it isn't a critical system module that is!

Some people know that popular applications such as Mozilla Firefox has memory leak problems, this is effective up to version 2.0 which will soon be upgraded to version 3 and hopefully corrected. This useful internet browser is preferred by many users because it is easier to use than Internet Explorer and has less security problems but after a couple of hours of use, the task manager reports an increase in memory occupied by the application, with just a few tabs (3-6) you can be using up to 100MB of RAM, if you have 512MB of RAM this is already 20% of your physical memory, if you leave it open and use it for an extended period of time this can go up to 500MB+ in machines with more capacity.

To make the story short, most problems you may experience with your computer are directly related to RAM, this is why it is recommended to buy computers with at least 1GB of RAM if you are using Vista (2GB+ would be an optimum amount) If your PC doesn't have this much memory you need to make sure you find compatible modules which match the speed and amount of pins your motherboard RAM slots have. Some modules are DDR (Double data rate) which run at different speeds (100-200MHz) in newer computers you will find that the modules used are DDR2 or even DDR3 which operate at much faster speeds. If this all sounds like gibberish to you it is recommended you contact a computer technician to inspect your computer and do the upgrade which can help your computer run faster and will definitively help you avoid headaches.

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