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Is it Time to Upgrade Your RAM?: The Top Signs Your Computer Needs More Memory

Nowadays, you need a reasonably powerful computer to run even the most basic software. Internet browsers such as Google Chrome are using an increasing amount of system resources.

If your computer feels slow or sluggish, you could benefit from upgrading your RAM memory. In this article, we’ll discuss what RAM is and the top signs your computer needs more of it.

What Is RAM?

RAM stands for “random access memory.” Your computer uses RAM to temporarily store information. A RAM stick is made up of memory chips which your computer can rapidly write to.

RAM is a form of volatile memory, meaning the information stored in it is only kept until the computer is switched off. When people talk about RAM in their PC, they might be referring to DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM). This is found in the DIMM slots on your motherboard.

You can also find RAM in other places; for example, a video card contains GDDR SDRAM. This article is going to focus on the RAM sticks that slot into your motherboard.

Why Do You Need RAM?

Any computer software you run makes use of RAM. If your system runs out of RAM to use, it may resort to using part of the storage drive as “virtual memory”; this will result in performance issues.

When your computer has a lot of RAM, it helps your computer to perform complex tasks—such as running a game—without suffering from any performance issues.

How Much RAM Do I Need?

How much RAM you need depends on what you’re doing with your computer. If you’re using the system for basic things like browsing the web and word processing, you can get away with having 8GB of RAM.

On the other hand, if you’re a gamer and you want to play the latest games without experiencing any performance issues, you want to have at least 16GB of RAM. If you use your computer for some serious multitasking or you use certain kinds of software, you might even consider installing 32GB of RAM. For example, you might use your system for video editing and music production.

Signs of Not Enough RAM

If you don’t have enough RAM on your system, you’ll experience a lot of performance issues.

For instance, you might notice system notifications informing you that your system’s memory is running low. You might also have difficulty running multiple programs at once.

If you’re a gamer, you might experience lag or stuttering while you play games. You might also experience system lockups if you try to alt-tab out of a game.

When you experience system slowdown, open up the task manager by pressing CTRL, SHIFT, and ESC. This will open up a little window that gives you a rundown of your system resources.

You’ll be able to see what percentage of your computer’s RAM the system is using. If you’re constantly maxing out your RAM usage, you might want to consider upgrading.

How Much RAM Do I Have?

If you’re not sure how much RAM your system currently has, it’s easy to find out. On a Windows system, click on the start bar and type in “This PC.” Then, right click on the “This PC” section and select properties.

You’ll then be shown a screen that gives you information about your system, including how much RAM you have. If this screen displays 8GB or lower, it might be worth upgrading the RAM in your system. Otherwise, if you have 16GB of RAM, you have more than enough.

In this case, there’s probably another reason why your computer’s running slow. For example, it could be infected with malware, or you might be running too many processes at once.

Sometimes, it’s possible for RAM to become dislodged from the socket. If your computer displays a suspiciously low amount of RAM, make sure every RAM stick is properly plugged into the motherboard.

How to Upgrade RAM

If you decide you want to upgrade your RAM, you’ll need to buy another RAM stick or two. It’s vital that you buy the correct RAM; otherwise, it won’t be compatible with your system.

The RAM sticks you install need to be identical to the ones you’re already using. If you’re having trouble determining what you need to order, consider getting in contact with your computer or laptop’s manufacturer.

Before ordering new RAM, you need to make sure your system is able to accommodate it. This is something you can check with your computer or laptop manufacturer.

Generally speaking, it’s a lot easier to upgrade RAM on a desktop computer than it is on a laptop. Many laptops don’t have the ability to upgrade their RAM at all.

Alternative Solutions

There are many factors that can affect your computer’s performance. Just because you’re having a poor experience on your computer doesn’t necessarily mean you have a RAM issue.

If you have 16GB of RAM and your computer is suffering from slow speeds, it might not be a RAM issue. Keep an eye on your task manager when you’re experiencing slow speeds. This will help you to identify what the issue is.

Sometimes, it could be your CPU or the hard drive that’s bottlenecking the system. If the task manager is reporting heavy usage on your hard drive, you could consider upgrading to a solid state drive. This is often the best way to get a significant performance increase.

If your system is outdated, you might also consider getting a new system. There’s only so much you can upgrade; eventually, it makes sense to get a new computer.

The amount of power needed to run even basic software such as Google Chrome is going up over time. If you have an old system, you’ll need to upgrade sooner or later.

RAM Memory Is Important for Your System’s Speed

If your PC is slow, it might be a RAM memory issue, but not necessarily. Upgrading your RAM can make your computer run faster, but it isn’t a catch-all solution to performance issues.

The maximum amount of RAM the majority of users are going to need is 16GB. As a good rule of thumb, if you don’t have a good reason to have 32GB, then it’s not necessary.

Is your computer running slow and you need a pro to take a look at it? Then check out our services.