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Memory or RAM

Memory is your cheapest hardware upgrade you can do ...

The processor has a small amount (gets larger with every new processor) of RAM built in, it is called the cache memory. Your programs are very large due to functions, graphics, and overhead built into the compiler used to make the program (long story).

For the processor to do it's job it has to have fast access to the program and data that the program manipulates to give you the desired result.

Do you see a lag in some programs but not others? When you open your email it takes a second or so to open up, but when you open a document from your word processor it seems like you could go drink a coke while it loads? The primary cause is RAM.

An effect of lower amount of physical RAM you have in your system is when you load a large program, parts of the program have to be set aside (swapped out) to physical storage. If you load two or more programs then more has to be swapped out to physical storage. Only a small part of the program is retained in RAM. This causes your system to run slow, some times very slow...

You can have an older processor (say a Pentium 4) and four gig of RAM (Random Access Memory)  the system will be almost as fast as a newer Core 2 Duo system with 1 GB of RAM.

RAM comes in different speeds and types. DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4 and DIMM are the current types of RAM. The newer main boards are going to DDR4 type of RAM because it is faster.

DDR RAM also has the ability to run in two or more channels, that is you have two RAM modules that the RAM is being used simultaneously, making the response for the RAM twice as fast. There are new RAM managers that can use two, three, and four channels for memory.

In addition to the use of RAM channels the RAM speed has doubled in the last 2 years from 800 MHz to 1660 MHz and newer RAM is being tested at 2440 MHz.

One more thing effects the overall performance of the system in regards to the RAM, that is the speed of the RAM. This value is fixed to a certain degree by the main board when it is manufactured. Some main boards have built in upgrade paths, in other words the designers know what is being developed and plan this into their products.

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In addition the computer manufactures are skimping on video RAM (video RAM is special memory and costs twice or more of normal RAM in a computer) because of the high cost. To keep the cost of a pre-manufactured computer low they have found that the video can share the system RAM (the normal RAM in slots on the motherboard).

This sharing of the system RAM with the video causes an immense drag on the over all performance of the computer. If your computer has shared RAM (a lot of newer laptops are this way) and when you have a graphics intense program running you will see a definite performance drop. If the performance drop is noticeable or you are tired of waiting for the program or other programs to complete a task then you best bet is to upgrade the video and the system RAM. If another video card is out of you budget range then go for the maximum RAM you can afford, this will help some what but doesn't negate the shared RAM.

So if you want a performance upgrade ("Speed up My PC") and don't have or want to spend a lot of money then increasing the memory in your system is best choice.

Did you  know that a RAM
upgrade is the
most cost effective upgrade you can do?

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Upgrading your memory gives you the most "bang" for your buck!

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