In previous articles, we talked about the mysterious computer component known as RAM, what it does in a PC, and how it interacts with software. This time, we’re going to have a look into one of the commonly accepted of pieces of computer advice; ‘If your computer is slow, upgrade the RAM’.

The problem is, there’s so many other things that cause a computer to become slow. Issues such as an old processor, a file structure that needs defragging, or even malware infestation, will cause a computer to come to a crawl.

A good way to figure out if RAM is causing a computer to act slowly is to check how much RAM your PC currently has. In Windows desktop view, you can do this by clicking Start, then right-clicking ‘My Computer’ or ‘This PC’ and clicking Properties. In Metro, click the magnifying glass icon top-right, then type ‘My PC’. Right-click the ‘My PC’ icon that appears and click Properties.

For desktop users:

RAMSeries01

For Metro users:

RAMSeries02

Either way you take, you’ll find a screen with technical information on it. Look for this information:

RAMSeries03

PCs sold today come with around 4GB (that’s 4096MB) of RAM. People who are enthusiastic about their PCs performance and use it for very intensive processes use 8GB of RAM. For basic home usage, more than  8GB of RAM will be a little redundant. 4GB should be totally fine for anyone using their PCs for web browsing, word processing, and even video gaming.

On the System screen, check to see how much RAM you have. If you have under 4GB, the cause of your computer slowness may be due to lack of RAM. If this is the case, it’s ideal to get some more; RAM being one of the cheaper components of a PC, this shouldn’t be too much of a blow to your pocket!

Tomorrow, we’ll look at how to select and install new RAM.

~ Simon