Computer memory, or RAM (Random Access Memory), as it is frequently known, is repeatedly overlooked as a prospective means of noticeably improving the performance of your PC or laptop without having to resort to purchasing a complete new computer system.
If your computer is two or three years old and you're tire of it operating too sluggish for your liking, then it's about time that you think about installing additional memory before urchasing a new one. Most people that I speak to about computer memory upgrades (particularly persons with a computer over two years old) are amazed at what a difference a memory upgrade can have. Usually it can lengthen the useable life of your computer by another two or three years, at a portion of the cost of purchasing a new one.
Installing extra memory is a somewhat simple process, generally only requiring a screwdriver to take out a single screw, shove the memory module into a spare slot tightly, close the cover, put the screw back, and reboot the computer.
It can be more complex if you previously have all of your memory slots occupied, but a capable memory supplier ought to be able to suggest the upgrade alternatives available if it's required to get rid of one or more of the existing modules to make space for bigger ones.
The question a lot of folks ask me when considering purchasing a memory upgrade is "How much memory do I require?"
I generally answer this with a question: "What kind of stuff do you do with your computer?"
As a general rule of thumb I suggest you set up at least 512mb if you are running Windows XP on your computer. Microsoft says that the least amount is far less, but it really is the bare minimum. 512mb allows you enough space for Windows XP to load, and sufficient space left over for a pair of web browser windows, email client, antivirus program, and a word processor or spreadsheet.
If you just have the normally accepted minimum of 256mb, this is scarcely enough to load Windows XP. As you begin other applications, your pc starts to allocate virtual memory. This means that a portion of your computers hard drive is used as physical memory, only this operates lot slower.
If you are into editing photographs in addition to the fundamentals, think about going up to 1GB of RAM. If you are keen on creating home videos, or playing a bunch of computer games, then go up to 2GB.
You can purchase computer memory from a lot of different sources, made by many different companies. Kingston is most likely the best recognized manufacturer, and they make modules for nearly all of the top computers, but they re-brand it as their own. Prior to buying an upgrade, be certain to inquire if the memory is guaranteed to be well-suited for your computer, and backed by a money back return policy. Always ensure it is also backed by a lifetime guarantee.
So if you or your family are complaining about your PC running too slow, think about the fact that you may not need to purchase a new one, but merely upgrade the one you have with some additional memory. It can make a world of difference.