2 Dog Digital

From the blog

A dog's eye view of the modern world and the technology that surrounds us.

Should I Upgrade my RAM?

2019 has been a great year so far for those who want to upgrade their computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM). What is RAM? RAM is simply the place in your computer where you store items that you are working on right now, such as applications and programs. This is not the same as a hard drive where you store stuff that you need later. Think of a hard drive as a file cabinet and RAM as a blackboard. You do your math homework on the blackboard (where you can add, subtract and erase quickly) and when you are done you store it in the file cabinet to get out later to study with.

The biggest question I get is will RAM speed up my machine. The simple answer is no. More RAM in a machine will enable you to run more programs (multi-task). While there are many programs that can benefit from more RAM (computer games and Photoshop jump to mind), most people may not see the benefit of going to high. In many cases though, it can make a difference. Here is an example of common memory usage:

As we can see here, just looking at Internet Edge (I have 7 tabs open), it is using almost 2.5 GB of RAM loading background pages. Firefox with 4 tabs open is using about 700 MB and Outlook is using almost 170 MB. In total, just those 3 programs are using a combined 20% of my RAM. This is not counting all the other programs running in the background that are running just to keep my machine moving. When your computer does not have enough RAM to run programs, it steals a bit of your hard drive and pretends it is RAM (we call this Virtual Memory).

In closing, RAM will not speed up your computer but will let you run more programs and help your computer run better. With today’s low memory prices, if you are seeing that memory climb, upgrade. Unsure what you need? Call us and we can help.

Have a great day! This is Digit, signing off.

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