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Want a Cheap and Easy Computer Upgrade?

Does your computer have less than 1 GB of RAM? If so, you’re cheating yourself.

Actually, the manufacturer cheated you. They always install the minimum amount of RAM necessary to run your PC so they can save money. They charge an arm and a leg for more at purchase time, but if you buy RAM after you get your PC, you can save a few bucks.

If you add more RAM, your computer will be faster. How do I know this? Because with only a little RAM, your PC uses the hard drive when it needs extra storage space. Writing and reading operations take a lot longer on the disk, what with the moving parts and all. RAM operations are made of electrons, which move at the speed of light. At least that’s what they told me in college.

I’ve seen the results many times. When I add RAM to my clients’ computers, they always experience a speed boost. The PC boots faster, it loads programs faster, so you will spend less time waiting for things to happen. For some people, this increase is so great that they feel like they have a new computer!

It’s easy to see the amount of RAM you have. Right-click on “My computer” and choose “Properties”. It’s there somewhere.

For Windows XP the minimum you should have is 1 GB.
For Vista and 7 you should have at least 2 GB.

RAM comes in different pin numbers, speeds, capacities, and even more geeky stuff that is beyond the scope of this article. You don’t need to be a geek to figure out what kind of RAM you need. Memory manufacturers have made it easy for you.

The best one is the Crucial Memory Advisor™ tool.

Select your manufacturer, product line, and model from the menus.

If you don’t know this information you can download their scanner, which will examine your system and tell you how many memory slots your PC has, how much memory you have, and what type of memory you need. Then you can order from Crucial right there. Disclaimer: I am not making any money from Crucial; they don’t even know I exist.

Many computers have only 2 slots for RAM, so if you have both of them filled already, you might want to buy one 2 GB stick (or 1 GB for Windows XP) to replace one in your PC. Some older models that have 2 slots allow only 1 GB total. In that case, you would need to buy 2 sticks of 512 MB each.

If you’d like some help with your next upgrade, please give me a call at 541-791-6502. If you want to install the RAM yourself, here is a video from PC World to show you how easy it is. Follow each step carefully to ensure the safety of yourself and your static-sensitive computer parts.

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions!

Have fun 🙂

  1. September 11th, 2011 at 06:43 | #1

    Great info…but I have a question for Android users.
    When it comes to anti-virus protection I have narrowed it down to AVG or LookOut. What are thots as to which has best protection?
    Thanks! 😎

  2. Janet
    September 11th, 2011 at 22:11 | #2

    According to Jack Wallen of techrepublic.com, “Android is fairly secure, thanks to the inherit security of the platform Android was based on. I think that if you pay close attention to permissions notices and warnings that you can skip the antivirus apps on your Android phone.”

    Antivirus programs run in the background and drain the battery. If you want that extra peace of mind, he recommends Lookout. “The free app will protect your phone from malicious software, as well as back up your phone, help you locate your missing phone, and allow web-based phone management.”

    You can read all his thoughts on the subject here: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smartphones/are-antivirus-applications-necessary-on-the-android-mobile-platform/2670

  3. September 21st, 2011 at 19:52 | #3

    Wow! Thanks for the detailed info. Do think I will go ahead with Lookout, just because I do not feel confident enough while browsing 😎

  1. September 10th, 2010 at 21:11 | #1