RAM or memory is one of the important components necessary for the processing capability of the CPU. RAM holds the information that can be accessed and utilized by the processor. No matter what type of applications or programs you run, every application has to depend on the memory. This makes it necessary to have a memory with adequate capacity. The memory should be able to support your portfolio of programs for daily usage. In order to maximize the performance of your computer, you can upgrade it. But, you must not upgrade the memory in a random manner. There are important things to know for upgrading memory so you can extract the maximum benefit.
When you upgrade memory, you expand the capacity for including more programs. This is useful when you are running CPU intensive applications and also performing multiple tasks at once. Multitasking involves handling many programs simultaneously. As each of the applications consumes memory, it is necessary to have sufficient space. A memory stores the data on a short-term basis. It is required as long as you are working on a particular program. Speed and capacity are two essential factors that can affect the functioning of the RAM. After considering the essential things for upgrading the memory, you can make the right choice and take benefits of the upgrade.
It is necessary to understand the limit factors before upgrading the RAM. Simply upgrading the memory may not increase the speed of your computer. Hence, you must evaluate the memory, CPU, GPU, and also storage in the form of HDD and SSD, before opting for the right thing.
1. Understanding the maximum capacity of existing RAM before upgrading memory
To start the evaluation process, you must find out the total capacity of your existing RAM. Understanding the total and available capacity of your memory is the first thing you should know before upgrading your memory. It can give you a clear idea of your usage. When you run your system to the fullest while using all the usual applications, you can understand how much free space is available for anything else. It can determine if there is any room for more activities.
Each program or application consumes different storage space. Some applications end up using more memory as compared to others. Also, certain applications consume a little memory in background processes. Besides the capacity, you must find out the clock speeds and type of RAM. For example, whether the memory is DDR3 or DDR4 RAM type.
To check the memory in macOS, you can go to the Apple icon on the top left corner and go to ‘About this mac’. Here, you can find the details about total capacity, clock speed, and type of RAM. On Windows 10, you can find the information in the Task manager. It gives the number of slots, speed per slot, total, and available memory capacity.
2. Checking for bottlenecks before upgrading your memory
If you do not have adequate memory, you may experience significant delays in the performance. It can also make it difficult to load more applications. Before upgrading your memory, you can know the available memory capacity when the system is in active use. This can help you to identify any obvious bottlenecks. For example, if you find out the available capacity is running out, you can catch the main issue.
When you experience a slowdown on Windows 10 operating system, you can go to Task Manager. Under the performance tab, you can select Memory. It will show two fields named ‘In Use’ and ‘Available’. If the memory is maxed out, you can easily benefit by adding more RAM. You can take advantage of options like selling your used RAM and buying a new upgrade.
3. Checking the compatibility of RAM
In order to upgrade your memory, you must check the compatibility with the system. You must choose the right type that can be compatible with the motherboard. Earlier DDR2 and DDR3 were common versions of RAM. Now, most of the modern versions are compatible with DDR4. You can either replace the existing RAM or add an additional memory in the available slot. But in order to do so, both the RAM modules must have the same speed. It is preferable to use two same RAM modules instead of mixing and matching.
Another important thing to know before upgrading the memory is to know the memory speed. If the speed of your RAM is low at around 1600 MHz or 2400 MHz, you would benefit by upgrading to a higher speed. You can opt for a RAM with 3000 MHz speed. This can boost the performance to an exceptional level. You would notice a significant difference in productivity and processing capability. While upgrading to a higher speed, you can trade the older RAM. There can be a demand for used RAM so you can easily gain cash by selling it.
4. Understanding your usage before upgrading the memory
When you are deciding whether to upgrade your memory, you must know your usage. The type of applications and programs can determine this factor. For example, if you use your computer for web browsing, streaming videos, running Microsoft applications like Excel and Word, you would find it sufficient to have a capacity of 8GB. Most of the computers may have a RAM of 4GB. This can limit your usage especially while running multiple activities at the same time. You would notice a delay in responsiveness. Loading applications may also take time.
If you enjoy gaming and would like to play titles on a regular basis, you can benefit by upgrading to 16GB. A large capacity like 16GB can give you sufficient space for gaming, programs, and any other background processes. A larger capacity of 32 GB is not required unless you perform CPU intensive activities. For example, if you perform video editing, use image editing tools for designing, and play intensive gaming applications, and handle large media files, you would need 32GB.
After understanding these factors, you can decide whether it is beneficial to upgrade the memory. It can improve the response time and performance of your system. Finding the right answer to these things can give you clarity whether you should opt for RAM upgrade or look for other changes.