Full Speed Ahead: RAM Upgrades

Random Access Memory, or RAM, is used to actively store data necessary to run programs on your computer. The "sticks" of RAM are physically located closer to the CPU and have a higher transfer rate than storage memory, resulting in a minimal delay compared to constantly accessing the data from the hard drive.

  • Think of it as the active thoughts in your mind compared to the entirety of your memory; you can still access the whole storage, but whatever is active will be easier to remember.

With more RAM on hand, your computer will be able to run more intensive programs with fewer hiccups, and having multiple programs open will have less impact on how responsive every program is. But if your computer can't run a program due to a CPU or graphics card bottleneck, then a RAM upgrade will have no impact on it. RAM is typically purchased in pairs to allow multiple channels of data to be accessed at once, which will add a bit more performance compared to unmatched pairs. Single sticks are available for purchase, but they should be treated more as replacement parts for computers with faulty RAM.

Buying Checklist

Before you purchase a single stick of RAM, determine what type and how much RAM your motherboard can support.

  • For Windows, search for and run the dxdiag program to receive a printout of your computer's physical components, including the motherboard. Use the model number to search for the appropriate RAM type to use and the maximum amount supported, and look inside your computer tower to examine the physical configuration of the RAM sticks to see how many slots are currently open.
  • If you need more RAM than the board can handle, a motherboard upgrade is required. Upgrade Your RAM Today

Your RAM is a vital component for multitasking and is one of the more inexpensive pieces to upgrade for improved performance. If you're looking to make your computer a better workstation, extra RAM is what you need.