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Memory vs Storage:
PC Performance

At some point your computer or laptop may experience significant slowdowns and performance problems. Instead of buying a new computer, it can be worthwhile to look at other ways to improve and upgrade your PC performance.

Increasing your computer’s memory and storage are both useful ways to bring a slow computer back to life. However, deciding whether to upgrade your memory or your storage depends on the problems your computer is facing and the performance benefits you want to achieve. This article will look at some examples of when to upgrade your memory and your storage and why these upgrades will benefit your PC performance.

What’s the difference between memory and storage?

Kingston 2.5 inch and M.2 SSDs with SODIMM memory sitting on a laptop keyboard

Memory and storage are two terms often mistakenly used for each other, but they do different things within your computer and therefore have different impacts on PC performance. In order to decide whether to upgrade your memory or storage, it is important to know the differences between them.

Memory, also known as RAM (Random Access Memory), is where information is constantly being processed and manipulated. Your computer utilises RAM for anything that is in immediate use such as working on applications, editing a word document or opening an email. However, the information on the computer’s memory can only be accessed on a short-term basis. If the information is not saved and stored on the computer’s storage, the data will be lost when the computer is turned off.

Storage is either the hard-disk drive or the solid-state drive where data is recorded and stored indefinitely. Your computer uses storage to hold your operating system, your applications and any data that has been loaded during use. This information can be accessed on a long-term basis and will not be removed when you turn off the computer.

When to upgrade memory?

The latest computers come with at least 8GB memory, which can be enough to perform everyday tasks. However, slow computers can often benefit from memory upgrades as more memory will increase your PC performance. This in turn will help you work more efficiently by allowing you to have multiple applications and browser windows open at the same time. Let’s look at some instances of when to upgrade your memory.

If your computer crashes when using multiple programmes or internet tabs at once

The more things you try to do on your computer, the more time it takes to perform those tasks. If you tend to have multiple internet tabs open at once or you like to switch between different programmes, you may have noticed that your computer starts to take longer to perform multiple tasks or it crashes in the process. Adding more memory will resolve this problem because having more memory means that the computer can process all this open information quicker.

Need to use large applications or software

Opening large applications, software or files requires a lot of RAM in order to use them efficiently. Upgrading the computer’s memory will increase memory space and thus allow larger programmes to run without slowdowns.

Want to increase gaming performance

Memory is important for gaming because it means your computer can access and load data quickly instead of retrieving it from your storage. With low memory, the computer won’t be able to run the game properly or might prevent it from running at all. Increasing a computer’s memory can benefit gamers because games will run smoothly, and response times will be a lot quicker. The amount of memory you need will depend on the games you want to play.

When to upgrade storage?

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase a computer’s performance is to remove a hard disk drive and upgrade to a solid-state drive. You can also upgrade your HDD or SSD to a larger storage capacity, Kingston Technology’s consumer SSDs now come with up to 2TB of storage. Let’s look at some instances of when to upgrade your storage.

Short battery life

One of the best ways to rejuvenate any laptop or PC is to install an SSD. For laptops, it’s a great upgrade option because they are more energy efficient than HDDs. SSDs do not have any moving parts so they require a lot less power to operate and this lengthens the battery life significantly.

Need to boost speed

Upgrading to an SSD can give your computer a significant speed boost, with boot times averaging at 10-13 seconds compared to 30-40 seconds for a hard drive. In addition, opening times of applications and files are typically significantly higher with SSDs than HDDs. The speed of your storage determines how fast your system can boot up, load, and access your data.

Running out of space for photos, music, etc.

Another problem that you might face is not having enough storage. If you’re constantly running out of space for your files and applications, upgrading your HDD or SSD to a larger storage capacity is a great way to increase your PC’s performance. More storage allows you to store more files and it will give you more free space for the latest applications or operating systems.

Whether you decide to upgrade your memory or your storage, you will see a significant increase in your PC’s performance. By adding more memory, your slow computer that struggles to perform multiple tasks at once will experience faster recall speeds. Whereas upgrading your storage is the best solution if your computer still has an HDD as most computers now come with an SSD due to the clear performance benefits. You can also increase the storage capacity of your SSD in order to create more space for files and applications. Either way, upgrading your computer’s memory, storage or both will revitalise your struggling machine and increase your PC’s performance.

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