Do I Have Enough RAM?

Imagine this: you are sitting at your personal computer. Maybe you’re photo or video editing or playing an online game with your friends. Suddenly, your program starts becoming slow and unresponsive. Why?

Random Access Memory (or RAM) is a physical storage device your computer uses to temporarily store information. Accessing the data stored in RAM is much faster than accessing data on the hard drive. This allows your computer to load applications faster and your web browser to smoothly play back videos, among other things.

It’s crucial to select or build a computer with an appropriate amount of RAM for the tasks it will be performing. If you’re using your computer to simply browse the internet or watch YouTube videos, 4GB of RAM may be plenty. If you are going to be editing photos and videos, PC gaming at a higher than normal resolution, or 3D rendering, a greater amount of RAM may be needed (possibly 8GB or more).

Here’s an example of how RAM works in your computer, and how not having enough can slow you down: Imagine you’re going to cook a big fancy dinner. The pantry (where your data is) is your hard drive, and your counter tops (where data is stored and accessed faster) are your RAM. You can cook faster if you move all of your ingredients from the pantry to the counter top so you don’t have to travel to the pantry to get something every time you need it. But if you fill up the counter top, you’ll need to go get each individual item from the pantry, slowing your cooking down.

What are the symptoms of not having enough RAM?

There are different indicators that your computer may not have enough RAM. These include applications (such as games and web browsers) running slowly or freezing, video playback slowing, or the computer booting slowly.

What are some symptoms of failing RAM?

You can also have the RAM in your PC fail. Some signs that your RAM may be failing include your computer randomly crashing, data files becoming corrupted, and on Windows based systems, displaying the incorrect amount of RAM. In the below screenshot, I have 16 GB of RAM installed in my computer. If I had a failed stick of RAM, the system would say 8 GB. Some of these symptoms may have multiple causes, so it is important to diagnose the issue correctly before purchasing more RAM.

If you experiencing an issue with RAM, or would like to upgrade your RAM contact us today!

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