Tests and Scans
Pitstop Mechanics Lesson
About RAM: The Poor Man's Upgrade
Out to boost your PC's performance? Of all the upgrades you can make to your system, increasing your RAM is one of the easiest, most cost-effective and most noticeable upgrades you can make. And even if your system is already a screamer, more RAM always comes in handy—especially for intensive gaming or graphics and multimedia work--and it's a solid investment for the future of your PC.
Here are some quick facts and figures about RAM and memory upgrades, plus resources for more info and where to go for an upgrade:
What is RAM? (And why more is better)
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a set of chips that provides the working environment for your PC. It keeps files and applications readily available so you can quickly access them without constantly reading your hard drive. Essentially, the more RAM you have, the more applications you can run simultaneously, the more items you can open at once, and the better the performance of memory-hogging activities like heavy-duty graphics, video, or database crunching.
Upgrading produces cost-effective results
Upgrading your RAM produces instant results in your PC's performance, and it's generally not an expensive upgrade. Less than $100 of additional memory can bring an old PC back to life. Crucial Technology can identify the memory you need at very competitive pricing.
When and how to upgrade
Upgrading RAM is usually quite simple. In your PC, RAM modules are organized into memory slots. If you have open slots on your PC's motherboard, you can upgrade by placing additional SIMMS or DIMMs in the available slots. If no slots are available, you'll need to remove your old modules and replace them with modules of a higher capacity. You might replace a 128MB DIMM with a 256MB configuration, for example.
Consider a RAM upgrade if you fall below the PC Pitstop minimum recommendation, or if you install software that may require more muscle, such as:
For more on upgrades, see PC World's step-by-step Upgrade Guides.