How Much RAM Does Your PC Really Need?

Frank DeLuca is a field technician for Tech Experts.

First off, note that how much RAM (along with the type and speed) that your system supports will depend on your motherboard.

Consult your PC/motherboard manual, or, if your PC was manufactured by an OEM, use a system checker such as the one found on to find out what RAM is compatible with your system.

Adding RAM to your computer is not a process that will magically make everything run faster. But it can aid your PC in multitasking and performing intensive-heavy tasks like loading 20+ browser tabs, content creation like editing videos or images, editing multiple productivity documents, and running more programs at one time.

Computers may experience significant slowdowns when running a large number of programs at once with low memory.

If all RAM space has been used when trying to open programs, the computer resorts to using virtual memory on the hard drive, which slows the computer down quite a bit.

Upgrading or adding additional memory can eliminate this problem as the computer doesn’t have to resort to using the hard drive for slower pagefile memory.

How much RAM you need in your computer depends heavily on what you use your PC for on a day-to-day basis and on how long you intend to keep the computer.

If you are thinking of investing in a new machine in the near future, waiting things out until your purchase might be the best bet.

If you already have a computer you love but want to shift gears into a different daily task that requires better performance, then upgrading your RAM as part of the process is a great idea and can breathe some extra life into your computer.

If you use your Windows 10 computer for word processing, checking emails, browsing the Internet, and playing Solitaire, you should have no problem using 4GB of RAM. If you are performing all of these activities at once, however, you might experience a dip in performance.

Many budget PCs come with 4GB of RAM as a base option. If you plan on keeping your machine for several years, then opting for 8GB of RAM is the safer bet, even if you use it for light tasks.

Video and Photo Editing
This really depends on your workload. If you are editing quite a bit of HD video, go for 16GB or more. If you’re working mainly with photos and a bit of video thrown in, 8GB should get you through. Again, in this instance, it may behoove you to opt for 16GB to give yourself more future-proofing headroom as photo and video quality is only getting better with file sizes exponentially increasing and becoming more memory intensive. Editing will work on lower amounts of RAM, but you’ll become so frustrated with the poor performance that you’ll soon start yearning for an upgrade.

In a nutshell, here are some simple guidelines that apply to most PC devices:

  • 4GB: Entry level memory. Comes with budget notebooks. Fine for Windows.
  • 8GB: Excellent for Windows and Mac OS systems. We recommend this for most people.
  • 16GB: Ideal for professional work and the most demanding tasks.
  • 32GB and beyond: Enthusiasts and purpose-built workstations only.

Remember, buying more RAM than you need doesn’t net you any performance benefit. It’s effectively wasted money.

Buy what you need, and spend what’s left of your budget on more important components such as the CPU or faster storage space like a solid state hard drive (SSD) which can be 10 times faster than a conventional hard drive.

RAM And You: How Much Memory Do You Need?

Jason Cooley is Support Services Manager for Tech Experts.

Is there anything as frustrating as experiencing issues with your computer? There are many different performance issues that can affect your experience as a user.

If your computer is running slower than normal (or slower than it should), there are so many things that can factor in. One of the more common causes is system memory being over utilized.

First, we have to understand the different types of “slow” your computer expresses.

If Internet pages are slow to load but programs like Microsoft Word are quick and responsive, your speed issue is Internet related.

If programs are slow, lag out, or won’t respond, you are dealing with a system issue.

In these cases, a restart can be your best friend. If a restart doesn’t help your system, take a look at your resource usage. The task manager will show in real time the usage of your CPU and memory (RAM).

Let’s say your RAM usage is high, even after a restart. This is a problem and you just don’t have enough system memory to support your daily tasks.

How does this affect your system? What can you do about it? How much is enough?

A shortage of RAM on your computer wreaks havoc on the system performance. It not only limits the work that the RAM is capable of handling, but it also affects the CPU and the hard drive performance.

When applications need more than the available RAM, they use virtual memory from the hard drive. The amount of virtual RAM can be increased in your system by increasing the size of your paging file.

While this may help to run your programs, your system performance will suffer greatly.

The virtual RAM your system will use is much slower than physical RAM, causing a bottleneck where you are now reliant on the speed of your virtual memory. This limits the speed of data traveling between the CPU and RAM as well.

We know the RAM is limiting our performance. While the paging file allows you to run the programs you need to work, your system performance will make multi-tasking nearly impossible.

The best thing at this point is to upgrade to more physical memory.

There are some limitations to upgrading your RAM. Operating systems have a maximum supported amount of RAM. This varies from operating system versions, from year to year, as well as 32-bit versus 64-bit.

Your motherboard and CPU could also have a maximum amount of RAM.

RAM sticks come in different memory quantities as well and each slot in your computer may have a maximum, as well as an overall system maximum as well. A single stick of RAM can be 512mb or 8gb and anywhere in between.

RAM also comes in many types that can vary based on your specific motherboard. Upgrading your RAM can make your system run better, but there are many things to factor in when you upgrade your RAM.

So how much RAM do you need? It varies for everyone, but the more programs you use, the more RAM you need.

If you are buying a new computer for modern business, a minimum, of 8gb is strongly recommended and 16gb is even better. If you run many programs, especially things like graphic and video editing software, you may want more. If you are upgrading your current system RAM, similar rules apply.

Your tasks and usage dictate your needs; don’t be afraid to give yourself one of the best performance upgrades out there by adding more memory to your system.

The Top 5 Upgrades To Speed Up Your Systems Now

Scott Blake is a Senior Network Engineer with Tech Experts.

Things happen a lot faster in a small business than they do in the corporate world. This is why it is critical for small business owners to ensure their technology is up to date.

Here are five upgrades you should consider including in your IT budget to help you get things done faster.

Get a faster Internet connection
Surprisingly, many businesses which completely rely on Internet connectivity still settle for slow Internet speeds.

It may not seem obvious at first; however, speeding up your Internet connection will speed your business activities, such as file downloads and webpage loading.

You might even consider signing up for a second internet line with another provider just so you can balance your Internet access between the two.

This will speed things up and provide a safety net in case one provider’s network fails. Most of the firewalls we recommend automatically have two Internet connections for redundancy.

Upgrade to Gigabit networking
Upgrading your network speed to Gigabit Ethernet will give you a 10-fold increase in network throughput.

GbE used to be expensive; however, today there are affordable gigabit network switches. In addition GbE works over CAT 5E cabling that is widely deployed, and it is typically built into most desktops and laptops.

Upgrade hard drives to Solid State Drives
If you are not yet ready for a company-wide system upgrade, you can still stretch the lifespan of your desktops/laptops by upgrading the hard disk drive (HDD) to a solid state drive (SSD).Печать

An SSD can read and write data at a higher speed, which allows users to boot up their systems and launch applications faster. SSDs are affordable; even a lower-end model will deliver a significant system boost.
We’ve seen incredible performance increases when installing solid state drives. Windows will boot in 5 to 10 seconds, Word loads instantly, and even QuickBooks speeds up.

Switch to 802.11n  wireless
If your office runs on an 802.11b or 802.11g Wi-Fi network, this would be a good time to deploy the 802.11n wireless.

This comes with a faster wireless speed that makes for a better experience and can support more wireless devices. Note that GbE is necessary to support these faster 300 Mbps 802.11n Wi-Fi access points.

Upgrade computer RAM
More RAM never hurts, and this is bolstered by the sheer affordability of RAM.

While modern computers with 4GB or more of RAM generally have adequate memory for nearly all user demands, increasing your RAM allows you to reduce virtual memory or even turn it off. This makes for a much faster computing experience.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)

Upgrade Your Computer For The New Year!

The question arises every time there is an issue with the typical system.  Should I upgrade the system, or by a new one?”

This question is most easily answered with a little more information.

How old is the system? Typically a system 6 plus years old or so is probably  ot going to worth the expense of upgrading. You would probably get a better bang for your buck replacing the system.

However, if your system is not really that old you can achieve remarkable  performance improvements by upgrading your system.

For instance, upgrading you hard drive increases your “physical memory.” Physical memory is the amount of hard drive space you have for the storage of data.

Many newer systems come with an average of 100-300 Gigabytes of on-board  physical memory. While this may sound like a lot, you might find that your physical memory can fill up fast.

With more and more people storing photos and homemade movies on their PC, without adequate storage space, you could find that you’ve run out of space and you may need to delete old memories for new ones. And no one wants to lose those memories.

Luckily, the cost of physical memory  is getting cheaper every day, without sacrificing any of the storage quality. And now, solid state hard drives arequite expense, and the performance is even better. Best of all, there are no moving parts to fail.

Adding RAM or “in use memory” is one way to increase performance rather inexpensively. RAM determines how much data you can work with at any one time.

If your RAM is low, you may be able to run a limited number of programs simultaneously. The higher amount of RAM your computer uses, the more applications and data you can access at the same time and the more
quickly your CPU can work. The CPU and RAM work nearly hand-in-hand to increase the speed and functionality of your computer.

By increasing your CPU and RAM, you will be able to work with more than one  program at one time and switch between the applications quickly with less lag time.

The CPU is where all the processing of data takes place. The more powerful  your computer’s brain (CPU), the faster your computer can process tasks. For example, if you get a little frustrated waiting for your web browser to load, upgrading your processing speed could help your computer start up faster, and help applicationslaunch more quickly.

We have upgraded my workstation here at the office by adding more RAM, and I cannot believe the difference this has made in the ability of the system to process data quickly. If there is one upgrade I would recommend over any other, it would be to upgrade your computer’s memory.

Even the biggest and best upgrades can’t help a computer that is slowed down because it is thoroughly infected. You have to take care when you are on the Internet and watch for malware that can attack your freshly upgraded computer.

And remember to let the techs at Tech Experts assist you in all your computing needs.

Computer Slowing Down? Try A Memory Upgrade!

I just turned a little older, and as anyone my age can attest, the first thing to go is your “memory.”

It is no different with your computer. I recently upgraded our workstations here at Tech Experts, from 1gb of RAM to 2gb, and I could not believe the difference in the way our stations run. Programs that I use on a daily basis run unbelievably fast.

I’ve been asked over the years, “What exactly is RAM?” RAM (Random Access Memory) is the temporary working memory that the Windows operating system, programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel, and documents use when your computer is running.

Don’t confuse RAM with hard drive storage, which is where all your files are stashed. For years, processors and software have been growing increasingly RAM-hungry. Even just a year ago, 512mb was considered enough. We started out at 1gb, and upgraded to 2gb in our stations, which seems to be the “sweet spot” for Windows XP.

If you are working in Word, have a couple of websites open in Internet Explorer, and Outlook is open for your e-mail, inside your computer, each of your programs is competing for RAM. Windows is juggling which program gets priority at a given moment.

If you don’t have enough RAM, Windows will use the hard drive as virtual memory. The problem is, though, that swapping programs back and forth between RAM and your hard drive is much less efficient than keeping everything in RAM.

If your system seems sluggish and you notice lots of hard drive activity, chances are good that adding RAM memory will rev your system up. Programs that you run in a business environment need to process information RIGHT NOW. That’s why we’re recommending all of our clients upgrade to 2gb of RAM in their workstations. The speed improvement is incredible!