Computers are incredible tools that help us stay connected, learn new skills, and share information quickly and easily.
One of the most important features of any computer is its memory, or RAM (Random Access Memory). Having good and reliable computer memory is essential for any kind of computing. We use our computers so much that we don’t even think much about how important computer memory is.
Computer memory is what allows us to run programs and/or apps on our devices and computers. Without a substantial amount of memory installed on your computer, not only will your computer run slower, it’ll cause other installed programs to run slowly as well.
Programs rely heavily on internal memory to store data while they’re running.
In this article, we’ll look at the top four advantages of computer memory, and why they’re so important for your computer system.
Storage capacity is crucial in storing and retrieving data on your computer. The good news here is that you can choose from a wide range of storage capacity for RAM. It all depends on your needs and what you are looking for.
The typical storage space, or memory size that the average computer comes installed with today, is around 8 GB.
That storage amount will suffice to handle most computer and software processing needs. That’ll easily handle the demands of a Windows or Mac OS (Operating System), everyday web browsing, and an installation of your typical software package, like an Office 365 suite, in addition to any specialized software specific to your work or craft.
Upgrading to add more memory to your computer system is quite easy to do. Most motherboards (the main circuit board inside a computer) comes equipped with additional memory slots that can accommodate new memory sticks.
Depending on the motherboard that your computer has, will determine the max amount of memory your computer can upgrade to. I’ve seen motherboards that allow you to max out the memory upgrade to 32 GB and even 64 GB.
That’s a lot of RAM for the average user and probably overkill for most.
But let’s talk benefits of adding more memory, I’ll provide you with two to consider.
First, increased memory will give you more storage capacity for the short term. This allows more files and programs to run while your computer is on. Remember, computer memory is all about temporary storage. Hard drives are for longer-term storage.
Secondly, faster read and write speeds, which means faster data access. I’ll talk more about that in a few minutes.
With faster read/write speeds, you can access your files quickly and efficiently without experiencing lag or delays. This is the main reason to increase your memory size, it simply makes the computer faster.
So we’ve already discovered that more computer memory allows for faster access and retrieval of data.
Programs store data in memory temporarily in order for them to operate efficiently. The more memory that’s available, the better that program can run. This improves the user’s overall experience because they can navigate through their applications faster, and more efficiently.
Having more memory available on your computer can greatly improve multitasking capabilities, as well. We all have several programs installed on our computers at any given time. Additionally, we tend to have several of those programs simultaneously while we’re using our computers.
Remember, programs rely on memory in order to run efficiently.
So of course all the different programs that are open will be competing to use as much memory space as they need and can get. When you have more memory installed, it’s much easier to multitask between the different programs, without any loss in performance.
I talk more about this in my article on how adding RAM can increase computer speed, giving a similar analogy that I provided here on multi-tasking.
With ample RAM installed on your computer, you’ll be able to have several applications running simultaneously without experiencing lag in performance. From an end user’s point of view, this is always a plus.
Speed and Efficiency
More speed is the main benefit that computer memory brings with it, as I’ve mentioned before.
With enough memory, you won’t have to worry about lagging or freezing when operating your computer, and switching between applications.
This means quicker access to important documents and programs when you need them most. Improved processing speed allows you to get your work done faster, resulting in a more fluid and pleasant experience.
RAM technology also continues to improve. With those improvements comes better speed.
Did you know that having good-quality RAM can in fact extend the lifespan of your computer? When you have upwards of 8GB installed on your computer, it allows your computer to run more efficiently while at the same time reducing the wear and tear on other components.
When you think about it, that does make plenty of sense. More memory reduces how hard your computer has to work to process everyday tasks between the different programs. If it doesn’t have to work as hard, then components, such as the CPU (Central Processing Unit), cooling fans, and even the hard drives can be preserved for a longer time.
A winning combination for both computer and the user.
Your computer memory provides quick access to frequently used applications and files. By now, the concept of temporary storage, as it relates to memory (RAM) should be clear.
By storing these items in volatile or non-volatile memory, users can open them instantly without having to wait for the system to search through a hard drive or external storage device.
This means that tasks can be completed much faster, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency, which I mentioned in the last section.
Unlike traditional storage devices such as SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) hard drives or some external disks, which require physical movement to read and write data, computer memory can access information instantly without any delay.
This means that you can open multiple applications simultaneously without any lag time.
Computer memory has no moving parts that can wear out or break down over time, which makes accessibility and retrieval happen much faster. That’s how the idea for Solid State Drives came about, to provide more long-term storage that had access speeds similar to that of RAM technology.
Older technology hard drives had moving parts that made data retrieval an arduous process at times. SSD technology, which is a newer technology for data storage, made data retrieval much faster.
Conclusion: Should You Get More Memory?
My simple answer here is yes.
You always want to have as much memory or RAM as your computer can handle. In fact, I’d recommend that you max out the amount of memory your computer can handle, before going out and purchasing a new computer.
You’ll be surprised at how much money you’ll end up saving, and how much longer you’ll extend your computer’s lifespan.
So as a rule of thumb, install more memory in your computer first, before getting a new system. And if you’re not sure how to get started with that process, head over to Crucial’s website. They can scan your computer and tell you the type of memory your computer takes, and the maximum amount that it can handle.