If your laptop isn’t performing as well as you’d like, or if it goes slow when you’re trying to use programs like Photoshop and other image editing software that requires a lot of RAM, the reason for this could be because your laptop doesn’t have enough RAM.
What is RAM exactly? RAM stands for Random Access Memory which means the computer stores temporary data in this space. The RAM is like a desk with drawers where you can store things for easy access. When you save a document on your computer, it is stored in your hard drive. The next time you want to access that document, your computer will need to pull it from the hard drive and into the RAM so you can work on it. When you’re done, the computer will save the changes back to the hard drive.
Should You Upgrade?
Adding more RAM to your computer is a great way to speed things up and make your computer run smoother. How do you know when you should upgrade? Here are five things to look at before upgrading.
1. What do you use your computer for?
If you use your computer for basic tasks such as checking email and browsing the internet, then you likely don’t need more than 4GB of RAM. However, if you use your computer for tasks such as video editing, gaming, or CAD design, you’ll need more RAM.
2. How much memory is installed on your computer?
Not all computers can handle more than 4GB of RAM. To find out how much memory your computer can handle, open up the “System Information” dialog box. To do this, press the Windows key + Pause/Break key on your keyboard. This will open the “System” window. Look for the “Installed Memory (RAM)” value.
3. What type of RAM do you need?
Not all RAM is created equal. In order to use more than 4GB of RAM, your computer must use DDR3 RAM. To find out what type of RAM is installed on your computer, open up the “System Information” dialog box and look for the “RAM type” value.
4. What brand of RAM should you buy?
Some brands are better than others. When it comes to RAM, you get what you pay for. Be sure to buy a quality brand of RAM such as Corsair, G.Skill, or Kingston.
5. How much does RAM cost?
RAM can vary in price, depending on the brand and type. However, quality RAM typically doesn’t come cheap. You can expect to pay around $50 for a 4GB stick of DDR3 RAM.
How to add RAM to a laptop
There is no one definitive answer to this question. It depends on the laptop model and its hardware. However, in general this guide should work on any laptop:
- Shut down your laptop and remove the battery. This avoids potential electrical damage.
- Next, locate the RAM slots on your laptop. They are usually on the underside near the battery.
- If your laptop has more than one RAM slot, identify which one is currently populated with a stick of RAM.
- Carefully remove the old stick of RAM from the slot.
- If the new stick of RAM is different in size or shape than the old one, consult your laptop’s manual or search the web for instructions on how to install the new stick.
- If the new stick of RAM is the same size and shape as the old one, then you can simply insert it into the empty slot.
- Replace the battery and turn on your laptop.
Your new RAM should now be operational.
- Do not touch the contacts on the bottom of the RAM stick. The RAM stick is very sensitive and any oils from your hands will cause the stick to not work.
- When handling the new stick of RAM, avoid touching the gold contacts on the bottom.
- If you have to remove the old RAM stick, be very careful not to bend the contacts.
- If you are not comfortable installing the new RAM stick, take your laptop to a professional. Do not force the RAM stick into the slot. If it doesn’t fit easily, it’s not the correct slot.
Wrapping It Up
While RAM upgrades aren’t for everyone, if you are the type of laptop user who likes to do their own upgrades and have a bit of tech savvy, it’s surprisingly simple to do. The new RAM doesn’t just increase your laptop’s speed; it makes the whole experience more enjoyable and lets you get the most out of everything that your laptop can do. The world is a better place when you have a fast computer filled with all your files (not to mention heavy games or software’s).