Add more memory
Not having enough RAM can make your PC feel sluggish. Adding more memory can make a big difference
Increasing the amount of memory in your PC can make a huge difference. Simply put, more memory means that you can run more applications, or larger applications with ease. Newer operating systems can also be more resource-hungry. If you’ve recently updated to Windows 10, for example, and your PC is running slower than ever, a lack of RAM could well be the culprit.
RAM keeps all the data your system is currently using in a volatile but immediately accessible state, making your PC run faster as a result. If you have too many programs open, you will start to run out of RAM and your PC will begin to use a page file, which is a hard disk-based RAM overflow. Hard disks are much slower than RAM, and your PC will slow to a crawl. If you have an SSD, you won’t even have a page file, as these quickly wear out the solid-state storage, so are disabled. Today, 8GB of RAM should be the minimum, as 4GB no longer cuts it on the vast majority of desktops.
CAN I UPGRADE?
Shut your PC down and open its side, so you can see the RAM slots. In the easiest scenario, you’ll have some free RAM slots (most motherboards have four RAM slots, and typically have two free). If you don’t have any free slots, you’ll have to replace all of the existing RAM to get an upgrade. Download and install CPU-Z (tinyurl.com/
shoppercpuz) and select the Memory tab to see how much RAM you have. Once you know how much RAM you have, you need to confirm whether you can actually upgrade. You’ll need to check if your computer can handle more memory. If you’re using a desktop, check your motherboard manufacturer’s website for the maximum amount of RAM it can handle. CPU-Z will also tell you the type of RAM you have installed (DDR3 or DDR4) and the speed in MHz.
Armed with this information, you can buy additional RAM to get to 8GB or 16GB, buying the same type of memory. Most PCs benefit from dual-channel memory, where you install sticks of RAM in pairs, using the slots identified in the manual. This needn’t be an expensive upgrade, either. An 8GB DDR4 2,400MHz kit currently costs around £64 for two 4GB sticks of RAM.
HOW TO REMOVE DESKTOP RAM
If you need to replace memory on your motherboard, you’ll need to remove the old sticks first. If you have free RAM slots, jump to the next step instead. Locate the RAM on the motherboard and pull back the clips holding the RAM in place (see the picture above). Firmly pull the RAM modules out with two fingers.
HOW TO INSTALL DESKTOP RAM
Pull back one of the clips and insert the RAM stick starting on that side. Push one end of the RAM until it clicks into place and the clip moves to hold the stick in place. Repeat with the other end of the RAM. Repeat for each stick of RAM. Reattach the case panel and turn your PC back on.
⬆ Buy RAM in pairs, as you’ll get better performance out of it ⬆ Pull back the clips holding the RAM in place to remove the memory modules ⬆ Insert the RAM one end at a time until it clicks into place | | COMPUTER SHOPPER