How Much RAM Do I Need?

When purchasing a computer system, many consumers become concerned regarding the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) that is provided with their system. Even for an advanced consumer, it can be very difficult to determine precisely how much RAM will be necessary, especially while the computer is new and performance is still high. Many users assume that if a system operates smoothly, the allocated memory is adequate. As computers age, however, RAM shortages will often reveal themselves in the form of slow and unresponsive computer systems. At this point in time, most consumers regret not investing in additional memory.

From the powerful operating systems to the loads of applications and files that flood most computers, its easy to see why memory is often in short supply. But though RAM and other memory upgrades are relatively inexpensive, many computer users think of them as a hassle, and largely unnecessary. As mentioned earlier, however, failure to prepare can lead to undesirable problems in the future. When purchasing or maintaining a computer system, it is essential that you consider the memory needs of your system. The requirements of your computer, as well as many other factors, play a large role in determining how much RAM you computer needs.

How To Determine Your Computer's Memory Needs:

System. The bulk of memory requirements is determined by the system itself, which consists of many specifications that will affect the how much RAM is needed. Processor and CPU model types will require varied amounts of RAM, which can normally be located at the manufacturer's website. This requirement, however, is often very rudimentary, so its important that users consider the other needs of their computer system.

Operating System. Whereas Linux can run smoothly on minimal amounts of RAM (as low as 4 MB), other operating systems will require much higher proportions For Microsoft's Windows XP, 128 MB is the minimum requirement. For optimal performance however, user will find that amounts of 512 MB or even 1 GB allow the computer to operate better. When using MAC OS X, you can follow the same standard. For Windows Vista, users should opt for at least 2 GB of RAM in order for the system to run efficiently.

Personal Needs. The requirements listed by manufacturers and stores are estimated on a scale of normal usage. According to this standard, users will require the computer for simple activities of Internet Access, word processing, and few other applications. If your computer doubles as a workstation, entertainment center, or gaming arcade, you will probably require more RAM than the usual. Programs such as image manipulation, animation, web server, and data processing also tend to be memory intense and will require addition RAM. Especially for gaming, users may want to consider upping their memory to as high as 4 GB for optimal performance.

As computers grow even more essential in our advancing society, the need for high-capacity memory only continues to increase. Though computers have become so convenient and easy to use, the hardware within them is both complex and powerful, especially compared to what was required for the older computer models. The size of computers has indeed decreased significantly - but with the GUIs and that make these computers so convenient ad user-friendly, the systems are more powerful, which causes the need for more memory. If you plan on purchasing a new system, or would like to maintain an aging model, deciding how much memory you will need can be very helpful. Also remember that just like money, the old cliche also stands true for memory - you can never have enough RAM!

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