Over time computers often slow down. There are many possible reasons and remedies for the slow-down. One reason may be insufficient memory (RAM – Random Access Memory). It’s easy to check how much RAM you have and whether you can add more. Adding memory is usually easy and economical, and it may speed up your computer. I included information at the end of this article to help you determine an appropriate amount of memory for your PC, as well as links to articles about troubleshooting slow computers.
To scan how much RAM you have and can add, go to www.crucial.com. On the Home page (image on right), you’ll see a link to “Scan your computer”. Click that link and another page (image below) appears enabling you to Download the Scanner.
Click the checkbox to accept the agreement and then click the Download button. Then follow the instructions to run/install the scanner.
When the scanner finishes running, a window shows how many memory slots your computer has, how much memory is currently in them, and options/costs for adding memory (image below).
How much memory should you have?
There’s no simple answer to this, but you generally can’t have too much. The more programs you run simultaneously, the more memory you should have. If you want to see how much RAM is being used, you can right-click anywhere on the Task Bar to launch Task Manager. You see how much Physical Memory you have and how much is available on the Perfomance Tab of Task Manager (image below).
If you have a small amount of memory available, consider adding memory. If you’re running Windows XP, I recommend having a minimum of 500 MB of RAM (1GB is even better). If you’re running Windows Vista, I recommend a minimum of 1GB (2GB is better); and for Windows 7, 2GB minimum (4GB is better).
If you go to the your computer’s manufacturer’s website, you can normally download detailed instructions with illustrations for upgrading memory from their Support section.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are many things that can slow your computer. I included links to a couple of good articles on how to diagnose and eliminate problems on a slow computer below.