Why RAM is important, and when you should upgrade your memory. – Legal Technology Solutions

Why RAM is important, and when you should upgrade your memory.

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Your programs need resources to run… large programs need more resources. Light programs need less resources. Just like a heavy person who wants to hike a mountain, will need more energy (or “power”) to climb up the mountain, while a light person will need to put less efforts to climb the same mountain, therefor will use less energy…
The larger or “heavier” the program is, the more resources it needs.
The resources that programs have, and what will determine the speed of which the program will run, consist of:
– Speed of the hard drive (note I didn’t write SIZE of the hard drive… the hard drive size is what we get a lot of, on new computers, but that doesn’t determine the SPEED of the computer. Only the amount of storage that you can use to store your files, pictures, videos etc. (the “capacity” is determined by the SIZE of the drive. The performance will be determined by the SPEED of the drive)
– Speed of the motherboard
– Speed of the CPU (Central Processing Unit)
– Amount of, and speed of RAM

So which of the above resources should you upgrade to speed up your computer?

Your hard drive can spin only X amount of rounds per minute (most drives today are 7200 RPM)… you can’t speed THIS part up or make it spin faster unless you replace the hard drive to a solid state drive (“SSD”).

Your motherboard is the last thing you’ll want to consider replacing. It’s expensive and will most likely require upgrades of other parts…
Your CPU is probably the most expensive resource to upgrade, and must match the motherboard… making it annoying to replace (although physically it’s very simple to switch it with another one…)

Your RAM is the easiest component to upgrade because of a few reasons:

– It’s cheap…
– It’s easy to install
– You can get it online or at a computer store in most cases on the spot
– You can DIY
– There is no software installation that needs to take place and usually not even one screw to twist…

How did we get from “what is RAM” to “speed up your computer” ?

When you open a few programs, in almost all cases, those open programs will utilize the maximum amount of RAM that your computer has installed in it, just like taking a few “big guys” and placing them on a ski lift to take them up the mountain… the heavier those guys are- the less of them will fit on the ski lift- right ?

Same with RAM… the more resource-demanding the programs you have open are- the more RAM they will need, and RAM is almost always the FIRST resource to be maxed out, and cause a bottle-neck.

So if we have, let’s say 8 Gigabyte (GB) or RAM on your computer, Windows might use 2GB from those 8, just to run itself… and you then open Outlook, and Internet Explorer, and Amicus, and QuickBooks, and Excel… you get the point…

Each of those programs will utilize the above resources, and will slow the computer down.
If you look at the resource monitor of your computer, you will see that in most cases you don’t use more than 50% of the CPU speed, and you are either close to, or maxing out the RAM usage and probably the Hard Drive as well…

Since all operating systems use RAM (even your phone, tablets, Mac etc), It’s important to have enough RAM to avoid crashing of programs, slow computers, and frustration…
Every program that you purchase will have the “minimum requirements” listed on the manufacturer’s website. The RAM will be listed there as well…

Please remember that if you have a program that requires 2GB for example, and you have only 4GB (for example) installed on your computer, you should upgrade the RAM… since Windows will use about 2GB, and your Anti Virus program will use some more, and if you open a couple of other programs at the same time, you will already try to use more RAM than you have. This is when your computer will be slower than it should, and this is when issues might start happening…

The more “juice” you are trying to squeeze out of your computer, the more RAM you should have…

Usually $50 to $100 will get you at least 8GB or RAM which is the minimum recommended these days for windows 7 or 8, for lawyers who use their computer for work…

There is of course many additional factors and technical explanations that we won’t get into at this point, but what you should take away from this answer is- if you have windows 7 or 8, and have less than 8GB or RAM, you should probably consider upgrading it, if your computer can handle it… to utilize the speed and potential of your other components.

If you want more information please email info@legalTechnology.solutions and I’ll be happy to help further.

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