So the Hot One, my wife, comes to me the other day with a flyer in her hand..."Is this laptop a bargin?"
"Sure, but you'll need more Ram", I said.
"Why" says the 10 year old.
"It'll run faster", I answered.
Now, what most people want to know is "How much do I need", here is the short answer: 3GB.
And here is the long answer. Most people may vaguly remember that RAM is memory. However, I like to think of it as the ability for a computer to multi-task.
The more RAM a computer has the better it will be at multi-tasking. You see, each program and application you open will request an amount of RAM for its own exclusive use. This is ok, but at some point the computer has no more to give. Now, being a good tool, the machine does not stop working, but it does start running slower. And as you keep opening windows it will get slower and slower.
So in conclusion, the more RAM you have the "things" you can do with your machine without affecting the speed.
Like all rules, this one has an exception. Some programs when they load, go ahead and take up all available RAM. You know who these greedy beast are before you even fire them up...cause usually they are the only thing you have open. Examples would be: 3D games, Virtual Boxes and Development environments.
The other time that RAM really comes into play is on start up. The computer needs to start a million things at once...to speed this up it constantly swaps part of the programs being started into and out of memory. The more memory you have the more it can switch and swap.
Here's a quiz for you... What can you do to speed up your machine, without spending money on new "hardware"?
By the Way: Join me in Charlotte, Feb 6th for the Annual HSCC Open House. We're teaching kids how to build Java websites this year. More Info at bdpa-charlotte.org