If your computers are running sluggishly, you may be considering an upgrade, as slow computers can definitely hinder your work. But with as many components as computers have, budgeting for an upgrade may be confusing. One wallet-friendly and efficient way to increase your computer's startup speed and multitasking ability is to upgrade your RAM. RAM affects just about everything you do from the moment you push your computer's power button.
The amount of RAM you have installed in your computer can largely affect your startup speed. In an experiment by TuneUp Blog in 2009, computers were tested four times, each with a different amount of RAM. Between 512MB of RAM and 4GB of RAM, over a minute -- 89 seconds to be precise -- was shaved off the total boot time. Results will vary between machines, and if you have a slow processor or hard drive you may not see such a drastic improvement. However, RAM is a definite factor, and a simple upgrade can help immensely.
Video of the Day
What RAM Does
RAM is responsible for managing all your running programs and processes. Every time you open a program, it requires a certain amount of memory to run. If you have too many programs open, you may start to use the majority of available memory; at this point your computer may slow down as it tries to run all these programs simultaneously. More RAM lets you run more programs at once without slowing down, and can help them start faster as well.
If you are upgrading your RAM, it's important to know that only significant upgrades will make a big difference. If you have 1GB of RAM and upgrade to 2GB, for example, you may not see a huge jump in performance, But if you're moving from 2GB to 8GB, the difference will be immediately noticeable, especially during the startup process when all of your auto-run programs are trying to start at the same time. RAM is relatively inexpensive compared to other computer hardware, so consider spending a little extra for significantly improved performance.
Your computer can start up slowly if you have a large number of applications running automatically upon logging in. To rectify this, open Task Manager, then click the "Startup" tab. This will display the list of any programs that start upon login. If you see any programs you don't want to start up by themselves, select the program's name, then click "Disable." This will only affect your computer's startup procedure, so if the program is already running, you will have to close it manually. If your budget permits, look into installing a new, faster hard drive, such as a solid state drive.