Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Adding RAM to Your Computer
showing you how to disable components and services that you do not need to
use. This helps, but on some computers it is not enough.
According to Microsoft, the minimum amount of RAM required to run the
basic version of Windows 8 is 1 GB for 32-bit and 2 GB for 64-bit. I’m not sure how
that is determined exactly, but I feel sorry for you if you are running Windows 8
on just 1 GB. That may be enough for the core operating system and one or two
running applications, but if you are doing anything more, I highly suggest
adding more physical RAM. Before I continue, here are the basics of RAM.
RAM is the fastest type of memory on your computer outside the CPU cache.
No matter how you use your computer, RAM is always in use. Your computer
uses RAM as a high-speed temporary storage location to store data and
applications with which the CPU is currently working. Every time you launch an
application, Windows has to load it from your hard drive into RAM so that the
CPU can execute the code. Depending on the available memory, Windows may
have to kick out some other data that is currently in memory. That is called paging ,
which is covered in greater detail later in this chapter. Paging is a slow process
because it saves current memory back to the slow hard disk. It is best to avoid
paging as much as possible so the computer doesn’t waste time trying to make
room for your applications or data to it in memory. When you consider all the
memory that Windows 8 uses on top of your normal applications, you will see
why it is so important to have the right amount of high-speed memory available.
Adding RAM to Your Computer
Sometimes your only option to add more speed to your computer is to give it
more of what it likes most—RAM. If you have a low amount of RAM on your
computer—say you are right at the bare minimum requirements according to
Microsoft to run Windows 8 and you have already tried all the performance
enhancements in this topic—I recommend upgrading your RAM as a final
move. I have never seen any hardware upgrade that increases the speed of a
computer more than upgrading the RAM does. Upgrading the amount of RAM
you have on your computer is an easy and low-cost method to jump-start the
speed of your computer. Unsure whether you have the skills to do it yourself?
No problem—just follow the recommendations here for help in buying and
installing your new RAM.
Buying RAM for Your Hardware
Picking out RAM can be very confusing because so many different types exist.
The following two main points take the complexity out of buying RAM:
Type of RAM your hardware requires —These days you typically need
DDR2 or DDR3 memory, and if you have a laptop you need the smaller
 
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