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Why Memory (or RAM) is Important to Your Computer’s Performance

As an IT service in Orlando, the most common issue computer we find users deal with is a ‘slow’ performing computer. Nothing is more frustrating than working at a computer that can’t seem to keep up with your clicks and keystrokes. Computer users who work to remedy their slow computer may mistakenly try to provide it with more storage to quicken its performance. However, most of the time a computer’s slow performance can be blamed on the memory it’s equipped with as opposed to the amount of storage available. To explain why memory may be the culprit of a slow performing computer, let’s focus on the differences between memory and storage.

Computer Memory. IT service in Orlando for slow computers If you compare your computer to the human brain, you could easily compare computer memory to short-term memory. Memory (also referred to as random-access memory, or RAM) stores the tasks and processes the computer will need to use soon, but won’t need to keep forever. RAM is stored to the computer in milliseconds and the computer is constantly replacing the information stored as the processes needed change. RAM is the reason you don’t have to wait very long for the processor to load data.

Average applications like email clients or Web browsers don’t use more than 4GB of memory at one time when running. If you’re only using these types of programs, adding a ton of RAM to your computer may not increase its speed. However, if you’re using programs that require larger quantities of RAM, such as image or video editing software, more computer memory may be what’s needed for a faster performance.

Computer Storage. Unlike RAM, storage is a permanent way for your computer to store information. When compared to the human brain, the storage devices act like our long-term memory. While it takes some coaxing to draw a long-term memory out of us, it is engrained in our brain for good. Storage devices are for example the hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs). When an application is started, the computer retrieves all the necessary files from the drive they’re stored in to run the program, for example the C: drive on most PCs is where Windows stores the files it needs to operate.

Memory storage devices like USB thumb drives and memory cards are a popular way to store information because they can offer greater storage capacity than RAM. However, it’s important to remember that memory storage devices cannot access information as fast as RAM and flash devices have a limited lifespan.

When it comes to fixing a slow computer, don’t focus on the ‘long term memory’, or storage, and instead consider beefing up the ‘short term memory’, or RAM of your computer.

If you’re dealing with a slow computer, give us a call. We’d be more than happy to assess the problem and provide a solution for a faster performance.

For information on your computer performance or IT service in Orlando, contact Firewall Computer Services at 407-647-3430.