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Is RAM Capacity or RAM Speed Most Important

Rather than investing in a new PC, we always strive for our customers to upgrade their existing PC. Not only do you save money, the amount of e-waste is reduced. So, having some knowledge of computers is needed when you want to save money. RAM is one item we recommend upgrading instead of throwing money away on a new PC.

After having your PC inspected, RAM seems to be the culprit for its sluggishness. But, now what? Does RAM capacity or RAM speed need to be increased?

Reason Computers Need RAM

RAM can be thought of as short-term memory used to store files your processor needs often and quickly. Your PC responds instantly when this space is utilized, instead of many seconds. The few seconds saved makes a computer feel more powered rather than old and worn down.

More RAM is typically needed when your PC struggles opening programs you need. This is due to tasks being unloaded by your PC from fast RAM onto your computer’s hard drive. The hard drive may have lots of storage, however, it has slower speeds.

Capacity for RAM is measured in megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes. RAM size increase decreases the chance of your PC hard drive being used to store these temporary files. However, once enough RAM is installed in the PC to fit your needs, more RAM added would not be beneficial for speed improvement. In this case, faster RAM than what is already installed may be what’s needed to improve speed. This is true even with the same amount of RAM installed.

RAM’s Speed Metrics

Latency and frequency are metrics used to figure RAM speed.

Megahertz or MHz is how frequency is measured. The bigger the number the better. However, the lower number is better for latency; which is a sequence of numbers, such as 4-4-4-12.

After meeting your needs with RAM capacity, it might be more beneficial to lower the latency and increase frequency rather than adding more RAM.

Which is more important: speed or capacity?

RAM capacity is only beneficial to a certain point. Once there, a demising return is experienced. In general, unless you’re a gamer or demanding user, more than 8GB is not necessary. However, if you’re a gamer or demanding user, having a larger capacity of RAM, no more than 16GB might be needed. Although, this is not always the case. Less latency and more frequency may be needed to make a noticeable difference in your PC.

When it comes down to it, there is no “one answer fits all”. Talking to a computer specialist would be best. Also, keep in mind your PC motherboard has limitations with speed and capacity of RAM.

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