WHAT IS RAM
The RAM is that part of a computer which stores software and files in use temporarily, and it stands for Random Access Memory. Your laptop RAM is basically the short term memory storage for data as the processor requires it.
The RAM should however not be misconstrued for the computer hard drive which acts as the long term memory storage even when your computer is switched off.
To understand how the RAM works practically, imagine you have to play a computer game you have on your laptop’s hard drive, the data required by your computer processor to run such game is stored in the RAM.
The RAM is, therefore, that part of your computer that is responsible for its daily operations such as surfing the internet, running installed applications, or playing games.
HOW DOES RAM DIFFER FROM HARD DRIVE
Quite a number of computer users find it difficult to understand the differences in function between a computer’s RAM and its hard drive. This difficulty also comes from the fact that both are referred to as ‘memory.’
It must first be settled that every computer comes with two different kinds of storage. One is the temporary storage, while the other is permanent storage. Like it has been mentioned above, the RAM is the temporary storage, while the hard drive does the function of permanent storage.
The individual names of each of these computer parts suggest in a tiny way what some of the differences are. The hard drive is like ‘hard’ storage, while the RAM helps serves the function of granting ‘Access’ to stored data.
To understand this difference better, let us take the hard drive to be a library shelf, while the RAM or memory is a reading table in your home. Every time you want to read through a book, you walk down to the shelf which holds so many books, you pick one or two books, and then you place them on your reading table. This is the same way both the RAM and the hard drive differ.
WHY CHECK THE RAM BEFORE BUYING THAT LAPTOP
Having seen what the computer RAM does, it is essential to check that laptop’s RAM before putting your money on it. Buying a laptop with a low RAM can cause some real dissatisfaction while using your computer since the speed and general performance of your laptop is hinged on not just the hard drive storage, but also on how the hard drive and RAM work together.
The more RAM your laptop has, the faster your computer processes and operates essentially.
Computer users who love to multi-task and play games on their laptops can tell how annoying it can be using a computer with a low RAM. The lag and wait time can almost be frustrating.
HOW MUCH RAM DO I NEED?
The question I presume you are asking right now is “how much RAM do I need on my laptop?” The answer to this question still falls back to what you the computer user intends doing with your computer.
Computer RAM comes in different sizes ranging from the general 1 GB to as much as 32 GB; and as much as the general rule states that the more RAM is better, different RAM sizes are required by different category of computer users.
Computer users generally fall into different categories. There are those who use more of office software, those who engage in media streaming, photo editors, and a category that is into gaming.
Each category requires a different RAM size due to their diverse task demand. The advisable minimum requirement includes:
- Office software users- 2 GB RAM upward
- Media streaming- 4 GB RAM upward
- Photo editing- 4 GB RAM upward
- Gaming- 8GB RAM upward
However, a Laptop RAM can be upgraded from its current size to a higher size at a reasonably affordable price. Nonetheless, in doing this, it is always advisable to check with a proficient laptop technician for a possible upgrade.