Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when it is the right time to upgrade a computer with new DRAM or a high-performance solid state drive. Identifying the right time for an upgrade can be especially difficult for the average user who spends most of her time on the internet or using productivity applications. However, there are a few clear signs that a computer needs to be upgraded.
Sign #1: The computer has a hard time running multiple tasks
Information needs to be moved from the storage drive to the RAM every time a user opens a new tab on a browser, a new application or another background process. Once the information is on the RAM, it can be read by the processor and the computer can run the program.
To accomplish this, the computer will transfer data from the storage drive to the RAM each time a new application is opened. Since RAM is short-term memory, that data is only held until the application is closed, then deleted from the RAM. This lets the processor access important data quickly, while keeping all long-term storage in the storage drive.
If a computer is having a difficult time operating efficiently when multiple programs are running, it is because the RAM is being forced to store more information than it can hold. In some cases, the RAM may also be having a difficult time keeping up with transfer rates when so much data is being uploaded and deleted in sequence.
Because RAM is purely short-term memory, users having a difficult time running their usual number of applications needed to upgrade their RAM to solve the problem.
Sign #2: Slow boot times
When you first buy a computer, it typically comes with an operating system pre-installed. When the computer is turned on, it quickly checks that all hardware is intact and then boots the operating system from the storage device. After an operating system has been updated with new service packs and release versions it begins to take up more space on the storage device. A completely new operating system can have an even greater effect on storage space.
When the storage device has to boot a larger operating system, the computer will boot more slowly. When boot times slow down, it is a sign that the storage device's read speeds are too slow to handle the amount of data stored in the operating system.
A similar process is followed every time a program is opened. When the user runs a game or application, the storage device is read and data is moved to the RAM. If the data transfer rate of the storage device is too slow for the amount of data, load times will be long.
If boot or load times are long, it a sign that users need to upgrade their storage device. In many cases, the best way to do this is to purchase a solid state drive, which has no moving parts and can load programs and operating systems much more quickly than hard disk drives.
How to make the upgrades
If users are having trouble with their RAM or storage device, they probably do not need to purchase a new computer. Instead, they can purchase RAM or a new storage drive directly from a manufacturer and install the component themselves. Installing new RAM is one of the easiest changes to make. Adding a new SSD can be more difficult, as users have to deal with cords and making sure everything is plugged in properly, but devices will typically come with instructions detailing the best way to complete the process.
For more information on DRAM, go to our Knowledge Base library or our news and information page. For additional information on Crucial DRAM products, go to our product pages or support center. We have lots of videos for you to watch on our YouTube Channel. And if you’re ready to take the plunge, use the Crucial Memory Advisor or the Crucial System Scanner.