Today’s operating systems and applications require more system resources than ever, especially memory. More memory will speed up your computer applications and increases your computers overall performance. Some benefits of adding more memory include quicker boot-up times and the ability to run multiple programs simultaneously. Double Data Rate 2 (DDR2) memory offers maximum data transfer rates to increase performance of memory demanding applications such as streaming video, games, and graphics programs.
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Some computer manufacturers such as Toshiba ship their laptop computers with the least amount of memory to keep the selling price low. Toshiba embeds 256MB of DDR2 RAM in it laptops and has one to two open memory slots to allow upgrades. Windows XP will run painfully slow with the minimum amount of memory. Which according to Microsoft is, “128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or … (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)” (“Windows XP Professional System Requirements”). You can never have too much memory by adding just 512 MB of additional RAM will dramatically improved your systems performance.
Computer Memory is analogous to the top of your desk, the bigger your desk top the more things (applications) your can have on it at the same time (multitasking), such as a writing tablet (word processing program), a date book, (a calendar program) etc. Think of these items as your computer programs and the desktop as RAM, the more RAM in your computer (bigger desktop) the more applications you can run simultaneously (the more junk on your desk). Software applications will also run much faster with more memory especially memory hungry applications such as graphic intensive programs. The amount of memory you can upgrade your system to is based on your budget and your computer’s memory requirements.
Some laptops can only be upgrade to 2GB of RAM, and laptop memory usually is more expensive then desktop memory. Most new desktops can be upgraded to 4GB or more. Make sure that you know your computers model number when searching for memory, not all memory will work in all computers. If you’re in doubt contact your computers manufacturer to find out what kind of memory you should buy or purchase memory directly from them.
“Windows XP Professional System Requirements”. Microsoft.com. August 24, 2001. March 14, 2007<http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/>