The random access memory, or RAM, is perhaps the most important factor that determines PC performance aside from the processor speed. Today, most PCs come with an in-built memory of at least 2GB, probably more, and this will also depend on the operating system installed. But how do you judge when a memory upgrade is due? Here are some tips to help you recognize when to install a higher RAM.
1. Computer performance: There are times when your PC slows down, applications take a long time loading, and switching between programs takes forever. In fact, an oft repeated question on computer performance is ‘how to speed up my computer’. Well, the answer lies in upgrading your computer memory. More RAM means better data access speeds, easier multitasking, and definitely a better PC experience.
2. Operating system (OS) upgrades: Some of the newer operating systems on the market require a higher RAM. For instance, if you are upgrading your current OS from Windows XP to Vista then you might be in for a memory upgrade. This will ensure a seamless transition and enhanced performance that will reap the benefits of the OS upgrade.
3. A better gaming experience: Whether you are an active PC gamer or a true Techie, regular memory upgrades is a good idea. For a true gaming experience, especially for games that need a graphics card,  a memory of 4GB would be ideal.
4. Running performance-intensive applications faster: Media files stream faster with a higher memory. So do video editing software and other programs that need a higher RAM. You could check the CPU usage on your Task Manager to determine the applications that consume the most memory, and if your computer runs several of these programs consider upgrading your RAM.
Regardless of the reasons for choosing a memory upgrade there are some specifics to take care of before purchasing more RAM. First evaluate the costs of upgrading against the performance benefit. Sometimes upgrading your memory may help defer other expensive investments such as a processor upgrade. Second, check if your motherboard supports the RAM you intend to upgrade to. Finally, a memory upgrade may not be appropriate for very old PCs with dated hardware components, in which case upgrading your computer will serve better in the long run.

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