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Computer Memory (RAM)

What is RAM?

RAM is short for Random Access Memory and is a piece of hardware within the computer that acts as the working memory for the computer, temporarily storing data. Having more memory allows the computer to process more information and can affect the overall performance of the computer.

Will more memory (RAM) help my computer's performance?

I am often called to diagnose PC’s because they are “slow". Normally by the time the customer rings me they have been putting up with the computer's slow performance for a while and they are incredibly frustrated.

A few of the most common causes for a slow computer include not enough memory installed, using a mechanical hard drive, viruses and having too many apps starting up and running in the background on your Windows PC.

We will now have a little look at memory (RAM) and whether you have enough of it in your PC.

How much memory (RAM) should you have?

Well the answer to that lies in what version of Windows you are running and what you are using your PC for. Here is a rough guide so you can see how you’re doing, focusing just on system memory:

Windows 7 / 8 / 10 / 11 :

Usage level: I browse the internet and do a bit of office work / email.

Recommended memory: 4-8GB.


Usage level: I browse the internet and do a bit of office work / email, I also like to dabble in photography editing or moderate gaming.

Recommended memory: 8-16GB.


Usage level: I browse the internet and do a bit of office work / email, I like to dabble with video or photography editing and I like to play games in my spare time.

Recommended memory: 16GB+.


Usage level: I edit video in 1080 – 4K or work with and manipulate large files regularly.

Recommended memory: 32GB+

How to identify how much memory you have installed.

You can easily see how much memory your PC or laptop has installed by doing the following:


- click on the windows logo on your desktop

- click on "control panel"

- select the "system" category

- select "system"

It should now mention a figure where it says "Installed memory (RAM)"

RAM speeds and standards:

DDR1 – up to 400mhz. This standard is now retired.

DDR2 – up to 800mhz. This standard is now retired.

DDR3 – up to 1866mhz. This standard is still available, but has been superseded by DDR4.

DDR4 – up to and in excess of 4000mhz+. 

DDR5 – up to and will be in excess of 5600mhz, this standard is currently the latest available.


RAM speed, does it help?


It can, in certain circumstances, if the application is sensitive to RAM performance, though it is not always the case. AMD’s Ryzen Processor (CPU) benefits more from increased RAM speeds than Intel platforms, but Ryzen has also been very picky about which RAM it supports in the past (1st and 2nd gen Ryzen particularly). Exercise caution if using an early Ryzen system when picking RAM, or call for advice.

If you feel that your computer or laptop may not have adequate memory, or it's still slow and under-performing, then contact PC Guy in Ellesmere Port for friendly advice.

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