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Do you need more memory?

No, I’m not talking about the “I forgot where I put my car keys” kind of memory (which we could all probably use more of most days)…I’m talking about computer memory! If your computer is a bit of a dog trying to run a photoediting or digital scrapbooking application, then you might.

I found out this week exactly what a difference increasing the RAM in a system can make if it is the weak link. I bought a new desktop system in January from Dell, with a Core 2 Duo processor and 1 GB of RAM. According to Microsoft, that was plenty to run Windows Vista with, and it was much more power than the laptop that I had been using.

But applications, especially large ones like Photoshop Elements, had been taking me f.o.r.e.v.e.r to open and close. My web browser (Firefox) and email program (Outlook) crashed frequently.

I blamed Vista for my system’s woes, but this week when my husband purchased RAM for himself he was stunned to discover he could purchase a 2GB (1GBx2) upgrade kit for my system for less than $50 total from the same vendor. Memory prices have really come down recently!

When it arrived and was installed, giving me 3 GB total of RAM, it was like magic!

I haven’t had a system or application crash since! I don’t have time to move a load of laundry into the dryer while my PSE opens anymore. And when a storm is coming and I want to shut down to protect my system, I can actually do it before the storm has already passed us! My Photoshop Elements runs like a whole new program! <insert singing of angels on high>

So if you have a good processor and your machine is still slower than molasses, try installing a little RAM! It is very simple to do yourself in most machines (and there are instructions all over the internet on how to do it, as well as on sites that sell RAM), especially desktops, and it can make a huge difference.

If you are concerned about buying generic brand RAM, check out this episode of the podcast Tekzilla. One of the segments is about that very question and explains why it is no problem to buy generic RAM. The RAM question is at about the 2:45 mark in the episode. It’s the first segment.

(Don’t be put off by the fact that the episode starts with a pretty funny promo for a wine podcast called Wine Library done by a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk. If you haven’t seen it and enjoy wine, you should check it out!)

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