Part two of our desktop buying guide is dedicated to RAM, or random access memory. Many users find this difficult to understand, so we’ll do our best to explain it and emphasize how important it is to ensure you get the best build possible for your new computer.
Our first article in this series focused on the CPU or processor for your desktop, where we covered both high-end and low-end options. We’ll do the same this time around for the amount of RAM your device should have.
Random Access Memory is more commonly referred to as simply RAM or memory. Some confuse this with the amount of data that a computer can store, but this is a far cry from the truth. RAM is used to temporarily store data so that it can be recalled without recalling it from the computer’s storage. Think of it like short-term memory pulled from a human’s brain.
How much RAM you have determines how much can happen at once. The CPU handles instructions and processes the data that the RAM holds. More RAM means the larger the amount of data that the CPU can process, and the faster a CPU is, the faster that data will be processed. In other words, the two work together to make your computing experience easier.
Most computers these days have pretty limited options for RAM. While there are plenty of brands to choose from with their own clock speeds, PC manufacturers generally take care of this for you. If you’re building your own PC, however, it can be a little complicated. This guide will try to oversimplify it for you to determine your needs. The speed and type of RAM is determined by the manufacturer’s model, so what you need to focus on is how much RAM is included with the device.
Depending on the device, you can always try to upgrade your RAM later, but it’s more likely to be done with desktops than laptops. Overall, we recommend shooting for no less than 8 GB, but you should realistically be looking at options at 16 GB.
We hope you found this helpful. Part three is just around the corner, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for it. And remember… for any assistance with purchasing hardware, be sure to consult the experts at SCW.
Sam is a network engineer with a broad range of experience spanning more than 35 years. He wrote is first piece of code in 1979 and has been involved with the industry ever since. For the last 20 years, he has worked for SCW Consulting where he has embraced his passion for network technology and security.
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