Sunday, January 06, 2008

Speeding Up The Laptop - RAM Upgrade

The most studly computer related move I ever made was convincing my then college girlfriend, that to make her computer go faster, she didn't need to upgrade her modem or hard drive - she needed to upgrade her RAM. And surprisingly, she believed me. We upgraded her computer from a whopping 4 Meg to 12 Meg, and amazingly, I was right. Her computer was better than new. And a few years later we got married, and we lived happily ever after. The End.

Even though computers have progressed quite a bit since the days when modem speed and 12 Megs of RAM were a big deal, RAM is still the key to making a computer run quickly. We noticed that our home laptop was dragging a bit, so we decided to upgrade it.

In the dark ages of computers, back in the mid 1990's, that is, figuring out what kind of RAM you had and needed to buy usually involved calling some vendor or browsing through printed tables. Things have gotten a whole lot easier. Last week, when I wanted to figure out what kind of memory my laptop needed, I just visited's System Scanner and it told me exactly what I had and what I needed to buy.

Once the RAM arrived, installing it was a snap. Literally. One of the revolutionary aspects of PCs was that you could always drop in new parts, allowing you to easily assemble or upgrade a system. And this is still true with RAM. I just removed a hatch on laptop, gently popped out the two existing RAM chips and gently snapped the new ones in place.

I turned on the computer and poof, I had RAM 2,048 Megs of RAM instead of 1,024 Megs like I had previously. That's a long a way from the first 12 Meg upgrade I did.

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