Don’t add RAM to speed up your box

If your system drags and you want to improve performance, there are a few things you can do to make it more zippy.

When a PC underperforms, it usually relates to the amount of memory or RAM available to the system. RAM is the workbench where all tasks the computer performs happen. And – as you might imagine – if the workbench is too small, the computer spends a lot of time managing its workspace. Imagine a carpenter working on a little desk instead of a roomier workshop. Extra RAM gives a computer space to work on many files or several large files at once.

One and, perhaps, the most obvious solution, of course, is to increase the workspace by adding system RAM. These are chips that go inside your computer. Adding them costs about $100 or so depending on what type and how many. Learn more in our How to add RAM FAQ.

If that’s not an option for you, you can use a memory manager that will work with the RAM you have to optimize it better so that the system is more efficient. While not an ideal solution, a memory optimizer program can add a bit more zip to your PC without adding hardware.

There are a few memory optimizer programs you might want to try out to see if they can help your PC perform better:

  • CacheMan XP improves the performance of your computer by optimizing several caches, auto-recovering memory and fine-tuning a number of system settings. Auto-Optimization makes it easy for beginners, yet it is versatile enough for experts.
  • Free RAM Optimizer XP: This free RAM optimizer allows you to set a level of free memory on your computer. The program is easy to use, including settings for automatic or manual operation, or free memory desired.
  • RAMBooster: This freebie will let your PC run better and it will reduce the frequency with which you need to restart your system. It monitors RAM. When available memory gets low, it automatically finds unused memory. RAMBooster also monitors the workload on your CPU.

Finally, you can simply clean out your computer to ensure that nothing that doesn’t need to run is running. For more on those approaches see: