The Importance of Having Enough RAM

Whether you’re browsing the web or playing a video game, your computer performs a lot of tasks at once. All that work is made possible by RAM, your system’s short-term memory.

But not all RAM is created equal. Factors like speed and latency play a big role in how well it works for your specific needs.


As a computer memory, RAM works with small bits of data at a time. When you click a link in your browser, for example, the computer moves the data from short-term memory into long-term storage (the hard drive). Without enough memory, your PC can’t handle all the tasks it needs to do, and it may slow down or even grind to a halt.

More RAM can make your computer run faster, but not necessarily as fast as a faster CPU with more cache or other speed-boosting features. The key difference is in the frequency or clock speed of the RAM. Higher speeds mean that more data can be processed per second.

You can check your RAM’s frequency using Windows’ built-in task manager or a third-party tool like Wise System Monitor. When upgrading your RAM, buy modules with the same frequency to minimize chances of incompatibility. If you do purchase faster RAM, be sure to check its voltage and formfactor as well.


Aside from your processor, the memory of a computer is one of its most important components. Random access memory, or RAM, acts as a digital countertop that stores programs within easy reach, so you don’t need to thumb through your storage device (like an SSD or HDD) every time you open something new. The more RAM your processor has available, the faster it can respond to commands.

But RAM only holds a limited amount of data, and as it fills up, the processor must swap it to storage for long-term storage. This slows down processing speeds and can significantly reduce performance. If you find yourself struggling with lag when playing games, it may be time to consider upgrading your RAM capacity. You can check your computer’s current RAM usage by searching for “about my pc” in the Windows search bar and clicking the option when it appears. The resulting page will display your total installed RAM and current usage.


Whether you’re building a new computer from scratch or just making an upgrade, it is crucial to have RAM that is compatible with your motherboard. That’s because the motherboard is the circuit board that connects all of your components together.

To operate, your processor gives a command to retrieve the program from storage, then places it on a digital countertop for you to interact with (RAM). If the RAM isn’t compatible with your motherboard, it won’t work or it will underperform.

The simplest way to make sure your RAM will fit is by using a system checking tool or consulting the specifications for your motherboard. For example, laptops usually take SO-DIMM modules, while desktop computers take DIMM slots. Then you can narrow your choices by selecting the right form factor, speed, and capacity for your motherboard. You should also consider whether your RAM is Registered or Unbuffered and if it supports Error Correcting Code (ECC). Ideally, you should keep all of the RAM modules the same model and ranking in order to avoid confusion.


When your computer has limited RAM, it must keep a lot of its current work in other places, including on the hard drive. This slows things down significantly. The more RAM your system has, the better it can run applications and open files, especially in computationally heavy projects such as video encoding or high-quality art creation.

Windows allows you to view the basic information about your RAM using the Properties menu for This PC, or by opening the Registry Editor and navigating to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Session Manager > Memory Management. There, you can find values for “MemoryType” and “ConfiguredClockSpeed.” The former identifies the type of RAM in your system while the latter indicates how fast it is currently running at. You can also get useful information about your RAM modules themselves by using a free tool such as CPU-Z or Speccy.