Tag Archives: RAM

How Often Do You Upgrade Your Computer?

Your computer is slowing down. Things don’t run the way they should anymore. You baby it along by defragging, uninstalling programs, deleting files and cleaning things up as much as possible. Perhaps you go as far as cursing at your poor machine or even threatening it with a hammer. At what point, though, do you throw in the towel and upgrade that sucker? When do you know it’s just TIME to spend a few bucks to add a new stick of RAM or upgrade your processor?

The general consensus over on Lockergnome seems to be that geeks upgrade on an as-needed basis. Only one person was brave enough to admit that they upgrade any time something new comes along. One other person stated that they NEVER upgrade – they simply start fresh with a new machine.

Where do you fall in the computer-upgrade spectrum?

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When Will 4GB of RAM be Obsolete?


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Nazmus Khandaker asked the Lockergnome community recently when we feel that 4GB of RAM just won’t be “enough” for our machines. As of now, there are very few people who need more than this, even though we all like to think we do. If you think back to when Windows XP was released, the minimum requirement to install was 64MB of RAM. Compare that to Vista or Windows 7 – or any other software on the market today. Most of it will require you to have at least 1 or 2GB of memory.

I remember that my first computer had less than 1MB of memory. The second machine had 8MB and I ended up upgrading it to 16MB soon after. That cost me a few hundred bucks, and it was way back in 1995. If I remember correctly, Windows 95 had just been released, and my 16MB of RAM was considered to be very high-end.

What we really need to see are applications that can take better advantage of memory on a computer, instead of needing more of it. Maybe ten years from now 4GB of memory won’t be enough… at least I hope. If we don’t need more, then that means we aren’t creating enough software on the cutting edge. It would mean we aren’t advancing the way we should.

Games will look better, sound better and play better in the future. We’ll find a more immersive experience with our technology, as well. Our machines will be better equipped to take advantage of all of the pieces and parts inside. Think about it – some machines and operating systems out there right now don’t even make use of all of the memory you may have inside there. It’s collecting dust and taking a nice long nap, I suppose.

So – when will we see the day where 4GB isn’t enough anymore?

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Sick of Seeing Noise? Search Only Your Friends’ Tweets

You know how frustrating it is, right? You do a search on Twitter for something specific, and get a million results you don’t want to see. Heck, often the results may not even be necessarily what you’re looking for! There are times I want to do a search, and see what MY community has to say… not the entire world.

Enter Flocking Me, a new service that lets you perform Twitter searches, giving you only results from people you are following! Finally, I can find out what only the people I want to hear from are saying! It’s YOUR thoughts I want to hear. It’s YOUR ideas I want to share. Yes, sometimes it may be interesting to have a bajillion results when you’re looking for something. But for the most part, your group can give you the information you need much faster than if you had to sort through the masses.

Is this something you feel is going to help you in the long run when you’re looking for something? Being able to check out what’s going on in our community is vital to what I do, and services like this only make it that much easier for me!

Today is a hot day in our downloads center! We have the hottest and newest software and apps available for Windows, OS X, mobile devices and more!

What Happens When Your Laptop’s Motherboard Goes Bad?


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There is this thing sitting inside your computer that is the one thing every other thing is connected to! It’s called a motherboard. I have no idea why there’s no fatherboard… but yeah. The motherboard is crucial. If it’s not working – good luck using your computer at all. Ian from the PCPitStop community is sad because his Sony Vaio died. His motherboard is now dead, and wonders where he can find an affordable replacement.

Virut won’t corrupt your motherboard – but it will usually lead to having to reformat your system. With that said, if your motherboard is hosed for any reason, you might want to run a few diagnostics if you can. It’s possible it could be a bad power supply, you know? Check everything you possibly can, to determine for sure that it’s a motherboard.

I feel your pain. I’ve heard some not-so-happy things about Sony support in the past. Unfortunately, if it is a motherboard problem – it’s going to cost you. My recommendation is to find a local Geek. Pay them in pizza and cola. They’ll take a look at the computer to assess the problem. Sometimes it’s something small that trips us up, and I certainly hope that’s what is going on with you!

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How Much Computer Memory Does Windows Need?


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I guess I need more memory, since I keep forgetting my own name! Sadly, I can’t just buy and install some in my brain. The question that Lynn sent in to PCPitStop is centered around the amount of memory her computer has. She purchased a computer with 128MB of memory, which is running Vista. The store clerks keep telling her she needs more RAM, but she is wondering if they are just trying to get her to spend more money.

I’m not sure how she even bought a computer with only 128MB of RAM installed. I honestly don’t think that’s totally correct, but I have been known to be wrong before. She mentions that the computer isn’t heavily used – it’s mainly a web browsing/email machine. Even so, I’m fairly sure that Vista won’t even run on that amount of memory.

No matter – whatever amount you have is fine, as long as the machine is running ok. If it’s working to your satisfaction – don’t change a thing. If you feel it is draggy, slow to respond or do things… then by all means, look into upping the amount of memory you have.

Vista will run optimally with 2GB of memory. Keep in mind that memory isn’t where you store files and folders… that’s the hard drive. The memory is where things happen, such as opening a program. When you click a program, the pc takes it and throws it into the memory. Poof! It then opens.

If you’re happy with the way everything runs, then leave it alone. Don’t tempt fate. I never recommend that! At some point in the future when things feel sluggish, you may want to check out Windows 7. It runs a heck of a lot faster than Vista. For the money… it’s a better operating system.

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How to Speed Up Your PC


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PCPitstop is one of those resources you need, but don’t realize it until you need it! These guys have been around for nearly a decade now, and their reputation is rock-solid. They have a feature called “Ask an Expert” – and they’ve asked me to answer one of the questions. Candace is wondering how she can speed up her computer. She defrags regularly, and isn’t sure what more she can do.

There are several things you can do, Candace. Memory could speed things up, although there’s a law of diminishing returns. Since you didn’t mention a specific operating system, I know you’re running Windows due to the mention of running a defrag. If you’re using Vista – stop it. Spring forward to the Windows 7 beta, or roll back to XP. Even if you like Vista, you still have to realize how much of a resource hog it can be. The operating system is as important as the software you’re running on it.

Defragging is only going to help you so much. If your hard drive is full – consider cleaning it up. Store some of your videos, pictures and documents on a separate storage drive. If your hard drive is full, it definitely will not run at optimal importance.

Another option is to upgrade your hard drive itself. Consider switching from the HDD hard drive you likely have to a Solid State Drive. The problem could be due to the bottleneck speed of your current hard drive.

It’s difficult to guess at what will work best here, since I don’t know the full specs of the system. However, I’m willing to wager that the problem is bottleneck with the hard drive. I couldn’t believe how much faster my own personal machine ran after upgrading myself to the Samsung SSD.

How else can Candace make her computer faster? Let’s make this a community effort – if you have an answer to this, please feel free to leave your thoughts in a follow-up comment to this video.

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How Much RAM Does Your Computer Have?

I remember the days of having only 256MB of RAM, do you? Now that I have several GB of RAM, it’s hard to think back and understand how I managed to function in those days. How did I make anything work? How did I get anything accomplished? How much RAM do you have these days?

2Gb on desktop and also on laptop. – Kol Tregaskes

2GB on desktop, 2GB on both laptops, with dedicated memory for the video cards – SoN9ne

2GB on my home PC and my work laptop. – Alex Scoble CISSP

3GB – Chris W

2GB on my laptop, soon to be upgraded to 4. – Stupid Blogger (aka Tina)

Just 1GB at home but 4GB at work! – orionstarr

8GB on desktop. 4GB on laptop. – Jeff Douglass

2GB – Jason Shultz

512MB – directeur

6G on the Mac Pro, 4G on the Dell laptop. – Joey Gibson

Remember the old days when having 500megs was a big deal! – orionstarr

1GB on my laptop, 4GB on my workstation, 2GB on our media center. – Akiva Moskovitz

my laptop has 4GB ram, 320GB HD. My phone has 8GB flash. my first computer had 4MB ram, 35MB HD. – Chris Hollander

ugh as i have groused before my laptop at work has 500 megs of ram and it is almost physically painful – Marco (aureliusmaximus)

10GB in my Mac Pro, 4GB in my MacBook Pro, 2GB in the MacBook Air – Andru Edwards

2Gb in my 4 year old laptop… – Ricardo Vidal

4GB on MBP, 2GB on my work Dell lappy – saeba

1gb desktop – Nick Munson

500megs was a big deal? I am probably from stone age, KB was for that time. I bet someone has used Byte. – Yu-Jie Lin

2GB laptop and 4GB on desktop – Leandro Ardissone

4gb, but vista only reads 3.5 gb – americanm

2 GB on my laptop and 4GB on my workstation – Saad Kamal

2 Gb, running Vista Business Edition – Alexandre Micaelo

4 gb – RAPatton

4gb laptop – Erik S

15 quadrillion hexamegapetabytes. – Tad, Fool

The correct answer is: never enough. – Mack D. Male

4GB – on a 24" Aluminium iMac – robert sørensen

Tad, you are truly hardcore. 😉 – Kol Tregaskes

4GB Mac Pro, 2gb Macbook Pro – Duncan Riley

4GB in the desktop, 2GB in work-issued Dell Latitude D830 – Mike The SysAdmin

Is there even such a thing as “enough” or “too much” when it comes to RAM?

What Should You Look for When Buying a New PC?

The other night, I posted a blog post from Dan, with his tips on how to find information. He sent me a second list, and it is definitely something you all should read through. Here are Dan’s tips for how to make sense of Windows computer specs when buying a new computer.

  • SIZE Decide what general dimensions you want and what personal preferences you have. Examples are: laptop or desktop?, screen size?, keyboard size?, physically large or small? It is important to have SOME idea of what you want because a store employee is going to try to sell you the most expensive computer they can.
  • RAM The more stuff your computer does at one time (internet+music+documents+email) the more RAM you’re going to need. Vista (which ships with all Windows PCs now) needs significantly more RAM than XP does, but most of the major manufacturers have added RAM to compensate. If you plan on pushing your multi-tasking ability to the limit (or if you’re going to game) you’re going to need 3 to 4 gigabytes. For a normal user- 2 gigabytes should meet your needs just fine.
  • HARD DRIVE The more pictures, video, and music you want on your computer, the more hard drive space you’ll need. The hard drives are getting really large to compensate for the increase in personal digital media creation. Keep in mind that it’s probably better to keep your valuable data in an external place anyway, so don’t get carried away. (100-200GB is a smaller size, 300-500+ is really large.)
  • PROCESSOR The processor controls almost all operations of your computer, so again, if you’re going to be pushing your computer a lot, get a faster one (2-3GHz). Vista needs 1GHz to run comfortably, but even most laptops have a faster one out of box.
  • Shop Around! There are a lot of brands of computers, at a lot of different prices, found in a bunch of different places. I’d recommend sniffing around a couple of big-box stores, then seeing if there’s anything in online stores that may match you better. A computer is a significant investment that should last you for a long time, so do your homework!
  • Video Cards If you plan of doing any gaming, make SURE you get a dedicated video card (usually ATI or Nvidia). If it doesn’t have a sticker for one of those on the case, then it’s an integrated graphics chipset. In most cases, it’s going to be significantly less powerful.
  • Getting Ripped Off If you go to a large store like Best Buy or Circuit City, be wary of all the ‘But there’s more!’ packages they try to throw at you. Be wary of the protection plans, but get it if you need it. DO NOT buy the security suite they try to shove down your throat, there are much better free alternatives for Windows security out there.

Does Your Computer Need a Boost?

Dominec recently submitted an email to me, full of tips and tricks. Earlier, I posted his tips to create an iPhone ringtone yourself using iTunes, and your own music. He also sent in the following excellent tips for upgrading your PC.

Like it or not, that blazing fast piece of hardware you have in front of you will become obsolete in a few years. It won’t be able to run some of the newest applications, or run as fast as some of the newer hardware. This is the case for many people (including myself) who currently run on “less than favorable” hardware. So if you are looking to spruce up your computer a bit more, here are the top 5 things you should look at upgrading:

  1. Your monitor While it won’t speed up your computer, a new monitor will generally make your user experience a lot better. If you bought a computer over 4-5 years ago, you will likely have a CRT monitor. The colors are usually not as vivid, they drain a lot of power, and the resolution is terrible. A new monitor will allow you to view webpages better, allow for more of a multimedia experience, and even provide more functionality with some monitors containing USB ports, Card Readers and Optical drives. Additionally, if your response time is better (from CRT’s to LCD’s) you may even have the illusion that pages are loading smoother and faster.
  2. Your Hard Drive You can never have too much space, especially with the way technology is moving. That 40GB HDD you had 3 years ago just doesn’t compare to the type of storage you can get today. With more storage, you can hold more media files, run more applications, and even have the ability to dual boot your system. In addition, if you are able to buy a hard drive that spins at a faster rate (higher RPM), your data will load quicker, your OS will load quicker, and there won’t be as much lag with your system.
  3. The motherboard This applies especially to people who bought their computer directly from a manufacturer. Some old motherboards can’t support the new technology of today, such as more advanced PSU’s to cool your Dual-Core processors, and the faster DDR2 memory as opposed to standard DDR. Upgrading your motherboard is a very involved process, and not for everyone. If you are up to the challenge, it will improve every aspect of your computer. More USB ports, faster data transmission, support for more optical drives, more RAM, and faster processors are just some of the things to look forward to.
  4. Your RAM Often clichéd in the computer world is how much a RAM upgrade will do for your computer, especially for those thinking of running Vista (or any modern day OS). The best metaphor to compare this to is to think of your RAM as your desk. The more desk space you have, the more papers, office supplies, printers, and other hardware you can hold. With more RAM, you can have many programs open at once, call them into view quicker, and generally improve the speed of every application. The best thing about installing RAM is that it’s cheap, and easy for the novice computer user to do. It can turn an old computer with 256MB of RAM into a quick multitasking machine with a 1GB upgrade.
  5. The Processor If you plan to upgrade only one thing in your old computer, this would be it. The processor is what controls everything on the computer, so naturally, more power is never a bad thing. The best analogy here is a car. With a bigger engine, everything runs smoother and quicker. With a new processor, loading times will be shorter, pages will load faster, your computer will boot up and turn off faster… it really is something that will improve every aspect of your computer. Even for older computer that can’t support Dual-Core technology, you can buy extremely fast Pentium 4 chips for under $50. There is not a single part of your computer that will suffer, and all parts will thank you.

Where Do I Buy Mac Memory and Accessories?

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When I showed people the live install of my 16GB of Ram in my new Mac Pro… people started asking me where I bought the Ram. At first, I was reluctant to say. However, I decided to share with you. I have had nothing but good luck with products from MacSales.com. They have an excellent Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty and a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

Other World Computing works hard to bring our customers competitive prices, quality products, and a friendly as well as knowledgeable staff to make your shopping experience a pleasant and productive one. But you don’t have to take our word for it, this is what our customers have to say!

I’m definitely going to try to work with MacSales to hopefully bring you coupons in the near future. They have an excellent product-list, great service and support, and very good pricing. What’s NOT to love?

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