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How does RAM affect computer performance?

What happens when a computer has less RAM

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    RAM is the working space where information is manipulated.  When you don't have enough RAM, then some files can be moved from RAM to a hard drive or SSD.  But even the fastest SSD is not as fast as RAM...and moving files back and forth from RAM to SSD takes a long time (relatively speaking).  To visualize the problem...

    Imagine you have to fold a king-size sheet set.  If you have a room large enough for a king size bed, you can fairly easily use that space to fold your king-size sheets.  But what if you are stuck in a phone booth?  Can you still fold your king-size sheets?  Yes, you probably can.  But it's going to take a long time to figure out some very specific movements to make that possible.  If your computer has enough RAM, it has room to work efficiently.  If it has not enough RAM, then it's like you trying to fold your king-size sheets inside the phone will be frustrating and slow...

    These days, 8GB is the sweet spot, where more RAM will cost more money but (for the VAST MAJORITY of computer users) more than 8GB will not significantly increase performance.  On the other hand, LESS than 8GB can have a very dramatic effect on performance.  So if you have to wonder how much RAM you need?  Start with 8GB exactly, and you probably won't need to change that anytime soon.

  • L.N.
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    When a computer has less RAM than it needs, the operating system uses disk space as virtual memory to swap parts of the program in and out of RAM as required. The overhead and lower speed of a hard drive comes with severe performance penalties, but the only alternative to virtual memory is just killing your program if you don't have enough RAM to run everything. 

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Not enough. Runs slow, then crashes.

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