18 February, 2012
When we get a computer sent in to us because it is running slow, most of the time it is because it has viruses or malware or just way too much software installed. Sometimes it is because the hard drive is failing with bad sectors or it has a corrupted operating system. Sometimes it is because it was a budget PC and has a very slow CPU – which is often hard to fix or near impossible if it is a laptop. However this week we also had several computers brought in that should have run well; except that they had very limited ram. So what is ram?
Random Access Memory according to the IT boffins however, if you remember from one of my previous articles I compared some of the main parts of a computer to someone sitting at a desk – the hard drive is like the filing cabinet, the CPU is the brain of the person (the only thing that can think) and the ram could be viewed as being similar to the amount of desk space they have around them to open many books and spread many pages out all at once. It wouldn’t matter how quick a thinker you were and how big your filing cabinet was, if you didn’t have any desk space it would severely limit your capacity to get through a lot of paperwork each day!
Your computers’ operating system also needs sufficient ram to perform efficiently and again this is changing each year as software programs become more comprehensive and as we expect more of our computers. 6 to 10 years ago when Windows XP was king, half a gig or GB or gigabyte (all names mean the same thing) of ram was sufficient and having 1 GB was heaps. Since then we have coped Vista which really needs 4GB and lately Windows 7 which again should have 4GB. NO new computer or laptop should be getting sold lately with less than 4GB and with the 64Bit editions of Windows 7 we are always selling laptops and desktops with 8GB of ram. This option of upgrading from 4GB to 8GB we charge only $65 for and it is the best quality ram we can buy!
One of the computers we had this week from a new customer was in perfect condition with very little installed software, absolutely no viruses or malware and a good modern CPU and plenty of hard drive space. It did however have Windows Vista and only 1GB of ram and subsequently ran so sloooow it was near unusable. We upgraded it to 4GB of ram and you would not have recognised it as the same PC – simply opening Microsoft Word took less than a second as opposed to over 8 seconds previously. Yes – I hear a lot you saying “what is wrong with waiting for 8 seconds?”. Well, what are you going to do while you wait for these ‘precious seconds’ to tick by?
Count slowly to 8 right now while not doing anything else.
That was 8 seconds of your life that you will never get back, which is fine if you were busy doing something like getting the coffee, milk and sugar ready while you are waiting for a jug to boil. However when you are sitting in front of a PC waiting for it to do something, you can rarely do anything else but wait – you are sitting down and it has a captive audience – you!
Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.