We could say that the computer’s memory is one of the most important elements for everything to work properly, what’s more, without it the PC could not even boot. Such is the importance that this electronic component has in the structure of our computer.
But before getting into issues of performance and capabilities of the PC memory, we must bear in mind that the word “Memory” is a generic term used to designate the parts of the computer or peripheral devices where all data and programs are stored.
The first thing we should know is that when we talk exclusively about the computer, the memory is located inside the cabinet, coupled to the motherboard. There we can find two types of memories: the so-called RAM memory and the so-called ROM memory .
What is RAM Memory?
Also known as Random Access Memory, RAM is temporary storage memory that stores programs and data that are being processed, which it does only during processing.
It is a volatile memory, that is to say that the data only remains in it stored while the computer is on. The moment the PC shuts down, all that data is lost. Therefore, RAM is essential to achieve good performance of our equipment.
There are a few concepts that need to be known to make it easier to understand the function of RAM in modern computers:
- It is used for the temporary storage of data or instructions.
- When we write text on a computer, the information is stored in RAM memory, as well as the input data.
- RAM is also known as read and write memory, as we read or write information on it.
What is ROM Memory?
The word ROM is actually the acronym for Read Only Memory, and in this case it is the memory that is used to store applications and / or permanent or rarely altered data.
The information is generally placed on the storage chip when it is manufactured and the contents of the ROM cannot be altered by a user program. For this reason it is a read-only memory.
The ROM is constituted in a chip that has a certain software and not programmed by the user. In this way, the ROM is hardware and software at the same time, so it would be within the category called firmware. Therefore, firmware is a hardware that contains already determined software, thus associating the two capabilities. Example: a Play Station game CD.
In summary, we could say that the information stored in the ROM is not volatile, that is, it is not lost when the computer is turned off, contrary to what happens with RAM, which is characterized by being volatile, therefore the stored data is deleted when the equipment is turned off.
More RAM, Higher Performance: Truth or Myth?
It is usually quite common that despite being in front of a new and powerful computer we have to face waiting, which in many cases can be exasperating. What happens? We ask ourselves then, since we follow the premise that the greater the amount of RAM, the greater the performance of our equipment in theory, but the truth is that this equation does not seem to work.
We always ask that our computer be as fast as possible , whether we use it for work, play, or entertainment.
The slowness that certain processes can sometimes produce, for example when executing a heavy program, immediately makes us consider changing our PC for a more modern one, or expanding the RAM memory, either of our PC or our laptop .
However, it is not uncommon for our newly acquired equipment to behave as sluggish as a turtle. In short, “new” does not always mean “fast”.
Of course, we can always add more RAM to the computer , since the general consensus ensures that the higher the RAM, the higher the speed of the processes and the performance of the PC.
At least that is what is said in theory, but in practice this is not always the case. So when do you really need to upgrade your RAM?
How do I know if my PC needs more RAM?
The first thing we must analyze is whether we are users who use several programs or browsers with many open tabs at the same time . If so, it is clear that this will affect the performance of the team. Therefore, the best solution in these cases is to improve the amount of RAM and apply updates to the software and operating system we use.
In the case of those users who generally use the Internet using several browsers and tabs simultaneously, it will also be best to increase the RAM memory, since the processes will be carried out on it and not on the hard disk, thus obtaining a truly browsing experience. faster, showing improved fluidity in Flash animations, for example.
Another point to take into account is if we share resources, that is, if our computer is part of a network , it is most likely that this has a negative impact on the performance of the computer. Also here, expanding the RAM will allow us to optimize this factor, improving the general performance and of devices such as printers .
What are the disadvantages of expanding RAM?
As we have seen, adding more RAM to our equipment will almost always lead to better performance , but on the other hand there are other kinds of programs that will not benefit much from this RAM improvement.
Many games and multimedia applications make intensive use of the video card of our PC, which includes its own RAM memory , in which the high resolution structures are stored, and this is essential for performance during this type of task. the computer is optimal.
In such a case, if we add more RAM but our video card is deficient, we will inevitably notice that some games and some editing programs will become extremely slow, and it is even possible that some of them will not work.
Last but not least, when purchasing more RAM memory modules for our PC, we must take into account that it is compatible with the modules that the equipment already has. But we must also know if our operating system is 32 or 64 bits, since the amount of GB of RAM that it supports will depend on it .
How to optimize RAM?
As all common computer users know, RAM is one of the fundamental components of our PC, and it is what will determine whether we will obtain a high or low performance in the daily performance of our computer equipment.
We have already mentioned that the mission of the RAM memory is to be in charge of specific functions , related to the temporary storage of documents, program executions and others, and it is also in charge of sending these processes to other components of the PC, such as the hard disk. and the processor.
Hence its notable importance within the activity of our computer, which is why, as we know, in certain cases the greater the capacity of RAM, the greater the performance that we will obtain from the complete equipment.
However, to improve the functioning of the computer, beyond having RAM memories of great capacity and transfer speed, it is also necessary to periodically perform maintenance of the software related to this component, in order to ensure that the memory works always accurately and using all the resources you have.
Slow PC by RAM software
Surely, on some occasions we have noticed that our computer becomes slower than usual during processes, or also when using our favorite application despite having a large capacity set of RAM memories.
In many cases, this problem is related to the proliferation of DLL files , which are responsible for reducing the performance of memory, and therefore of the computer.
It should be noted that files with a DLL extension , also known as dynamic link libraries, are executable code files that contain various instructions and data used by applications and are launched by our programs each time they are started.
Therefore, every time we use a program, the operating system loads one or more DLL files that make it possible to run that application.
When several of these DLLs accumulate in memory throughout the day, they can cause slow processes , this happens because many applications do not automatically download their DLLs from memory when they are closed, thus denying valuable resources necessary for the proper functioning of our PC.
If we are users of the Microsoft Windows operating system, we will surely perceive that this happens often , for which there is a solution that will allow us to eliminate unused DLL files, and in this way optimize the performance of the RAM memory.
How to delete DLL files?
To eliminate DLL files we must follow a series of simple steps.
We start by opening the Windows Registry , for which we will go to the Start menu, and in the Run box we will write Regedit.
Then we must search for the following location:
HKEY_LOCAL_MAQUINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Explorer
With the right button of the mouse we will click on the empty area on the right side, to select the New option, and then Alphanumeric Value.
Once there, we will write the name AlwaysUnloadDLL , to later double click on it and assign the number 1 as a value .
Finally, we must close the registry editor window and restart the system , in order to make the changes effective.
It is always convenient to make a copy of the registry each time a task of this type is carried out , to have a safe safeguard in case of problems.
On the other hand, it will also be very useful to free RAM memory by sending this kind of files to virtual memory, for which we must open the Windows Notepad, where we will write the following lines, always depending on the amount of RAM memory available to our team:
– In the case of having less than 128 Mb of RAM, we must write: Mystring = (16000000)
– If we have 128 Mb or more amount of RAM we must write: Mystring = (80000000)
Later, we will save the file created under the name “liberate.vbe” , close it and then double-click on it so that Windows will automatically refresh the RAM memory.
For those who want to optimize the RAM memory in a more automatic way and without manual steps, it should be noted that there are also a large number of programs that are responsible for freeing the memory of the DLL files , through a defragmentation of the RAM, the same way that happens when we defragment the hard disk.
One of the most used tools for this task is the program called AnalogX MaxMem , whose advantage lies in the fact that it is a lightweight application that consumes few resources, and allows us to end the problem easily and quickly.
RAM memory optimizer
Undoubtedly, RAM memory is basic for the operation of the computer, because it handles the different processes that are carried out by the computer, providing fluidity to the tasks that we are developing. That is why if the RAM memory is insufficient or poorly optimized , the processes will start to slow down or will be aborted directly.
Logically, the best solution to this is to purchase a computer with greater RAM memory or incorporate modules of the same to our PC. But if our plan is to save, especially in times of economic crisis, a good idea is to use a memory optimizer to improve the functioning of the equipment.
The reality is that the updates in operating systems and the increase in the complexity of Internet browsing have caused a significant increase in the minimum standards of RAM memory, if what we are looking for is an optimal functioning of our computer, being able to take advantage of all its power.
For example, by analyzing the latest updates to the Windows Operating System, we can get an idea of the increase mentioned in RAM memory needs. While Windows 98 required 64 Megabytes of RAM to work with agility, Windows XP already needed 256 Megabytes and Windows 7, 8 and 10 increased that amount, requiring a minimum of 1 Gigabyte (although for many it should start from 2 Gigabytes).
Minimem: an excellent RAM memory optimizer
One of the alternatives to optimize the RAM memory is Minimem. It is a free program for Windows, which allows you to select the components that will be optimized so that the computer works more efficiently.
In other words, it removes as much information as possible for certain software to function properly. This can be done at any time and with all applications installed on the PC. You can download Minimem at this link.
This memory optimizer offers a solution that can be very operative in those programs of greater use, such as browsers, email managers or office automation packages , which consume significant amounts of RAM. However, it does not apply the restrictions for those programs that are running on the desktop.
For those who think they can survive without Windows, another possibility to optimize RAM is to use free software . It is that in these operating systems, the RAM requirements are lower and, therefore, they can become very useful in older computers or with little capacity at this point.
For example, the latest Ubuntu, a popular GNU / Linux distribution, works perfectly with minimal RAM requirements. Likewise, it incorporates practically all the applications and programs that can be found in Windows. Consequently, it can be an interesting alternative for those users who do not want or are in a position to modernize their computers.