When most people refer to a computer's "memory," they're talking about random access memory, or RAM. RAM is considered important to your laptop's central processing unit (CPU), because memory allows you to run several programs at once without too much interruption. How do you know if you need more RAM, though?
The telltale sign of too little RAM is slow performance. Usually, when you purchase a new laptop, it takes very little time to start the computer and run its existing programs. But as you add files and perform more tasks simultaneously, things start to slow down. If you boot up your computer and it takes several minutes for everything to work properly, chances are you could use more RAM.
Fortunately, adding RAM to your laptop is probably the easiest and most inexpensive method to boost computer performance. Even getting a new CPU for your laptop might not do as much as adding RAM. But if you do a little bit of searching on the topic of RAM, you'll find there are several different kinds and many different sizes available. What's the right RAM for your computer?
First of all, you need to judge the performance of your laptop and ask yourself what kind of work you'll be doing. If you play games on your laptop or run lots of programs that take up a lot of processing power, you'll want a good amount of RAM -- 2 GB of RAM or more. If you're using your laptop for simple day-to-day work, you probably won't need more than 512 MB of memory [source: Crucial]
So once you've chosen the right kind of RAM, how do you get it into your laptop?