If there’s a question I get asked it’s this: How much memory should I buy? And my answer always is: buy as much memory as you can afford. Obviously for some computer models buying a whole lot of ram is just extremely cost prohibititive – especially for high end desktop models like the new Apple Mac Pro. At the time I write this up, it will almost cost you $3000 to max out the new Mac Pro to 64GB of RAM. I know, that’s pretty expensive ram upgrades, but this is an exception and not a rule. This is new memory for a new computer model and ram prices historically have dropped over time.
But for consumer systems and especially notebook computer upgrades, my advice is to max out the memory with as much as possible and then forget about it until you’re ready to upgrade to your next computer. For the most part, RAM doesn’t go bad (there’s exceptions) but if you buy memory from reputable companies that sell ram usually you install the memory and you’re done. And you get years of enjoyment out of your computer. You paid top dollar for your computer so it only makes the most sense to get the maximum performance out of it.
Desktop applications might be a bit different as there’s many memory slots (at least 4) for most desktop computers and then you’ll have to do some thought and research. You might still benefit from filling your desktop with ram as it’s one of the easiest ways to get top performance out of your home or office computer. With more and more consumers interested in hobbies such as digital photography and video editing these new breed of computer users could indeed benefit from a RAM upgrade as these are applciations that thrive on lots of memory.
This is just a quide but for 2010 4GB of RAM is the new low ram upgrade and most computers start with a base of at least this amount and sometimes even more. But 4GB is a good start. If you don’t have 4GB of RAM find out how much ram you currently have and see if you can upgrade to 4GB. If not, you might want to consider a new computer, but I recommend 4GB, but machines that max out at 2GB are still useable too. Most netbooks made ship with just 1GB as standard RAM but for notebook computers look for 2GB or more, but 4GB of RAM is where the sweet spot is in ram upgrades today