RAM is used to hold all the open apps and data you’re using. If you don’t have enough, your PC can be slow to open new apps and files. Windows used to use a technique called virtual memory, using a hard disk as a backup for when your memory got full; this is disabled on computers with an SSD, so you’ll definitely want more RAM if you’ve made a storage upgrade. We think 8GB is the minimum you should have.
Check upgrade potential
Shut down your PC and open it up so you can see how many RAM slots you have. If you’ve got spare slots, technically you can add more memory, but it’s better to buy all your memory from the same manufacturer. If you know the manufacturer and type of memory you have, you may be able to match it and buy more of the same. By Googling the product name, you can see how much RAM you have installed, so you can work out how much extra you need. If the memory is no longer available or you have no spare slots, you’ll need to replace it. Check your motherboard manufacturer’s website for the maximum amount of RAM it can handle. You’ll also see the type (DDR4 most likely, but some older computers may have DDR3) and the maximum speed in MHz. With this information, go and buy the RAM you need. It’s worth buying the fastest memory that’s supported, but sticking within a budget. For example, 16GB of Corsair RAM costs around £70 for 3,000MHz or 2,666MHz; go up to 3,200MHz and the price jumps to nearer £90.
How to remove
If you need to replace memory on your motherboard, you’ll need to remove the old sticks first. If you have free RAM slots, jump to the next step instead. Locate the RAM on the motherboard and pull back the clips holding the RAM in place (see the picture above). Firmly pull out with two fingers.
How to install
Pull back a clip and push one end of the RAM until it clicks into place and the clip moves to hold the stick in place. Repeat with the other end, and for each stick. Reattach the case and turn your PC on. Go into the BIOS and make sure the eXtreme Memory Profile (XMP) setting is enabled. This will configure your computer to run at the optimal speed.