Do I need to buy more ram?

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Well, its impossible to give a specific answer that suits everyone, but in general, you cant go wrong if you do buy more.

RAM (which stands for Random Access Memory) should not be confused with the Hard drive you have in your PC.

The hard drive stores your operating system (usually windows for most people) and your software, along with your data. When you switch off, its still stored, which is why you dont have to re-install everything everytime you switch on.

Contrast that to RAM which is a *temporary* storage solution that forgets everything once you power off.

RAM is *MUCH* faster than *ANY* hard drive currently made, as it has no moving parts (other than the electrons etc moving around inside it), it does not rely on spinning disks like a hard drive, so it really is a lot, lot faster.

When you use windows, it first tries to use RAM to store itself, and the programs you are working on, but often, it needs more working space than you have RAM available, in which case it will set up a area (called the SWAP FILE) on your hard disk, that is used as pretend ram. To the computer, its the same - but with one big difference, the swap file is SLOW, as its on the hard drive.

So, if you have more RAM, your swap file will be used less, meaning all the work can be done using the high speed memory, resulting in much faster operation.

I wont cover the various types of ram in this guide, you either know what your machine can take, or you can look it up ;) or ask the shop - perhaps in the future I will give a run down of the different types.

But for now, the important thing to remember is, installing more ram will reduce the chances of your hard drive being used as "temporary" ram, which drastically slows things down.

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