RAM, or Random Access Memory, remains one of the most important factors in the performance of a laptop. This explains why the best laptops also include a large amount of RAM. Larger amounts of memory improve the overall performance of the machine by allowing faster transfer of data to the CPU.
More RAM also means your machine will also support more software programs. If you are a gamer and you want to run any modern games on your gaming laptop for example, then you need as much RAM as you can get. The same applies if you need to run a lot of business software for your business.
The problem, however, is that you’re bound to run out of RAM from time to time when running a lot of heavy software programs simultaneously. When this happens, you should have a plan B. You should be able to free up memory and extend your RAM. But, how do you do that?
There are a few options:
Run Ready Boost
Ready Boost was first released with Windows Vista and takes advantage of flash storage to expand a laptop,s RAM. You need a flash drive that is at least 256MB in size, has an access rate of 1 millisecond or less, has a read speed of 2.5mbps for 4KB reads, and has a write speed of 1.75 mbps for 512 random writes. Fortunately, most current USB drives easily meet these requirements.
To enable Ready Boost, locate the USB drive on My Computer, open Properties, and navigate to Ready Boost. You’ll see several radio controls that allow you to activate Ready Boost as well as others that allow you to select how much of the drive’s capacity you’d like to devote to the feature. Typically, you can devote up to 4GB of a flash drive capacity to Ready boost.
Running-ready boost isn’t as effective as adding a new RAM. But it can still improve your laptop performance by as much as 75%.
Use the Windows Task Manager to fix RAM performance
If you’re not prepared to go the Ready Boost way, there is an even easier option you can use to boost laptop memory. Simply open the Windows Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting Start Task Manager. Then, navigate to Processes and sort the list of open programs by memory.
Programs that are taking up the most memory will appear at the top of the list. You can close these programs if you don’t currently need them.
For even more information, proceed to the Performance tab then click on Resource Monitor, and then open the Memory tab. A graph will appear, indicating how your laptop is allocating RAM to the different programs. If more than three-quarters of your RAM is listed to be “In Use,” that should be a warning signal that you need to close a few programs.
Install a Memory Cleaner
Still, running the Task Manager every few minutes may sound like an unnecessary chore to most users. If that’s the case, then a better way to keep track of your RAM performance is to install a program that cleans your memory periodically.
Memory cleaning programs go out hunting for programs that are consuming memory and automatically shut them down, freeing up that memory for other processes. There are a number of good options out there including Minimen and Super Memory Cleaner (for Mac).
Be warned though. While these tools often work as described by their creators, cases have been reported where they did no more than sitting on the desktop and consume memory. So, choose a Cleaner that you trust.
Install additional RAM
Your best solution, however, is to install additional RAM. Remember that RAM is a limited resource and there is only so much you can do to stretch it. When you find that the first three solutions aren’t helping much anymore, installing more memory might be the only way out.
The best laptops and gaming laptops have an open slot meaning that you can install an additional stick of memory without removing the old one. But for some, you may have to take out the existing one and replace it with a newer, larger one. Whichever the case, choose a RAM that is compatible with your laptop and one that is large enough to support your growing needs.
Interestingly, you can apply all these tactics at the same time for even better performance. You want to get the most out of your laptop. In order to do this, you must take control of your memory and what is running on your system. If you do, the end result will be a laptop that performs better and faster than it ever has before. So what are you waiting for? Start tweaking the memory on your system today so you can make your laptop even faster.