I have a 5 year old Dell Inspiron 530 desktop computer which is slowly grinding to a halt. Someone told me if I put extra RAM in it will speed it up. On the motherboard, there are four slots but only two has memory in them and they are 1GB each. If I bought another 2 RAMs of 1GB each and put them in the free slots would it speed the computer up (would it be twice as fast?) and is it as simple as just putting them in or is there other things I need to do?
It depends on how you're using it, and where the bottlenecks are - I have an identical model, sans the stock video card, and with a new hard drive and it works fine. My installs of windows XP and 7 are from scratch, however and don't have any crapware on them. One very simple check to see if your issues are due to ram is to look at process manager and see if your memory usage is above average.If the system is not ram bound, then adding more ram wouldn't help much.
You may also want to run a hard drive benchmark to check the hard drive. You can also check the hard drive with hdtune.
I might also suggest running xperf, which should give you an idea of what exactly is the bottleneck.If you're on xp, you will have to run xperf on the system, then move it over to a 7 or 2008 system to view the graphs
In short? Adding ram MAY be a good thing, but it wouldn't double the speed, and it may not be the ram. Without a little poking about its hard to know for certain what exactly is the bottleneck.