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I have a computer with very low confg. The ram is DDR3 198MB and processor is 1.33ghz IT takes a lot of time to open games and applications. Even MS word slows down. All games get stuck in the middle. I am planning to increase the ram thinking that it will solve the problem will it....?

If I increase the RAM (put in 4GB) will my computer speed up?

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closed as too broad by Breakthrough, Dave M, Tog, Mokubai, Randolph West Oct 4 '13 at 20:50

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Please do not write in capitals... It is easier to read lower case and 'shouting' will not make the question clearer or answered sooner. –  Dave Oct 4 '13 at 8:57
looking at your specs, its more likely DDR2 ot even ddr, not DDR3. I can't think of any systems with ddr3 with less than a gig of ram. –  Journeyman Geek Oct 4 '13 at 9:10
Without the rest of the system specs it is difficult to definitively say that it will help. With that small an amount of RAM though it is quite likely that you will see a significant improvement by system responsiveness (but not flat out speed) by upgrading to 1GB or above. –  Mokubai Oct 4 '13 at 17:44

5 Answers 5

RAM is a strange thing, will it work; maybe!

The computer may be freezing for many reasons outside what you believe; I can write a process hungry application which doesn't require much RAM and since the computers RAM's 'threshold' is never reached, adding more RAM won't really make any difference. A new processor will though in this example.

Of course, each game is different and has different requirements.

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You haven't told us what OS are you using.

Anyway, yes, it will speed up your computer giving your applications consume more than 198MiB RAM. Because of extra consumption, memory is 'cached' in a swap file, which only adds extra I/O cycles to the HDD. By adding more RAM, less application memory will be loaded into the swap file, and more directly into your RAM, which will speed up your system.

* Note that some 32bit OSs will not let you see the whole 4 GiB RAM (Windows XP, for example, can only see aprox. 3 GiB). If you're not planning of covering more than 3GiB of RAM, for Windows at least, you will see even a greater bump in responsiveness if you disable the swap file/page file all together.

** Make sure your system support 4 GiB of RAM! Older systems may only work with 512 MiB DIMMs. Check your motherboard manual over the Internet, if you don't have a physical version of it.

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Without knowing what operating system is being used ( although one can assume its Windows XP based on the specifications he did provide) you might want point out its not guarantee the system will be faster. The processor is extremely slow, additional memory, won't the system faster. –  Ramhound Oct 4 '13 at 11:00
I'm betting it's a dual core processor. No matter how old the dual core is, it's enough to run any Windows OK (I have a Pentium D and works well on Windows Vista). The slowest component is the one that gives the speed of the whole system, and in this case is the HDD. If all his programs run in swap, it's a major hit for the whole system –  Radoo Oct 4 '13 at 14:21

I agree with @JourneymanGeek. Your specs are wrong (or maybe you got the "free" amount of RAM instead of the "total" amount?) You also haven't supplied enough information:

1) What processor is it? For example, an i5 1.3GHz is so many times faster than an Atom 1.3GHz that it's almost embarrassing. The model of the processor also makes a huge difference.

2) What kind of games are you trying to run? Card games happily run on pretty much any machine. On the other hand, getting something like Crysis 3 to run on a Celeron or an Atom isn't worth the effort.

3) What graphics card are you using? No amount of RAM in the world will fix slow games if you have a very weak graphics card.

4) Is it a desktop or a laptop? Laptop chips tend to be slower than their desktop counterparts, even when the model number is the same.

5) What operating system is this on? This matters for a very good reason: if it's Linux, and your running games through wine, then there might be massive speed loss with most games if you're unsure about what you're doing.

Without the above info it's difficult to give you an accurate answer, but the general rules are this:
RAM helps with loading speed, and for decreasing random in-game chopping. However, there is always fairly low theoretical maximum with how much it can assist with this. If you have too little RAM, then (unless your graphics card is very weak) you will notice a massive speed increase the +4GB, and much less random in-game chopping. If you already have enough RAM, then you probably won't notice any difference at all (so to answer your question, no it does not increase processing speed).

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More RAM will can boost the performance but provided that :

  1. You play games that meets your minimum configuration of machine that includes CPU Frequency, CPU cores, RAM, Dedicated Graphics Card memory. I mean you cannot play Crysis 3 with just 4 GB of RAM right ? You must understand that.

  2. Increasing RAM along with the paging file Link for Paging file changes in XP and Vista

  3. Multiprocessing is ok but doing low profile multi-application process is found extremely helpful.

PS : If you are looking for changing the entire configuration then just changing RAM wont work.

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@Ramhound Thanks for a prompt reply and a -1, Nyways, I stand by my answer as it WILL definitely boost performance but I also mentioned three points that adds up in the reason why adding just RAM wont be enough.. I mentioned Crysis to prove a point that if he expects he wont be able to.. Hope it cleared your doubt. –  Pradip Oct 4 '13 at 11:11
@Pradip, no, it will not boost performance if the available RAM is already in excess... If my application is slow due to a processor and only ever requires 1MB of RAM, then adding 1GB of RAM will not help. –  Dave Oct 4 '13 at 11:30
@DaveRook.. Right.. but did the question ever mentioned that there is in RAM excess ? –  Pradip Oct 4 '13 at 11:31
@Pradip The OP didn't mention it either way so we don't know, therefore a comment that it will defintely boost performance is incorrect. –  Dave Oct 4 '13 at 11:34
@DaveRook.. apologies.. tell me this.. irrespective of what his configuration capabilities are.. how can even 1 GB RAM will not boost his performance considering he has just 198 MB RAM ? Give example if necessary.. RAM does boost performance but its not significant..but definite.. hence I think my comments are not incorrect. –  Pradip Oct 4 '13 at 11:40

You cannot increase the amount of RAM at will in a pc. A typical pc is sold with some amount of RAM locked in, plus some slots which may or may not be completely occupied by removable memory banks. You may thus be able to fill in free memory slots, or to replace existing memory banks with larger ones.

The amount of RAM sold with the pc is what the manufacturer (Sony, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc.) feels is appropriate for normal computer use. A larger amount of RAM may increase a pc performance, but all models come with a "maximum amount of RAM" specification which cannot be overcome.

Since your base RAM is so small by present-day standards, it seems plausible that you will be able to expand it by a small amount, in agreement with practice and economics of pc configuration at the time of the pc design. You might find that you may be able to expand the RAM by just 1GB or so.

You can learn by how much you can expand your RAM only by looking up system specifications provided by the manufacturer. Should that fail, you can make an educated guess by looking at the output of the command

sudo lshw -C memory

the relevant part of which, in the case of my laptop, is:

   description: System Memory
   physical id: 1f
   slot: System board or motherboard
   size: 6GiB
      description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1600 MHz (0,6 ns)
      product: HMT351S6CFR8C-PB
      vendor: Hynix/Hyundai
      physical id: 0
      serial: 3F720214
      slot: DIMM0
      size: 4GiB
      width: 64 bits
      clock: 1600MHz (0.6ns)
      description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1600 MHz (0,6 ns)
      product: HMT325S6CFR8C-PB                                                                                                                                                 
      vendor: Hynix/Hyundai                                                                                                                                                     
      physical id: 1                                                                                                                                                            
      serial: 046584F8                                                                                                                                                          
      slot: DIMM2                                                                                                                                                               
      size: 2GiB                                                                                                                                                                
      width: 64 bits                                                                                                                                                            
      clock: 1600MHz (0.6ns)      

From this you can see I have two banks, one with a 4GB slot, the other with a 2GB slot. Chances are I will be able to replace the 2GB slot with a 4GB one. And, in my case, I know for sure this is the case.

EDIT: Should you prefer to stick to Windows, you can determine the amount of RAM your pc has by clicking on Start -> right-click Computer -> Properties. in the System part, you can find the amount of RAM you have next to Installed memory. Should you have a different version of Windows, you may find here instructions for other variants of Windows.

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