Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question

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

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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer
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).

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer
@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. – niry 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 ? – niry 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. – niry Oct 4 '13 at 11:40

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.