Netbooks are becoming increasingly popular of late, due to their incredibly portable size and convenience. However, as a result of their size, many netbooks don’t have the kind of powerhouse hardware you’d expect to find in a laptop or desktop machine. One way to offset this and cheaply improve the performance of your machine is simply to upgrade your RAM.
RAM, or random access memory, is the storage your computer has for data that can be accessed immediately without searching or pulling it from the hard disk. You can think of it like your hard drive being the books in a library, and RAM is how many you can check out and reference at a time. The more RAM you have, the more easily accessible data your computer can pull from, which reduces the amount of time it spends polling the entire hard drive for your machine.
There are different types of RAM, each one progressing and becoming more and more efficient and effective. When purchasing your RAM, you’ll need to check it against your computer’s specifications. The newest form is DDR3, which means it allows data transfer rates of 3 times the original form. Some newer netbooks like the Toshiba NB305 support the higher speed DDR3 RAM, which makes it an attractive machine for users seeking a little more power.
When looking into purchasing RAM, you’ll want to check your machine’s configuration to see how it’s set up. Some are set up in banks, which is built for pairs of RAM. Others allow them to be placed individually. Your computer will handle any size listed in its specifications, but make sure that if they are in sets, that all sticks in that bank are the same size.
As far as pricing goes, you can get 2 GB sticks of memory for around $55 to $60 at many memory suppliers. Most Netbooks like the HP Mini 5100 have 1GB memory standard, and can be upgraded to a maximum of 2GB due to mainboard chipset limitations. Generally speaking, and upgrade to 2GB will do plenty to improve the speed and performance of any netbook, making it an even more useful and convenient machine.