How’s Your Memory?

Here’s a little memory test for everyone…

Most people know that you can right-click on the MY COMPUTER icon, choose PROPERTIES from the menu displayed, and see how much memory is in your computer.

But there is another way—and the other way will give you a little better idea whether or not you have enough memory.
Even if you’re not a computer whiz you can do this.

1. Click START > RUN
(Normally in the lower left-hand corner of your screen).
Type in msinfo32

2. Click OK
(This opens up the SYSTEM INFORMATION utility installed on every Windows computer; the system summary shows you all kinds of things about your computer)

In the right hand window pane, scroll to the bottom until you see TOTAL PHYSICAL MEMORY.
This tells you how much memory you have installed.
It will probably say something like “1024.00” MB or “2048.00” MB or “1.0GB” or “2.0GB” (MB = Megabytes; GB=Gigabytes).
1GB is the minimum that you should have installed.  2GB or 3GB might be better depending on what you do with your computer; but you should have at least 1GB.  Windows uses about 400MB (40%) -leaving about 600MB for your programs.  If you are running a memory hog antivirus program (you are running an antivirus program aren’t you?), it may use 100-200MB more.

Now here’s the more important part …
Look below the total physical memory at the AVAILABLE PHYSICAL MEMORY.
If this number is above 300MB (or .3GB) you are probably doing okay.  If it’s above 1GB (or 1000MB) you have plenty of memory to do almost anything you want to do.

But if this number is BELOW 300MB (.3GB) you have a problem.
If it is below 200MB (.2GB) you probably experience some pretty severe computer slowdowns.
If it is below 100MB (.1GB) the computer is all but unusable and you are frustrated with it.  The computer is crawling.  You think it’s broken.  It chunks away, takes forever to do anything, and sometimes gets confused.
Good news!  Your computer is not broken.  It’s just overloaded.  It doesn’t have the resources to handle what you are asking it to do.
So how to fix that?

Upgrade the ram.  If you have 1GB or less, add at least 1GB (if it will hold it).

If you don’t want to upgrade the ram then just run one program at a time and you may be okay.

The thing to remember is that windows—all by itself with nothing else running– uses about 1/3 of the memory you physically have installed.  If you’re running Vista, it uses more than that.