People come to me all the time with the same fundamental question. They are about to buy a new computer and have no idea what specs to look for. This is usually further complicated by the fact that they have no idea what all the numbers represent when looking at the technical specifications. The one that usually jumps out at them is the processor speed. As a result of the way computer manufacturers market their machines coupled with common bragging rights, this number seems to be the magic number.

I am here to tell you that when you are buying a new computer or looking to upgrade or speed up an old computer, you need to place the most emphasis on the amount of RAM (computer memory) in the system. If you follow this simple instruction you will end up with a computer that runs faster and better than ever.

Let’s consider a simple story to understand the logic behind this statement: Bob and John are both incredibly smart engineers with the same level of intelligence. They are both equally capable of solving a given problem. Bob has the gift of being able to process data very quickly, however, he has a small brain that can only handle a limited amount of data at any given point in time. John on the other hand processes data a little slower than Bob, however, his brain capacity is extremely large. In other words he can process a lot more data at any given moment in time.

Throw the same problem at both of them. One that entails a lot of data processing. Who do you think will solve the problem faster? You guessed it – John is going to have an easier time as he can process and store a lot more data at any specific moment in time. So while Bob is working hard to transfer the data in and out of his brain, John handles it more efficiently and more than makes up for the slightly slower processing time.

Your computer works exactly the same way. If you have a lot of RAM, i.e. a larger brain capacity, it will thank you each and every time it is processing data or solving problems. Problem solving or “grinding” is when computers tend to slow down in the first place.

So the next time you are trying to decide between spending the money on extra RAM or a faster processor, go for the extra RAM and look forward to a faster and more efficient computer.