RAM

RAM, or random-access memory, is your computer’s primary working memory. The more you have, the smoother your Mac runs — period. If you have only 2GB in your Mac, you’ll like your Mac a lot better if you upgrade to 4GB or more. If you like to do more than a few things at the same time, more RAM will make you a much happier camper. (For what it’s worth, RAM has never been cheaper than it is today — and it’s worth every penny.)

I know I mention it in the previous chapter, but in addition to speeding up your Mac, more RAM makes using your Mac better in other ways. For example, when you have plenty of RAM, you can open many programs at the same time without a performance penalty. I have 16GB in my Mac Pro. I almost always have the 15 or 20 programs I use most open at all times. Then all my favorite applications are available instantly, and I don’t have to wait while a program launches.

rantrave_4c.eps Right this moment, for example, I have 14 programs running, as shown in Figure 22-1. And even so, Activity Monitor tells me I’ve still got almost 7GB of RAM available (out of a total of 16GB), and my Mac is still quite fast and responsive.

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Figure 22-1: Here’s what my Dock looked like a few seconds ago (left side on top; right side on bottom).

It’s also easy as pie to install RAM in most Macs made ...

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