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Apple Mac OS X hints and tips

Get a faster Mac - upgrade the memory

The computer is a collection of different components that include the processor, memory, disk, video card and so on. Each of these components contributes to the performance of the system and the speed at which the computer runs is a combination of factors. It's not just the processor clock speed, or the video card, or the disk or RAM, it's everything.

Each component affects the computer in different ways and the amount of memory that is installed makes a big difference to the way that the operating system performs. Insufficient memory affects a wide range of software and almost everything take a performance hit when the free memory approaches zero.

Increasing the amount of memory available by installing more or higher capacity memory modules is a great way to increase the performance of the computer. You will instantly see that applications open and close faster, the computer starts and shuts down in less time, and programs run more quickly and smoothly.

RAM is cheap these days, which makes you wonder why Apple puts so little in its computers when it has such as large effect on the performance of OS X and applications. Up until recently, entry level iMacs and MacBooks had just 1Gb of RAM. Thankfully, this is now 2Gb. This is better, but it is really only just adequate. It does depend on the applications you are using, but editing several large images or running Windows or Linux in a virtual machine like VirtualBox or Parallels Desktop will use all that 2Gb of RAM and you'll wish you had more.

Not only does Apple put the bare minimum of RAM in it's entry level computers, the design of some of them also makes it very difficult to add more yourself. It is possible though and there are some useful guides on the internet, some of them are on the Apple website too. Here are some useful links that will enable you to upgrade the memory in your Mac:

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