If you PC is sluggish it moy need more RAM (Random Access Memory), but not necessarily more hard disk (HD) space. It is a common misconception to confuse these terms since techies use the word “memory” to describe both RAM and HD space. But before you run over your friendly neighborhood geek for confusing you with misleading terms, here’s an easy way to understand the two types of memory in your PC.
RAM is PC short term memory and HD space is PC long term memory.
Here’s how Wikipedia describes short term memory:
Short-term memory refers to the capacity for holding a small amount of information in mind in an active, readily available state for a short period of time.
RAM is quick and fast and usually looks something like this:
Here is what a HD may look like:
That new high powered anti-virus program was installed on your HD, but it uses
RAM to continually monitor your PC protecting it from Conflicker and the other cyber-nasties. This requires more PC RAM (short term memory) allocated to security and less available for web browsing, email, music, pictures, and other stuff. Thus, your PC has short term memory loss for the things you want to do and appears to be running slower.
The good news is that with most PCs you can add RAM putting your PC back in high gear. However, adding RAM to a PC is not for the faint of heart. Because there are so many different types of RAM and so many models of PCs, a RAM upgrade can be a daunting task.