Many users find it challenging to decide what to upgrade – SSD or RAM. Whether for programming or gaming, any upgrade can enhance the performance of your computer or laptop. Before explaining which upgrade is recommended for your requirements, let us learn more about SSD and RAM.
What is SSD?
A solid-state drive or SSD uses flash memory to store data permanently. It is considered a secondary storage device with integrated circuit assemblies as memory. The functions and specifications of SSDs are usually the same as that of HDDs. What makes the SSD stand apart is its low energy consumption, faster reading and writing, lightweight, and smaller size.
SSDs use NAND-based flash memory, which is non-volatile, making them retain the data even in the absence of power. Many prefer SSDs over others due to the benefits they offer. SSDs are drop resistant, make zero noise while working, and are lightweight. Due to the presence of flash memory, the reading and writing speed of an SSD is higher than any hard disk.
What is RAM?
Random Access Memory or RAM is the main memory inside a computer and exchanges data with the CPU. It plays a crucial role in the computer’s performance by permitting it to read or write at high speed at any time. It acts as a temporary storage medium for the OS and the currently running programs.
RAM allows the reading and writing of data saved in any memory location at any time. While the operating system and the programs are stored in permanent storage devices, RAM stores data that are immediately in use, making it easier for the processor to access them faster. Here are some characteristics of RAM.
- Access speed: RAM is faster than SSD, and access latency is negligible
- Random access: Data can be randomly accessed quickly from any part of the memory.
- Data volatility: In the absence of power, RAM cannot retain data
Does Your System Need An Upgrade?
It is not wise to upgrade a system that is working smoothly. So there have to be some signals that show that your system requires an upgrade. If certain conditions prevail for a prolonged time, then you can be sure that the system is ready for an upgrade.
- Difficulty in starting games or showing errors during gameplay
- When using the browser or Photoshop, the response time of the PC is longer than usual
- The keyboard is not working, or the cursor is moving slowly
- The operating system is taking a lot of time to load applications
When you decide to do a system upgrade, the main focus is upgrading either the SSD or RAM. Remember that SSD is a non-volatile memory and RAM is a volatile memory, but both have their own function to perform in a PC. It is interesting to note that only RAM and SSD are considered when a system upgrade is due and not any others.
SSD and RAM are considered because these play essential roles in the system’s efficiency, speed, responsiveness, and overall performance. Another thing is that both SSD and RAM have relative pros and cons that decide between choosing the two tricky.
When to Upgrade SSD?
You have to consider three factors while choosing between SSD and RAM – specifications of your computer, your requirements, and budget. However, prioritize your needs over others; what you want to improve about your system.
If your computer has a minimum of 4GB RAM, you might consider investing in a new SSD. Investigate the space in your hard drive. Your system is probably running slow due to the lack of space in it. Buying an SSD at this point is a good idea that makes more space in the memory, specifically more swap space so that data can be loaded faster.
Another attraction of buying an SSD is that it is cheaper than RAM. If you are in a tight budget, then SSD is your go-to solution. Follow these steps to upgrade SSD.
- Insert the SSD to your computer and run AOMEI Partition Assistant
- Select ‘Migrate OS to SSD’ and click ‘Next’ to continue
- In the next window, select an unallocated space in the SSD and click ‘Next.’
- Change the name of the new partition and adjust the size before clicking ‘Next.’
- Click ‘Finish,’ and your SSD is done upgrading.
When to Upgrade RAM?
If you are a hardcore gamer, it is suggested to go for a RAM upgrade rather than an SSD. 4GB of RAM is insufficient for playing high-quality games. Playing with minimum error requires 16GB to 32GB of RAM.
As RAM stores temporary data required to run current programs and applications, upgrading the RAM is a good way of improving the performance of your computer. In case you already have an SSD on board and still, the PC is slow, a RAM upgrade is due. Follow these steps to upgrade RAM.
- If your computer has a single slot for RAM, you can purchase a larger RAM, or if you can install more RAM, you can buy a RAM similar to the old one.
- Press ‘Windows+R’, input cmd, and tap Enter
- Press Enter after typing ‘wmic’
- Type ‘memorychip’ and press Enter
- To add RAM to the PC, shut down the system and open the panel
- Insert the new RAM by taking out the old one or placing it in the extra slot. Ensure that the RAM is inserted properly.
It is difficult to work with a PC that runs slow and shows performance degradation. Upgrading both the RAM and SSD can be great for your system performance if your budget permits. Else, you can choose between both depending on whether you want to play high-end games or improve overall performance. RAM upgrade for the former and SSD for the latter.