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Photo: Paul Velgos (Shutterstock) When you’re shopping for a new laptop or desktop, you’re eventually going to have to figure out how much RAM to buy. The trouble is, it’s not easy to know how much RAM you might actually need, and computer makers are terrible at letting you know. Do you have to buy more RAM to get decent performance out of a computer, perhaps pushing the purchase price beyond your the limits of your budget, or can you get away with whatever is included in the base model? Let’s consider the data. What RAM does RAM, short for “random access memory,” is your computer’s short-term memory, as opposed to the long-term memory storage of a hard drive. As such, RAM empowers your computer to multi-task; it’s what allows you to keep multiple windows and apps open at once, and switch between them quickly and efficiently. The more RAM your computer has, the more capacity it has to run these types of processes without slowing down. That’s not to say RAM is solely responsible for the overall speed of your computer, but it can help you feel like your computer is running well. The key is figuring out how much RAM you need to enable your machine to do the particular things you need it to do. Memory is expensive, and, like most things in life, there’s no need to waste money on something you don’t need . Still, if you’re buying a device without upgradable RAM (like […]