Give the gift of RAM this Christmas

No. Not that kind of RAM. But, rather, the stuff that you stick into your computer to make it go slightly faster. Sparing you the expense of buying a new one.

With Laptops having now almost completed their takeover from the dated concept of an ugly, over-sized home desktop computer (well, laptops and iMacs, anyway) RAM has become a far less intrusive upgrade for your computer. Gone are the days of removing the entire side panel, circumnavigating a spaghetti of wiring and fighting to insert your brand new sticks of RAM, which required worrying amounts of force to seat comfortably. These days it takes just the removal of one or two screws and you’re presented with a clean, easily accessible slot into which your RAM usually just clips effortlessly. Sadly, Apple are on a mission to thwart easy upgrading of anything and everything, making MacBook Pro RAM upgrades quite excruciating in comparison to their Windows-based counterparts.

Otherwise, upgrading RAM is effortless. I’ve said it before- the most complicated step in any RAM upgrade is picking which memory is compatible with your computer. And with that complexity thoroughly eliminated by the likes of Crucial.com you now just pick the make and model of your computer or, if you’re particularly lazy, just run a simple application that will tell you exactly what you need.

When it comes to the second Mac related thing I love to shout about on Gadgetoid, that’s Parallels if you haven’t been paying attention, RAM is absolutely essential. Having 8GB in a laptop which is now more or less affordable, at just over £123, thanks to recent price drops makes running Windows 7 comfortably in Parallels 6 not only possible, but easy. Making life for those of us who insist on working with a Mac, bearable. And with Firefox easily and often chomping through a gigabyte of RAM, a quarter of 4GB!, it’s all the more important to stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of this low-cost and low fuss performance booster.

Finally, gaming and games in general are a RAM-hungry-hobby, and any Mac you intend to use steam on should be rocking at least 4GB. In fact, any Mac should be rocking at least 4GB, and why there’s even a 2GB MacBook Air available completely eludes me.

Anyway, I’m sure you don’t care about the technical mumbo-jumbo. Your parents probably bought a laptop at some point, and it’s probably getting bogged down with all the crap they installed on it, or was simply not furbished with terribly much RAM in the first place. Why not hook them up with a memory boost, the real kind, not a bleedin’ ready-boost USB memory stick, to reduce the frequency of your technical calls. Adware and trojans love RAM as much as the next app!