How to Improve PC Performance

Actress Kate Winslet faces the cameras at the premiere of her new movie "the Holiday," hosted by Columbia Pictures & Universal Pictures at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York Nov. 29, 2006. GETTY IMAGES/Evan Agostini

Want to improve your computer's performance? Almost sounds like one of those commercials for a magic pill for men. But when it comes to improving the performance of your PC or Mac, memory is a main ingredient. Many of the bargain PCs on the market come with 32 megabytes of RAM, or maybe 64. Not enough memory can really slow you down. At Crucial.com, the retailing arm of memory manufacturer Crucial Technology, Mike Sanor is the manager of tech support. How much memory do most of us need?

"128 would be a very good baseline for anyone out there. Again, if your computer is slow and all of a sudden while you are working you notice the hourglass is up a lot, and your hard drive light is flickering on and off, you're a candidate for a memory upgrade. It means your memory is full and you're having to swap things out to your hard drive."

And that's where the slow downs occur. How do you know what kind of memory to buy? Crucial.com makes it simple…

"On our front page, you click into your manufacturer. So let's say you have a Compaq computer, you scroll down to the model of Compaq you have and we've done all that work for you."

Installing memory is pretty simple, but if you're uncomfortable opening the PC up, a knowledgeable friend can handle the job in just a few minutes. You can find us on the Web at Bootcamp.com. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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