How Much RAM Is Enough ?

The answer to this question is a depends. It depends upon what you are using your computer for and what operating system you are using, to take the two most obvious factors. If you are using Adobe Photoshop or doing video editing all the time, and want to be able to run office applications, and surf, and do email, all at once - well, then you may need a fair amount of memory. If you are a typical home user and mostly use your computer for email, surfing, a word processor or spreadsheet, and the occasional game, then you won't need quite as much. In terms of how it affects you, the end user, having the right amount of memory = faster computer.

Here's some general guidelines for the typical home user (note MB = Megabyte, the main unit in terms of which memory is sold; the higher the number, the more memory you have):

Windows 95 - Seems to be happy with 16 MB. Anything over doesn't get you much performance increase, but if you have anything less, I'd seriously consider getting more memory. The benefit can be quite substantial.

Windows 98/Me - Seems to be happy with 64 MB. You will probably see a significant performance increase by going to 128. Anything over 128 generally doesn't get you much.

Windows NT (Workstation) - Seems to be happy with 128 MB for most things.

Windows NT (Server) - Can run with 128 MB, but more is better. Definitely consider getting 256 MB or more if this server is going to have a heavy demand on it.

Windows 2000 - At least 128 MB, and basically as much as you can throw at it. Seriously consider 256 MB or more if it's got a heavy demand on it.

Windows XP - Hard to say, but 256 MB minimum, and almost certainly would work better with more.
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