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Digital Image RAM and memory

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography, Hardware & Peripherals

Digital Image RAM

We all know that digital photos take up gobs of hard drive space, but how much RAM do you need to work on those images? 256MB? 512MB? 1 Gig? More?!

When it comes to RAM, more is always better. How much you need is going to depend on how large your photos are. For example, a Windows XP system with 512 MB of RAM can probably handle 2 or 3 megapixel images without breaking much of a sweat. However, ask it to work with an 8 megapixel image, and it may slow down to a crawl. My computer has 2 Gigs of RAM and doesn’t like it when I have too many 8 MP images open, so there’s never enough memory!

My advice is if you’re going to do a lot of digital imaging with a 4MP camera or higher, seriously consider at least 1 Gig of RAM, particularly with XP. 2 Gig is even better, especially if you’re using an 8MP camera. Memory is cheap, and the more of it you have, the better off you’ll be.

Once you get that new memory installed, you’ll be amazed at how much faster all your digital imaging work goes. For that matter, you’ll probably notice an increase in speed across the board.

Naturally, you’ll need to confirm with your computer’s manufacturer that it can handle all that extra RAM you want to install. If it’s a newer computer (say, 2 years old or less), you should be able to install at least 2 Gigs with no problem at all.

For some RAM installation guidelines, check out:

If you already have a lot of memory in your computer but it still seems to be running too slow, you may want to read this article about clearing up excess startup programs:

If you have too much junk running at startup, you’ll take a big hit in performance. No sense having all that shiny new RAM getting used up by software that you don’t need running at the moment.

Happy Shooting!

~ Steve

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