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Skipping Audio Part 2


In the first part, I explained that skipping audio on your media player indicated that you were low on RAM, and that your computer was “caching” or stashing some of your desktop info on your hard drive, which basically slows the whole thing down.  So this time I am going to tell you how to remedy the problem. 


Anything that you’ve got open that you don’t need, close it.  Especially if you’re playing audio, playing video or playing games.  You want all of the RAM that you can muster for these activities.  The more that you have open at one time, the more RAM that you’re using.  As a matter of fact, if you can close everything except your audio, video or game then you’ll get the best performance.  Programs that not only use a LOT of RAM but run in the background so that you might not notice them, include any download managers, any rendering programs or any downloading programs such as Vuze or Limewire.


When you first load a new program, it will typically ask if you want to run the program at startup or load the program to the task manager.  The answer to this should always be “no”, unless it’s truly something that you’re going to use every time that you start your computer.  The reason for this is that everything that goes into the task manager or run at startup will just eat up your RAM for no good reason.


This kind of goes back to #1.  I know that it’s hard, but if you’re doing one of these RAM-intensive things, don’t do anything else.  On my old computer, I had a really bad habit of streaming video to my Playstation from my computer using Playon while burning a CD and playing a game on Pogo with my friend.  Needlessly enough to say, my computer would eventually sloooooow dooooown, and everything would suffer.


To check your computer’s RAM in Windows 7, click on your START button (1), then, in the search box, enter the words TASK MANAGER (2) and then click on the task manager to open it (3).

This will open your task manager.  Next, click on the PERFORMANCE tab.

This will show you your available RAM (under physical memory, I have 6 gigs), the amount of RAM used (the graph under the word MEMORY) and, at the bottom, a percentage.  If you’re using more than about 70% of your RAM at any given time, it might be time to upgrade.  If you want to find your max memory for your machine, go to and choose your computer from the drop-down menu on the left and it will tell you.  If you are maxed out, it may be time to just get a new machine.

I hope that this helps!

~ Randal Schaffer


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