RAM, or Random Access Memory, is used for the computer to store running applications state and other operating sytem tasks. It is also used when your computer is in sleep mode.
You will see different amounts of RAM installed in a notebook/tablet. Generally, the more the better.
4 GB is just enough, but if you can, I strongly recommend 8-16GB of RAM. More ram = Run more applications at once!
Take note that how much RAM the computer can take depends on the operating system configuration, Which is either x86 or x64, and OS edition. x86 is the older computer architecture which will only be able to use 3-4 gb of RAM. x64 is the new architecture that can address virtually unlimited amounts of RAM.However, the OS you use can limit the amount you can use also. Windows 7/8 Home premium x64 edition, at maximum allows 16GB of RAM, while the ultimate/pro edition allows a maximum of 192GB ram (which is impossible in notebooks currently).
To check system architecture and RAM utilized on a notebook, go to start–>My computer–>Right click and go to properties, and check the amount of ram used.
Also, Take note of the number of sticks of RAM installed in the notebook, as they can affect the speed of the computer. They can be in Single Channel mode and Dual channel mode
Single Channel mode: This mode consists of 1 RAM module installed in a machine (e.g. 1 x 8GB ram) , or 2 RAM modules with DIFFERENT SIZES installed in the machine (e.g. 1 x 4GB ram) or (e.g. 4GB + 2GB RAM). This system configuration allows the computer to respond to each ram module independantly, which results in a slightly slower computer compared to dual channel.
Dual Channel mode: This mode consist of 2 RAM modules with SAME SIZES installed in the machine (e.g. 4GB + 4GB RAM) or (8 x 2 GB RAM). This system configuration allows the computer to respond RAM modules independently or simultaneously, depending on RAM usage. This makes for faster notebooks. Take note that processors and motherboard configurations may also affect this, so check with the seller first before assuming this.
Conclusion: you may want to bargain with the seller about free or cheap upgrades to increase the RAM installed in your laptop. Of course, SP vendors aren’t as flexible, so check outside in the upcoming IT show for such bargains 🙂