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One of the simplest ways to improve performance on a laptop is to add more RAM, or random access memory. RAM prices have been steadily dropping over the years, and it's now possible to see a significant performance boost with an investment of twenty or thirty dollars. If your machine is sluggish, you might need additional memory. Even if your machine is new, a memory upgrade is worth investigating. New laptops often ship with inadequate RAM. This is so the manufacturer looks like it's providing you with a competitive price. In a way, it is.
I have actually seen a lot of people spend too much on RAM upgrades. It really depends on what you do. If you tend to open a lot of programs and leave them open or run a browser with several tabs open. Then maybe you need more RAM. But I have seen those that add 16Gb or better. I really wonder if they ever load up their RAM that much? Even 64 Bit is not that bad. Running a virtual OS can also do a number on RAM. Still buying too much headroom is just like building a 12 room house for just you. You better off going a week and monitoring your RAM usage and then seeing where you are at. Doubling that would most likely be enough. I cannot see anyone needing more then 8 GB on average right now.
Operating system are becoming efficient and browsers are working on those pesky memory leaks.