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Author Topic: Memory and Storage, How much do I need?  (Read 38537 times)
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« on: November 14, 2008, 04:40:36 PM »

First lets clarify the difference in Memory and Storage space.

Memory refers to the volatile memory your computer uses to run programs and store temporary information.  Memory is completely cleared every time you reboot or shut down your computer.

Storage referse to the non-volatile disks in your computer (Hard Drives), or external drives attached to your computer.  They store things such as your actual programs, music, pictures, documents, etc.

* How much memory do I have?
     You can find this out by opening the control panel. Usually Start -> Settings -> Control Panel.
     Then double click on System.  (In Vista you may need to click Classic View in the top left first)

Here you will see what Operating System you have, the type of Processor in your system, and how much memory (RAM) you have.

* How much memory do I need?
    For Windows XP we suggest a bare minimum of 1024M (1 Gigabyte), and suggest 2048M (2 Gigabytes).
    For Windows Vista we suggest a bare minimum of 2048 M (2 Gigabytes), and suggest 4096M (4 Gigabytes).

* How much storage (Hard-Disk) do I have?
   If you have My Computer on the desktop, double click My Computer.  Right click on the drive in question (Usually C:) and click Properties.  It will tell you here how much free space you have on the drive.

* How much storage do I need?
    You should always strive to keep at least 10 Gigabytes free on your C: Drive.  This allows for proper defragmentation, Windows Updates, Temporary Files, New programs to be installed, etc.  If you are below 10 Gigabytes, it is time to consider maintenance on your system, and possibly adding an additional harddrive.

* How much can I fit on what storage I have left?
    For the typical computer user, the things that use the most space are, Pictures, Videos, and Music. 
     Each music file is approximately 3.5 Megabytes. 
Depending on your camera settings, each picture can be anywhere from 768 Kilobytes, to 3.5 Megabytes.  For our example we will assume an average of 2 Megabytes which is a very high quality picture. 
Videos depend entirely upon the quality and duration of the video.  The documentation for your Video recording device should tell you how large a Video should be per second. For our example we will use 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second with Mono 22Khz sound.  This is approxmiately 7.5 megs per minute of video.

    Lets assume you have 50 Gigabytes free on your Hard Drive.  We have to keep at least 10G free, so that leaves us 40G more to store files.
     40G will hold:
     Approximately 12,000 Music Files
     Approximately 20,000 Picture Files
     Approximately  5,000 Minutes of Video (Approximately 80 Hours)

ECAN Solutions will provide free estimates on upgrading your Memory or Storage.  This will require a brief remote login so we can find out exactly what type of Memory or Storage your system needs.
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