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Last minute gift idea – RAM!

By Eliot Hochberg, eliot@high-mountain.com, December 22, 2001

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Here’s a thought that I want to get out to every red-blooded Macintosh user this holiday season: Buy more RAM!

One of the most common reasons for performance slowdowns, software crashes and general Macintosh malaise is lack of sufficient RAM. In the process of debugging system problems, changing RAM allocation is second or third on my list. For example, most of the problems encountered in DVD Studio Pro were alleviated by allocating over 300MB of RAM to the program.

There are other benefits to having more RAM. Even if you never have any problems with crashing (praise be to you), with more RAM you can have more programs open, more fonts can be installed in your system folder without crowding your apps, you can create a RAM disk to use with Photoshop for speedier performance, and you can brag to your friends about how “RAM rich” you are. Oh, and you’ll be better prepared for the day when you switch to OS X (if you haven’t already).

Another item worth noting is that apparently the speediest of Pentium 4 PCs that use Rambus memory are not really getting to participate in the discount RAM parade. So while your top of the line Quicksilver G4 can have 1.5GB of RAM for $259 (Ramjet.com), to upgrade to the same configuration on, say, a Dell Dimension 8200 P4, you’re looking at, oh, $1800! This info makes a nice little bonus to add to your present of RAM power.

Of course, if you haven’t heard of Ramjet.com, there are other options. For example, you could go to Amazon.com, which is selling Viking memory for very reasonable prices. If you do choose to purchase from Amazon (or Buy.com, or Staples, or OfficeMax), may I suggest going first to The Flaura Foundation? Any purchase made after clicking on the icons on its site will contribute to Flaura’s scholarship fund at no extra cost to you. It’s a great way to help high school and college students in need get scholarships for college, special training and other education-related benefits. In the interest of full disclosure, I consulted on the site, which is why I’m so hot on it [end shameless plug].

So remember, for the computer users in your life, geeks or newbies, RAM is your Christmas (HanuKwaanzaRamadan) gift of choice. Heck, at these prices, you could even get RAM for folks who you don’t know that well. Buy, buy, buy RAM!

Did I say buy RAM? Okay. Happy holidays.

Eliot Hochberg is a Web developer with over 6 years experience. In addition to struggling with tech support, he is the author of MacEdition’s ongoing feature on DVD authoring.

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