All the extra time it takes for an older computer (one that’s more than five years old) to boot up, load web pages, and run programs can have an impact on your bottom line. One study commissioned by Intel found that older, slower computers can make an employee as much as 29% less productive2, which could cost an employer up to $17,000 in lost productivity for each older computer in the workplace.3 The same study also estimated that waiting for an older PC to start up each morning can waste up to 11 hours a year.4
Not only that, but a slower computer could lead to frustrated employees, making your hardware investment as much of an employee retention issue as a technology issue. That’s why it’s often a smart investment to spend a bit extra for more powerful components so your work computers can process more data, run more data-intensive programs, and keep more browser tabs open.
Decades of computer shopping have led many people to believe that more RAM is the ultimate solution for improving PC performance. While it’s undoubtedly important, it’s not the only solution for better performance, or even necessarily the right one, depending on your needs.
What RAM Does…and Doesn’t…Do
RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and is used as a short-term memory storage space for the computer to place data it’s currently working on so it’s easily accessible. The more RAM a computer has, the more data it can usually juggle at any given moment. Think of RAM as a workspace: A giant workbench is obviously easier to work at than a tiny tea tray would be.
While more RAM can be good, there are limits to the benefit of adding more RAM. One restriction is physical; your motherboard can only hold a certain amount of RAM, so if you’re upgrading an older machine that already is nearing maximum RAM capacity, you might not have much room to grow. Another critical limit is processing power. All the short-term memory in the world won’t make your employees work lives easier if you don’t have the processing power to take advantage of it.
The Power of the Processor
The processor, also known as the CPU, provides the instructions and processing power the computer needs to do its work. The more powerful and updated your processor, the faster your computer can complete its tasks.
By getting a more powerful processor, you can help your computer think and work faster. This alone may be enough to optimize the power of the RAM you already have and help you maximize your investment in any new RAM you do add. If more RAM is like a bigger workbench, then a faster processor is similar to inviting a friend over to help you with your work.
Balance in Everything
But it’s not a matter of making an either-or choice between more RAM and a faster CPU—each can be as important as the other, and are reliant and complementary to the other, as well as to the performance capabilities of your motherboard, hard drive, and other computer components.
Learn more about other computer components ›
One way to get the best of both worlds is to pair the latest Intel® Core™ processor with Intel® Optane™ memory. This smart memory technology complements standard RAM while helping to enhance your long-term hard drive memory for amazing system responsiveness when compared to adding additional RAM alone. Your employees will be able do many of their computer tasks more quickly and more efficiently.
If you need to improve the way your employees work, a computer powered by the latest Intel® Core™ processors with Intel® Optane™ memory could be the answer you’ve been looking for to the age-old “RAM vs. Processor” debate.