Question from Chris: I recently bought an Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKI5 desktop computer (#ad) and I have a question about it.
This machine came with 12GB of RAM but my friend says I should max it out to 32GB so PhotoShop and Lightroom will run faster.
I checked around and I can get four 8GB memory sticks for less than $200, which is about what I can afford to spend.
Do you think the extra memory will speed up this computer enough to justify spending that amount of cash? My friend says it will, but I’d like your opinion on this before I order the RAM. Thanks.
Rick’s answer: That Acer is a great computer, Chris. I believe it will serve you well for running the programs you mentioned above. However, the answer to your question is no, for two reasons:
1 – I seriously doubt that upgrading your system’s RAM to 32GB would provide all that much in the way of a speed increase. PhotoShop is indeed a memory hog, but 12GB is really plenty in my opinion.
2 – The motherboard in your computer indeed supports a maximum of 32GB of RAM. The problem is it only has two RAM slots, not four.
That means you’ll have to install two 16GB sticks instead of four 8GB ones, and at today’s prices that would cost you over $300 instead of the $200 you were planning to spend on the 4x8GB kit.
Bottom line: Upgrading your system’s RAM from 12GB to 32GB wouldn’t really benefit you all that much, especially when you consider that it would cost about 2/3 of what you paid for the computer in the first place .
The above being said, you could speed up your system A LOT by installing a Solid State Drive (SSD) (#ad) and making it your computer’s primary boot drive.
You could move the Windows operating system and your most-used programs to the super-fast SSD and then use the existing 2TB hard drive to store your photos and other user-created files.
I truly believe you’d be amazed at the increase in speed you would enjoy by adding an SSD to your system.
Bottom line: If you really want to dramatically speed up your Acer desktop PC you should ditch the idea of a memory upgrade altogether and invest that money instead on a decent sized SSD. (#ad)
I hope this helps Chris. Good luck!
Bonus tip: If you haven’t done so already I strongly recommend that you create a System Image backup of your PC’s hard drive (and the SSD as well if you decide to add one). After your have the initial backup on hand you should set a regular schedule for making new backups as well.
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