Ever get that feeling that you’ll never have enough RAM on your computer? This is a persistent feeling I get on Windows-based computers, but now that I’m using a Mac more regularly, the feeling’s there too.

A few years ago I got a high-end Acer laptop with dual processor but only 512Mb of RAM. Already too slow. Then I had a desktop with 512Mb, and even after adding another 512Mb RAM, it wasn’t enough. That was followed by a 2Gb desktop, and it seemed that applications which previously ran fine in 1Gb of RAM suddenly decided to take advantage of as much of the extra RAM as possible. The same’s happened now on my 3Gb RAM laptop, though this one’s running Windows Vista. (That is, maybe Vista just needs more RAM for everything.)

Are Windows applications just not efficient? Don’t developers know how to make apps lean and mean? Or is Windows hogging RAM just because it can?

Apple fans might be inclined to say Mac OS X performs better, and I’d actually agree. While I do get a big of “lag” when using OS X, I find that I can have numerous apps running with just 512Mb of RAM. Sure, more memory is always better, but it doesn’t seem to matter for Windows OSes.

Of course, the problem might just be that the 3 or 4 applications that I run every single day on my Win XP and Vista laptops are simply inefficient. What it boils down to, especially when my laptop crashes regularly, is reduced productivity. Maybe other people don’t have the same problems. Thoughts? Have you found that your computer never seems to have enough memory?

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