First, let us clarify that disk space and memory are two different things.
- Disk space is the computer's storage capacity for loading new applications and saving data.
- Memory (RAM) is the computer's capability (muscle) to open
(run) those stored applications.
- A computer with a large hard drive may be able to store (save) thousands of photos but if it is lacking memory, it may be able to open to view only a few photos at one time.
- A computer with a lot of memory (RAM) can open many photos at one time, will operate quicker than one with less RAM and can multitask easily. However, if the hard drive is full, it will not be able to save anything else.
- Disk space on the newer computers is simple not a problem these days unless the hard drive is a solid state drive (SSD) which are still somewhat small...
- Virtual Memory is a combination of the two and if either is lacking, the computer runs slowly and may generate various errors.
- See also - performance and new computer
Memory (Ram) directly affects the computer's performance. Windows itself, antivirus and other "always on" applications take their toll on the computer performance.
Adding more memory is reasonably inexpensive and easy to do but how much do you need?
Recommendation: No less than 4 Gigabytes for any machine. Windows 10 we recommend no less than 8...
To check the amount of RAM (memory)
From the Start menu, RIGHT click (My) Computer then select properties (or press the Windows key + Pause/Break) This image is Windows 7. Other Window versions look slightly different but the information is obtained the same way...
RAM can become slightly unseated causing the computer to hang at startup (not start at all). See reseating RAM.
To check the amount of disk space available
Open (My) Computer, RIGHT click the C: drive then select properties.
This image is Windows 7. Other Window versions look slightly different but the information is obtained the same way...
Notice the 297GB is the drive's total size.
With Windows and applications as bloated as they are these days, computers need a minimum drive size of about 500GB.
So the smallest drive you want in the computer is 750GB.
There is always some "loss" for drive formatting, i.e., a 300 GB drive ends up with 297 usable...