RAM (Random Access Memory) is the short term memory of a computer and it is the first thing you can upgrade to speed it up. Imagine a wheelbarrow carrying your program request to the barn. The barn represents the CPU (Central Processing Unit) that will process the data and return it in the wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow then travels back in the form of output on the computer screen.
In this scenario it is easy to see that another wheelbarrow will speed the process up because they are carrying twice the material. In theory, it will cut the time in half. To find out which RAM to buy for a particular computer, you can refer to the computer manual or use the Memory Advisory Tool at Crucial.com. If you have a custom built computer, you will have to refer to the motherboard manual. Almost all the motherboard manuals are available in PDF format online.
Unplugging the cords from the back of the computer and removing the side cover are the first two steps to this project. Hold the power button after removing the power cord to completely discharge the capacitor. If you have an anti-static wristband, make sure to use it. If not, you can ground yourself by touching the power supply every now and then. Locate the RAM slots and install the new RAM accordingly. Make sure to face the RAM the correct way. The notches in the RAM will prevent installing it the wrong way. Put the computer back together and plug in all the cords before firing it up. Your new RAM should be automatically detected by the PC. One way to check is by pressing the setup key at boot to enter your BIOS. It is usually F2, F12, del, etc.
Enjoy the increased speed of process intensive programs and multi-tasking!