How Much RAM Do You Need?

RAM (Random access memory) is one of the indispensable components of computers. However, do you know how much RAM is enough to ensure your PC runs smoothly?

More RAM does not always make the computer run faster. However, not enough RAM may cause lagging and slow response. Therefore, it is essential that you should get the right amount of memory to suit your needs.

How much RAM do you need?

Equipping more RAM than you need is just wasting your money. Buy what you need and save that money to upgrade your CPU or graphics card.

Here’s the guideline that can apply to most computers:

  • 8 GB: suitable for working and playing some basic games on cheap laptops.

  • 16 GB: all rigs with Windows and macOS operating systems, good for gaming.

  • 32 GB: professional models and suitable for high-end gaming consoles.

  • 64 GB or more: for professionals such as engineers, video editors.

8GB is considered the standard for average desktop computers. If you want to use your rigs for other purposes like gaming or editing images/videos, you may need more than that. 

Besides, you also have to consider the channels you want to install to optimize the RAM performance. For example, you may have 16GB of RAM in:

  • 1 stick of 16GB

  • 2 sticks of 8GB

  • 4 sticks of 4GB

RAM speed

You also need to pay attention to the speed of RAM. Today, most RAM is DDR, which stands for Double Data Rate, helping to transfer twice in a memory cycle.

DDR4 is now the standard on all PCs, laptops, and tablets. Each generation of DDR has a range of speeds, starting from DDR4-1600 to DDR4-3200 (1600 and 3200 are the speeds of the memory). Faster RAM is able to read and write data better.

All default DDR4 RAM sticks can run at 2,133 MHz. However, high-performance RAMs can be overclocked to run at higher speeds.

Which applications use the most RAM?

All applications require a specific amount of RAM. Over time, these programs will take up more space, so if you don’t have enough RAM, your device will slow down severely. You can restart programs, but RAM shortage prevents them from gaining access to storage.

The operating system and web browser use the most RAM, though some applications or games may consume more. Opening many tabs in Chrome, Firefox, Edge browsers is usually the main reason causing the full of RAM. 

Plus, complex websites will use more RAM. For example, Gmail or Netflix will consume more resources than news sites. The same goes for offline programs. You can play Minesweeper on a Chromebook, but it won't work if you use Adobe because it takes more RAM.

Additionally, specialized software also uses a lot of RAM. In particular, video editing applications like Adobe Premiere or digital audio software like Pro Tools consume a lot of memory. Computers aimed at professional users are usually equipped with 16 GB of RAM, but you should upgrade to 32 GB if using the applications mentioned above.

RAM is inexpensive and easy to upgrade. However, many current laptop models use soldered RAM or only have one slot, so you should determine your need to spend a reasonable amount of money. Don't waste your money buying a computer with 32 GB of RAM just to watch Netflix.

What to do if you need more RAM?

RAM is one of the components which are easy to upgrade. You just simply identify how much RAM do you need, buy more, then put them into the right slot. That is if you’re using desktops.

If you have a laptop, things will be more complicated. Most modern laptops have soldered RAMs, so you cannot replace them without tearing out all other parts. If you want to upgrade RAM on your laptop, it will be wiser if you bring it to professional shops.

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Paul Syverson
Paul Syverson
Working as a software engineer for a computer manufacturing company for many years, Paul Syverson has a wealth of experience to share with you about this intelligent device. There is no doubt that his information will be very useful for those who have the intention of buying the best functional computer meeting their needs.