16GB vs 32GB RAM – What You Need to Know

16gb-vs-32gb-ram-what-you-need-to-know

We often get asked ’16GB vs 32GB RAM – what’s best for me?’

Both memory modules are popular and offer great performance.

However, there are some key differences between them regarding capacitycost, and the workload requirements they can accommodate which can be taken into consideration before purchasing additional storage.

Summary

  • Adequate RAM is necessary for multitasking, faster data storage, and improved system response time. 16 GB of RAM will be enough for most tasks.
  • For gaming or professional workloads such as video editing/3D modeling, 16GB RAM is the sweet spot but 32GB RAM will provide smoother performance.
  • Before getting an upgrade its recommended to determine compatibility issues between hardware components and operating systems in order to ensure a successful installation is achieved without crashing/data loss.
  • When considering the amount of RAM required for certain tasks it’s important to take into account the workload as 8GB isn’t always enough whereas 32 GB may end up being an expensive overkill if computing needs are mainly limited like browsing social media sites or checking emails etc.

Benefits And Differences Between 16GB and 32GB RAM

The main difference between the two is memory capacity – 16GB RAM provides lesser performance and speed compared to 32GB RAM, allowing multitasking with less strain on system resources and better data storage.

Improved Multitasking

Having more RAM allows your computer to store and manage larger volumes of data, resulting in faster system responsiveness and smoother multitasking.

Having more RAM ensures that applications don’t slow down your system while they are loading; instead, tasks run simultaneously without lags or stutters – no matter how many programs you have open.

 

multitasking

 

With the improved caching abilities of 32GB RAM especially, commonly used applications launch faster than ever before while those already running enjoy much higher memory priority levels allowing them to continue using all allocated memory resources for other tasks without performance dropping off over time.

This means that gaming is less impacted by large information workloads from other programs making it easier for gamers to maintain their frames per second (FPS) rate too.

Students working on projects which require utilizing multiple software at the same time can benefit from having access to this additional pool of resources since assets will not compete against each other as heavily when there is enough available room for them all inside one machine’s main memory capacity.

Faster Data Storage And System Responsiveness

When using a computer, the amount of RAM plays a central role in making sure that files open quickly and programs run smoothly.

More specifically, larger amounts of RAM allow for faster data storage and system responsiveness, since the higher memory capacity can hold more data at once – improving multitasking speed between multiple applications and browser tabs.

 

system_responsiveness

 

For instance, consider what happens when you click an email attachment or file on your computer and don’t have enough RAM to store it—it will likely take longer to open than usual because there’s not enough room in the RAM for it.

Having larger amounts of available memory means that your files load quicker as there is more space delegated towards opening them; similarly system processes like launching software or running updates— they all function better with increased memory power.

High Performance And Cost For Demanding Applications

With the introduction of 32GB RAM into the market, using demanding applications such as video editing software, 3D rendering or virtual machines don’t even come close to stalling out your system.

 

 

Having 32 GB RAM means significantly better speeds when dealing with memory-intensive tasks like those mentioned above along with increased efficiency due to being able to keep a larger number of browser tabs open without suffering from severe lag times.

Compatibility With System Requirements

When choosing the right RAM for your computer, it is important to understand compatibility.

If you get the wrong type of RAM or install it incorrectly, your PC may become unstable and suffer data loss.

To determine if a certain amount of RAM (such as 16GB or 32GB) is compatible with your system, you’ll need to look at your motherboard specificationsCPU specifications, and operating system requirements.

Your motherboard specs will list the types of memory modules that can be installed and some systems will have maximum capacitates depending on how many memory slots are present on the board.

Your CPU’s ability to access more than 16GB also needs to be taken into account – certain CPU architectures might not support more than 16GB of RAM while others do!

Finally, check out what amount of memory does your OS take up so there’s enough available for applications and peripherals like graphics cards.

It’s best practice to consult with experienced professionals before purchasing RAM in order to provide an accurate understanding of compatibility issues and potential RAM upgrades in the future.

Overkill Vs. Necessity For Professional Workloads

When it comes to professional workloads, there’s a lot of debate about whether 16GB or 32GB RAM is necessary.

While 8 GB may be enough for basic tasks, modern software can quickly require more RAM when multitasking and using demanding programs.

Ultimately, how much RAM you need depends on your computing needs and the type of work you do.

For example, if you are designing videos in Adobe Premiere Pro or editing photos in Photoshop CC then 16GB is highly recommended but bumping this up to 32GB will give you far smoother performance.

Similarly, audio production with Ableton Live or FL Studio requires a good amount of system resources, and 32GB is the better option here given that multiple VMs can be running simultaneously from one server.

When deciding whether to get either a 16GB or 32 GB memory upgrade, keep in mind that larger amounts of RAM allow applications like browsers and email programs to run smoothly at all times while also having capacity left over for other activities such as streaming online media or playing games as needed.

High-end gaming rigs are another common user group who require more than 16 GB ram because today’s modern AAA titles take up quite large chunks of RAM when loading graphics details into high resolutions screens which call for an excess amount of available memory to ensure smooth performance.

16GB vs 32GB RAM: The Minimum Amount Of RAM Required For Different Workloads

Understanding the minimum amount of RAM required for different workloads is crucial to ensure you achieve optimum performance for your needs without overspending.

Here’s a table that shows various types of workloads and the corresponding minimum amounts of RAM recommended.

 

Workload Minimum Amount of RAM
Basic computer use (web browsing, word processing, etc.) 8GB
Gaming 8-16GB
MS Teams and other productivity software 16GB
Video editing, 3D modeling, and motion design 16-32GB
Running multiple computing resource-intensive software programs (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite, Lumen5) 32GB
Using multiple Microsoft HyperV VMs on a single server 32GB or more

 

Keep in mind that these are general recommendations, and your specific requirements may vary depending on the complexity of tasks and the applications you use.

By matching your RAM to your actual computing needs, you can ensure a more seamless and reliable experience, especially if you have struggled with program freezes or slow performance in the past.

Video Editing

When it comes to video editing, upgrading to 32GB RAM can significantly improve your experience and efficiency in handling larger video files and reduce rendering time.

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of 32GB RAM in comparison to 16GB RAM for video editing in the following table.

 

Features 16GB RAM 32GB RAM
Performance Decent performance for small to medium-sized projects. Significantly improved performance for larger projects and more complex tasks such as 4K editing and effects rendering.
Rendering Time Slower rendering time for large video files and complex effects. Faster rendering time, decreasing the waiting time for the final output.
Handling Larger Video Files May struggle with larger video files, leading to longer load times and potential crashes. Handles larger video files with ease, providing a smoother editing experience and improved overall stability.
Adobe Premiere Pro Sufficient for basic editing, but may struggle with high-resolution footage and complex effects. Enables smoother editing and better performance in handling high-resolution footage and complex effects in Adobe Premiere Pro.
Final Cut Pro Works well for basic editing, but may experience slower performance with high-resolution footage and multiple effects. Provides optimal performance for handling larger projects and multiple effects simultaneously in Final Cut Pro.
Multitasking Limited multitasking ability while using resource-intensive video editing software. Improved multitasking capabilities, allowing you to run multiple applications alongside your video editing software without performance issues.

 

As you can see from the table above, upgrading to 32GB RAM offers various benefits that can enhance your video editing experience.

While 16GB RAM may deliver satisfactory performance for basic video editing tasks, investing in 32GB RAM can provide a noticeable difference in performance, especially if you work with larger video files and resource-intensive video editings software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro.

Related: 8GB vs 16GB RAM – All You Need to Know

Gaming

As a gamer, you’ll want to know whether investing in 32GB RAM is essential, or if 16GB RAM is sufficient for your gaming needs. To help you decide, let’s compare the performance of 16GB and 32GB RAM for different gaming scenarios.

 

RAM Size Benefits Examples
16GB RAM
  • Smooth performance for most modern games.
  • Good for gaming alongside other tasks like streaming or recording gameplay.
  • More affordable.
  • Overwatch
  • Fortnite
  • Apex Legends
32GB RAM
  • Improves performance for heavy-duty games, especially those with high-resolution textures and comprehensive modding.
  • Eliminates performance hiccups for simultaneous gaming and content creation.
  • Future-proofs your rig for upcoming games that may require more RAM.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Star Citizen
  • Heavily modded Skyrim or Minecraft

 

Keep in mind that most modern games run smoothly with 16GB RAM, but if you want the ultimate gaming experience with no hiccups, especially for games with intensive resource requirements or extensive modding capabilities, then 32GB RAM is the way to go.

The higher-cost investment will ensure that your system is prepared for the most demanding games of today and the future.

Photo Editing

When it comes to photo editing, RAM is an essential factor to consider. Photoshop uses RAM to process large files and work with complex effects and brushes.

Even if you have a fast processor, not having enough RAM can result in slowdowns when dealing with large documents.

For best results, upgrading your computer’s RAM is highly recommended. While 16GB of RAM can provide some benefits over 8GB or even 4GB of RAM for traditional photography workflows such as touching up portraits or landscapes, those who need maximum power from their machine should opt for 32GB of memory instead.

The larger amount of memory helps photographers quickly process multiple layers with detailed filters by caching combined image data into A-RAM so that working between layers remains smooth throughout the entire workflow stage, regardless of size or complexity without any bottlenecks appearing due to insufficient memory utilization limits being reached within the application itself.

Working on naturally high-resolution images such as gigapixel artworks will benefit from ample amounts of system RAM too since larger file sizes take longer periods for competitive operations like batch processing multiple projects at once during post-production stages while utilizing all available processors cores concurrently – making a strong argument towards further investing into higher class hardware platforms.

Do You Really Need 16GB RAM?

When considering RAM for your computer, 16GB is a great upgrade if you’re currently running with 8GB. Depending on your current system and its requirements, 16GB of RAM can provide improved performance when multitasking or working with demanding applications.

Additionally, using 16GB of RAM can help prevent applications from crashing due to limited memory resources.

If gaming or video editing are activities you engage in frequently, then having at least 8-16GB should deliver the best results depending on your game/software intensity.

However, it’s worth noting that even when working heavily with large files like videos or games, there won’t be a real benefit going higher than 32 GB unless you’re really pushing your hardware limits; beyond this level, there simply isn’t enough software support available yet to take advantage of it efficiently.

For those who prefer basic everyday browsing or even some light work (like text documents), 8 GB will generally be enough as the workloads are fairly simple and don’t require much in terms of aggressive scaling and heavy multitasking between multiple programs simultaneously; hence more RAM wouldn’t necessarily make an impact here other than providing additional breathing room.

Do You Really Need 32GB RAM?

Figuring out the right amount of RAM to upgrade to is a balancing act. 32GB RAM may seem like overkill for some applications and tasks, but it can be actually helpful depending on your workloads or projects.

If you’re using heavy software or multitasking frequently then more RAM will result in faster processing times and smoother system performance.

32GB of memory is ideal if you run multiple programs at the same time or need to process large files such as video editing, 3D rendering, audio production, etc.

It also eliminates the need to constantly read data from a hard drive which further improves speeds within those programs that benefit from having more available memory.

The increased storage capacity can mean faster boot-up/shut-down times too!

Additionally, modern games are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to their hardware requirements – so unless you’re playing non-VR content with simple standardized graphics settings (or not gaming at all), upgrading to 32GB RAM could provide an exponential increase in gaming framerate performance compared with 16GB models; leading to longer sustained maximum graphical power and ultra-smooth framerate output even during intense moments where extra load could otherwise bottleneck the console/PC experience and hamper gameplay enjoyment.

Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator & Dreamweaver have become known for pushing computing power limits so if photography design/development work demands high resolution.

Also read: Is 32GB RAM an overkill?

Is it always better to have more RAM?

Not necessarily. While having more RAM can be beneficial for certain activities such as running multiple programs at once or gaming, there is a point of diminishing returns where additional RAM will not provide any substantial performance improvements.

Conclusion: Is 32GB RAM Worth It?

The answer depends on what you plan to do with your computer. If you’re a gamer, or video editor or use any resource-intensive software programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Ableton Live regularly, then opt for more memory and upgrade to 32GB RAM.

Not only will it future-proof your system but can make tasks of all sorts noticeably faster in comparison to systems running off 16GB RAM.

To get the most out of modern games and popular software programs like Adobe Creative Suite requires lots of storage capacity so opting for more tends to be a good idea if funds are available.

FAQs

1: Do I need 32GB of RAM for gaming?

A: If you are building a gaming PC, 32GB of RAM is not necessary. 16GB of RAM is the bare minimum for most modern games, and unless you are running multiple demanding applications at once, 16GB of RAM will likely be enough.

2: What is the difference between the available RAM and the RAM capacity?

A: The available RAM is the amount of memory currently in use by the operating system and running applications. RAM capacity, on the other hand, refers to the maximum amount of memory that a system can handle.

3: Is upgrading to 32GB of RAM a good choice?

A: It depends on your specific needs. If you frequently work with large files and multitask with demanding applications, upgrading to 32GB of RAM could provide significant performance improvements.

However, if you only use a few applications and don’t work with large files, 16GB of RAM should be sufficient.

4: Will unused RAM go to waste?

A: Unused RAM will not go to waste, but it will be idle until it is needed by the system or applications.

5: What are the differences between 16GB of RAM and 32GB of RAM in terms of gaming and streaming?

A: The differences in performance between 16GB and 32GB of RAM in gaming and streaming are minimal. 16GB of RAM is the sweet spot for most users, and unless you are running multiple demanding applications at once, 32GB of RAM is not necessary.

6: How do I decide how much RAM I need?

A: To determine how much RAM you need, consider the applications you use and how many you typically have open at once. If you frequently work with large files, multitask with demanding applications, or edit videos, 32GB of RAM may be ideal.

For most users, 16GB of RAM is sufficient.

7: How does RAM work?

A: RAM (Random Access Memory) is a type of computer memory that allows quick access to frequently used data. It temporarily stores data that the system or applications are currently using, allowing them to access it quickly without having to retrieve it from a slower storage medium such as a hard drive.

8. Can I add additional RAM after purchasing a computer?

Accessibility may vary based upon system layouts & limitations but in most cases, users are able to upgrade their systems by adding extra sticks of compatible RAM into open slots on motherboards.

9. Is there an advantage to having 2x16GB vs 1x32GB sticks when running multiple programs at once?

Yes, from our personal and professional experience, having 2x16GB performs better than having just 1x32GB stick.

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...