How much RAM should a computer have?
Computers are essential tools for students and business professionals alike. Whether it is used for research or word processing, the correct amount of RAM ensures everything runs smoothly and quickly to help get tasks done expediently. In our previous post we explained about components that help increase a computer’s performance – one of them being RAMs.
This article aims to familiarize you with the basics of how much memory computers need so you can understand if a certain amount is right for your needs. It will also explain some other factors to consider when looking at how much memory a computer has so you know what kind of rig to get before actually buying it.
What is RAM?
RAM stands for “random access memory” and is what a computer uses to store data that is currently being used by programs. This makes accessing this information much faster than trying to retrieve something from a hard drive, which requires moving parts and takes longer to access information. For example: if you wanted to open multiple web pages at once, the pages would need to be stored in RAM so they can all load simultaneously rather than loading one page after another since RAM allows users instant access matter where it is located on the computer.
However, there is only so much RAM that can be installed on a computer at one time, which means you might run out of RAM if you exceed this limit. When the amount of data held in RAM goes beyond what it can handle, it has to resort to virtual memory (i.e., storing data on the hard drive). Even then, your computer will not run as quickly or efficiently due to hardware limitations.
Therefore, determining how much RAM a computer needs should be based upon what tasks users want their devices to accomplish and how they use these programs simultaneously. For example, video editing requires more RAM than web browsing since editors have to load large files into the software while a web browser just loads a file into a temporary part of the computer’s RAM.
Use of computer for now and for the future
The first thing you need to consider is how much memory you need for your computer right now and in the future. This means examining what kind of hardware is on your current machine and what you might want to upgrade to in the future. If your computer has sufficient RAM right now: say 8GB and you’ll need 16 or 32GB in the future, it is pretty affordable.
If your computer can handle a certain amount of RAM great, but it still won’t mean anything if you don’t know how the software running on the system will do with its use. Some applications can eat up a ton of available RAM before you even realize it. For example, Adobe Photoshop is notorious for requiring a boatload of RAM to run well – Adobe recommends at least 4GB of RAM for basic functions like open, edit, and save even if you don’t have anything else running in the background.
That’s not to say that having 8GB isn’t enough for Photoshop, though; software has become very efficient over the years and it doesn’t necessarily need too much RAM to do its job well. You can always experiment with what works best for your machine by testing out different programs yourself. Memory cleaning software like CCleaner can help keep an eye on how much memory is available when you’re using resource-intensive programs like video games.
To answer the amount of RAM needed, one must consider a few factors: what tasks users want their devices to accomplish and how they use these programs simultaneously. Additionally, the amount of RAM is always being increased as new operating systems are developed that can handle more data at once. This forces manufacturers to increase their hardware with an upgrade path in mind. Technically, there is no clear formula for computing “how much” is enough since each type of task requires different amounts of memory and people have varying levels of satisfaction depending on what they do most with their computer.
For someone who uses their computer for simple tasks like web browsing and email will find that 8GB of RAM is usually enough, but they may need more if they plan on running memory-intensive apps like lots of Chrome tabs or photo editing software. This means the amount of RAM you need depends largely on how you use your computer. If you aren’t planning on doing anything particularly intensive, but just want it so you can have most of your programs open at the same time without having to constantly wait around for them to load – 16GB is probably enough. If you plan on doing things that are a bit more resource-demanding (like music production, video rendering, or photo editing), then I would recommend 32GB if possible. It’s expensive right now since RAM prices spiked this year (2017) with Bitcoin mining demand, but usually, it’s worth getting as much as possible because RAM isn’t something you’ll need to upgrade later on like other parts in your computer might be necessary.
Power users (eg. Video editors, Photo editors)
A power user is someone who uses the computer for more than just the basics. For example, a power user might need to run several virtual machines and tons of Chrome tabs at once for their work. A power user might find they need 32-64GB of RAM depending on what they do most often with their computer. That being said, a video editor cannot simply buy a laptop with 256GB of RAM because it may not be enough for its needs even though it seems like a lot now.
Gamers ( Novice Gamer : 16 GB, if possible 32 GB ; Advanced Gamers : 64 GB )
This is an activity that’s even more intensive than power use, so it requires a lot of memory. If you play games regularly, you should probably get 64GB or higher so you can still have all your other programs open while also playing a game. I’d recommend getting 128GB if possible since this will allow you to do many things simultaneously without having to constantly wait for one program to complete its processes before starting another one. This includes running everything from basic programs to more intensive stuff like Photoshop or an editing suite simultaneously.
Occupation specific: Developers and Programmers
As much as you can afford. Sometimes RAM is the bottleneck and having more makes your computer run better, which depends on what you do. If you like to open a ton of tabs at once and play games, go for it! (But make sure your motherboard and PSU can handle it first.) Otherwise, get what you need/want.
The Need for RAM
You should always have enough RAM in your computer to make it work properly. If everything starts lagging or running slowly, it might be because you need more RAM! The amount of memory required depends on what you are doing with your device. It is easy to add more RAM when something runs out. For example, gamers need a lot of rams because they are constantly switching between different programs and games, making their computers run slower without enough memory available. Photographers also require a ton of memory because they are editing large files. If you are only surfing the web or listening to music, however, your computer probably has more than enough RAM available.
Before buying a new device, it is smart to research how much memory you need so you don’t waste money on something that won’t be useful for you. Most people would do well with between 4 and 16GB of memory in their computer. Upgrading your RAM is easy if your machine starts slowing down; just open up the case and add more DIMMs until everything runs smoothly again!
As per experience, the amount of RAM in your computer is directly proportionate to its overall performance. To put it simply, more RAM = better performance with all else being equal. However, this doesn’t mean that you should go out and buy 16GB or 32GB of RAM just because you feel like it might improve performance by a few percent. If your system already has 12GB of RAM installed then there’s no real need to upgrade unless if you want to spend money on additional hardware for the sake of having the best computer around. At the end of the day consider the following, that extra video card won’t do anything for your computer if it doesn’t have enough memory to store the data that the GPU has to process. Here’s an easy way to think of it: in a car, more horsepower means you can go faster and do whatever else you want with more power; with computers, however, more RAM will let you multitask without hesitation and allow your operating system (and programs) to use as much RAM as they please without worrying about slowdowns.
In summary: Casual users will be good on about 8GB RAM. For gamers: if gaming is not a priority or running intensive programs such as Adobe Photoshop, then the amount of RAM required may not be much, say about 16GB to 32GB. On the other hand, if you pride yourself on having a powerful PC and pride yourself on playing newer games without slowing down then you should plan to have more than sufficient RAM, over 64GB.
From our experience:
If you are looking for someone reliable in Melbourne who upgrades computers…look no further!