How much RAM do you need? Briefly explained

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Random Access Memory, in short RAM, is a volatile memory that is responsible for managing a computer’s short-term data and stores most-used files in RAM so that next time it can be served quickly.

We can see that most modern devices are coming with RAM from 2 to 32 GB range and some machines are even equipped with more.

But how much RAM do you need, exactly?


In this article, I’ll walk you through various use cases that will show how much RAM you may need so you can use the device without any bottleneck or performance throttle due to less memory.


In a nutshell, here are some simple rules that apply everywhere.

Less than 4GB RAM.

Today having less than 4GB RAM is something which is found only either in ultra low budget like entry-level mobile or optimised iOS devices. Unless you use your mobile other than calls and a few very basic stuff that does not need any system memory can have less than 4GB RAM.


Today 4 GB RAM is considered outdated for most things.

Mid-end mobile devices, low-end Chromebooks, and tablets come with 4GB of RAM, but it is only worth considering if you are on an extremely tight budget.

Apple’s users are an exception here because iOS and macOS are well optimized for using low resources by default. Some users even use Linux on a 4GB RAM machine and they work very much fine even with this restrictive RAM environment too.


This is what most aim for today!

Most entry-level laptops and desktops come with 8GB of RAM, this is fine for all basic work like – full HD video editing, gaming at lower settings. But anything more can rapidly run out of RAM easily.

You can not do multitask with mediocre or heavy applications.


16GB RAM is considered as best for most things including full HD too small 4K video editing, gaming at moderate or high settings, and a moderate level of multitasking.

If you do one heavy task at a time 16GB RAM is more than enough for anything and it won’t get full easily.

Now at this level, an individual should focus more on buying a high-frequency RAM like 3200MHz or more rather than more GBs in total. Faster RAM eliminates the need for more RAM. You should check the CPU and Motherboard manual for more about the compatible RAM frequencies.


32GB RAM is not used by at least common individuals. Most gamers who also do live stream and professionals who do an extreme level of video editing like 4K use this much RAM.


This much RAM is used only by enthusiasts and on purpose-built workstations. Since in day-to-day life nobody is going to use this much RAM it is not intended for a common individual.

For example engineers, studio editors, researchers, scientists, businesses for their main system, etc. Without any real reason, this much RAM is definitely a waste of money.

More than 64GB.

Now we are talking about data center-level stuff here. Such a big RAM is used there only. There are some research centers where they use this big system to resolve their endless process.

Remember, buying more RAM than you need does not get you any performance benefit, it is effectively wasted money. But what you actually need and spend the remaining budget on more significant and valuable components like CPU, GPU, Storage, etc.

How can I make sure I don’t need more RAM?

By simply using Faster CPU one can eliminate the need or more RAM, or simply use swap storage to eliminate the need of RAM.

Since most data stored in RAM is made for CPU only having a faster processor will make things free in the first place.

By having a swap storage means some size or portion of hard drive will be used as caching. Small machines should avoid using swaps too much it can cause data crashes.

I recommend no more than 512MB of swap for any consumer-level computer machine that has less than 4 to 16GB of RAM.

This is it, now you should have all your doubts clear. Even if you have any further doubts do not hesitate to raise comments below.

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