Why unused RAM is wasted RAM?

Published on


Random Access Memory in short RAM is a system memory typically used to store working data and machine codes in a volatile way.

In the computing world, sufficient RAM makes sure the workflow is operating smoothly. If the system has less RAM size compared to what workflow needs then things will suffer from a huge performance loss.

This is the main reason why most of us have more than enough RAM on our computers than we needed actually, and 8GB is the minimum today.


But do you know, unused RAM is wasted RAM?

Yes, it is, if your workflow doesn’t demand more than 8 Gigs of RAM, there will be no benefit of having 16 Gigs of RAM. Instead, you should invest in other components that bottleneck a computer like – a superfast NVMe drive.

Why this bold statement?

Let’s take an example. Consider you have a bookshelf at home, and any book you want that is not on your bookshelf has to be fetched from a library to get them. Why is that empty space on your bookshelf considered wasted space? Because it makes more sense to have as many as books possible on your bookshelf locally so you are less likely to have to drive down to the library to get a book. The same applied to computers and RAM too.

The more data are stored in RAM, the less chance of having to access a much slower storage system. That is why the operating system will often leave files in RAM when they are not being used until such time comes when another file is requested, and it will then clear out the space required for the new file that has been requested.

Even if you think that you are going to use the system for a long time, having too much RAM doesn’t benefit you at all. It will do nothing, eat power, and sit ideal all the time. Make 100% use of whatever you buy. Don’t just over-buy.

Even content creators and video gamers are unable to hit the 16 Gigs mark easily. It’s a wise decision to buy high-frequency RAM if supported.

How to evaluate how much I need?

Simply, just check your system status while doing all your activity at its full capacity. It will show you much memory is being used by the system while handling the workflow. If the RAM is utilized way above 80-90% all time and the computer system lags a bit at this moment or it freezes often when you kick more tasks then only upgrade to higher capacity RAM.

Note that you match the full frequency supported by the motherboard. Slower RAM will save you money but won’t give you performance.

For example, my own system supports 3200MHz RAM while normal RAM has 2666MHz speed, so I bought a little costly one that supports 3200MHz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *