How Much Ram Do You Really Need?

If you are thinking of building a new PC or perhaps upgrading an old one, a question that often pops up is how much RAM do you need to make sure your system is running smoothly?

The article will explore this topic and give you quick tips with a basic idea of what to look out for when purchasing RAM, so you do not overspend and get optimal performance for your machine!

How Much Ram Do I Need? – The Bare Minimum

The absolute BARE MINIMUM you should be looking for when buying RAM is 8GB of DDR4. The reason for this is the fact that anything below that will greatly hinder your Windows experience, with even just one high-resolution YouTube video struggling to perform.

Many applications fail to start or freeze up if you have less than 8GB of RAM making your user-experience a nightmare.

At the same time, we would like to emphasize that 8GB is the BARE MINIMUM and should be considered a stopgap solution until you can buy more RAM for your PC. The standard RAM configuration currently is 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which offers the user a lot of flexibility in terms of multi-application use and smooth Windows operation.

In case you have a tight budget and cannot afford more than 8GB we would advise you to still purchase high-quality RAM since faulty RAM can prevent your PC from working entirely!

How Much Ram Do You Need? – Gaming

If the bare minimum for normal PC usage would be 8GB of RAM, then if you plan on gaming on your machine you should have at least 16GB of RAM. As mentioned previously this has become the standard configuration and will cover most usage scenarios on a PC.

The reason why you need more RAM when gaming is because games by themselves can take up to 8GB of RAM or more to function smoothly. If your PC configuration lacks enough RAM you will notice that your games will run at decent FPS, but the gameplay will be shoddy since most games under such circumstances often experience FPS drops.

If your main activity is casual usage and gaming then 16 GB OF RAM IS THE PERFECT SETUP FOR YOU! RAM does not affect FPS, therefore buying larger sets of RAM makes no sense. Instead of investing in a 32GB RAM kit, you should rather buy a 16GB kit, and invest the extra money into a better GPU which will greatly increase your performance in games!

How Much Ram Do You Need? – Professional Workloads

When it comes to professional workloads like high-resolution video or photo editing, 3D rendering or simulations, or any other type of work that requires files to be pre-loaded onto your RAM for instant access, the minimum starts at 32GB and spirals into infinity.

As detailed in this video, at 16 GB, workflow applications like Premiere Pro will work, but unfortunately, the experience will not be the best with features like scrubbing through the video footage lagging significantly.

From here on out when it comes to RAM and professional loads it basically depends on what you do, and how much stuff you keep open in the background. Once again referencing the video, there are situations when even 256 GB of RAM might seem puny for certain professional tasks!

How Much Ram Do I Need – Laptop

In case you are thinking of purchasing a laptop instead of building a PC, the recommended RAM configurations stay entirely the same, so the advice from the categories above applies equally!

Quality Over Quantity!

A very important aspect that should also be mentioned when discussing RAM configurations is the fact that you should not only look at the amount of GB but also at the rated speeds of the RAM kits!

A 32GB 2666 MHz RAM kit will offer significantly less performance and FPS in games compared to a 16GB 3600MHz RAM kit! This is simply because the smaller-sized kit has faster operating speeds, therefore, can deliver information quicker.

Another important variable is the type of die that is used by the RAM kit. As explained here, all RAM that you buy is produced by 3 big manufacturers, with Samsung B-die being the top-notch type of RAM you want to buy.

The reason for it is that Samsung B-die RAM can often overclock past its ratings! You can technically buy a cheaper 3200MHz RAM kit that was manufactured by Samsung, overclock it, and achieve a stable 3600-4000MHz that would otherwise cost you way more!

With all this information we are quite sure you can make an informed decision regarding how much RAM you need, what other variables such as operating speeds there are, and what special dies used by manufacturers when producing RAM should be taken into account.

About The Author

Chris Bulgac

Chris is a passionate gamer, streamer and PC tech enthusiast. The PC peripheral market has a special place in his heart, as there are few enthusiast-grade products that he has not tried, and even fewer products he has not researched already. Overall, Chris is a BIG nerd and he is absolutely proud of it!

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