How Much RAM Do I Need? [Ultimate Guide]


We all want faster devices, faster connections, more responsive pages and applications, and laptops that don’t freeze on us. How hard could that be? Well, to answer that question, we have to look a little deeper into the topic of RAM, or random access memory. This is the amount of memory on your computer or device that determines the performance of your computer, by allowing applications and sites to store bits of information in its short-term memory. So, to get the best out of your device you need to know all about your RAM, and it starts with this:

How Much RAM Do I Need?

To answer that question, we’re first going to need to conduct a little lifestyle audit together, so that we can take into consideration the applications you use regularly, if you stream video or audio content regularly and if you synchronize applications and sites across multiple devices. 

All of these elements will have a critical impact on your RAM, and how efficiently your devices will operate as a result. They will also have an impact on the amount of storage you are occupying at any one time, which in turn will affect your computer or device’s performance.

What Is a Good RAM?

Before we can answer that question, we first need to know a few things about your general device usage. In other words, what are you using your computer, laptop, tablets, or phones for most, and do you synchronize your devices?

Also, it’s a good plan to ask yourself what type of user am I? Which speaks to how many hours in a day are you working or playing and how much of those activities require video, audio, streaming, zooming, or other virtual meeting platforms? 

Only then you can find an answer to what a good RAM is because that mostly depends on what you need it for. This brings us to the next section but before:

DID YOU KNOW that you could dramatically improve your computer or laptop’s speed, by regularly cleaning up your cache or by just performing a restart.

How Much RAM Do I Need?

To accurately answer this question we’re going to break it down into different sections because as we mentioned earlier, the amount of RAM one needs is going to differ vastly from user to user.

So, let’s begin.

Typically and for ease of reference, we can divide just about all computer/technology users into 3 different sections.

  • The casual user
  • The intermediate user, and
  • The professional user

Between these three categories, there are going to be users who may be some of one and more of the other, but when usage is combined, that should inform where you place and help you answer the question, how much memory do I need?

Casual users are typically users that probably use their device for work or employment purposes, coupled with some usage for personal reasons online. These users will conduct online banking, browsing for travel arrangements, searching for theater or sports tickets, and probably do a little Netflix or YouTubing, and use social media, well…socially.

For these users, a recommended amount of 4GB of RAM is suggested.

Is 8GB of Memory Good?

Intermediate users are generally the kind of users that stream audio or visual videos online, conduct work meetings via Zoom or Skype, regularly use social media, stream Netflix or other video-on-demand services, use YouTube for research, self-help, or personal reasons, may even be content creators themselves, but not overly prolific creators.

They’re users that need more extensive internet browsing than casual users, and regularly use word processing, spreadsheet, and other programs and applications and also use basic to intermediate graphics programs, play flash games, listen to quite a bit of music and multitask.

These users require at least 8GB of RAM.

Then we have professional users. These are serious gamers, graphic designers, web developers, programmers, financial professionals that require real-time and ongoing data and research capabilities, video editors, professional content creators or YouTubers, high definition video production and editing, and so on.

We recommend at least 32GB of RAM.

Now, without getting overly techie, it is kind of important to know that while we all want super-fast connections and operating ability, it’s not necessary to buy the biggest, most expensive RAM upgrades for your laptop, tablets, or other devices. When thinking about all of your needs and your available devices, consider asking yourself is 16GB of RAM enough if that’s what your computer came with, or do you need to upgrade to 32GB?

It is far more beneficial to ensure that you have the right amount of RAM that is needed to do what you need to do, and what works for your budget

It’s easy to know when you may require an upgrade – when your device starts to slow down during “normal” operation, and you can’t identify another reason for this like an old battery or faulty hardware. 

Look, it’s always nice to have the top end of anything, but that’s not necessarily going to improve your experience here, so before you buy more expensive devices, is 8GB of ram memory good enough for what you need?

Once you’ve figured out what kind of user you are, then you can break that down further across your devices. Your laptop or desktop computer will probably need more RAM than your tablet or phone. 

Using the methods we discussed earlier, you’ll be able to figure out the answer to those questions. Now, not everyone automatically understands these words and this industry, so find some specialist help if you need to.

As a general guide:

A laptop should have at least 4GB of RAM, but 8GB is better and when you’re figuring out what kind of user you are, you have to ask yourself, how much laptop memory do I need?

A tablet should have at least 2GB of RAM, and you should check this out before you buy a new one, as many tablets only come with 1GB of RAM pre-installed.

Your mobile phone with 8GB of RAM should be more than sufficient for casual to intermediate users, but professionals who use their mobile device for synchronizing, video capture or editing, etc. should consider more than that.

What Is the Difference Between 8GB and 16GB Ram?

This is a question that is often asked of computer specialists and salespeople, but with all things being equal, if you’re not the kind of user that needs 16GB RAM functionality, you’re really just spending too much.

See, easy, right?

Key Takeaways

Knowing what kind of technology user you are and how much integration you need across your devices and applications will help determine how much RAM you need.
Regular cleaning of your cache, browser and restarting your system from time to time, can help enhance the performance of your computer or device.
You can always upgrade your RAM at a later stage if you need to.
Having sufficient RAM is essential for professionals and high usage gamers.

Can You Upgrade Your RAM?

If you’re thinking that your computer is old and you’re wondering what to do with an old computer, don’t be too quick to throw them out. The good news is that you can upgrade your computer’s RAM and help it keep with the times. Now, if you are of the tech-savvy sort, then you could do this yourself – but, if you have two left thumbs when it comes to anything IT-related, it’s a better idea to get a professional’s help.

DID YOU KNOW: RAM is physically very small and stored in microchips and it is also small in terms of the amount of data that it can hold. The regular sort of laptop one would buy would usually come with 8GB of RAM, while a hard disk can hold 10 terabytes of information.

So even though 8GB is generally what is good for a laptop, 16GB will help you keep ahead of developments and up to date.

In Conclusion

Reading through this post, you can see that not all RAM is necessary for all people, and while it would be tempting to say “let’s just get the most amount anyway”, well if you have money to burn why not? Except that you’ll just have additional capacity and it won’t necessarily improve your devices’ performance as they use, what they use.

Conversely, however, not having sufficient RAM will present significant challenges to operational performance and could place your bigger projects at risk.


Do I need 32GB of RAM?

Yes, if you are a professional user.

How much RAM is good?

Depending on where you are on the user scale, you’ll learn what works for you.

What is RAM good for?

RAM (Random Access Memory) helps your computer or device work better and faster. It’s always going to be in your best interest to consult with professionals who can help you figure out where you present yourself on the usage scale so that you can get the right amount of memory that works for you, and it starts by asking: just how much RAM do I need?

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