Applications evolve, video games become more and more complex and now we use computers for carry out several activities at the same time. All this leads, in addition to the need, or desire, for more powerful processors and graphics cards, even a more memory system, or more RAM. So let’s take stock of the situation and ask ourselves today, in 2022, to how much RAM do we really need on our notebooks and PCs.
What is RAM?
RAM is the system memory that applications or games use to function. When you start a game, a certain amount of data is copied from the hard drive or SSD to RAM, which is then used by the CPU and other components to run that software. Obviously this applies to all programs, even the browser you opened at this time to read the article.
If the amount of RAM is not enough to host all the data needed for that application or game, or even for multiple applications together, The computer will become slowerbecause they will trigger the procedures that provide one continuous movement of data from the RAM memory to the hard disk (or SSD) and vice versa; since mass storage devices are slower than RAMyou will inevitably have a lower reactivity of the system. There are also extreme cases where the lack of memory space does not even allow you to start that application or game. It is therefore important to understand, if you are buying a new notebook or PC, or you already have one that you want to upgrade, today how much minimum RAM is needed to avoid problems.
How much RAM does it take to work?
Let’s start with a scenario that we can define as “home and office”that is, it concerns all those who use the PC or notebook for activities such as: e-mail, online browsing on various websitesuse of multimedia content from streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube or Twitchbut also Netflix or Prime Videovideo writing or presentation programs (such as the Microsoft Office package) and other rather light activities. Today this type of use scenario, from streaming to office applications, is easily manageable by modern computers and does not require a lot of RAM to make everything work at its best.
If you use your computer for this purpose, 4GB of RAM is still sufficient today, but not recommended. In fact, we recommend that you have at least 8GB of RAMmainly because multiple applications are often used at the same time and consequently it is better to have a greater quantity than what the applications need individually. Four GB of RAM is acceptable when you are on a very tight budget; Computers are certainly usable, but you will be in a bit of an edge situation and potentially your PC could get into trouble pretty quickly. So, if you can, always aim for at least 8GB.
If to these applications just mentioned you add others a little more complex, such as a program of photo editing, 2D-3D design, or video editingthen you should definitely aim for 8GB of RAM. But be careful: 8GB are suitable for amateur use of these software and moreover In this case, it is not possible to provide a precise ruleas professional software, even those similar in utility, may have different requirements. Therefore, we recommend that you do a very specific search on the net to see how much memory the programs you use most frequently need.
How much RAM does it take to play games?
We then move on to gamers. If you primarily want to play games, you should aim for a minimum of 8GB of RAM today. Some might say that there are few and more are needed, but in reality updated tests on many triple AAA titles show that 8GB is still sufficient to use 99% of video games on the market without sacrificing graphics quality. However, as in the previous case, this quantity must be considered as the minimum to have, while it is advisable to have at least 16GB of RAM.
Up to 32GB, or even more, only in special cases involving the use of professional applications. For example, if you install 32GB on a PC primarily used for gaming, you will not have tangible benefits or increased performance with normal use. However, there are no contraindications and if you can, or want to, buy a larger quantity to be sure you will not have problems in the future, you are free to do so.
In terms of speed, having faster RAM leads to benefits in many cases only marginal and in any case that have nothing to do with their quantity.