“How much RAM do I need for gaming?”: this is the question I was asked by a friend looking to upgrade his laptop recently, already feeling left out at being unable to join in on all-night CS:GO sessions on his previous PC. NY 10036. It’s ideal for professional work and more demanding … a 2GB RAM computer is enough to get most work smoothly done in a Windows 10 PC including Adobe Photoshop. Streaming music or binging on videos is a slightly different use case than simple web browsing, putting its own stresses on memory. They also use a mechanical arm with a read/write head that moves around. Right-click on the Windows taskbar and select Task Manager. Everything still worked, including the game. Want to do some document work and web browsing but still want the option to do more? I put off buying a new computer as long as possible because I feel so overwhelmed with all the information. On the Alienware we checked back in on GTA V and found everything running smoothly. “How much RAM do I need?” It’s one of the most frequent questions asked by anyone buying or upgrading a desktop or laptop, and while there are some reasonable stock answers that people usually share, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and very little of the advice you do see has any real testing to back it up. On our 4GB system, this was enough to overwhelm the laptop, causing the system to slow to a crawl, and basic functionality to become inconsistent. RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and it consists of dynamic memory chips that can be written and rewritten with data very quickly. There is no need for me to spend a bunch of money on a computer with a lot of memory. Wikibuy Review: A Free Tool That Saves You Time and Money, 15 Creative Ways to Save Money That Actually Work. The casual music or video fan with a normal amount of school or business work on a computer can survive easily with around 50 GB. One of the other things we looked at was how memory use impacted game performance, and how much memory you might need in order to multitask while gaming. How much RAM do I need? Memory has never been an issue at all. The Pentium processor is the better choice between the two. How Much RAM Do I Need? These are games built to make the most of current hardware, and a tricked out system will need a decent amount of RAM to accompany the high-end graphics and processing hardware. This test was rather eye-opening in how clearly it showed the impact of web browsing on memory use. Mouse clicks failed to register, simple documents struggled to scroll smoothly, and even gathering the screenshots we used to document our testing became difficult. To make this easier, I’ll describe an average Photo Editor’s Computer. If you take a look at prices with the Celeron processor, they are noticeably cheaper, but you get what you pay for in this instance. The baseline for RAM in a computer is 4GB; typically, it will do the job – just don’t expect to have several applications open at the same time without affecting performance. If your laptop has 4GB or less RAM, upgrading to 8GB is a good idea. If you want to do things like stream to Twitch, we’d recommend opting for the 32GB options offered on many gaming PCs. It will try to use this swap file in the same way it does RAM, constantly reading and writing the data during operation, but the memory in your storage drives simply isn’t designed to move data as rapidly as DRAM. Once these baseline tests were running, we proceed to ratchet up the memory demands incrementally, first by adding another 10 browser tabs, then another 2 audio streams, followed by an additional 10 photos in Photoshop. Many are made to be pocket size, and nearly all external hard drives can fit easily on a computer desk next to your laptop. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, CES 2021 preview: 5 things to expect at the event, iPad mini 2021 release date window leaked! How much RAM do you really need for gaming? According to the hardware requirements reported by Rockstar Games, you’ll need at least 4GB of RAM to run the game, but the developer recommends a minimum of 8GB. GTA V continued to run, and we enjoyed a shootout and a car chase before moving on to the next level of multitasking torture. We chose Resource Monitor because it provides more granular information than Windows Task Manager, but both tools are helpful for getting an idea of how memory is used as you run processes and programs. The area where you’ll most want to maximize your memory is current AAA titles, like Far Cry 5 or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. In addition, memory cards and floppy or CD discs are popular ways to hold extra files or programs when your memory runs out. To test the memory demands of web browsing we used Google’s Chrome browser, which is notable for being both popular and a notorious memory hog. Whenever your computer loads a program or opens a file, it opens up that data in RAM. If y… As we were able, we also ran Photoshop, with 10 photos open. You will need at least 2 GB of RAM to use basic programs like Microsoft Word or surf the web. I never store that much information on my laptop so look for models that are cheaper and have less memory. Basic web browsing can be done on almost any connected device, but loading up multiple browser tabs will use up your memory. With HDD's, information is stored on a spinning metal disk. To answer these questions we performed some testing, looking at specific use cases, identifying the basic memory requirements for each and providing some hard numbers to back our advice. Thank you for signing up to Laptop Mag. The Celeron is slower. The answer to the question of how much RAM you need always will come back to what you want to do with it. i am doubtful about the difference between the celeron and the pentium processor and which is the best between them, for speed? Too little RAM creates a bottleneck that slows everything down, and the basic rule of thumb is that more RAM is always better. You might need 8-16 GB of RAM or more if you do lots of multitasking or use intensive programs. I don't really know if it is because the memory is almost full or the computer needs to be cleaned up, but there is a big difference. 8GB RAM. Generally speaking, more RAM is better. This is my second laptop and I have never even come close to using up the memory that comes with the computer. The best computer speakers in 2021. Adobe recommends your system have at least 2.5GB of RAM to run Photoshop CC in Windows (3GB to run it on Mac), but in our testing it used 5GB just to open the program and leave it running. I mostly use my laptop to surf the internet and read my email. This is a frequency that indicates the speed of the RAM cards. It took another 16 years to match this … In these titles, the amount of RAM used in total ranges from 6.6GB to 11.3GB (F1 2018 and The Division 2, respectively). Only after closing one of our programs did function return to normal. But not everything is quite so demanding, and you can find games that will run on nearly any laptop out there. We look at how gaming impacts memory use, what the requirements are for various current titles, and whether or not it’s worth getting memory that is optimized for gaming. My think my current laptop has 150 GB of memory and this is about right for my needs. @anon92038 -- I feel the same way as you do. Ideally, you should go for a laptop with 16GB of RAM. Make sure you get a 256 GB (or more) SSD or a larger traditional HDD with more than 500 GB of … 4 GB is found in regular desktops and office computers or those still running a 32-bit OS. Photo editing is far more demanding than basic office or web functionality, and is usually right on the cusp of what an affordable system can do well. Moving from 4 GB to 8 GB of RAM is likely to make a huge difference. The value is great, and if you are upgrading your RAM, do take a look: 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200MHz RAM. We looked at both audio and video streaming, across several services, to see how much memory was impacted by video, be it cat videos, news clips, or high-definition movies. Other tests showed that even the 4 GB RAM would be sufficient for the regular buyers. Scroll down to Installed Physical Memory (RAM) and see how much memory is installed on your computer. My laptop also seems to run slower when it has so much stuff stored on it. About the only thing I store on there is a few pictures and a text document every now and then. Now we're into performance territory. On Windows 10, click on Memory to look at your current RAM usage. Key takeaway: You can do a lot of work with only 4GB of memory, but if you need to work with extremely large files, you’ll want to bump up to 8GB or more. First, we tested how much memory was used opening and running a game. By testing a variety of use cases on different amounts of RAM, we can get a very good idea what sort of uses can be comfortably done with how much RAM, and even give you an idea of how you can stretch the RAM you’ve got. How much RAM do I need? At that point, you’re streaming an unenjoyable cacophony of sight and sound, but you can add more if you want. If you want to run a program, it pulls the data from long-term storage on your hard drive to short-term storage in RAM, where it can be accessed quickly enough for smooth operation. Unless you play a bunch of games or have tons and tons of music you really do not need a lot of memory these days. Different media players, file sharing programs, readers, and other software can occupy up to 1-2 GB per program and can use up laptop memory quickly. Those 4GB of standby memory held throughout testing, but every additional 10 tabs used roughly a full GB of memory. Visit our corporate site. The standby memory, however, jumped to nearly 10GB. I am so used to storing everything from pictures, music, videos and documents that I don't like to think about running out of space. We decided to test photo editing with Photoshop CC, Adobe’s current offering, and used unedited photos from a smartphone, each with 5312 x 2988 resolution, and measuring  5-6 MB each. Here's when it could launch, Nintendo Switch Pro potential leak reveals tons of exciting details. If you're serious about your PC, then I consider this … First, we started at a basic level. For use case testing we used an Alienware 15 R3, equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX970M graphics card. If you want your PC to be able to flawlessly accomplish more demanding tasks at once, such as gaming, graphic design, and programming, you should have at least 8GB of laptop RAM. Moving from 8 GB to 16 GB still shows some good gains in performance, but not as much. At this point we started to see programs slow down, with jittery navigation and slowness in loading files as they were opened. Windows 7 users see their memory under Total. If you want to make the most of your multitasking, these are the tests to look at. The amount of laptop memory needed by a laptop owner can depend on a lot of factors. This was much cheaper than buying a new computer and also pretty easy to figure out how to use. I would prefer an easy to install, easy to use, flash drive. Programs and software are features on a computer that should also be accounted for when considering how much memory you need on your laptop. This little known plugin reveals the answer. As you approach the limits of your memory, the impact on your productivity and user experience will be felt more and more, right up until you can’t do much of anything. Even your operating system uses RAM when it’s running. Is it smarter to have the memory installed in my computer, or invest in an external hard drive? For example, Batman Arkham Knight runs well on systems with Windows 7 / 8 with 8GB RAM but will stutter on systems with Windows 10 with 8GB RAM. We’re here to fix that. Whether looking at a single text file or a handful of documents (Word Docs, PDF, Text files) and larger Excel files (multiple sheets, each with 100+ columns of data), the memory usage ranged between 3,283 and 3,971 MB. A workstation with more than 16GB of RAM will be a do … When deciding how much memory you need, consider what you use your computer for, the operating system needs, and any software you use that is particularly memory-hungry. Depending on the amount, it can drive up the price of the laptop considerably. The 8GB system did better, providing good support for photo editing in addition to a healthy number of browser tabs and simultaneous media streams, while the 16GB system supported dozens of tabs, an unreasonable number of concurrent media streams and even offered usable gaming right up to the end. Then we opened up 10 browser tabs, followed by 2 media streams (one audio, one video). You are talking about storage not memory, which are two different things. The Dell Inspiron’s 8GB of memory was effectively maxed out, and once we hit that 8GB choke point, performance became erratic. 64GB. But what about those times you need to jump back and forth between programs, flipping back and forth between files and tools? Subscribe to our newsletter and learn something new every day. You're now deep in the realm of heavy lifting. These games can generally run on 4GB of memory (sometimes less), and don’t require discrete graphics card. Low-end gaming doesn’t require much in the way of hardware, letting you play games like Cuphead, Minecraft or Overwatch without investing in a purpose-built machine. While these five use cases are all common, they’re also relatively simple in the sense that the testing focused on one or two specific uses at a time. How much RAM you need in your PC depends heavily on what you use your PC for on a day-to-day basis and on how long you intend to keep the computer. Key takeaway: Multitaskers should really opt for 8 GB of RAM when possible, and those running multiple applications along with a ton of tabs should opt for 16 GB. So, what's the difference between them? However, you should have at least 4 GB of RAM if you want to open more than one or two tabs at once. Here’s how to check how much your system has. Whether your memory is for music, videos and other entertainment, or for school work or business work, the amount of gigabytes (GB) of memory needed can vary greatly. The 4GB laptop hit that limit after simple opening some documents and a handful of browser tabs. The moral of this story is pretty straight forward; you want to have more memory than you’ll actually use. For personal use, not many users need more laptop memory than 150 GB, and most can make do with half that amount. Laptop Mag is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. But these days solid state drives are the norm, especially in ultrathin laptops. This smaller memory size can cut a computer price by as much as 10-15%. 4GB. RAM is where data is stored before processing. Surprisingly, the overall memory demands weren’t that different from regular browsing. It's for home use, only. This is a lot of music and video for most users, but combining the media can add up quickly and may fill your MP3 player and come close to filling older computers with GB amount around 30-50. Adobe recommends your system have at least 2.5GB of RAM to run Photoshop CC in Windows (3GB to run it on Mac), but in our testing it used 5GB … RAM modules take up precious space, so laptops are typically engineered with only two RAM slots, and both are usually occupied by existing memory when you buy it. When we tried to reopen the still-running game, the system locked up and refused to cooperate. Everything was holding thus far. This flow of data between the disk and the RAM is controlled by the computer, which manages the writing of data to physical locations on the memory chip, and that it needs a certain amount of free space to function. We did this again, bumping up to 30 tabs, 6 stream and 30 photos. Memory demands stay quite reasonable, running smoothly with 4-8GB of RAM. We did this on both the Dell Inspiron 17 and the Alienware 15, without trouble. The casual music or video fan with a normal amount of school or business work on a computer can survive easily with around 50 GB. For users filling their laptop memory with songs, television shows, pictures, and movies, the space may fill up fast. How Much RAM Do You Need? The sweet spot for memory for both laptops and desktops is 8GB. A memory around 125-150 GB may be necessary for users with large amount of entertainment. For this test we looked at various programs in Microsoft’s Office Suite, examining how large files stress memory as well as using multiple productivity programs at once. The bottom line is that RAM is essential to the smooth operating of your computer, particularly for things like multitasking and accessing multiple files at one time. To test multitasking we started by simple adding one use case on top of another, and ran the same test on three different systems: An inexpensive Dell Inspiron 11 2-in-1 with 4GB of RAM, a mid-range Dell Inspiron 17 5767 with 8GB of RAM and the Alienware 15 R3 with 16GB of memory. The more RAM your computer has, the more you can do at once. To help you find the best answer for you, we tested for five specific use cases, each common but distinct in its memory demands: Each of these uses is common, but has distinctly different hardware requirements and memory demands. I have a new HP Pavilion dv6 laptop computer. 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