A computer is made of a broad range of components that includes storage, GPU, CPU, and most importantly, memory. The component requirements of building a PC remained the same while they have been improved and enhanced more and more, each decade. Moon landing took only 4 Kilobytes of RAM. And now? Up to 1 Terabytes of RAM is usable to the consumer segment alone. While 1Terrabyte might sound overkill to most PC users, the question of “How Much RAM Do I Need for Gaming, Video Editing, Programming” still arises.
Why is RAM so Important?
RAM plays a vital role in determining your computer’s performance, specifically while multitasking. While on, your data and information are stored temporarily on the RAM so that you can access them actively as you please. In that case, the more ram you have, the greater amount of application you can work with without compromising speed. This ultimately results in better processing, faster rendering, and an overall smooth user experience.
Being in low RAM count, however, leads to frustration and hampers the quality of your user experience as your system struggles to process and showcase data at a reasonable speed. Buying too much RAM than you actually need is also not a smart move as the decision depends on the type of task that you are going to perform on a daily basis.
RAM Generation & Frequency
RAM also varies depending on their generation and frequency. The current Generation of RAM is called DDR4 and comes in a frequency ranging between 1600MHz to up to 5000MHz through overclocking. Sure you can have the highest frequency of RAM, but you have to balance the dual channels so that you get the optimum performance without any bottleneck issues. Having more frequency simply means better, but there is a limit to it.
What is the Limit?
More RAM doesn’t necessarily mean the fastest performance as there is a limit to it. Getting as much memory as you can only increase the speed of performing multiple tasks simultaneously. Also, there is a ceiling of how much RAM your motherboard can actually support as well as their frequency. Let’s say your daily task is to browse the internet and work with light applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel. In this case, getting 16GB or more will do you no good as most of them will stay unused. The only thing occurring here is that you are spending a lot more than you should.
But in the case of demanding tasks such as Video Editing, High-Resolution Gaming, and Data Processing, the more RAM you can put in, the better the performance. To make it more simple, let’s go through the tasks one by one and estimate how much RAM will keep you on the safer side for each set of tasks.
For Basic Tasks
Currently, laptops and desktops come with at least 4 Gigs of RAM to get your system up and running. 4GB is quite good for daily computing activities such as web browsing and typing. Having less than that will tamper with the performance output of your computer.
The Sweet Spot
Demand for RAM goes up as you use plenty of applications simultaneously. It is quite common for multitaskers to work with multiple software and applications and constantly switch between them. Also, websites nowadays host high-quality contents that eat up RAM quickly. In this case, having at least 8Gigs of RAM is recommended if you are into multitasking. This not only keeps you in a sweet spot but also lets you do a little bit of light gaming as well.
Intensive Gaming & Rendering
Whether you play games, create content, or stream on a regular basis, 16 Gigs is the perfect spot in terms of RAM. Most demanding games nowadays require at least 8GB of RAM as a baseline, and to enjoy them at their maximum, 16GB is just about right.
Content creation software such as Premiere Pro and Adobe illustrator requires a heavy chunk of RAM to be able to run. Although 8GB is recommended, they often take up almost double of that when used intensively. If you are a content creator, go for at least 16GB of RAM, specifically a dual-channel setup for optimum performance. As for streamers, they often juggle between multiple applications such as OBS and Twitch to capture the game footage that is being played. Therefore, we highly recommend 16 GB of RAM.
Now for power users such as engineers, professional editors and similar type of enthusiasts who plan to use their computer as a workstation needs to have as much RAM as they can work with. Their tasks rely on preciseness and processing power and having 32 gigabytes and more will give them lots of headroom to work with.
RAM Requirement by Software
Another smart thing to do is to check the minimum and recommended RAM requirements by the developers of specific software. Adobe Premiere Pro for example advertises 8GB of minimum RAM and 16 GB recommended. So this is a good place to look for how much RAM will keep you well-stocked. If you pre-plan on using a particular software or run a particular game or game type, this will give you a head start.
Wrapping things up, the decision of how much ram you should set upon depends on what type of tasks you are going to perform on your computer. It is always recommended that you get slightly more than you currently require as a means of future-proofing. This not only keeps you well-stocked but also enables you to save up some buck as RAM prices often rise due to price fluctuation. Dual-Channel is often recommended as it yields out comparably better performance. We hope this article was successful in giving you the answer to the question of “How Much RAM Do I Need | Gaming, Video Editing, Programming” Be sure to catch us on our next one.