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How much RAM do you need in 2020?

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RAM is an essential part of any device be it your smartphone, smartwatch, gaming console or PC. Traditionally, we’ve been associating more RAM with a boost in performance but is that really the case? And if it is, how much RAM do you actually need in 2020?

While the assumption that more RAM means better performance is partially true, a lot of it also has to with what exactly you use your computer for as well as what other components you are rocking.

Your operating system also plays a huge role in determining how much RAM you need. Generally speaking, Linux-based systems can get away with lesser RAM as compared to Macs or Windows. 

Last but not least, you have to consider the longevity and the type of RAM in your system and also whether or not you can upgrade components, All these things considered, the exact amount of RAM you would need without blowing a hole in your wallet can easily be narrowed down to an exact number.

Also read: What is the difference between RAM and ROM?

How much RAM do you need in your PC?

The main factor here is what you intend to do with your computer. If you’re looking to casually browse the internet, binge Netflix and use your laptop at college or office work (unless your work requires heavy loads on your system) you honestly don’t really need any more than 8GB of RAM,

Provided you don’t blow your system into pieces by installing useless bloatware and take good care of it, 8GB RAM is not only good enough for the usual stuff that you want to do but you also might be able to get away with some gaming or lower resolution (720p) video editing. 

Extra RAM always helps

Newer generation RAMs are even better at managing themselves as well as in data transfer speeds. However, for workloads any heavier than this, we suggest doubling this number.

16 GB is just about all you need if you’re into heavy gaming, streaming or if you need to run resource-heavy apps like Photoshop or Premiere Pro. In very rare cases, you might need to up to 32GB (4K video editing perhaps) but 16 should be more than enough for all your needs.

On the contrary, don’t go any lower than 8GB of RAM in 2020 if you’re buying a new computer. Some laptops and even PCs on the lower end of the budget spectrum come with 4GB RAM and it’s not worth the money spent or headache due to a slow PC afterwards. 

You’ll run into system issues every day, performance will be horrible and your phone will outperform your computer. Yes, you can upgrade the RAM in most computers rather easily, but it’s way better to go from 8 to 16 rather than 4 to 8.

So there you have it, 8GB for regular, everyday usage and 16GB RAM for crunching those heavy workloads and gaming sessions. 

Would you need 32GB or more RAM?

Aforementioned, there are some rare cases where you might need 32GB more RAM. Most of these cases are when you’re working on something very resource-intensive such as rendering extremely detailed graphics or editing high resolution (8k RED) footage.

Another use case might be scientific or research applications that might run simulations or something of the kind. Clearly, 16 or even 32 gigs might not cut it here but in such cases, the memory requirements largely depend on what the user is trying to achieve. If you’re into computers that boast big brains and brawn, check out this article about Quantum computers.

Also read: How to check VRAM in Windows 10?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: