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Is 64GB RAM overkill? Do I need it?

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RAM is one of the most vital components of a PC build. The common belief is that the more RAM you have, the better your computer’s performance. However, that’s not necessarily true.

Yes, more RAM does give you a bump in performance, but only up to a certain extent. Besides, there’s no point investing in memory that you won’t even use most of the time. 

Different use cases require different amounts of RAM. There’s no fixed answer to how much RAM is required and how much is overkill. However, if you’re going to be watching Netflix and writing Word documents all day, you probably aren’t going to need an insane amount of RAM.

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16GB, 32GB or 64GB: How much memory does your PC need?

As mentioned above, the amount of RAM you need directly relates to your use case. Do you use your PC to play games? Do you render CAD or 3D designs? Are you editing videos? You need to ask yourself these questions before cramming your PC with as much RAM as you can.

How much RAM do you need for Daily Use?

If you’re using your PC or laptop to browse the internet, write up documents and stream web content, you don’t require that much RAM. Most budget laptops these days come with 4GB of RAM. While that’ll get the job done, we really don’t recommend that. 

The sweet spot here is 8GB. It’ll ensure that Windows runs smoothly and that you don’t face system performance issues or slowdowns. Once you’ve got that sorted, everything else will automatically fall into place. But 64GB is definitely too much here. 

How much RAM do Gamers need?

If you use your PC for gaming only (or mostly), you need at least 8GB of RAM to stay afloat. However, if you’re playing especially demanding games or are streaming, a bump up to 16GB is recommended. 

Unless you’re on a budget, we actually recommend having 16GB of RAM as a failsafe just in case a Windows process in the background starts hogging up your memory as you’re gaming. Besides, having more RAM allows you to run additional programs like OBS, your music player or a browser in the background without impacting performance.

Most modern games will run just fine with 8-16GB of RAM.

However, that’s not to say that 8GB is any worse. For example, on our MSI GL65 with 8GB of RAM, a 9th gen i5 and GTX 1650Ti, we’re able to run most modern games, including Assetto Corsa Competizione, FIFA 21, Apex Legends and Call of Duty Warzone just fine. And that’s when there are at least one or two programs (mostly DIscord) running in the background. 

The machine does struggle a bit at times, though, which is a clear indication that an upgrade to 16GB will definitely help smoothen things out. Of course, you can upgrade to 32GB if you have the money for it, but that’ll mostly be future-proofing your machine, meaning 64GB is well over overkill category. 

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How much RAM do Video Editors, 3D and VFX artists need?

If you’re working with CAD software or video footage that’s 2K or upwards, you’re going to need a bunch of RAM, but even that depends on your workload.

As your workflow becomes more complex, as video editing or designing software become more demanding, the amount of RAM you’re going to need to keep everything running is a great deal more than someone who’s just playing games or browsing the internet on their machine. 

Lower resolution videos or lower poly models can be handled by 16 or 32GB of RAM, but if you’re working on 8k footage or are making incredibly complex CAD drawings or VFX, you can justify the need for 64GB RAM easily. 

Software like Premiere Pro requires a lot of memory.

This applies to any other niche software that demands a lot of RAM to run without problems. Essentially, 64GB RAM is a specialists’ requirement at the moment. 

If you don’t find yourself fitting in either of these categories, we recommend starting with 8 or 16GB of RAM, depending on your budget. If you’d like to future proof your machine, you can try 32GB if your wallet allows. 

RAM RequirementEveryday useGamingProfessional use
Minimum RAM4GB8GB32GB
Recommended RAM8GB16GB64GB (or more if needed)

However, unless you have a specific need or software that requires a large amount of RAM regularly, having insane amounts of RAM like 64 or even 128GB is merely going to be an expensive showoff. 

Also read: How to fix Error 1053 in Windows?

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:

  • I have had 16 GB for the last 16 years and has been overall great, however, in the past year I often had to close out things to be able to open others. Just recently I was going to bite the bullet and upgrade to 32 and while looking at ram prices I opted for a 64 GB pair. After the install, I had some chrome tabs open and updated star citizen as it’s a known ram hog. With only 4 chrome tabs open I was at 29 GB usage and just shy of 50%. I have often seen 20 GB+ used after the upgrade.

    Personally, I love having the headroom and want to mess with VM and a ramdisk. 16 gb should be the new min with 32 being optimal.

    • I agree. Running an Ubuntu VM with 4GB RAM on my 8GB MSI often pushes the PC so much I can barely have an Edge tab open. With browsers increasingly using more memory, 16GB can very well be the new sweet spot for anyone looking to do more than basic computing on their machines.

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