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. 4GB is a better fit in most tablet cases. Having a big desk doesn’t help you if you’re just working with a few pieces of paper. Once you hit the limit of what your RAM can hold, then your computer will compensate with a swap file, putting some of the data onto your storage drive. we've got answers. 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. People tend to keep their desktop computers around longer than tablets or laptops, so planning for the future is worthwhile. 4GB RAM. Let’s start with the most basic elements of the question. 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. The moral of this story is pretty straight forward; you want to have more memory than you’ll actually use. If you were thinking ‘how much RAM do i need for gaming,’ this is a starting point. We started with a list of 10 popular websites and then opened new tabs of these same websites in batches of 10. [Don’t worry… few, if any, games require 32 GB of RAM … For basic, day-to-day computing, 8GB of memory should be sufficient. If you want a quick way to upgrade your laptop, adding a stick of RAM is a great place to start, and is something even a novice can do in very little time. 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. Only after closing one of our programs did function return to normal. Large documents were another matter. Then 10 media streams. If all of this sounds confusing, rest assured that most manufacturers are very good at identifying RAM clearly so consumers know what’s what. Random Access Memory, usually shortened to RAM or simply “memory,” is one of the most important parts of any computing device. If you want to have a wide range of apps and games installed on your iPhone, you'll need 128 or 256GB of storage. All rights reserved. Installing the right amount of RAM will enable you to multi-task with ease. Finally, there’s gaming. The operating system and the web browser typically consume the most RAM, though some applications and games can use more than everything else combined. While RAM isn’t all that expensive, remember it’s the easiest component to upgrade in a desktop PC  — laptops too in many cases. For something like a Chromebook, which mostly relies on cloud-based apps and provides very little storage space, you won’t need much in the way of RAM. However, we’d recommend you get a computer with 4GB RAM so your computer can handle anything you throw at it, and is somewhat future-proofed if more intensive updates of the applications you use are released. You probably don’t need a laptop with 32 GB of RAM. You need to make sure that your motherboard actually supports the memory speed your modules are rated for and that it supports XMP (most modern motherboards do). At this point, programs started to lock up. While every gamer knows that the best gaming laptops need to have impressive graphics and processing hardware, the place of memory in that overall equation is something of a mystery. That said, as a general rule, Photoshop is a bit of a memory hog, and will put as much memory into stand-by as it can get. “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. We list some of our top recommended kits that money can buy in a separate article. We’ll get into specifics for tablets, laptops, and desktops below, but 16GB usually does the trick for a desktop application. Even your operating system uses RAM when it’s running. 4GB. If you are doing a lot of graphic design work or are planning on dabbling in some higher-end gaming, you may want to consider increasing that to 16GB. For example, a simple text news story is relatively light on memory, while something like Gmail or Netflix uses a lot more. If you’re a professional photographer, graphics designer, or work at a printing firm, however, you might need to work in batches, opening up 10 to 50 photos at one time. There’s not much you can do to make Windows or MacOS use less memory, but more RAM in your computer means that you can open more browser tabs in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and so on. How Much RAM Do I Need? These games can generally run on 4GB of memory (sometimes less), and don’t require discrete graphics card. We did this again, bumping up to 30 tabs, 6 stream and 30 photos. Best Buy Cyber Monday 2020: Big discounts on Apple, Samsung and more, Hurry! This method will simply and quickly tell you how much RAM your PC currently has installed: Right-click the Start button. Most of the latest high-end or AAA games require 8GB of RAM. How much RAM does your VPS need? Meanwhile, Apple’s latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro has 6GB of RAM to accommodate the 2-in-1 crowd. Windows popped in and out of view of their own accord, and our clicking and typing lagged considerably. We started with smaller files in multiple programs, opening Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, PDF files and photos. Or do I need 8 GB? Thank you for signing up to Laptop Mag. Most of the best laptops come with 8GB for good reason. So long as your gaming rig can handle the game, these simple uses should work without a memory upgrade. Tablets are not expected to deal with heavy-duty software tasks, so their RAM needs tend to be pretty low — similar to a lot of smartphones. Photoshop is a notorious resource hog, and while you can use it for a quick photo crop or similar simple edit with 4GB, you’ll definitely want a system with 8GB or more if you expect to do routine edits or work on multiple photos. While most people won’t be doing much photo editing in the middle of their next battle royale, it’s not uncommon to chat with friends or pull up a YouTube tutorial. How much RAM do you actually need? Surprisingly, the overall memory demands weren’t that different from regular browsing. 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. Verify the Installed memory (RAM) line. Simply running the game uses an additional 2GB of memory, but with little difference in memory load between running and actively playing the game, we simply left it running for the duration of testing. If you're wondering 'How much RAM do I need?' DDR4 memory modules are all rated to run at 2133MHz, and it doesn’t matter what modules you buy or what they’re rated for, they’ll run at 2133MHz out of the box. While opting for more RAM is always good advice, it doesn’t answer the more specific questions of how much RAM is needed for specific uses, or what you can reasonably expect to do with the RAM your laptop already has. Most current generation graphics cards use GDDR5, GDDR6, and HBM, or similar. If you want to make the most of your multitasking, these are the tests to look at. Having more RAM doesn’t always result in faster performance but, if you relay on memory hungry apps, 16 GB can be a good addition to your rig. Most people don’t use a laptop for such tasks, but if you do, buying enough RAM is crucial. If you’re shopping for some memory for a new build, or an upgrade to your existing laptop or desktop, and you’re confused whether you need 8, 16, or 32GB (or more), how much … The long answer is a bit more complicated. However, you should have at least 4 GB of RAM if you want to open more than one or two tabs at once. The 4GB laptop hit that limit after simple opening some documents and a handful of browser tabs. That means the manufacturer has verified that the modules work at that speed, but it doesn’t mean they run at that speed out of the box. First, we started at a basic level. Whether we had one Word doc open or 10 files open across 5 programs, working with standard small documents barely exceeded 5GB of memory in use, and never exceeded 7GB of memory in use and in standby. The problem is that doing so will severely slow your system down. That gives you enough room to fully load Windows, plus a few productivity apps, and a web browser. But not everything is quite so demanding, and you can find games that will run on nearly any laptop out there. It’s one of the first questions buyers ask when shopping for a new gaming PC: “How much RAM do I need?” Is the 4 GB of system memory on many budget-priced laptops enough to play the games I like? We tested with a number of documents with upward of 1,000 pages. You may decide to run multiple applications on the same server and, if so, you should start by adding up the recommended RAM for each of your applications. To be clear, we’re not talking about overclocking your memory past the recommend speed (it’s possible, though the performance benefits aren’t always worth the effort). Google Chrome — and all Chromium-based browsers — are RAM hogs, so although you don’t need 8GB for basic browsing, you do if you want a lot of tabs open at once. Subsequent sets of 10 increased the in-use memory to 7,699 MB for 20 photos and 8,828 MB for 30 images.