Determining the right amount of RAM for your PC

When searching for a new computer or simply wanting to upgrade your current PC’s specs, RAM is a huge determining factor. It’s very important to choose the best RAM to fit your computing needs. Pay too much for RAM you don’t need and it’s money down the drain; However, pay too little and you’ll be frustrated that your PC can’t keep up with your computing pace. Let’s look at the different options in terms of RAM so you can decide which is best suited for your needs!

1 GB

As for anyone that owns a computer, 1 GB should be the bare minimum in terms of RAM. 1 GB is the perfect amount for the user that loves to browse Facebook, play an online game and even listen to a YouTube video at the same time. Don’t expect to be able to have two hundred different tabs open while playing World of Warcraft and have your PC to be running smooth and fast. Or be able to crunch large datasets (such as when working with large Excel files). Simple tasks can be done with 1 GB. Not much more really can.

Speaking of gaming (or any video intensive activities), on 1 GB of RAM you will achieve horrible results and may even be frustrated enough to want to throw your computer out the window. While many games have minimum requirements below 1 GB, even with this type of setup, resolution will be low and frame rate will be extremely slow. If you’re a gamer, it’s best that you look to higher options in terms of RAM.

From a business perspective, some small businesses might be able to get away with 1 GB of RAM. However, the demands that most operating systems place on memory are growing and can leave your memory with little capacity for business applications (such as Quickbooks).

2 GB

2 GB is a significant step up from 1 GB and should really be utilized for anyone that likes to do a decent amount of multitasking on their machine. With 2 GB of RAM, anyone can browse the web with a decent amount of tabs, crunch through sizable datasets, work on several applications and even edit HD videos at a decent speed.

PCs with 2 GB also have the ability to run powerful programs like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects at a decent speed. However the demands on your RAM depend on the applications your running; if your current PC is at 2 GB of RAM and still feels slow, you need to bump up that RAM even more!

8 GB

Now we’re getting into professional territory. For any serious data cruncher, gamer, photo editor, or video editor, 8 GB should be the bare minimum that you look to for performance. 8 GB of RAM will result in quick and effective PC performance and speed compared to the standards on the market today and the best part is that since RAM prices have come down significantly in recent years, 8 GB of RAM isn’t expensive at all. 8 GB of RAM blows 1 GB out of the water significantly.

More than 8 GB

Most PCs don’t need more than 8 GB of RAM to work efficiently. Besides being much more expensive to upgrade to this amount of RAM (most PC motherboards are only outfitted for a specific number of slots and the higher RAM cards are more expensive), most applications won’t be able to access this amount of RAM. More likely than not, you’ll find a bottleneck either in terms of processor, cache or bus speed that limits your PC’s ability to access this amount of RAM. If not, odds are your applications won’t need it.

The only time you should consider this type of setup is if you’re the type of person that loves to multitask and run tons of resource-intensive applications at once. Feel like watching 20 cat videos on YouTube at once while editing a 1080p video and editing in Photoshop? Then by all means, this amount of RAM may be for you. But for everyone else, 8 GB should be the max amount of RAM you should purchase. Any more than that seems like a giant waste of money.

Final Words

There are numerous options in terms of how much RAM someone can have in their PC. Each amount of RAM varies in terms of what it can do performance-wise for your PC. 1 GB is great for the simple user, 2 GB is for the multitasker, and 8 GB is for the gamer or techie professional. Any more than that though and your money is going right down the drain! Pick a RAM amount to fit your needs and you’ll have a fantastic PC for yourself.



This article was written by Jennifer Carrigan for the team at Cheap Landlord Insurance where you can learn about landlords insurance cover.