How Much RAM Does Your Computer Need

How Much RAM Does Your Computer Need

How Much RAM Does Your Computer Need

How much RAM should a new computer have? This is one of the most frequently asked questions when buying a new computer. You are not very likely to get particularly honest answers in the shop either. While there certainly is an absolute minimum requirement for even the most basic of computers, you don’t need too much either. Over a certain point, extra RAM provides little or no extra performance gain in almost all PC applications. RAM is, however, pretty cheap and although the prices fluctuate, there is rarely any need to skimp on memory unless you have an extremely tight budget. It is more important to get the right sort of RAM. If you are upgrading a computer by adding additional memory, the RAM will need to be of the same speed and timings, and, ideally, the same brand. The following guidelines serve to give you a better idea of what sort of specification you should be looking for depending on how you are going to be using your computer. 

1 – An Office or Home Office Computer 

Such a computer will typically be used for running office productivity suites such as Microsoft Office, browsing the Internet and using instant messaging programs. Such a computer can also be used for playing music and video to an extent. Assuming the computer will be running Windows Vista or Windows 7, 2 gigabytes (GB) of memory is ample. This is also the minimum system requirement for running a computer reliably with either operating system. If the computer is running 64-bit Windows, 2 GB is also enough for office-type use. If you are going for a bottom-end budget computer still running Windows XP, even 1 GB can be enough. 

2 – A Home Entertainment Computer 

The above specification will typically be enough, but to ensure reliable high-definition video playback and all-round good multimedia performance, a dual-channel set of 4 GB is best. Any more than this for a typical home entertainment computer is overkill and will not provide much in the way of improved performance in the sort of applications that you use. 

3 – A Gaming Computer 

Performance starts getting a great deal more important if you want to be able to enjoy the latest games on your computer. However, regardless of whether you are running a 32-bit or a 64-bit operating system, 4 GB is normally ample. If you have a higher budget, a triple-channel set of 6 GB will offer the best performance and future-proofing. 

4 – A Computer-Aided Design and Movie Editing 

If you plan to use your computer for high-powered computer-aided design packages or movie editing, RAM requirements get very high indeed. Though programs such as AutoCAD or Maya etc. will run adequately with 4 GB, this is not really enough for many applications. For designing intricate 3D designs, editing large movie files and excessive multitasking, the more RAM you have, the better. A 6 GB triple-channel set will provide good performance but 8-12 GB is ideal for an optimally powerful productivity platform. You can buy triple-channel kits of up to 24 GB, but there are very few situations where so much RAM would even help, let alone be necessary. 

About the Author

Maria Carroll

Hi. My name is Maria. A long time ago, when my older sister worked at the dolphinarium, I started to get into technology and different applications. And every day after school, I would go back to my hobby. Now, I know a lot. I have a lot to share with you about technology. About apps. I hope you'll find it interesting here. Welcome.

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