How Much Ram Do I Need in My Laptop?
November 21, 2018
Reading time: 6 minutes
How much RAM do I need? Is there a difference between memory and RAM? How much RAM is enough? If you’re not the tech-savvy type, these questions can be daunting.
Fortunately, understanding what RAM (Random Access Memory) is and learning how much RAM you need for your PC isn’t as complex as you may be led to believe.
RAM is a form of temporary computer storage that allows stored data to be received and read almost instantaneously.
When you fire up a program, it becomes temporarily stored in your computer’s memory (or RAM) for easy access, as opposed to being written on the permanent hard drive.
If your CPU (Central Processing Unit) had to utilize your hard drive to perform every function and execute each program, your computer would move at a snail’s pace. Enough RAM is crucial for fast performance speeds by ensuring ample space for immediate data storage.
How many GB of RAM do I need?
If you’re asking yourself, “How much memory do I need?” it’s important to realize that the RAM you’ll require for smooth performance depends on how you intend to use your PC.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to RAM. What it all boils down to is the amount of data storage your programs demand.
If you just need a basic laptop to take notes in class, write and save documents, or surf the web, you won’t need very much RAM. However, if you’re hoping to develop the next best-selling app on the market, render videos, or compress large files, you’ll need some serious data space in your rig.
Without enough RAM in your PC to retrieve and read data for advanced processing tasks, your experience will be slow, difficult, and in some cases, lead to a major system crash due to overload.
For anyone looking for the bare computing essentials, 4GB of laptop RAM should be sufficient. If you want your PC to be able to flawlessly accomplish more demanding tasks at once, such as gaming, graphic design, and programming, you should have at least 8GB of laptop RAM.
For those who want to push the boundaries of a PC’s capabilities and run several large programs at once, 12GB RAM laptops, 16GB RAM laptops, 32GB RAM laptops, or even 64GB are considerable options.
If you’re an average PC user outside of heavy data processing, you probably won’t need more than 8 to 12GB of laptop RAM.
How much RAM is needed for gaming?
Your gaming PC should come with at least 8GB of memory; however, you may end up needing more if you want to run other programs at the same time as your game, such as live streaming or audio recording.
Any big-name gaming streamer will tell you how important it is that your PC has enough RAM to juggle both recording and editing data while also running high-resolution, triple-A (AAA) titles.
Even if you’re solely focused on gameplay, most PCs run a handful of background applications that can also take up a fair amount of RAM while you’re battling opponents, so a few extra gigabytes can make the difference between debilitating lag time and flawless victory.
How much RAM do I have installed?
If you don’t know how much memory your PC has, it’s not hard to find out. You can discover how much RAM your PC has by looking up the model or serial number online.
Alternatively, you can dig into your system for the necessary information. Here’s a quick break down on how to find out:
1. Go to your startup menu.
2. Click “System Settings.”
3. Search RAM.
4. Select “View RAM info.”
After this step, you will be presented with a page that provides you with your PC’s RAM space, how much is currently being used, and how much is available. If you have any questions about your CPU, you can find that information here as well.
What types of RAM are compatible with my laptop?
How much RAM you can fit on your laptop is determined by your motherboard. What some people don’t realize is that RAM is a physical computer part, not a form of code or software, so it requires its own housing.
The motherboard holds all of the most important components of your PC, including the CPU, RAM, hard drive, and more. RAM comes shaped in physical strips. Each strip has a set amount of memory storage space ranging from 2GB to 32GB.
Most laptop’s motherboards come with 2 to 3 slots for RAM. If your laptop has 8GB of RAM, it probably uses two 4GB strips of RAM in separate slots. Because of the way memory fits into your laptop or computer, it’s actually quite easy to remove and expand.
One of the most common ways to upgrade your RAM is to replace your 4GB strips with 8GB strips, giving you a total 16GB. Do you need 16GB of memory? Probably not, but it’s a fairly inexpensive upgrade and you’ll never have to worry about programs failing or computer crashes as a result.
However, it’s important to note that your computer’s motherboard may limit the amount of RAM your computer can upgrade to, so keep that in mind before attempting to do so. While most new HP computers are designed to accept 16GB or more RAM, older models may not be able to accept as much. Do research on your device’s capabilities before purchasing higher GB strips.
How much RAM do I need for Windows 10?
If your PC has a 64-bit Windows™ 10 operating system (OS), at least 4GB of memory is a must. You can easily get by with 4GB as long as you aren’t playing advanced games and tackling large data files. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to jump up to 8GB if you want your computer to run as smoothly as possible.
Keep in mind your background tasks at hand; a 32-bit Windows™ 10 OS will take up 1GB of RAM and a 64-bit OS will occupy 2GB at all times . If your laptop has a 64-bit OS with only 4GB of memory, you’ll lose almost half of your available storage space right off the bat.
How much RAM is enough?
The only person who knows how much RAM you need is you. Whether you’re interested in purchasing a new PC or upgrading your current laptop, you should consider the type of ways you’d use your computer and the immediate memory space it’ll need to keep up.
Average users might get by with entry-level RAM, but it might not be enough to get the job done for more advanced applications. Generally speaking, 8GB of RAM should give you enough power to do just about everything shy of massive data rendering, and if you decide that you need more, it won’t be too difficult or expensive to expand your storage space alongside your PC demands.
When faced with doubt or uncertainty, bigger is always better. If you’re comparing similar models with different RAM capacities, opt for the larger GB if it’s within your budget. You’ll save yourself the hassle of upgrading later on, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your computer will be able to stream, edit, play, and design without slow processing speeds or frustrating lag times.
 ZDNet; Windows 10: Will Your PC Run It?
About the Author
Sean Whaley is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Sean is a content creation specialist based in San Diego, California. He has a wide breadth of knowledge when it comes to computer hardware, programming, and PC gaming.
Popular HP Laptops with High-RAM Capacity
Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.
Staples® Official Online Store
School supplies, made easy
The success of your students starts with the right supplies. Whether you’re a parent or caregiver with one or more kids in school, or a teacher responsible for an entire classroom, Staples is a one-stop shop for all the school supplies you need. From writing supplies and paper to school tech and furniture, we have everything on your back-to-school list.
Shop by grade
Staples makes it easy to get exactly what your students need by organizing all the essentials by grade. Shop for preschool supplies like learning toys and rest mats, or elementary school supplies for everything your kids need from kindergarten through 5th grade. Our selection of middle school supplies includes more advanced items like planners and scientific calculators, and you can find everything you need for high school in our high school supplies section. Getting ready for college? From dorm essentials to laptops, get everything you need from our selection of college supplies.
All the essentials for school
Whether you want to shop by subject or are looking for furniture and supplies for learning at home, we’ve got the right selection. Browse classroom essentials including cleaning supplies, storage, classroom décor, snacks, and teacher supplies. For everything from school art supplies to calculators, binders, school backpacks, lunch boxes and more, we’ve got what your students need to succeed.
Take a seat
Whether you’re working from home or outfitting a space for gaming, your comfort is dependent on finding the best chair. At Staples, we provide a broad range of office chairs and seating, so you can find the right fit for you. Select from multifunctional task chairs, computer & desk chairs, drafting stools and more. If you will be using your new chair for multiple hours a day, make sure to get an ergonomic office chair to prevent unnecessary strain.
Comfort, all day long
Office furniture that is the proper size and height makes a big difference. When shopping for chairs, the height of the seat should be adjustable so that the user’s feet can sit flat on the floor with their knees at right angles. Likewise, the accompanying office desk should be at a height where the users’ elbows can sit comfortably at right angles at their sides while typing or writing. Browse our selection to find the combination that’s right for you. If size if a concern, check out our big & tall chairs which can support up to 500lbs.
If you’re a gamer, you know that a single gaming session can last all day or night. For the best and most comfortable gaming setup, Staples has gaming chairs in colors and styles for everyone. Make sure to match your new chair to an ergonomic gaming desk, the perfect complement for the high-tech gaming computer and accessories you’ve invested in.
Tech accessories for work or play
Whether you’re shopping for tech essentials for school, work or anywhere in between, Staples has all the latest products to keep you up to date. Browse our selection of laptops and Chromebooks to find the perfect on-the-go computer for schoolwork, homework, hybrid work, and play. If you’re a gamer, streamer, or work with large files, a gaming laptop or desktop PC might be the best option for you. With installed RAM up to 64GB and up to 2TB SSD, gaming laptops can handle everything from the newest online games to editing audio, films and more. Need more file storage? Increase capacity with an external hard drive.
Shop NXT Technologies wide assortment of tech accessories including chargers, power banks, headsets and more. Staples range of audio accessories can help you create the best audio experience. From headsets for focused work time to headphones and Bluetooth speakers for music and entertainment, find the latest audio technology at Staples.
Show seasonal allergies who’s boss
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, now is when they are at their worst. Stock up on allergy season’s most important products to keep your home, classroom, and office allergen-free. Start with an air purifier to strip the air of allergens like pollen and pet dander and replace existing air filters for improved air quality. Frequently dust, wipe down hard surfaces, and vacuum carpets and furniture to help eliminate pollen tracked in from outside and dander left behind by pets. When leaving the house, check the pollen count and bring a face mask to help filter the air you breath outside.
No matter what you do, it’s unlikely that the symptoms of seasonal allergies can be avoided entirely. Make sure to have over-the-counter cold and allergy medications on hand to battle symptoms, and stock up on facial tissues so you’ll always have one available when you need them.
Spring (Cleaning) is in the air
Spring cleaning and decluttering is a tradition meant to refresh our spaces for the year ahead. Staples has everything you need to clear out the clutter, store and organize your belongings, and all the right cleaning supplies.
Clear out the clutter
Start by preparing a checklist and make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Use storage bins and a label maker to make sorting and organizing easier. Prepare extra boxes for donations and trash bags for the things you no longer need. Look for decorative boxes & baskets that will compliment your home’s décor and use them to organize. You can also use closet organizers and storage drawers anywhere they are needed.
Start with the basics
An all-purpose cleaner, cleaning brush and microfiber cloths will clean most surfaces. Use a duster to remove unwanted dirt and furniture polish to revitalize wood surfaces. Upgrade your broom, dustpan, wet mop, and vacuum to make cleaning any type of flooring a breeze.
The nitty gritty
Spring cleaning doesn’t stop there. There’s so much you can do to reset your home:
- Improve air quality and eliminate pollen and pet dander with a new air purifier and an air freshener with a scent you love.
- On a sunny day, take the opportunity to clean your windows – you’ll need glass cleaner, a bucket, a squeegee, and paper towels.
- Have a step stool or ladder on hand to access hard-to-reach places like the tops of cabinets and overhead lighting.
- Replace broken light bulbs and check the batteries in your smoke detectors.
- Use drain cleaner to clear up sink and bathtub drains.
Up your printing game with a Supertank Printer
Looking for a printer with more print capacity that’s better for the environment and your wallet? Shop Staples selection of Supertank Printers for all the benefits of an inkjet printer with the convenience and savings of replacement ink bottles that last longer and cost less per page than standard inkjet printer cartridges.
Find a Supertank printer from your favorite top printer brand including:
- HP Smart Tank & Neverstop Printers
- Brother INKVestment Tank Printers
- Canon MegaTank Printers
- Epson EcoTank Printers
And don’t forget to browse Staples Ink and Toner Finder to find the right replacement ink for your new printer. No matter what printer you have, enter the brand, cartridge or printer model into the easy-to-use Ink and Toner Finder, and browse for compatible ink.
Is 8 GB of RAM enough on a Windows computer?
Over the past few years, computers and laptops, especially Windows, have gone through long haul. We’ve come a long way from an era when we were happy about having 8GB of RAM to a time when a power user might get frustrated with it. The year is 2022, and many laptops are still being released with configurations equipped with 8 GB of RAM.
As your day-to-day applications become more powerful and provide better functionality, they also require more resources. You may have heard experts say that 8 GB of RAM on your PC is enough if you are a regular user. But this is becoming a thing of the past, since all over the world everyone uses applications that are demanding on resources.
Is 8 GB of RAM sufficient on a Windows PC or laptop?
Short answer: not really. If you don’t know what RAM is and what it’s for, here’s a quick explanation. Computers (and other mobile devices) use random access memory (RAM for short) to temporarily store data needed to run the operating system and its applications. If you use multiple applications, the RAM fills up quickly, leaving less space for additional applications to run, ultimately resulting in slower performance.
In general, your system and installed applications will run slower due to numerous processes clogging system memory.
But I only use a few apps, so why should I care?
Speaking specifically about Windows, a few years ago the OS and its system processes didn’t take up a lot of memory by themselves. However, Windows is receiving more and more updates and is now running many processes that use a significant amount of memory.
For example, Windows 10 has had a common problem for some time now. The Antimalware Service Executable process, part of the Windows security system, takes up most of the RAM. Although this process is launched when Windows performs a real-time virus scan, it has a serious impact on system performance.
Consequently, other applications suffer when your operating system uses up most of your RAM. But it’s not just Windows that’s to blame. You have probably heard talk about Google Chrome eating up your RAM. As of 2022, most browsers can quickly fill up your memory if you open more than a few tabs. Therefore, if you have multiple tabs open all the time, 8 GB of RAM won’t work for you.
8 GB RAM laptop users with AMD processors are the hardest hit
With today’s Ryzen processor-based laptops, you also get integrated AMD GPUs. “Well, what’s so special about them? Intel laptops also have integrated graphics. ”
A feature of integrated graphics in AMD laptops is that it uses shared memory, which means that the GPU’s virtual memory is shared with the laptop’s actual RAM. Hence, AMD GPUs end up taking up some of your 8GB of RAM to work with. Combined with Windows’ high memory usage, users get very little RAM for applications.
In short, 8 GB of RAM is not enough if you use more than a few browser tabs and other applications. Although, you might be fine if you don’t multitask on your computer. Given the circumstances, it’s time for manufacturers to realize that it’s time to raise their standards.
Even many high-end gaming laptops with powerful CPUs and GPUs have a base 8GB RAM configuration, which seems unfair to power users. Abandoning old standards, 16 GB of RAM should be considered the minimum for high-end laptops.
Tags: FAQ, Components, RAM
Does size matter? 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB – how much do you need?
March 29, 2018
Reading time 5. 5 minutes
How much RAM is suitable for your tasks? Until now, there are opinions of “experts” on the Internet that it is stupid to install more than 8 GB in a device, and that this volume is enough for everything in the world. Is this true and for what tasks do you need more memory?
How it works
RAM is needed for real-time system processes: browser, email clients, office applications, computer games, and so on. It is the second fastest in the system – RAM comes immediately after the processor cache or, as it is also called, super-RAM memory. During operation, RAM continuously consumes energy, and when the computer is turned off, all data from it is erased.
RAM contains all the information that needs to be received by the computer’s central processing unit. Although users underestimate the importance of random access memory, it is an essential component of a computer. It is from its volume and frequency that the overall performance of the system, the absence of freezes and the level of performance during multitasking depend .
So how much do you need?
Indeed, in the assembly of a personal computer or laptop, 8 GB of RAM is sufficient. This is quite enough for watching videos, using several programs at the same time, launching a browser with a dozen open tabs.
Everything you need from a laptop for study, work and play.
A laptop like the Lenovo IdeaPad 510-15ISK will do just fine. If you use a lot of applications at the same time, it makes sense to increase the amount of RAM. Some modern games and heavy applications may require more than 8 GB.
It’s not just the amount of RAM that makes a laptop a gaming laptop. Created by gamers for gamers, Lenovo Legion laptops feature powerful processors, gaming graphics cards and advanced dual-fan cooling. Therefore, the Lenovo Legion Y520 and its “legionary brothers” are able to run games in 2017 with high graphics settings. Naturally, their performance is sufficient for many other demanding tasks.
Do you want to give a laptop to your child by the beginning of the new school year to create presentations, essays and creativity? A future student-programmer needs a decent laptop for work, study and entertainment, on which you can safely “code”? 8 GB is enough for office applications like PowerPoint, Word and Excel, social networking, watching YouTube videos and other daily activities.
A laptop with 8 GB of RAM is comfortable to work in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier with simple projects. About any 3D modeling, of course, is out of the question. To work with “heavyweight” computer graphics, you will need 16 GB or more.
4 GB – a volume designed for solving simple tasks and office applications. This volume is disappearing, and modern applications require much more RAM resources. If 8 GB is the standard, then 4 GB is the “absolute minimum” . This amount of memory is enough for a quiet web surfing in two or three tabs, a pacifying session in a ten-year-old game, as well as watching videos.
If your budget is strictly limited, and you need a full-fledged laptop for work, you should consider such an option as the Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP – such a laptop will cope with basic tasks without any problems.
What about 16 GB?
To say that 16 GB of RAM is necessary for the average user is not fair. If you work with video editors, computer graphics or you are an avid gamer, a device with 16 GB of RAM will be a rational solution . Of course, professional activities will require even more memory, but this is an exceptional case.
By the way, real “monsters” like the ThinkPad P71 have been created for architects, engineers and 3D designers – a laptop based on a Xeon server microprocessor and a professional Nvidia Quadro P5000M video card. Professional graphics cards handle graphics and complex calculations much better than even the most powerful gaming graphics cards like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti.
Games such as Mass Effect: Andromeda at 4K require up to 13 GB of memory. With the current pace of development in the computer entertainment industry, systems running on 8 GB of RAM will soon become obsolete and require an upgrade. In the professional sphere, everything is different: 16 GB is the minimum, and 32 GB or more is useful for most tasks.
- 4 GB is the “absolute minimum” for running a system with almost no multitasking. You should forget about games on such a PC / laptop;
- 8 GB is the standard for most daily activities, games, and graphics/video editors;
- 16 GB – the amount of memory needed to work with large projects, as well as for the most demanding games;
- 32 GB or more is the top choice for those who want maximum performance for the toughest tasks. Required only for professional activities.
Many Lenovo notebooks can be upgraded with RAM. You can learn about the capabilities of your model from shop.lenovo.ua consultants. And we recommend that you entrust the replacement of the strap to a service center specialist.
Remember: when choosing, you should always look to the future. Work tasks change and require more and more resources, and technology develops very quickly. This means that the device must have sufficient potential for reliable operation for three to five years.