How much RAM do you need for your laptop?

When buying a laptop, you are bombarded with many technical specifications: the processor, the storage, the memory and much more. For those of you who are not computer savvy, this can be quite confusing. RAM is one of the most important pieces of hardware to consider for your laptop. But how much do you really need? Today we are going to describe in more detail what exactly the Ram is and what it can do for you on your laptop . Then we will discuss how much quantity you need, so that you can easily decide.

What is RAM?

RAM, or random access memory, is often simply called RAM or even memory. Due to this designation, it is often confused with storage memory. Storage is provided by your hard drive or other static memory storage medium. In most cases, these drives are either mechanical or solid state. This is totally different from RAM. Memory basically determines how much information you can load onto your computer from disk at one time.

To speed up the process, the files you are working with are loaded into RAM, which is much faster than the storage disk. But your laptop doesn’t load all the data at once. Load only what you need to work at any given time. Once it is not needed, your computer will erase it from memory, so that it can be used for something else.

Remember that it is called a random ACCESS memory, so this memory is only used for the information you are accessing at any given time. It is a volatile memory, which means that nothing is permanently stored in it. Think about it in the following way. When you create a document in Microsoft Word, for example, until you press the Save button, everything you have written could be lost if the application crashes or your computer shuts down. That is because even if you are working on it, the document is stored in RAM and it is not the storage disk. If you don’t click the save button, it will never transfer from RAM to your storage disk, so you may lose it.

Common RAM configurations

Today there are four typical configurations that you can see in notebooks when it comes to memory, and it all comes down to size. There are four basic sizes:

  • 4GB: Currently this is the amount found in most cheap laptops or those based on the Chrome operating system, since it is much more efficient from a memory point of view than Windows 10 or even Mac Although it gets the job done, some more demanding users will find this amount very limited.
  • 8GB: At the time of writing, 8GB is the standard amount found on most computers. Being the standard, you will find this amount of RAM in many types of equipment, from the cheapest to the high-end. Currently it is the best balance of RAM, since it offers users what they need but without costing a fortune, and keeping the budget within the reach of the most humble buyers.
  • 16GB: This amount of memory is normally found today in gaming or work laptops. Although it is not as common as the others, you will see this amount much more often than the next one on our list.
  • 32GB (or more): This amount of RAM is only found in higher-end laptops, and some models may have even more, although in many cases 32GB will be your maximum limit, at least at the time of writing this article. .

With some older configurations you can still find 2GB of RAM. This amount is very rare today, but can still be found on computers as recent as 2015-2016, on small, inexpensive computers with Windows 10. Unfortunately, this amount is not adequate for anything other than basic use, and many low-budget users will find these systems too slow for their liking.

Are there limits?

So are there limits on how much memory you need? There are several factors that you have to take into account.

1. Your budget: RAM is one of the most affordable ways to upgrade your laptop, but it can still be quite expensive, especially if you intend to get the most out of your laptop with the maximum amount of RAM.

2. What you want to do: In the end, it really depends on what you want to do with your laptop and how you use it. After all, if you are going to spend the money to upgrade your laptop, why spend money on RAM that you don’t really need?

3. Hardware limitations: This can apply to all hardware, both desktop and laptop, but is even more true for notebooks. Laptops have limited RAM expansion slots, so you can only add as much as you can. Today, in many cases, computers can have a maximum of 16 GB, while others support less or much more.

How much do you really need?

After reading all this, you are probably thinking: how much do I need? The answer, like so many things in life, is not that simple. The real answer is: it depends. Read on and I’ll try to show you what I mean. Whether you need more memory or not is subjective and comes down to how you use your system and how much memory you already have.

For example, if you have 4GB and all you do is read email and surf the Internet, chances are you don’t need more than you already have. Even if your computer starts to slow. Chances are that adding more RAM won’t help if you’re slow to read email. In that case you have a problem bigger than memory.

However, if you do heavy processing tasks, like working with Excel spreadsheets or editing with Adobe Photoshop, then adding more RAM will definitely help. Even if you already have 8GB, going up to 16GB can make a big difference, especially when it comes to image and video editing.

If you are a gamer, then the more RAM the better. It is clear that the graphics games will be managed by your graphics card and the memory included in it, but the games are still heavy applications that really demand a lot from your computer, so having more RAM should give you at least a small improvement. If you are a gamer who fixes the graphics at maximum level, then you should add as much memory as your laptop and your wallet allow, since you want the best that you can afford.

And one more thing: if you only have 2GB of RAM, close this page and go buy more RAM right away. I promise you will be glad you did.

Tips for augmentation

Now that you know how much RAM you need and want, it’s time to go shopping. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Type of RAM : There are many types of RAM today, but your laptop is designed to support only one type of memory. In most cases these types are down to the speed of RAM. If you are not sure what kind of memory you need, I suggest you download and run CPUID to find out. It’s a great tool for learning more about your system’s hardware.

2. Available slots: Every laptop is different. In some cases, you may not be able to upgrade your system. In others, you may have an empty memory slot, or you may have more. Again, I encourage you to use CPUID to find out.

3. Pairing: On some motherboards you have to install a couple of memory modules for them to work. Although this is less and less common in modern architectures, it can still be a factor that you should consider. Especially if your laptop is of a certain age. In this configuration, you have to remove the existing memory module and install a pair of sticks or sticks of more capacity to get the upgrade you want.

4. You get what you pay for: When you buy, you will see that the price of memory is very heterogeneous. Some high-end memory can cost up to twice as much as a low-cost entry-level memory. I highly recommend that you avoid those cheap memories at all costs. Remember that if they are so cheap it will be for something. Aquneu also do not have to empty your wallet in the most expensive and attractive memory for your team, buying the cheapest you can find is possibly a big mistake. Find something somewhere in the middle, or go for a trusted brand with a lifetime warranty like Crucial . You’ll be glad you did.

Conclusions

RAM is one of the most important parts of your computer, but it is often overlooked. Although it may make your computer run faster in some ways, in the end your processor can only process data up to a certain speed, so an upgrade will make no difference. Still, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit to your system, especially if you’re on the lower end of the memory scale.

Just make sure you choose the right memory and don’t overdo it. In the end, if you don’t create very demanding graphics or games to resource-intensive titles, you will probably never need more than 8GB, and if your usage is very basic, even 4GB may be enough for what you do. Still, if you need more memory or if your computer is slow to use heavy programs, memory is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to give your system a little boost. So what are you waiting for?

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