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RAM technology advanced a lot in recent years. Ten years back, getting a 1GB RAM was luxury and it was only meant for using in high-end computers mainly servers. Now, a standard low-end computer or laptop comes with 2GB – 4GB RAM. RAM memories are also faster now, starting from SDRAM which started working at 66MHz to the latest DDR3 and DDR4 working at speeds more than 1800MHz. On top of that RAM memory is also getting cheaper and the cost per GB has come down very drastically.
One of the major concerns about RAM is, how much RAM is needed in a computer. In this article, we will tackle that topic.
Factors which limit the addition of RAM
How much RAM can be added to your computer is motherboard dependent. If your computer was bought within the last 5yrs, you must be having a motherboard which supports lots of RAM. But if the computer is older than that, there might be RAM limitation of 8GB-10GB based on the model. Modern motherboards are capable of supporting RAM up to 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB based on models.
Operating System is another factor which restricts the amount of RAM that can be used. You need to check if the operating system installed is 32-bit or 64-bit. A 32-bit operating system can only support a maximum of 4GB. Even if additional RAM is added, the operating system can only see the 4GB and anything more won’t be detected. On the other hand, if the operating system is 64 bit, it supports 16GB minimum to up to 128GB maximum. Windows 8 Pro Edition even supports up to 512GB. The amount of RAM supported is based on which edition is installed.
Amount of RAM slot
If you want to add additional RAM, you need to check if additional RAM slots are available and how many. So, you can decide if you want to buy a single RAM stick or multiple ones.
How much RAM in GB is needed
The latest operating system from Windows comes with a minimum RAM requirement of 1 GB. Even though the RAM is good enough to install the OS, it is going to be a frustrating experience. It will be painfully slow to open other software’s, browse the internet or play games. Also, it might take a long time to boot to desktop. You need to add additional RAM if you are using Windows. However, OS like Linux or Ubuntu works well with this much memory and you can open multiple applications without getting frustrated.
If a software recommends a certain amount of RAM as a minimum requirement, always double that amount to get optimum performance. Since most application and OS comes with 1GB minimum requirement, 2GB RAM works well in most cases where you don’t use high-end applications. This much RAM is enough for getting basic work done on your computer, but with limitations. This is not enough if you are planning to run high-end software like Photoshop or high-end games.
This is the maximum RAM, you can have if you install 32-bit OS.4GB RAM is enough for running high-end applications and games that are 32-bit. If you are using 64-bit software, adding additional RAM give you a better experience.
8GB RAM is becoming cheaper and is the default for some of the latest high-end models.8GB is perfect for high-end graphic designers and hardcore gamers. To get the maximum result, it should be complemented with an equally powerful motherboard and the processor.
16GB, 32GB and 128GB
There are some high-end games in development which might use this much RAM in future. To me, anything more than 8GB is for a server level computer. Surely more RAM will make your computer handle more high-end applications and complicated tasks smoothly. But unless you are using a computer for complicated tasks you don’t need to add more than 8GB.
Hope you enjoyed the article. Feel free to use the comment section for feedbacks.