Laptop Buying Guide – How much memory is enough?

The standard hardware for mainstream notebooks in the current notebook market is 16G RAM. The memory specification and size of the laptop is an important indicator to assess the performance of the whole machine. Daily Office and Internet video browsing scenarios do not require much memory, but mainly some industry-specific software or high-performance games require higher memory capacity. As the cost of hardware decreases and the need for software to run further increases, it is often recommended that you choose the right size of memory-RAM capacity for your needs, usually depending on what you intend to do and how much you are willing to spend.

What is RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware on a portable computer that is used to store data before the CPU processes it. It consists of dynamic memory chips that allow data to be written and rewritten very quickly. This is also known as volatile memory and unlike hard drives, it retains information only when the laptop computer is powered on. When you power off the system, your data information is lost.

RAM is a type of memory on a laptop that allows you to handle the data needed to run programs and open files. The portable computer does this in RAM every time a file is opened or a program is loaded. For example, when you want to run a program like Microsoft Word, the operating system copies the data from long-term storage (hard drive) to short-term storage (RAM), which allows you to read and modify the data more quickly and then save the results to the hard drive.

GDDR stands for Graphics Double Data Rate, which is a high-performance DDR memory specification standard specially designed for high-end graphics cards, with exclusive operating frequency, clock frequency, and voltage, so it differs from standard DDR memory on the market, and is different from ordinary DDR memory and cannot be shared. DDR memory is different and cannot be shared. It is generally clocked at a higher frequency and generates less heat than regular DDR memory used in main memory, making it more suitable for use with high-end display chips. What we usually talk about in addition to notebook refers to the DDR3 or DDR4 varieties of standard RAM. The current mainstream DDR4 is the latest specification model.

RAM Random Access Memory Definition

We can describe the role of memory RAM with some simplified examples.

RAM is like the top of a table. The larger the table area, the more paper material you can lay flat on it and can read randomly all at once.

And a hard drive, like a solid state drive (SSD), is like a drawer underneath the table; it stores the rest of the more paper-based document material you have.

Even with very little RAM, you can have dozens of programs open at once; the problem is that you’ll find your system starts to slow down. It’s like having all the documentation you need to read on a too-small desk; it quickly becomes cluttered, and you need to constantly move and update information between the desk and the drawer, thus reducing your productivity.

The biggest benefit of having more RAM is that you can handle more materials and programs at the same time, and somehow you’ll also feel like the laptop will run faster. Your goal is to get enough RAM for all the applications that are going to be used on your laptop on a daily basis, but it’s worth a reminder: a desk with a large surface area will not help the performance of your laptop if you only need to handle two sheets of paper per day.

Guidelines

In other words, buying more RAM than you need won’t get you more performance. So, to help you get what you need in this way, you can spend the rest of your money on other important hardware (such as CPUs and graphics cards). This is a simple guide to the different RAM capacities and their most common uses.

Money spent on other important hardware (such as CPUs and graphics cards). This is a simple guide to the different RAM capacities and their most common uses.

2GB Only for budget designs like Chromebooks and tablets.
4GB Consider entry-level RAM, enough to drive Windows 10.
8GB This is what we recommend for most users.
16 GB is ideal for professional work, 3D graphics, gaming and heavy duty work.
32 GB and above This is the tier reserved for workstation-level laptops and enthusiasts.

RAM requires a certain amount of free space (virtual memory) to be available

Under the control of the operating system, some space on the RAM chip is actively used while the rest of the space is allocated as spare memory for potential operations. Once RAM reaches capacity, the operating system will exchange and replenish data using a swap file (virtual memory) on the hard drive that uses the hard drive in the same way as RAM.

In short, the hard drive cannot read or write data as fast as RAM. It is true that the core performance of the entire system depends on the quality of the CPU and graphics card. However, the amount of RAM memory you have will directly affect your ability to take advantage of the features offered by the CPU and graphics card.

How much RAM is best for a laptop

To help you determine how much RAM you need for your laptop, let’s look at some specific use cases and determine the basic memory requirements.

Basic Web Browsing

Today, this activity can be done on virtually any computing device with an Internet connection. Normal browsing behavior includes having multiple browser tabs open at the same time. Heavy Web users, on the other hand, can allocate 4 GB of RAM. if you often exceed 30 when multitasking with other programs open, then less than 12 GB of RAM will be a frustrating experience.

Multitasking/productivity work

This kind of work is demanding when you have multiple files open in multiple programs. If you use your laptop primarily for productivity initiatives in the Microsoft Office suite, then just 8GB of RAM will get a lot of work done. To take full advantage of the multitasking power of very large files, 16GB of RAM is the regular standard. However, if you are running a lot of multiple applications with tabs open, you can invest more of your budget, such as using 32GB of RAM or more.

Media Consumer Entertainment

Online video and audio entertainment is one of the greatest joys of electronics. Fortunately, whether you’re listening to music online or playing high-resolution movies from major video sites, the memory usage is really similar. For this type of application scenario, an entry-level system with 8GB of RAM is up to the task.

Professional Gaming Entertainment

Gaming capabilities usually require a great graphics card and CPU, but low-end games such as Minecraft or even Overwatch don’t require a dedicated graphics card. On the other hand, almost all entry-level laptops with discrete graphics have 8GB of storage space, allowing you to play mid-range games like Dragon Ball Fighter Z. If you want to play the mainstream games on the market today at least 16GB of storage is recommended.

Suppose you are a professional gamer who likes to play games like YouTube, chat with friends and stream to Twitch while gaming? You should probably opt for 32GB of RAM.

Video Editing

The most important component used for video rendering or editing is the graphics card. 8GB is the minimum requirement for video operations, and this is only if you can close other programs that may take up a lot of memory. For editing 1080p and 4K projects with a few programs open in the background, it is best to use 16GB or more of memory. If you use Photoshop to edit a lot of images, 32GB or more will allow you to edit 8K footage at 10bit, allowing you to open many high memory using industry programs such as After Effects and Cinema 4D at the same time.

As a college graduate, we can tell you that a laptop is the key to your success at the college level. But today, mainstream computing has moved into 16GB territory. Depending on the professional degree program, students will also have different needs. The mainstream 16GB of RAM and above is suitable for video editing. Choosing a highly configurable laptop can help you better complete all four years of college study. The deeper you go into your studies, the more complex programs and applications become and the more memory you will need to run them.

Conclusion

The largest RAM consumption on any laptop is based first and foremost on the operating system, such as the Windows family that we commonly use. In addition, other programs (such as those used by professionals and gamers) tend to use more RAM depending on their complexity. as the limits of RAM are approached, the user experience is further degraded, such as various programs running slowly. Ultimately, our advice is always the same: get as much RAM as you can, as high as you can, and as much capacity as you can, as long as you don’t spend too much money.

We hope this guide will help you purchase the best laptop for your needs. If you have any suggestions, questions or recommendations, please comment via our contact form.

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