How much RAM do I require? Is there a distinction to be made between memory and RAM? How much RAM is required? These inquiries can be intimidating if you’re not tech-savvy.
Fortunately, knowing what RAM (Random Access Memory) is and how much RAM you need for your PC isn’t as difficult as you may think. RAM is a type of temporary computer storage that allows stored data to be read and received almost instantly. When you run a program, it is temporarily saved in your computer’s memory (or RAM) for convenient access, rather than being permanently kept on the hard disc.
Your laptop would move at a snail’s pace if your CPU Central Processing Unit had to use your hard drive to perform every function and execute software. Enough RAM is critical for rapid performance since it provides enough room for immediate data storage. What to expect from common RAM setups has been broken down for you so that you can make sound decisions before buying a laptop.
- 2GB: 2GB of RAM is slow on current Windows machines. You cannot run many programs at the same time. For good reason, most Windows laptops now come with 4GB of RAM as the standard configuration. If you come across a laptop with only 2GB RAM—say, an older budget model sold secondhand—only it’s beneficial if you can immediately expand it to 4GB RAM or more. That implies the laptop must have user-accessible SODIMM slots, preferably with one unpopulated so you can quickly swap out a module.
- 4 GB: For a Windows laptop, a budget of 4GB of RAM is sufficient. When combined with an SSD for storage, you’ll have a snappy PC that handles the fundamentals well—for example, having a few low-intensity programs and a few browser tabs open at the same time.
Look for laptop models that feature user-accessible RAM that can be updated whenever possible. You can start with 4GB of memory as your budget configuration and then add extra memory as needed. Chromebooks with 4GB RAM should be able to manage a reasonable number of browser tabs with ease, thus if given the choice between additional memory and a quicker storage drive (i.e., an SSD instead of eMMC storage), choose the faster storage drive. It will improve the overall performance of ChromeOS.
- 8 GB: Most folks on a tight budget or using a laptop should strive for at least 8GB of RAM. This amount of memory is normally recommended for most people doing office work and other basic duties, as well as gamers. Choose 8GB especially if you’re considering a model with soldered RAM and won’t be able to update it later. You should have enough capacity to last the entire life of the machine.
Chromebooks often include 8GB RAM on the most expensive models. It’s not technically necessary, but it will help to a more responsive overall experience, as the other components in such systems are typically on par with comparable Windows laptops. The same is true for versions with 16GB RAM.
- 16 GB: 16GB of RAM can be a good investment for folks who do office jobs or gaming. Below are the cases when you should consider buying 16 GB RAM:
- You may be creating simple spreadsheets in Excel now, but you will soon be working on complex documents brimming with data that might need higher RAM.
- You’re only playing games right now, placing the majority of the strain on your discrete GPU’s VRAM, but you’ll be juggling other apps and many browser tabs in the background later with 16 GB RAM.
- You’ll be more future-proof on laptops where you can’t subsequently upgrade the memory. However, for content creators (and those who have dozens of tabs open in several browsers), 16GB is a good starting point.
- 32 GB and above: People contemplating more than 16GB of RAM should go for 32GB RAM. It is ideal for people who want to actively utilize programs are known to use system memory or require it for best performance. It’s best for video editors working on time-sensitive projects.
You might wonder, though, what about high-end gamers? It’s important to note that gaming laptops with 32GB of RAM do not have much to do with gaming requirements. Your laptop’s RAM is highly dependent on how you will use it.
When deciding how much RAM to buy for a new laptop, find out if the model(s) you’re considering allow user upgrades. Laptops can have soldered memory, which is fixed to the motherboard and cannot be changed, or SODIMMs, which can be inserted and removed like desktop RAM. Searching for the best laptop under 500 UK with all the features might be daunting. Consider all the features before you make a purchase.