How much RAM do you actually need in 2021

How much RAM do you actually need in 2021
How much RAM do you actually need in 2021

There's a quote often attributed to Bill Gates that goes something like this

No one would ever need more than 640 kilobytes of memory in their computer. 

Well turns out he never actually said that. But it got us wondering how much ram do you actually need in modern times. 

How much RAM do you actually need?

Well let's start with the kind of ram that most of us are familiar with the main system memory living inside your desktop or laptop PC

The modern motherboard has 4 RAM Slots
The modern motherboard has 4 RAM Slots

It's quickly becoming common for budget computers to come with 4 gigabytes of RAM. While mid-range machines often have 8 gibibytes on the higher end 16 gibibytes or even 32 gibibytes of memory is easy to find. 

But is it worth paying a premium for that, here's the deal unless you're seriously cash-strapped it's worth getting at least 8 gigabytes even if you're not planning to do anything.

With your computer beyond basic productivity web browsing and watching fine YouTube videos. 

Many common tasks are quickly becoming memory hogs. Even Google Chrome can eat into your memory very quickly and take up a few gibibytes if you've got a lot of tabs open. And while the browser does use a technique called tab discarding which removes unused tabs from memory and then reloads them when you access them. You'll still get a noticeably smoother experience for everyday tasks if you don't skimp too hard on your RAM.

But what if you're gaming well the answer becomes a little more complicated you see many big-budget titles these days recommend 16 gibibytes of memory 

But the thing to keep in mind is that system requirements for games often are not validated well which you can learn more about right up here. 

It turns out that many games that ask you to use a system with 16 gibibytes of RAM can actually get by just fine on eight with only a very marginal performance drop. If any however as games get more complex this may not be the case in the near future. Especially as some games actively do make use of more than 8 gibibytes of system memory. And only having 8 gibibytes can also hinder your ability to do anything else. While you're playing a game such as streaming. So we'd recommend 16 gibibytes as a sweet spot for gamers and especially streamers unless you're playing less resource-heavy titles. 

Of course, many of other boards have 4 RAM slots which make upgrading to 32 gibibytes a cinch. If you've got the money but investing in this much is probably only worth it if you're working with lots of data at once. 

Such as large photosets or editing high-resolution video and especially if you're multitasking. Creating a high-resolution video with you know edited photos in it, furthermore with how long it takes certain kinds of media files to render. 

You'll probably want to use your rig for other things while your content renders in the background and this is where having 32 gibibytes of memory or more. If you are into that whole 8k thing can really come in handy.

 As for 3d modellers animators or scientists well their memory requirements are basically limited only by the size of the scenes or the data sets that they're working with sounds expensive. 

Graphic Card
Graphic Card

How much Graphics Memory or Vram do you actually need?

But what if you're trying to figure out how much graphics memory or VRAM you need on your graphics card. Even if two cards have the same graphics processing unit or GPU they can actually have different amounts of VRAM. And benchmarks often focus more on the GPU itself than on how it performs across its various memory configurations. 

So remember that the primary purpose of the Vram is to hold the graphics information that the GPU acts upon. Meaning that higher resolution gaming and higher resolution textures will require more VRAM. This is also the case if you're using certain types of anti-aliasing that involve rendering at effectively higher resolutions such as super sampling anti-aliasing. 

Graphics Memory or Vram
Graphics Memory or Vram

Many mid-range cards come with 4 gigabytes of VRAM which as a general rule should do you fine for 1080p gaming as of writing this article. But you'll want at least 6 gibibytes for 1440p and about 8 gibibytes or more for 4k. 

Just be sure to read reviews for the titles you want to play. Because of some particularly demanding games or especially third-party mods like high-resolution texture packs might mean that a card with slightly more VRAM would be a great investment if you want to play at high quality. 

Running out of VRAM can render no pun intended certain games completely unplayable if you try to bump the resolution up too much. Meaning that 4k monitor you just shelled out a bunch of money for won't be living up to its full potential, kind of like that gym membership that you only use twice per year or not at all.

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