RAM is arguably one of the most important components of any PC, including laptops, as it provides your system with short-term memory storage. This storage is much faster than normal hard drive or SSD storage, and your system uses this speed by loading active programs and applications into RAM so that they run quickly and efficiently. But how much RAM do you really need for an enjoyable laptop experience?
As is often the case with computer hardware, the answer is that it depends on how you plan to use your laptop. Depending on whether you are looking to browse the web, work, or play video games, the amount of RAM you need will vary. Here’s a guide on how much RAM you’ll need for your laptop for each of these use cases.
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How much RAM do I need for Windows 10?
To run Windows 10 efficiently and use basic apps like web browsers, text editors, and word processors, 4 GB of RAM is sufficient. This amount of RAM is extremely common in most budget laptops, including the best budget laptops available. In the modern laptop market, you will hardly ever find a laptop that does not have at least 4 GB of RAM.
Be aware that with just 4GB of RAM, your system will start to slow down if you try to keep more than a handful of apps and browser tabs open at the same time. Indeed, 4 GB of RAM is generally not enough for efficient multitasking.
How much RAM do I need to be productive?
If you plan to use your laptop for work, you will need at least 8 GB of RAM. This is because using various productivity and multitasking-oriented apps with many different web browser tabs is more intensive than what is required for the basic Windows 10 experience, and because of this, you will need to more memory to compensate.
If you plan to do photo or video editing on your laptop, 16 GB of RAM is perfect. This is because photo and video editing software tend to be resource-intensive, and with just 8 GB of RAM, you won’t be able to keep anything open while using these programs without hampering your device’s performance. Also, you won’t be able to edit videos with resolutions higher than 1080p without stopping if you don’t have more than 8GB.
In most cases, the best Windows laptops come with at least 8 GB of RAM and often have configurations available for 16 GB or more.
How much RAM do I need to play?
If you want to use your laptop for gaming, 8 GB of RAM is sufficient, but 16 GB is better. This is because most modern games can run fairly well with 8GB, but some larger open-world games can take a long time to load or may experience mid-game slowdowns without a full 16GB. 16GB of RAM also ensures that you never have to worry about performance issues in competitive online gaming.
If you want to play games while having many other browser tabs or apps open in the background at the same time, then 32GB RAM is recommended. This is because 32GB gives your system enough memory to handle both your gaming and your background tabs without any performance issues.
Typically, the best gaming laptops come with a minimum of 8GB of RAM and almost always have 16GB, 32GB or higher versions available.
How much RAM do I have?
If you are not sure how much RAM you currently have on your laptop and want to check, you can do so by checking your system information. Here’s how to do it:
- Right click on the Start button.
Click on System.
Here you will be able to see the total amount of RAM installed on your laptop.
More Windows resources
If you find that you want (or need) to add more RAM to your laptop, read our guide on upgrading and installing RAM in a laptop for help. Additionally, for more articles, coverage, and answers to common Windows 10 and Windows 11 questions, visit the following resources: