How to pick the right RAM for your desktop or laptop
Find out about upgrading your computer's memory (RAM). Get advice on compatibility and upgrading your system's current components. Award-winning tech support. There are thousands of different memory upgrades, but only a few of them are compatible with your system. Finding the right memory for your system can be daunting and confusing: memory comes in a wide assortment of different types, speeds, and densities, and part numbers like DDR3 PC can make it hard to understand what type of modules you need for your system.
RAM is where data is stored before processing. RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and it consists of dynamic memory chips that can be written and how to find hidden mold in your house with data very quickly.
Essentially, RAM is the memory that actually lets you work with the data needed to run programs and open files. Whenever your computer loads a program or opens a file, it opens up that data in RAM.
If you want to run a program, it pulls the data from long-term storage on your hard drive to short-term storage in RAM, where it can be accessed quickly enough for smooth operation.
This flow of data between the disk and the RAM is controlled by the computer, which manages the writing of data to physical locations on the memory chip, and that it needs a certain amount of free space to function. For each program you run, it will actively use some of the space for in-use memory and ro some of the available space as standby memory, essentially reserved space for potential operations. Once you hit the limit of what your RAM can hold, then your computer will compensate with a swap file, putting some of the data onto your storage drive.
A swap file still lets you get some things done, but will be dramatically slower. The bottom line is that RAM is essential to the smooth operating of your computer, particularly for things like multitasking and accessing multiple files at one time. While your overall performance will largely be dictated by the capabilities of your processor and graphics hardwareyour memory allotment will directly impact how well you can take advantage of that performance.
Too little RAM creates a bottleneck that slows everything down, and the basic rule of thumb is that more RAM is always better. The answer to the question of how much RAM you need always will come back to what you want to do with it. To answer these questions we performed some testing, looking at specific use cases, identifying the basic memory requirements for each and providing some hard numbers to back our advice. To help you find the best answer for you, we tested for five specific use cases, each common but distinct in its memory demands:.
Each of these uses is common, but has distinctly different hardware requirements and memory demands. We broke down each of our five use cases, finding the memory demands for both basic and what is a dod id card use, and matched that to common allotments of RAM.
Want to do some document work and web browsing but still want the option to do more? Whatever your mix of uses, we can give you a very good idea of how much memory will be enough to meet the demands of the task. To obtain data on memory usage, we used Windows Resource Monitor, one of several tools built into Windows to view system information and tracking the performance of various components. We chose Resource Monitor because it provides more granular information than Windows Task Manager, but both tools are helpful for getting an idea of how memory is used as you run processes and programs.
While creating and editing documents is generally a low-resource task, office productivity gets much more demanding as you open multiple files in multiple programs. If you want to make the ttype of your multitasking, these are the tests to look at. We started with smaller files in what is a advocacy service programs, opening Word documents, Mmy spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, PDF files and photos.
Whether we had one Word doc open or 10 files open across 5 programs, working with standard small documents barely exceeded 5GB of memory in use, and never exceeded 7GB of memory in use and in standby. Large documents were another matter. We tested with a number of documents with upward of 1, pages. The standby memory, however, jumped to nearly 10GB.
Basic web browsing can be done on almost any connected device, but loading up multiple browser tabs will use up your memory. For our tests we assumed that normal browsing behavior included the use of multiple browser tabs, with no additional measures lapto; to cut down on data usage; meaning no ad blockers, no special permissions for media, and no other data-saving measures. We started with a list of 10 popular websites and then opened new tabs of these same websites in batches of This test was rather eye-opening in how clearly it showed the impact of web browsing on memory use.
The initial tab test used 3, MB of memory, with an additional 3, MB in standby. Those 4GB of standby memory held throughout testing, but every additional 10 tabs used roughly a full GB of memory.
Streaming music or binging on videos is a slightly different use case what type of memory do i need for my laptop simple web browsing, putting its own stresses on memory. We looked at both audio and video streaming, across several services, to see how much memory was impacted by video, be it cat videos, news clips, or high-definition movies. Single audio memoru video streams from Spotify or YouTube used less than 3GB of memory 2, MB and 2, MB, respectivelyand you had to bump that up to 4 or more simultaneous streams to get above the 3GB mark.
Key takeaway: If your primary uses for a system will be streaming media, a basic 4GB should do the trick just fine. Photo editing is far more demanding than basic office or web functionality, and is usually right on the cusp of what an affordable system can do well. Our initial testing showed no real impact on memory usage how to make dvd bootable actual use, with little to no difference between viewing open photos, simply cropping photos or performing complex edits with multiple layers.
That said, as a general rule, Photoshop is a bit of a memory hog, and will put as much memory into stand-by as it can get. Adobe recommends your how long does chlamydia antibiotics take to work have at least 2. Opening a single photo changed our in-use memory from 5, MB to 5, What type of memory do i need for my laptop, but typpe 10 photos bumped that up to 6, MB. Subsequent sets of 10 increased the in-use memory to 7, MB for 20 photos and 8, MB for 30 images.
Key takeaway: The bottom line here is that you can use Photoshop CC with the minimum 2. While lzptop gamer knows that the best ym laptops need to fot impressive graphics and processing hardware, the place of memory in that overall equation is something of a mystery. First, we tested how much memory was used opening and running a game. For this we used Grand Theft Auto V. When we ran the game on our Alienware 15, we saw that firing up Steam memofy opening GTAV from our games library resulted in 5, MB of in-use memory, with 9, in standby.
But not everything is quite so demanding, and you can find games that will run on nearly any laptop out there. These are games built to make the most of current hardware, and a tricked out system will need a decent amount co RAM to accompany the high-end graphics and processing hardware.
For typee level of gaming, 16GB seems to be the sweet spot, meeting all of the memory needs for unimpeded gameplay without throwing extra money into an already-expensive system. One of the other things we looked memlry was how memory use impacted game performance, and how much memory you might need in order to multitask while gaming. So long as your gaming rig can handle the game, these simple uses should work without a memory upgrade.
Key takeaway: Opt for 8GB of RAM if you doo decent performance on less demanding titles, but go for 16GB if you want to play the latest and most resource intensive hits. But what about what is casual dress for an interview times you need to jump back and forth between programs, flipping back and forth between fo and tools?
First, we started at a basic level. We opened all of our office files, maxing out the least demanding test we ran. Then we opened up 10 browser tabs, followed by 2 media streams one audio, one video. On our 4GB system, this was enough to overwhelm the laptop, causing the system to slow to a crawl, and basic functionality to become inconsistent. Mouse clicks failed to register, simple documents struggled to scroll smoothly, and even gathering the screenshots we used to document our testing became difficult.
As we were able, we also ran Photoshop, with 10 photos open. We did this on both the Dell Inspiron 17 and the Alienware 15, without trouble. While it was the only system equipped with the graphics capability needed to run the game, it was also interesting to see how demanding the game was, especially when how to start your own webcomic in conjunction with our other tests.
Simply running the game uses an additional 2GB of memory, but with little difference in memory load between running and actively playing the game, we simply left it running for the duration of testing. Once these baseline tests were running, we proceed to ratchet up the memory demands incrementally, first by adding ii 10 browser tabs, then another 2 audio streams, followed by an additional 10 photos in Photoshop.
The 8GB Dell Inspiron 17 continued with normal functioning. We did this again, bumping up to 30 tabs, 6 stream and 30 photos. Everything still worked, including the game. We repeated the increasing demands, stepping up to 40 Chrome tabs, 8 media tpye and 40 photos in Photoshop. Switching between windows became difficult and the laptop finally locked up when we tried to open more browser tabs or photos. The 16GB Alienware 15 held strong, but the in-use memory approached the 14GB mark, while the amount of free memory dwindled to nearly zero.
At this point we started to see programs slow down, with jittery navigation and slowness in loading how much income to buy house as they were opened. GTA V continued to run, and we enjoyed a shootout and a car chase before moving on to the next level of multitasking torture. We ratcheted up to 50 tabs.
Then 10 media streams. Everything was holding thus far. Finally, we opened 10 more photos in Photoshop, bringing the total to At this point, programs started to lock up. Windows popped in and out of view of their own accord, and our clicking and typing lagged considerably. When we tried msmory reopen the still-running game, the system locked up and refused to cooperate.
Only after closing one of our programs did function return to normal. Key takeaway: Multitaskers should really opt for 8 GB of RAM when possible, and those running multiple applications along with a ton of tabs should opt for 16 GB. If you want a quick way to upgrade your laptop, adding a stick of RAM is a great place to start, and is something even a novice can do in very little time.
The 4GB laotop hit that limit after simple opening some documents and a handful of browser tabs. The 8GB system did better, providing good support for photo editing in addition to a healthy number of browser tabs and simultaneous media streams, while the 16GB system supported dozens of tabs, an unreasonable number of concurrent media streams and even offered usable gaming right up to the end. Laptop Mag. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer.
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Your RAM needs will differ depending on what you plan to do with your computer. Our Newegg Insider experts recommend a minimum of 4GB of RAM. 8GB of RAM will cover most users’ needs, and if you are a power user, 16GB is a good amount (Source). What size SD card should I buy? Jun 22, · Whenever your computer loads a program or opens a file, it opens up that data in RAM. Key takeaway: You can do a lot of work with only 4GB of memory, but if you need Author: Brian Westover. Oct 03, · On the PC, RAM acts as a buffer between your traditional storage and your CPU. Think of it as a temporary space for information that programs and CPU need in order to perform a task.
Smartphones are doubling up on the memory game faster than personal computers ever did. Until two weeks back, I was using a smartphone that had the same amount of RAM as my desktop. Of course that changed when I made the decision of adding another stick, bumping it up to 16GB. It is also the fastest medium of storage in your system when compared to say hard disk drives. RAM is also responsible for multitasking as it allows for multiple programs to load at the same time.
Think of it as a temporary space for information that programs and CPU need in order to perform a task. Once you turn off a PC, all information stored within the RAM module is lost, which is why it takes a bit longer for programs to start up when you have just turned on the PC versus programs that have already offloaded data into the module. With the increase in bandwidth of internet, data and media consumption, the need of having a fast system is increasing by the day. One of the easiest way give a boost to your computer is by getting more RAM.
Here is a simple guide on how you should choose your system memory, be it an upgrade or if you are building a new PC. It all depends on your needs. Need more performance, then you need more RAM. If you feel your existing system has slowed down on loading programs, throw in another stick.
As I mentioned above, RAM is responsible for loading programs faster than traditional storage. Upgrading will clearly lead to better efficiency thereby improving overall performance. If you are using Windows 10, there will be a RAM box on the left, hit that and you will see the statistics of your system memory. Now theoretically, if the available free memory is less than percent an upgrade could improve some performance. If average system RAM usage hits the percent mark then you should definitely consider an upgrade.
If you are building a system for production work, I would suggest 32GB or even higher so that programs can load faster. This is where you need to be mindful. There are a bunch of things that you need to consider before you go into the market to buy a new RAM module. For the ones who are upgrading, first and foremost, you need to check if your system allows for RAM expandability. If you have built a PC or bought a laptop in the past five years or so, then there is a high chance that it will have an extra slot to add more RAM.
Consider checking your motherboard or laptop manual to confirm. Next you need to check what version of Windows you are using. There are two versions of almost all Windows versions based on the system architecture. While most have moved to a bit version, there are still many systems that run on bit.
If you are running a bit edition of Windows 7, 8, 8. For a full list of compatibility, visit here. RAM comes in various varieties. Latency or timing is another thing to consider. It is denoted by four digits like All you need to know is that lower the number means better performance. Also it is advisable to use multi-channel kits or basically use two sticks or four sticks that combine to give you the desired total amount of RAM.
Keeping the above in mind, you need to be careful when adding more RAM to your system. You will have to be careful about the variety you choose, it has to have the same clock speed and if possible, the same timing as your previous stick although this can be adjusted automatically by the system. If your budget allows, I would suggest you go for a dual-kit with a proper heat sink. For laptops however you might not get all the mentioned brands, but make sure you stick to the supported size and clock speeds.
Now I have a solid reason for bringing up this topic. Pricing for RAM has been going up since the last year on a global scale. It is also predicted that the rates will further increase till the year ends. So in case you have been planning on adding more or simply building a new system, it is probably wise to upgrade now before rates hit sky-high. All the prices mentioned are exclusive of GST which is 18 percent.
By Kunal Khullar Oct. When not writing or talking about technology, he likes to indulge in prog metal music and visual arts, personalise icons and wallpapers on all his devices, and sipping ice-tea.