How Much RAM Do I Need For My Laptop

Shopping for a new laptop and can’t decide how much RAM do you need? Don’t worry, you are at right URL.
RAM is a very important factor that decides how fast your computer can be. While having low memory will always kill your laptop performance, having more than needed RAM doesn’t always results in more performance and this is why it is really important for you to know that how much RAM do you really need.
In case you have no idea what RAM is, RAM is a chip on your computer that stores all your running programs. With more memory, you will be able to run more apps simultaneously on your laptop.
Typically, in case of a Laptop, you can pick between 2GB to 32GB of RAM.  To simplify your choosing, here is a straight forward guide to help you decide how much RAM do you need for your laptop.


In short: Don’t buy a Laptop with 1 GB RAM (or Gigabyte, for too innocent users )
With the new anniversary release of Windows 10, Microsoft has increased the memory requirements of Windows to 2 GB minimum for 32 Bit versions of Windows.
Meaning, you can’t run Windows 10 on a laptop with 1GB of RAM.
That leaves you to using the Laptop with older versions of Windows or some Linux Distros that are optimized for Low memory usage.
Also, 1 GB is too low to do any real work. Sure, you can run a recent web browser and use some common office apps but you wont really be able to multitask.
That being said, you should really ignore any PC, Laptop or Phone that has 1GB or Less RAM.

2 GB

Some entry level cheap Windows Laptops and hybrids come with 2 GB of RAM.
Having 2 GB of RAM takes you to a laptop that you can really use of some moderate amount of work – As long as it relays on web browser and Microsoft Office or similor apps.
2 GB RAM in your laptop will give you room for entry level multitasking, you should be able to use a more than a few browser tab along with a couple of Office apps at a same time.
Keep in mind that bigger and demanding applications such as Photoshop and AAA titles wont really work. However, you should be able to do some lightweight gaming with 2 GB of RAM.

4 GB

4 GB has been standard for last few years for mainstream laptops. A computer with 4 GB of RAM should be able to run most applications currently in market, however, your mileage may very from an app to another app.
When it comes to multitasking, a laptop with 4 GB RAM should be enough to keep you covered if you are a moderate user. For an example, I am currently writing this post on an Inspiron Laptop that Has 4 GB of RAM. At this moment, I am playing Music on Windows Media Player, I have launched Chrome with 6 Open tabs and I am downloading a (legal) torrent on qBitTorrent. Even with all these tasks running, the Laptop is fast enough and there is almost 40% RAM Idle.
Although, having 4 GB of RAM on your Laptop will be sufficient to do all the above work, if you are a gamer, you should considering having more RAM. You can play older titles such as Tomb Raider (2012) or Max Payne 3 but newer AAA titles are not always supported.
So, in short, 4 GB of RAM is OK for most people, you can do office work, run multiple apps at same time and it is even enough to run a virtual machine.

8 GB

This is the amount of RAM that you should go for if you are not on a restricted budget.
Having 8GB of RAM in your laptop will keep you future proofed and it will handle all tasks that you can throw on it.

how much ram do i need for laptop

Cosair’s 8GB RAM Kit

This amount of RAM should be enough to let you toss with more than a couple of Virtual Machines, Switch between half a dozen of open programs and run all AAA titles successfully without any hiccup.
With 8 GB of RAM, you can easily run Video editing programs, run image manipulation apps and do media encoding/decoding.
Truly, 8 GB is the new 4 GB for RAM. Sure, you can upgrade your PC with more memory in most cases, however, for a normal user, 8 GB should be more than enough to feel you no need for upgrade for next few years.

16 GB

Having 16 GB of RAM on your laptop maybe an overkill if you are only a casual user, however, investing in 16 GB RAM makes sense if you are a serious gamer or you make/edit videos for living.
Having more RAM doesn’t always result in faster performance but, if you relay on memory hungry apps, 16 GB can be a good addition to your rig.
Laptops with 16 GB of RAM are expensive than lower end machines, so, do your research if you really need this amount of RAM.

32GB and up

You probably don’t need a laptop with 32 GB of RAM. This high amount of memory can only be useful if you run a lot of resource intensive apps at the same time.
Laptops that are used for Video editing and rendering can utilize this amount of RAM if the size of video files (or 3D Models) is high.
Laptops with 32 GB RAM are usually desktop replacement type, they are ridiculously heavy and downright expensive. If you need a computer with more than 32 GB of RAM, spending in a desktop tower may be a better option because, it will cost less and it should have more performance than same spec’d laptop sibling.


Conclusion: in short, here is how much RAM you need in your laptop:

  • Casual user with low budget: 4GB
  • Normal user’s : 8 GB
  • Gamers: 8GB to 16 GB
  • Video, Image editors and 3D Graphic developers: 16 GB and up

I hope that this guide helped you in choosing right amount of RAM for your laptop, if you have any questions, do drop a comment below.

Read our Laptop buying guide

Finished Reading?