How Much RAM Do I Need in 2019?

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How much RAM do I need for gaming, work, or internet browsing? Short answer: you will probably want to go with 16 GB of RAM, but there are some exceptions.

What Is Ram and What Does It Do?

The RAM acronym stands for Random-Access Memory, and DDR stands for Double Data Rate. It’s is also called volatile memory because when you shut-down your computer, it loses its data in contrast to HDD or SDD which stores your data longterm.

You could also say for more simplified interpretation that RAM is short term memory while HDD/SSD is long term memory. So RAM is excellent for accessing data quickly, while HDD is excellent for storing a large amount of data.

16 GB of RAM Is Sweetspot in 2019

Sweetspot for most of the people in 2019 is 16GB, Especially if you are building a new computer, make sure that you won’t go below 16 GB and let me explain why.

It’s simply because with 16 GB you can run all the modern applications and games while multitasking and abusing Chrome tabs. So the short or universal answer is you need 16 GB in 2019.

Do I Need to Upgrade If I Have 8 GB of RAM?

Not necessarily, it depends on what you are doing with your computer. For instance, if you usually play some esports titles and using your PC mostly for web-surfing, listening to music, I don’t see how you would need to upgrade.

Many people still have 8 GB RAM in their system, including me, and I have come across some issues. When I was trying out Star Wars Battlefront 2, I had constant stutters when playing. But I have managed to resolve the problem with the software that optimizes your computer for a game session.

They are called game booster. I have used Razer cortex to resolve this issue, but I will upgrade RAM with new Ryzen 3000 series and so should you because those so-called game boosters are not ideal to use.

How Much RAM Do I Need for Gaming?

If you are building a brand new gaming computer, 16 GB RAM in Q2 2019 is pretty much a standard for any computer, and it’s also a sweet spot.

With 8 GB RAM, you may experience stutters in some modern games, on the other hand with too much of it like 32 GB RAM you won’t gain additional performance, except some bragging rights for your friend which could be worth it depends on who you ask.

Ram Recommendation in Workstations

While this article is aimed more towards the inexperienced user and the average Joe, I can still give you my advice from my personal experiences with the workstations.

This is the deal in 2019, we have some incredible software that is exceptionally demanding. One popular example is video editing in higher resolutions. For Adobe Premiere Pro is recommended having whooping 32GB of RAM. But I recommend getting even more, like 64 RAM, and let me tell you why. There is nothing worse than losing time with the unoptimized system, which is not up for the task.

In a professional environment, time is everything, and having continuous, un-interrupted workflow will affect your profits and your mental health, which is priceless. For me, there is nothing more stressful when I know there is so much work to be done and now I have to deal with an unresponsive computer that is not fast enough.

My advice when building Workstation is, check how much RAM is recommended for the most demanding software you will use and then just double it.

What Is The Deal With RAM Speed Frequency?

Simplified, it’s just a RAM speed. It’s the number of clock cycles per second certain RAM can process. When you check RAM specifications, you usually see numbers, like 2400/2800/3000/3200Mhz. We can convert those number into GB/s with the following formula, 3200Mhz x 2(Double Data Rate) x 64bits = 409.600 Gbps or 52.2 GB/s theoretical max bandwidth. Those numbers sure sound impressive, but in reality, they convert poorly to the real-time performance.

Furthermore buying faster RAM means faster performance, right? Well, it turns out it’s not that simple. In most of the builds and in most of cases, performance gains with faster-clocked RAM are usually beyond human comprehension. But there are some exceptions like Ryzen CPUs with so-called infinity fabric and some older which I won’t cover in here can scale with faster RAM better.

Fast frequency RAM works best with Ryzen CPUs and Ryzen APUs. Those chips can gain some actual performance with faster-clocked RAM modules, and with APUs like Ryzen, 2200/2400g it can even increase gaming performance. But with high clocks comes high price literally in dollars and it usually not worth it since you can get more bang for your buck investing in better CPU or GPU.

With that said don’t fuss about RAM frequency too much and also note that you have to set up your RAM speed in motherboard BIOS properly and don’t forget to check that your motherboard and CPU actually supports your desired frequency rate.

Don’t Mix Your Ram Bro!

When we were kids, you know, we were stupid. We mixed every piece of hardware we could get our hands on, but the problem was some things just don’t mix well together, and it used to be even worse. We were getting blue screens like it was nothing 24/7 and we thought we were smart.

Today, the best bet is just to buy RAM stick in pairs like 2xX or 4xX RAM kits, those sticks are already tested together to ensure they are compatible and stable.

How Do I Check How Much Ram I Have Installed?

Task manager displays your current RAM usage and your RAM availability, and you can see your RAM usage in real-time. Is it your RAM consistently reaching 100% usage and causing stutters well then, it’s time to upgrade.

Single Channel vs. Dual Channel (1×8 GB RAM or 2×4 GB RAM)

I always recommend buying RAM in 2xX kits or 4xX kits because it doubles the memory bandwidth in dual-channel mode. I always buy at least 2xXGB kit to utilize dual-channel fully which most motherboards support anyway.

If your motherboard has four slots DIMM (RAM slots) sockets and two different colors, it means that one color represents one channel. While you are trying to install, let’s say 2x8GB always put them in different colors DIMM sockets and not the same color!! This is a common rookie mistake when setting up RAM in dual channel mode.

With 4xX kit just fill everything, but beware some motherboards only have two DIMM sockets.

You can also use just one stick of RAM, and your PC will run just fine. Most of the people wouldn’t even notice any difference in performance but is certainly not optimal or ideal.

Conclusion

That was the one question that was easy to resolve. In the vast majority of cases and builds you will want 16 GB of RAM, and that’s it, ladies and gentlemen, that’s all.

Article Summary

-RAM is essentially super-fast memory which flushes out when you shut down your computer (aka. Volatile memory)
-At the moment sweet spot is 16 GB RAM
-8 GB is passable, but in some games or software, you may experience stutters (workaround: close every other program or use some kind gaming booster software)
-Buy RAM in kits and set up Dual Channel correctly (put RAM in different color DIMM sockets)
-Don’t mix your RAM brah
-If you experience stutters best solution is just to upgrade to 16 GB RAM because it is relatively cheap

Photo by Liam Briese on Unsplash

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