Home » Blog » Finding the right answer : ‘How much memory do I need?’ Finding the right answer : ‘How much memory do I need?’

a type of memory for data storage

Memory or RAM is one of the significant features of any computer. When finding the answer for ‘how much memory I need’, you must consider the type of applications and processes. Purpose and usage are two main factors that can influence the answer. Depending on your work profile and workload, you can find the right capacity of memory.

Memory is stored on a short-term basis. It allows the CPU to access data for running applications. As the data is stored on a temporary basis, the memory can perform many activities and processes. If the CPU has to rely on the permanent data storage such as hard disk drive, it would lead to slower processing. Instead, by accessing data from a memory or RAM, a CPU can perform the same activities in a much faster manner. This makes it essential to have a memory suitable for your applications.

If you run multiple applications with a lower capacity, you would experience frequent delays and bottle-necks. It can lower the overall productivity with slower response rates. When you try to switch from one task to another, you would encounter a significant lag.

What is the significance of memory?

While CPU is the central processing unit for all the activities, memory or RAM helps the CPU for processing the data. Memory stores the data in an easily accessible manner. It reduces the wait time for a CPU and gives quick returns. You can measure the performance of a memory with respect to certain few features. For example, speed is one of the primary features that indicates the rate of data transfer. It is measured in terms of MHz. A memory that has faster speed can handle more data as compared to a lower one.

If you use multiple applications or perform CPU-intensive activities, you can choose memory with a faster speed. The next important factor is the size or capacity. It is measured in GB and can range from 8GB to 32GB. You must check the total and available capacity. Total capacity indicates the maximum size of your memory. When you have a higher capacity, you can run multiple applications without running into the risk of delays and lags. A lower capacity can impact your movement from one application to the other.

When you switch between different applications like browsing the internet, checking your email, and working on your spreadsheet, you would notice a significant gap. It can slow down the entire system. Though this may not impact regular activities that consume less memory, the effect is felt when you are working on intensive applications. Activities such as gaming, video rendering, movie streaming, designing, and graphics can consume a lot of memory. 

Upgrading to a new memory

Before choosing a new computer, it is important to look at the memory specifications. Features such as rank, bandwidth, type, and capacity can influence the productivity. You can always check the memory capacity from the Task manager on Windows. The information is also readily available in Mac. This can give you a clear idea of your physical memory. It shows you the total and available RAM. If you realize that you are running out of memory while performing your usual activities, you may need an upgrade. Buying a new computer with higher memory is one option. 

You can also upgrade the existing memory by opting for a higher value. Before searching for an upgrade, it is necessary to check the compatibility of the new memory with the motherboard. It must have slots for inserting the additional memory chips. After picking a new memory, you can sell the used memory to us at BuySellRam.com. We accept used memory and offer top dollar value in return. We have an easy selling process. You can fill the online form and let us know the details of your old memory. Depending on the age, condition, and type of memory, we would provide the quote for your convenience. 

Selling used memory

By selling the used memory, you can invest the money towards upgrading to a new one. You may require a new memory with higher speed, higher capacity, and also more bandwidth. If your memory supports ECC or error correction code, you must ensure that the new one supports ECC too. ECC involves additional chips with a built-in ability to check any errors. If it comes across errors or faults in the program, the ECC can rectify it before running the process. The additional benefit is useful for running a variety of applications and programs. 

In terms of type of memory, you can go for a buffered or registered type. It involves a register between memory controller and DRAM that can stabilize the data before releasing it. Double data rate or DDR is the technology in the RAM. The DDR4 is the latest version over the previous DDR3 and DDR2. 

What are the different options of memory:

Capacity is the primary indicator that can tell you about the need to upgrade to a new memory. There are different options in terms of capacity- 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB. At the start of computer usage, most desktops had 4GB or 8GB memory. This value was well within limit for the usual processes and applications. With advances in technology, applications, and newer programs, 8GB may not ne sufficient. While handling applications such as browsing internet, editing files, and accessing email, the CPU uses more and more memory.

While initially 4GB or 8GB was considered as a good memory capacity, it may not be the case with recent applications. You can realize that newer applications consume lot of memory. If you look at the available memory when your system is in active use, you shall realize that there is hardly any room for more processes. 

Applications with higher capacity

With passing time, there has been a higher demand for more RAM. If you enjoy gaming and designing, your system will require higher memory. 8GB can act as a minimum start for basic gaming. For intensive gaming and other applications involving video rendering, streaming, and designing, you would require something like 16GB. If your work demand multi-tasking such as opening multiple browsers at once, you would require more RAM. It can ensure that the data flows in a smooth manner. Though you open multiple applications at once, it has sufficient space for storing the data instructions. You would not experience any delays or lags in the processing. It eliminates bottle necks created by simultaneous actions. 

If you use computer-aided design solutions (CAD) and creative applications from Adobe, you would require more memory. Most of these creative and design applications consume more memory than the regular. Since you must have room to run another application in addition to such special ones, it is essential to have a bigger room. For advanced photo editing, video editing, and other intensive gaming, you would have to upgrade to something as high as 32GB. 16GB is sufficient for regular gaming, but it cannot be clubbed with other video-specific applications.

Understanding how much memory do I need 

computer memory stores data for running applications

While finding the answer to how much memory do I need, you must look at the capabilities of the different options. When you have a clear idea about your requirements, you can opt for the right choice. 


This may probably not be sufficient for most of the applications that are used today. If you require something for as basic as reading emails and working on a Word or Excel document, you can find it useful. 4GB is the bare minimum memory capacity that can limit most of the applications. While using Windows 10 or MacOS, you would require a minimum of 4GB. It cannot be useful for any type of gaming. Also, using a 4GB memory can prevent you from multi-tasking. If you open multiple tabs on your browser, you would find it difficult to do so with 4GB memory. You can expect delays while switching from one task to the next. 


  With the type of applications and activities that we engage in most of the systems, 8GB has turned into the new minimum capacity. It is beneficial to have a total memory of 8GB, allowing you to perform a number of activities. You can get maximum benefit, while running applications like browser, Word document, Excel, editing and creating files, and similar processes.

If you play some of the basic games that do not involve high-quality imaging and graphics, you would find it sufficient while working with 8GB. But this can reduce your ability to multi-task. If you prefer other applications along with gaming, you can upgrade to a higher value. For activities such as playing videos or opening websites with graphics, you would need more capacity. The ideal capacity shall depend on the type of processes. Also, it would depend on whether you run the applications at once or use them separately. 


16GB can be called as a sweet spot with respect to memory capacity. It gives you plenty of room for running multiple applications even if each consumes a substantial portion of memory. For example, if you have almost 12-14 tabs open on your browser at the same time, you would not experience any trouble. 16GB can ensure that you have good amount of available memory in addition to the one that is consumed by activities. Simultaneous processes like word, excel, internet browser, and other applications can perform well. 

It is also ideal for playing most of the games. Unless you play extremely intensive games involving graphics and high-intensity video streaming, you would find 16GB to be absolutely beneficial. You would also find it sufficient if you are using creative applications like Adobe. For designers and creative professionals, 16GB can be a good capacity for the intensive applications. Similarly, if you are using computer-aided design solutions (CAD), you can handle them without any significant lags in the system.

While using photo-editing applications such as Adobe Photoshop, you would not experience any issues with 16GB capacity. In addition, it also supports other photo editing software and advanced applications with absolute ease. If you use video editing programs like Adobe Premier, you can do it with the 16GB memory. Unless you are operating many intensive applications and rendering large amounts of data, you can use the 16GB without any need for upgrade.

When you decide to upgrade your RAM from 4GB to 8GB or from 8GB to 16GB, you must check if the system can support the upgrade. If it does, you can sell the used memory for a good value at BuySellRam. As a one-stop solution for your used computer parts, you can sell the used memory to us at an impressive price. You can use the return for your next upgrade.


For a regular user, 32GB may not be needed at all. It is reserved for intensive activities that can consume something rated as the highest capacity. Most of the regular games may not require more than 16GB. Even if you use multiple tabs, simultaneous applications involving videos and graphics, and multi-task on a regular basis, you may not require 32GB. It is necessary for few users who use intensive applications and programs. When you handle large amounts of data and large files, you may be required to push beyond the 16GB limit. If high productivity and large workload defines your purpose, you may need to opt for a larger capacity. For movie and video-editing tasks that involve 4K+ resolution, it might be beneficial to opt for 32GB. 

Summary of how much memory do I need

After careful consideration of your activities and applications, you can narrow-down to the right capacity. An 8GB capacity is a good place to start for regular applications and light browsing. For multi-tasking and using many applications at the same time, you can opt for 16GB. 32GB is reserved for highly productive tasks and applications that use a large share of the memory. You can always check the available memory on Windows or Mac before deciding about an upgrade. If you are well below 16GB and observe no delays or setbacks, you can continue with 16GB.