Contact Us Today! 1-844-237-4300

Central Technology Solutions Blog

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part II: How Much RAM Do I Need?

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part II: How Much RAM Do I Need?

In part two of our desktop buying guide, we talk about one of the most confusing specifications you’ll see whenever you purchase a computer. We’re going to demystify memory, also referred to as RAM.

In the first post of this series, we went over how to choose a CPU/Processor when picking out a new desktop. Our main focus is on choosing a desktop for your business or home office, but we did talk about a few options that exist for more high-end computers that can handle video editing and gaming. We’re going to stick with this theme here, especially when it comes to talking about RAM.

RAM (which stands for Random Access Memory) is often just referred to as Memory. It’s often confused with the amount of data your computer can store, but that isn’t the case. RAM is used to temporarily store data so it can be instantly recalled without having to pull it from the computer’s storage. If you wanted to compare it to the human brain, it’s sort of like short term memory.

The amount of RAM you have determines how much you can have going on at once, and how quickly your computer performs when a lot is going on. If you read the first post in this series, you might ask ‘hey, isn’t that also what the CPU does?’ and you wouldn’t be wrong. The CPU handles instructions. It processes the data that the RAM holds. More RAM means a bigger stack of data that the CPU can quickly process, and a faster CPU means the CPU will process the data faster. They go together.

How Much RAM Does My Computer Need?

The nice thing about buying a desktop these days is you have pretty limited options as far as RAM goes. That isn’t to say there aren’t dozens of brands with their own clock speeds and special features that you can pick and choose from, but PC manufacturers handle all that for you.

If you were building your own PC at home, or customizing a PC on a site that lets you choose from a wide variety of types of RAM, things will feel more complicated. If that’s the case, this guide probably over-simplifies things for you, but you’ve probably figured that out by now.

When buying a new preconfigured desktop (or laptop), the speed and type of RAM is typically figured out for you based on the manufacturer's model. The real thing you need to look for is how much RAM is included in the device.

The Scrimping Budget End - Generally speaking, the smallest amount of RAM you will typically see for a Windows 10 device is 4 GB (Gigabytes). You can technically get Windows 10 to run on less, but we wouldn’t recommend it for most desktops. Even 4 GB is pretty meager; you won’t be able to do much very quickly on that device. We’re talking very light document editing, and web surfing. Even then, you’ll need to be gentle and not expect much out of your system.

The Low-End - Most ‘budget” PCs start with 8 GB of RAM. This is plenty to run the operating system and handle some light office work. Editing documents, looking at photos, and surfing the web should work fine. Much more than that will likely tax the system.

The Mid-Range - Even on a budget, check to see if the desktop can be upgraded to 16 GB of RAM. Often the price difference isn’t very significant, and you’ll be able to get more out of your investment. Often, when older computers start to feel slow for our clients, we’ll upgrade the RAM by doubling it for a low-cost way to get more life out of the system.

What’s nice about having 16 GB of RAM is that this is also the entry-point for gaming systems. We’re not saying that 16 is the magic number, but if you are willing to pay a little to reach it, you’ll likely be in pretty good shape if the rest of your computer can handle what you throw at it.

The High-End - Like everything else, this is where we can really push the ceiling up. For example, the new Mac Pro is boasting that it’s capable of supporting up to 1.5 TB of RAM (That’s a whopping 1500 GB). At the time of writing this, no pricing has been made available for configuring the Mac Pro with 1.5 TB of RAM, but rumors say it could cost up to $20 grand.

If you are designing a gaming rig, a video editing system, or a server, you start to get into the realm of more than 16 GB of RAM. Once you get much past 32 GB of RAM (the next tier) it’s time to leave Best Buy and start consulting with an expert (no offense Geek Squad).

Final Thoughts on RAM

Often, you can upgrade your RAM later, depending on the device. This is more likely in desktops and less likely in laptops.

When in doubt, never settle for less than 8 GB and typically try to shoot for 16 GB.

We hope this guide was helpful! Be sure to check out part 3 in the next couple of days, and if you need any help when it comes to purchasing computer equipment for your business or keeping your existing computers running smoothly, give us a call at 1-844-237-4300.

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part III: Choosing Sto...
Using the Private Cloud Adds Security to Your Data...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Wednesday, June 03 2020

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.centraltechnologysolutions.com/

Join our mailing list!

  • Company Name *
  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Mobile? Grab this Article!

      QR-Code dieser Seite

      Tag Cloud

      Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Business Computing Productivity Cloud Privacy Hosted Solutions Data IT Services Network Security Data Backup Email Internet Malware Hackers Software IT Support Efficiency Outsourced IT Innovation Microsoft Business Computer Mobile Devices Productivity Data Recovery Managed IT Services Hardware Upgrade Business Continuity IT Support Small Business Google Cloud Computing Backup Ransomware Cybersecurity User Tips Communication Collaboration Phishing Tech Term Managed IT Services Windows 10 Business Management Disaster Recovery Workplace Tips Managed Service Provider Internet of Things VoIP Smartphones Smartphone Android Social Media Remote Monitoring Data Management Paperless Office Managed IT Encryption Mobile Device Managed Service communications Facebook Office 365 Browser Save Money Artificial Intelligence Quick Tips Windows 10 Server Windows Network Virtualization Saving Money Miscellaneous BDR Holiday Help Desk Wi-Fi Risk Management BYOD Passwords Automation Mobile Device Management Healthcare Government Document Management Compliance Apps Health Business Technology Vendor Management App Windows 7 Password Recovery Laptops Users Chrome Applications Analytics Avoiding Downtime Bandwidth Firewall Unified Threat Management Remote Work Employer-Employee Relationship Robot Bring Your Own Device Gmail Going Green Training Microsoft Office Big Data IT Management Redundancy Tip of the week Apple Scam Two-factor Authentication Hosted Solution Project Management Antivirus Website Money Infrastructure Computing SaaS Data storage Telephone Systems Content Filtering Data loss Vulnerability Blockchain Information Data Security Office Processor Computers Mobility Wireless File Sharing Storage RMM Tablet Unified Communications Meetings Remote Computing Files Settings Proactive Flexibility Software as a Service Downtime Customer Service Router Politics Maintenance Social VPN Virtual Reality Work/Life Balance Customer Relationship Management Virtual Private Network IoT Regulations Budget Access Control IT Service Information Technology OneDrive Gadgets Machine Learning Operating System Printing Company Culture Recycling Utility Computing Consulting Google Drive How To Samsung Augmented Reality Spam Word Search Dark Web Business Growth Chromebook WiFi YouTube The Internet of Things Covid-19 Private Cloud Managed Services Provider Tech Support Employee-Employer Relationship Mobile Computing Remote Monitoring and Management Hacker Administration Management Smart Technology Net Neutrality Education Digital Payment Solid State Drive Social Network Upgrades LiFi Mobile Office Websites Remote Workers Identity Theft Wireless Technology Legal Time Management Networking Twitter Current Events Patch Management File Management IT solutions Licensing Display Internet Exlporer Hard Drive End of Support Network Management Payment Cards HIPAA Assessment Cooperation Sports How To Monitors Mobile Security Electronic Health Records Bitcoin Server Management Co-Managed IT Electronic Medical Records Monitoring Alert Employees Mouse Professional Services Consultation Managed Services Outlook Uninterrupted Power Supply MSP Security Cameras User Management Address Unified Threat Management Hotspot Cyberattacks Windows 8 Save Time Manufacturing Statistics Optimization Black Friday Mobile Data Roanoke — Central Technology Solutions Digital Obstacle Biometric Fraud Screen Reader Remote Working Supercomputer Identities Transportation Mobile VoIP Disaster Resistance Mirgation Crowdsourcing Development Zero-Day Threat Motherboard OneNote Tracking Virtual Assistant Vendor Superfish Downloads Safety Managing Stress G Suite Instant Messaging History Employer/Employee Relationships IT Assessment Dark Data Personal Information Taxes Tech Terms Google Wallet Remote Worker Batteries User Error Language eWaste Read Only Google Maps Hard Disk Drives Bluetooth Virtual Machines Cyber Monday technology services provider Spyware Projects Course Gamification Smart Tech IT Budget Hard Drives Google Docs Cyber security Proactive IT Migration Notifications Cables Backup and Disaster Recovery Data Warehousing Wasting Time Smart Devices Operations Black Market Enterprise Content Management Finance Cabling Humor Proactive Maintenance Shortcut Digitize Theft Drones ROI Firefox Writing Computing Infrastructure Emoji Backups Solid State Drives Credit Cards Technology Assurance Group ’s 18 Return on Investment Network Congestion Cost Management E-Commerce Teamwork Heating/Cooling IT Consulting Technology Tips Chatbots Wires Point of Sale Human Error Deep Learning Shadow IT Microsoft Excel Computer Repair Modem Virtual Desktop Connectivity Database Sensors Multi-Factor Security Wearable Technology Vulnerabilities Cybercrime Authentication WannaCry Database Management Telephony WPA3 Financial Alt Codes Notes Printer Retail Alerts Cortana Enterprise Resource Planning Sync Bookmarks Options Hacking Holidays Distributed Denial of Service Physical Security Annual Convention Active Directory Public Cloud Features Cryptocurrency Shared resources Servers Windows Server 2008 Data Breach Comparison 3D Printing Identity Law Enforcement Permission GDPR Outsourcing Cookies Outsource IT Botnet Voice over Internet Protocol Google Calendar Processors Geography Travel Authorization Fleet Tracking Procurement Typing PowerPoint Value of Managed Services Mobile Mobile Device Managment Favorites Software Tips Hacks Disaster 5G Trending IT Office Tips Managed IT Service San Diego Test Best Practice Windows Server Mail Merge Update Marketing Cache Automobile Computer Care Technology Laws Specifications Unsupported Software Virus Gadget VoIP Sponsor Video Conferencing Permissions Nanotechnology Laptop Star Wars Touchscreen Telephone Techology Legislation IT Technicians Buisness High-Speed Internet Asset Tracking GPS Lenovo SharePoint Social Engineering Staff USB Conferencing Wireless Internet Business Telephone Break Fix Social Networking CCTV Administrator Relocation Students Webcam Hard Disk Drive IT Consultant Printers Error Emergency CrashOverride Web Server Regulation Cameras Motion Sickness