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...


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Sunday, September 22 2019

Captcha Image

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