What Is Ram And How Much Do I Need For My Device?

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The Basics of Ram

A lot of people come across Ram when they are buying a laptop, a phone or a tablet, but also a lot of people don’t understand what it is or does on your device. This article is made for you to get a better understanding of what Ram is and how it function on your device. When we have hopefully giving you the understanding of what Ram is and its purpose, we will later in this article give you a guide of how much GB of Ram you need for your device.

if you want the short answer of what Ram is – Ram is one of the most vital parts of devices like a laptop, computer, phone or tablet and the word RAM stands for Random Access Memory.

Most people often refer Ram to “system memory» or “memory” and confuse it with the storage drives like HDD or SSD. This mistake mostly comes from that both are expressed in GB. Since most people makes that mistake, let’s take a look at both – Ram and storage drive.

Difference Between Ram And Storage Drive

First, the two types of storage drives stand for mechanical hard drive (HDD) and solid state drive (SSD). We are not going to go in details about the difference between those two, but they basically do the same thing- store your data for you to access it later.

So, what are the difference between Ram and storage drive most people confuse with each other. The difference between Ram and the storage drive is that Ram holds all the temporary files, software and documents that you are currently using on your device, while storage drive saves all those files permanently if you choose to save them on your device. Let’s make a practical example for you to understand better.

Let’s say you are working on a Google Word document and you are writing on that document. While you are working on that document, you are using the Ram of your device to have access to that data and see what you have written.  After you are done with the document and save it either on your desktop or somewhere in your device, then you have stored that data on your storage drive and will have access to it forever or until you delete that file.  

If you didn’t save that file or your device shots down before you could save it, you will lose that documents because it was just stored in the Ram memory of your device, not on your storage drive.

How Ram Effect Performance On Your Device?

The performance of your device depends on the Ram of the device, but other factors like processor and Graphics card also greatly affect performance as well. Ram, processor and graphics card will decide how well your device will perform the task you ask your device to do.

When you assign you device to do certain task like opening a program, then your device will use some of the Ram space available to open that program for you. We all have had problems with opening a program or a file when we are using our laptop, phone or tablet. This happens when the Ram space on your device is full and you don’t have enough capacity so your device can not do that task for you. What often happens in situations like this is of course that it will take long time for your device to open that file or program for you and you will notice that your device becomes unresponsive.

The reason why your device after a while becomes responsive again is because of something called virtual memory. Virtual memory makes it possible for the Ram to store all files that are not currently being used onto your SSD or HDD which is your storage drive. This will free up your Ram space and your device will be able to performance the task you want it to do.

A simple rule is – the more Ram space you have the more tasks can your device do at the
same time. So, for your laptop to perform smoothly and well, you need a decent Ram size.

How Much Ram Do You Really Need For Your Device?

The most common Ram size ranges is 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 16+ GB. So, let’s take a look at each one and talk about which ram capacity you need for different purposes.

1 GB Ram

This is the smallest Ram size on a device in this days. If you have a Ram size that is 1 GB, you won’t be able to do much with your device and your device will be very slow. The 1 GB size is also the minimum system requirement for many new operating systems. If you have Ram size under 1 GB many operating systems won’t allow you to use them. The tasks you can do with 1 GB Ram is basic task like sending or reading email, little bit of image editing, and web browsing. Note that with web browsing, you won’t be able to open multiple tabs or windows at the same time. Also, with this small Ram size, everything will be slow when you are doing those tasks.

2 GB Ram

2 GB Ram size is the second smallest ram size. Compared to 1 GB, you can do little bit more tasks, but the difference is not so big. While with 2 GB you can have multiple tabs open when you are browsing on the web, the performance of your device will not be the best of the best. You can get away with using 2 GB Ram size on phone, tablet and laptop, but the performance would be very bad. Most user will not like the slowness of 2 GB and we recommend that they upgrade their Ram size for better system performance.

4 GB Ram

On 4 GB ram size, that’s when you get a decent performing device and can do a lot of tasks without your device going unresponsive on you. Going from 1 GB or 2 GB of Ram to 4 GB, you will notice a big difference in performance.

On this Ram size you will be able to do tasks like – run multiple applications at the same time without any problem for your device. You can be listing to your favourite music on a streaming service platform while writing a document on Word and much more. You can even play small games without problems, but not big games like Fortnite or GTA. Technically you could but the performance will be very bad and not enjoyable for your liking.

8 GB Ram

On the 8 GB Ram, you are a person who is looking for a very good performing device, but this also comes with a premium price. People who buy 8 GB Ram size are people who is looking to invest in a device that will perform well on any task and last long also.

Let’s say you want to do tasks like heavy workload or just have well performing device, then 8 GB Ram size is bare minimum for your device. Next time you look at a device like a laptop or a computer, note that the price is always higher when you look at the highest Ram sizes.

The most Ram intensive tasks for a device is gaming, editing photos or videos and music production. With 8 GB of Ram, you can do those tasks because most of those applications needed to do these tasks requires minimum of 8 GB of Ram size. Even though the minimum is 8 GB Ram to run those applications, you should consider higher Ram size to get the best performance, especially in gaming and video editing.  

16 GB & 16+ GB Ram

On this level of Ram size, you have the best performing device you can
possibly get. Like the 8 GB of Ram, it will cost you a lot. We earlier mentioned about video editing and gaming. With 16+ GB of Ram, all those tasks become easy for your device to perform without any problems. If you are looking to buy a device like a laptop to game on, then you should at least have 16 GB Ram or more to get the best performance and experience.

With 16 GB of Ram or more your device will be able to run resource-heavy applications and run multiple of those applications at the same time.

So, What Ram Size Should You Choose For Your Device?

Now that we have gone through what Ram is and what it does, the difference between Ram and storage drive and the different Ram sizes. The question you are wondering are what Ram size should I choose for my device?

The answer depends on what your main purpose is for your device and what kind of tasks you want you device to do. If you are looking to buy a device that you will just use for entertainment purpose like watching movies or just chat with friends and family on social media, then 2 GB and 4 GB of Ram is more than enough for you.  

When it comes to playing games, editing videos or pictures, then you need at least 8 GB of Ram and more for those tasks.

The easiest way to find out what you need in Ram size is to just find out which applications you will use on your device. And see what the minimum requirement of Ram size is for those applications and buy that Ram size or higher if you want higher performance.

We hope you found this article helpful and that you find the best Ram size for you needs. Leaves us a comment if you have any questions that we didn’t answer in this article and we will update this article so that it can be more helpful to others.

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