We are in 2022 and we are still wondering if 16 GB of RAM is enough for a PC

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A year ago we were complaining about how most laptop manufacturers still include 8 GB of RAM as a starting point. Things have improved on that front and many already offer 16GB variants, but Is 16 GB enough for a desktop PC?

What is certain is that 8 GB has been left behind for many scenarios, but if you are going to build a PC or have one that you want to upgrade, if 16 GB of RAM is enough or it is advisable to take the leap and mount 32 GB of RAM.

If you play games, 16 GB is enough

One would think that the new batch of games and apps would have changed things and the requirements might have increased. The most demanding games maybe they would be more demandingfor example, and would need more resources—processor, graphics, memory—to run smoothly.

That is true, but only up to a point. What happens has already happened before: if we want to play a game at maximum resolution and maximum level of detail, it is important to have a well-prepared machine, but there the two fundamental components are the processor and the graphics card: RAM is a bit in the background.

The mega guide to build a PC from scratch in 2020: the main memory

In fact, there is a high level of specialization here if one wants to fine-tune to the maximum, but what can be “scratched” to the frame rate does not depend so much on having more memory how to use proper modules.

There is a clear debate in the field of video games about the impact of higher-speed memory, and the truth is that once a certain frontier has been reached —modules at 3600 MHz and CL16 or lower They are the traditional recommendation among experts— going to faster modules does not usually contribute much: There may be improvements, yes, but the cost to obtain them may not be that profitable.

Here you have to be aware of other elements that allow you to fine-tune performance even more, and enable XMP technology in BIOS It usually helps to raise the FPS especially when we play in 1080p. To make sure and avoid problems, we can always check the list of certified memory modules for our motherboard.

Thus, for teams dedicated to gaming, having 16 GB is usually more than enough. The vast majority of games don’t need that much, and numerous external reviews reveal how yes it is highly recommended to jump from 8 to 16 GB to playbut when we go from 16 to 32 GB the impact is practically nil.

There are exceptions of course. Games like ‘Escape from Tarkov’ are famous for their massive use of RAM —although precisely is criticized that maybe is poorly developed—-. The same happens with ‘Cities: Skylines‘, also famous for being a glutton in this section. The one that is of course the great exception to this rule is ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020’, which will benefit sensibly if we have 32 GB of RAM. Except in cases like that – and there aren’t too many – 16 GB of memory seems like a perfect amount.

When is it okay to have 32 GB of RAM?

The truth is that what we have discussed for the world of video games is usually also true for many other common scenarios. If you don’t play games and your use of your PC or laptop is modest, surely a device with 8 GB of memory can be enough, but if you can afford it going to configurations with 16 GB can give you wiggle room.

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Things change in workstations and in equipment for content production, because here the amount of memory is more important than its speed. Even if we don’t have a super fast memory, working with video editing or 3D design, modeling and rendering is an area where it could be said that “the sky is the limit”.

The mega guide to building a PC from scratch in 2020: the motherboard

It is in those fields that the more RAM, the better, although here it depends on the type of work we are doing: the ‘datasets’ or data sets that 3D designers work with, for example, can be enormous, so having 32 or even 64 GB of RAM is no longer recommended, but necessary.

In video editing the requirements go down a bit, but if we want to smoothly edit 4K or even 8K video again, having more memory (not necessarily faster) helps everything move smoothly. The same goes for other creative and design tools like Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator, which also welcome all the RAM we can give them with open arms.

There are other fields that make it advisable to take a step up and also make that leap to 32 GB of RAM or even larger amounts: those who make heavy use of virtualization They also need a lot of RAM, and it is also possible that taking that leap is not a bad idea if you are a software developer.

For the rest of the scenarios, having 16 GB of RAM is still an excellent option. The 8 GB can fall short for example if we usually have many tabs open in the browser or if we use multitasking intensively, and that is where those 16 GB make everything normally go very smoothly.

Obviously there will be users who make even more intensive use of the browser or applications in multitasking: if you notice stoppages and delays when working in your day to day you will have a symptom important that perhaps increasing the amount of RAM in your PC is not a bad idea. And taking into account that there are usually many good offers on this type of component, it does not hurt to invest in that section.

A year ago we were complaining about how most laptop manufacturers still include 8 GB of RAM as a starting…

A year ago we were complaining about how most laptop manufacturers still include 8 GB of RAM as a starting…

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