Is 8GB of RAM enough for my needs?

Karl Keith September 27, 2012

I am looking at getting a new laptop. The one I am looking at comes with 8GB of RAM. I can upgrade that to 16GB for $200 more. 50% of the time I just surf the web, but the rest of the time I use Photoshop and like to make gigapixel panoramas, code websites, and run the occasional game like Battlefield 3 or StarCraft 2.

Is 8GB enough and is 16GB just overkill?

  1. julien croy
    March 20, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    8gb of ram is more than needed, it depends on what you do. For photoshop 8gb would really help. For browsing the web you barely need anything. You can get ram for cheap now a days as im thinking of getting 16gb of ram for my ultrabook :))). Its overkill but it will make it extremlyyyyy fast.

  2. Areeb Majeed
    October 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    More than enough...

  3. Alex Perkins
    October 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    16GB is overkill, save your money and get a nice keyboard and/or mouse for yourself.

  4. Rahul Prajapati
    October 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

    8 GB is more than enough but make sure your system should utilizes it otherwise it of no use if u put it into 32 bit architecture o.s then it will use only 2 GB rest of the ram will not be utilizes. so be care full

  5. Calle Sweden
    October 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    YES 8GB is far enough, i only have 4GB :( But for your needs, a 16GB would be a waste of money! //Kg

    • Rahul Prajapati
      October 3, 2012 at 11:41 am


  6. Dimal Chandrasiri
    September 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    8 will be enough, but I would say on to consider some more since you use memory intensive, programs such as Photoshop and games. it's always good to keep extra memory so you'll have smooth performance!

  7. Nikhil Chandak
    September 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    depending on u

    • GrrGrrr
      September 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm


  8. salim benhouhou
    September 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    8GB is good for you . based on what you use yuor laptop for i would say that 16GB is a waste of your money .

  9. Shawn
    September 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    32GB here and you can never have too much ram!

  10. Nikhil Chandak
    September 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    it depends on u that 8GB ram is enough for u or not ...
    but for me
    it more than enough !!!

  11. Dave Saunders
    September 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Hey Karl,

    Before we cover RAM, make sure your new laptop is running a top notch graphics card and a high end i5/i7 processor. Couple this to 8GB+ of RAM and your machine will probably take over the planet and call itself Skynet ;-)

    8GB of RAM will happily cover all of your needs and you will notice a speed/performance increase when editing in Photoshop. (Ensure your using CS5 or CS6 for optimal use of resources)

    If you are a professional and time is important, then 16GB (and even more) of RAM is highly recommend. Basically, the more RAM (and of course faster processor/graphics card) you have, the quicker you can complete tasks.

    You could of course go a step further and run your system off a SSD (Solid State Disk Drives) Running Photoshop CS5/6 off a SSD is amazing! The speed transfer and performance is incredible!

  12. dwellwithin
    September 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I have 16 GB and using the laptop with similar usage as you, when I have photoshop, windows media player, firefox, chrome, other apps running, my max consumption is at 4-5GB. When gaming (BF, COD, PES) I hardly reach 4gb. so overall 8GB is suffice for you needs, but do keep in mind that 16GB is also not a bad option, it's somewhat future proof photoshop cs7? cod 10? bf 4? that sorta thing.

  13. francesco
    September 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Well, 8 gb or 16 gb look how is convenience upgrade to 16 gb , but if you want a laptop for a game you must select a laptop with dedicated gpu !

  14. Mat
    September 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Take my advice buddy: 8GB should be plenty for now.
    Save that 200 dollars and get yourself a nice SSD - it's the best upgrade you can do for a hard disk-based computer for a noticeable leap in performance.

    PLUS! Ram prices are constantly coming down, therefore by the time you will need to upgrade the Ram in a couple of years time it will be a lot cheaper to go to 16GB than it is to do it now.

  15. Norbert Keen Lagota
    September 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    8 GB is overkill! Are you serious or just a plain idiot?

  16. Loreson San Juan
    September 27, 2012 at 11:42 am

    16 GB---> overkill

  17. susendeep dutta
    September 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    You must get a laptop with 16 GB RAM as in future,the DDR3 based memory will become scare and hence you'll end up paying more than $200.DRAM market is facing bad conditions now and is compelled to reduce its memory prices.Within two years,DDR4 RAM will become popular and widespread.

  18. Mike
    September 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

    In general 8GB should be enough for all your tasks. Only our work in Photoshop may be even more smooth with 16GB if you are working with 20MP images and more.

    However, I would not make that upgrade for $200.

    You can easily get a kit with 2x8GB for under $100. If the default configuration of the notebook is 1x8GB with a second free slot it will be even less expensive.

    Of course doing it yourself may be difficult (depending on the device) or void your warranty.

  19. Rob Hindle
    September 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

    8GB fine, only likely to need more if you're into something that needs big files in memory like video editing - and even then the effect of not enough memory is probably just going to be slower performance as it uses swap-to-disk.

    I assume you're using 64 bit Windows, otherwise the operating system can't address more than 4GB.

    Do check what memory slots are availlable. If the 8GB fills all slots then a future 16GB upgrade will mean buying 16GB rather than a second 8GB module (as its a laptop there may only be a single memory slot anyway).

    As commented in another thread yesterday - are you sure laptop is the best choice? //

    How things have changed since my ZX80 in 1980 with 1kb of memory! (That wasn't enough!)

  20. ha14
    September 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

    if you deal with photos that are 8GB then perhaps to upgrade RAM to 16GB

    • Andrew
      December 31, 2012 at 1:05 am

      Ram has nothing to do with opening files that are certain sizes don't post answers if you literary know nothing about computers.

  21. Aditya Roy
    September 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Save those $200... Loads of new games coming our way... :)

    • HLJonnalagadda
      September 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Yeah cant wait for AC3, although Ezio is not going to be in it..

  22. Tug Ricks
    September 27, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I too think that 8GB is plenty for what you're looking to do. Instead, perhaps you should stick the $200 into savings for your next computer purchase.

  23. Swaroop Nunna
    September 27, 2012 at 5:34 am

    8 GB is more than enough

  24. DalSan Mack
    September 27, 2012 at 5:27 am

    How much RAM are you using now in your computer that you use for Photoshop? If you are using more than 8GB, then you would notice a difference going down to 8GB, butnot so much that it isn't usable. Upgrading later on is simple and cheaper to do yourself, plus you have the option to find higher performance RAM with lower latency than what may be offered as an upgrade with your laptop purchase. If the laptop includes a 1+GB graphics card, then 8GB can be plenty enough to not need the extra 8GB with such a high price.

  25. ferdinan Sitohang
    September 27, 2012 at 4:22 am

    8Gb is already meets your requirements.

  26. bonioloff
    September 27, 2012 at 3:29 am

    It is enough, you can do more upgrade later if you laptop has more slot..

  27. Dave Parrack
    September 27, 2012 at 2:32 am

    8GB should be plenty. If you find you need more in the future then you can always double your RAM as and when needed. I doubt you'll ever need to do so though.

  28. Kelly Le
    September 27, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Just get the 8GB and if you need more then buy it. RAM does't cost a lot to upgrade anyways and you would be wasting that $200 if you end up not needing it.

    • Ahmed Khalil
      September 28, 2012 at 10:51 am

      i think so, but i can say 8 is enough

  29. Richard Carpenter
    September 27, 2012 at 12:33 am

    8gb should be more than enough...

    • Maxei
      October 10, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Some modern and light linux distros can run in RAM only, from a USB key or dvd disk. Advantages are: incredible rapidity, and ...rapidity. But if some programs there are resource hungry, RAM could quickly become limiting. I may be wrong, but OS running in RAM could become trendy, especially in small gadgets such as cell phones, cameras, etc. I havent seen that yet, but I run a linux OS in RAM, and its incredibly fast, but when I run a hug program, it slows down; I will probably add more RAM to circumvent this problem.

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