Chris Pirillo: How Much RAM Do You Need?

About Chris:

Chris Pirillo is the founder of the tech blogging network, Lockergnome and previously served as host of TechTV’s Call for Help show. Chris’s insightful and entertaining how to videos will now be featured in the PC Pitstop newsletters and highlighted at and

You can follow Chris on Twitter and subscribe to his Youtube video channel here

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5 thoughts on “Chris Pirillo: How Much RAM Do You Need?”

  1. I agree that Chris’s answer seemed more like a rant but he makes a good point. The amount of RAM you need is dependent upon what youre going to do with your PC. I guess its like buying a vehicle… do I get a truck… or sedan… a two seater…. a minivan? It all boils down to what your doing with it. I’ll try to make it simple. For the everyday user (email… youtube… browsing) 4GBs should be the standard. If youre a PC gamer… then you dont need my advice because you already know but for those that dont start with 8GBs. 16GBs sounds awesome but for the majority of us its over kill and a waste of money. So there it is… Rated E for Everyone start with 4GBs…. Rated G for Gamers start with 8GBs…. Rated P for Professionals (video/photo editing… hardcord gamers) start with 16GBs or as much as you can afford or as much as the motherboard can support.

  2. Stephen Gecewicz

    Chris, your video is a rant, not a useful answer. You could have just said each individual has different needs, and maybe given useful minimums (usually double Microsoft’s minimums) for each OS 32 or 64 bit. Or done a more useful video.

  3. Chris: As a novice I have no idea how much ram I need for any given task nor how much will be used if I open several programs at once. (win 7) What I do know is that I use a lot of different programs and that one of my systems has 8gb ddr3.and another only 4 gb That said, there are times my computer with 8 gb ram takes forever and when I look at the task master I may only have a few hunderd meg availiable. Since I have the same programs loaded on laptop with only 4gb the time it takes is even longer as my ram space is really taken up and my processors saturate. Obviously, the ram reuired is somehow dependant on the program types and how many are running in the background. While many background programs can be turned off; not all can, So while there is some magic maximum (36?)programs that can be running in the background; most of us cannot necessarily achieve this number for many reasons (mostly lack of expertise. These programs are usually made to run in the background as we install them ) In any event How does one (a novice) tell BEFOREHAND ( AND THAT IS WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT ) After all if one purchases a system that can only accomodate x ram one can never upgrade the ram further than what the system willtaake For example: if 4 GIG of ram is the maximum then all they can ever put in it is 4 GIG no matter how many gig they need. Thus, one should at least be able to have an approximation of what they might need before they purchase.
    Having an Idea of how much ram will be used by background programs, and how much will be needed by different types of programs could really help. I know my computer with 8 gb of ram sometimes could use more RAM ( it is a 64 bit quad core, 3ghz win 7 system.) I was hoping that you had some information but it was not at all helpful as it did not really say anything specific. ie x ram for x number of background programs, x additional ram for every x additional background programs, x additional ram for game programs, X additional ram for cad programs, x additional ram for office programs, x amount of additional ram for picture programs, x amount for periphials such as printers, scanners, faxes, copiers etc. These did not have to be specific number of ram but a generic 1 to 2 meg for this, 2 to 10 meg for that, another 20 to 40 meg for that, 1 -2 meg additional ram for each program in the system etc. Even generic numbers would be a lot more helpful than “who knows; as it depends on what you have “

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