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How Much Memory Do I Need on My Laptop?

Mar 18, 2022

It's extremely difficult to work on a computer that freezes every few minutes. When this happens you may be left frustrated, wondering how much more memory you need to make your laptop run smoothly. Ultimately, the amount of memory you’ll need depends on how you use your computer. However, in this blog post we’ll give you some guidelines to help you determine how much memory you need. In truth, you probably already have more than enough RAM in your laptop to handle most day-to-day tasks.

Factors to Consider

There are a variety of factors that can determine how much memory you need on a laptop, including how you use the computer and how many programs you generally run at the same time. For the average user, we generally recommend 8 gigabytes (GB), but the exact amount you need can depend on a variety of factors.

How Often You Use Your Computer

If you're simply using your computer to send emails and check Facebook, you won't need a lot of RAM. (RAM, or Random-Access Memory, is how much memory your computer uses to store information from recently used programs.) However, if you’re regularly using a lot of programs at once, you'll need a bit more. If you don’t have sufficient RAM, then the data from one program might erase what you were doing in another. In other words, if you're using your computer a great deal each day, it's best to install more than the minimum amount of RAM.

Programs You Use

As we mentioned, the amount of RAM you need is based on how you use your computer. For example, if you're using advanced photo or video editing programs, then you'll want more than the average user. You can usually find how much RAM a program requires in your laptop’s "Help" menu; alternatively, a program will tell you how much is required before you download it. A third option: a Google search can usually tell you how much RAM a program will require.

How You Use Your Computer

The more advanced your laptop, the more memory it will need to run smoothly. Computers that are mainly used for casual, everyday tasks can probably get by with the minimum amount of memory. However, if you plan on running several programs at once or multitasking, then you should make sure your computer has a good amount of RAM installed when you get it.

Operating System

Another factor to consider is the operating system (OS). If you have a Windows 7, 8 or 10 PC, then look for at least 4GB of RAM. Any less than that amount will make the OS run slowly, regardless of how fast your processor is. Linux, on the other hand, can run just fine with 2GB of RAM.

Running out of memory shouldn't be an issue for most people with laptops, but there are ways you can see how much memory your computer has, and how to add more if needed.

How to Determine How Much Memory Your Computer Needs

The first thing you should do is determine how much memory your laptop has available — and how much you’ll need for the work you need to do. If you aren't sure how much memory your computer has, you can locate this information in the Settings menu. You can find out how much memory you’re going to need by doing a quick search online.

We recommend identifying each program you’ll be using, and learning how much memory each one uses. Then you can start adding the numbers together to see how much memory you’re going to need in total.

Storage Space vs. Cores vs. RAM

RAM RAM stores information that can then be retrieved by your computer. A large amount of information can be kept in RAM. How much RAM you’re currently using will determine how much memory you’ll need on your laptop in the future.

Storage Space “Storage”allows you to store and access data on a long-term basis, and it includes the operating system, applications and your files. If you need more storage, it may be helpful to purchase an external hard drive on which to store all of your files, instead of keeping them directly on your computer, where they can take up RAM and slow things down.

Cores A core is essentially the brain of a computer; it operates how the computer functions. When you have more cores, it means your computer can run more efficiently because there are multiple "brains" working at once. The more cores you have, the more efficiently your computer will operate.

What to Consider When Shopping for a New Laptop

When you’re considering shopping for a new laptop, it's important to consider what you’re going to use it for before you start shopping. It can be tempting to get the “hottest brand” in the latest model. But, if you’re just going to use your laptop for work or school, then a more affordable machine will likely do just fine.

How Can Acima Help?

If you're needing a new laptop that meets your memory needs, look no further than an Acima retailer. When shopping through our retailers, you can find the exact computer you need without using credit* or paying cash upfront. Acima can help you get the perfect computer from stores you’re already familiar with. We’ll purchase the computer you select from the retailer, up to your approval amount, and lease it to you.

Common Questions About Laptops:

Can I upgrade the memory on my laptop?

If your laptop allows for memory upgrades, it can be easy to increase the amount of RAM you have. Laptops with low amounts of RAM will simply not run very well and it’s recommended that they be upgraded occasionally.

How do I decide what laptop to get?

When shopping for a new laptop, it's important to factor in what you plan on using your laptop for. If you want to use your laptop mostly for work or school, then an average laptop will most likely be sufficient. However, if you play high-end games or use graphics-intensive programs, you should probably consider one with better specs.

How long do laptops last?

Laptops typically last about five years, on average, before they need to be replaced. You can prolong a laptop’s lifespan by keeping it away from water and dust and protecting it from physical damage. Avoid putting pressure on the screen, and if your laptop gets too hot, turn it off immediately.

What’s a 2-in-1 laptop?

A 2-in-1 laptop is a device that can be used either as a tablet or a laptop, depending on your needs. This type of laptop allows you to switch between ports easily, and it has a touch screen, allowing for more functionality.

What should I do with an old laptop?

If you have an old laptop, there are a number of different options available to you. If your computer is still working properly, you can try to sell on eBay or Craigslist and make some money off it.

Alternatively, you might be able to recycle your old laptop for free through the manufacturer or through a program in the city where you live. Before selling or recycling it, be sure to transfer all of your important files to an external hard drive or a cloud storage service, then delete everything.