April 1, 2023

We’re two decades into the 21st century, a time where many of us were expecting to have flying cars or apartments on the moon. Instead, tech companies are still selling floppy disks and brand new PCs with an untenable 8GB of RAM. By all means, grab a 3. 5-inch, 1 . 44 MB floppy disk if you still need one. But, for Woz’s sake, don’t get a PC with less than 16GB of memory, unless a person plan to buy more RAM MEMORY and install it yourself.

We’ve reached the point in computing history exactly where you can’t competently run Windows and browse the Internet with less than 16GB on board. On my desktop PC running Windows 10, it takes just 8 Chrome tabs, Slack plus Spotify working to cross the 8GB threshold. My regular use case associated with four dozen tabs calls for me up to around 15GB, without running any games or even productivity apps. Even along with nothing but background services running, I’m using 5. 5GB.

The PC with only eight tabs open, Slack and Spotify. (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Even playing one game will take you past the 8GB limit many $1, 000 gaming PCs have. Senior Editor Sarah Jacobsson Purewal shared the screenshot of her task manager where Elden Ring is eating 4. 4GB of MEMORY and Steam is gobbling another 354MB. Once you exceed your computer’s physical RAM, the particular OS will compensate by swapping data in and out associated with your paging file, significantly harming performance.

Games like Elden Ring make use of more than 4GB of RAM on their own. (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Despite the fact that modern Windows Personal computers really need 16GB associated with RAM plus the cost of adding more RAM is minimal, major PC vendors continue offering systems along with a mere 8GB. And we’re not talking about kids’ Chromebooks or $199 cheapo laptops with Pentium CPUs! High-powered $900 gaming laptops and $1, 300 ultrabooks also come with just 8GB. By the way, another 8GB of laptop RAM would cost you $25 on Amazon, so it must cost OEMs, who get to pay wholesale, a fraction of that to get this right.  

Imagine that your mouth is watering plus you’re dying for a Big Mac dinner. You pull up to the McDonald’s Drive-through and see a sign that says “Big Mac, starting at $5. 99. ” So you order the burger, but , when you draw it out of the bag, you’re surprised to see that it only has one beef patty, one slice of pickle, no cheese, no Big Mac Sauce and no sesame seeds around the bun. You then find out that a “real” Big Mac pc with the taste you’d expect costs $9. 99. McDonald’s wouldn’t sully its name by giving a sub-par experience that will would make Grimace blush. Only PC OEMs might do such a thing.  

Dell currently sells the config of its flagship XPS 13 laptop computer with 8GB for a whopping $1, 249 (opens in new tab) , while Lenovo’s entry-level ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10) is $1, 319 (opens in new tab) with 8GB. These two laptops are meant to compete with the best Ultrabooks on the market, and they do whenever you purchase configurations that come with a decent amount associated with memory. What’s worse in the case of Ultrabooks like these is that the RAM will be soldered in order to the motherboard so there’s no way to upgrade.  

Many gaming laptop computers (including some of the particular best gaming notebooks under $1, 500 ) and desktops also come with just 8GB of RAM, but the good news there is that you can almost always upgrade the memory space on your own, the cost you should build into your budget plus plan to do perfect away. For example , Walmart has an MSI GF63 gaming laptop for $599 (opens in brand new tab) . For that will price, a person have in order to settle for lesser specs like a GTX 1650, 256GB SSD and, yes, 8GB of RAM. But you can open it up plus swap the RAM for 2 x 8GB DIMMs, which will make your wallet about $50 lighter, but consider that part associated with the price. (While you are in there you should also set up a roomier SSD, yet that’s the subject of another story . )

We’d rather that companies like MSI just create 16GB the particular minimum standard and raise price as necessary, but as a consumer, you can make 16GB your minimum. Don’t even consider buying a computer with 8GB of RAM MEMORY that can not be upgraded. And, if you do see a great deal on an 8GB system, make sure you may also get the RAM and bring this up to 16GB.  

If you already have a PC with 4, 8 or even 16GB of memory, adding more RAM is one of the best sub-$100 upgrades you may make. Just check the service manual for your own PC or motherboard or even visit Crucial’s Advisor (opens in new tab) to find out the exact type of RAM you need.

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