What is the best RAM memory for a notebook? This is not the easiest question, but, with the right guidance, your chances of making the right purchase will be great. That said, one of the most decisive factors is how the machine is used: some users have computers for basic tasks; others open heavy programs that require a lot of RAM.
In this complete article, we will clarify users’ doubts about which is the best RAM memory for the notebook. The idea is to show the main factors that influence the amount of memory and which points should be considered when purchasing modules. Good reading!
What influences the ideal amount of RAM memory?
Knowing the factors that impact the performance of your computer or notebook is extremely important when choosing RAM memory. Next, we will explain four points related to types of use, file size, operating system and number of programs running. Follow along!
Types of use
If you only use your notebook to access the internet and open text editing programs and spreadsheets, for example, a 4GB RAM tends to be sufficient. Likewise, if the user likes simple games, such as cards and puzzles, this amount of memory already meets their needs.
However, if video editing, 3D modeling and gaming software are used, 4 GB memory is insufficient and at least 8 GB is necessary. Another scenario that uses more memory is photo editing. If these are high resolution (such as RAW format), 8 GB or more of RAM will be required.
Software developers also tend to use a lot of RAM. This is because several applications can be used at the same time, such as emulators, debugging tools and code editors.
One file that requires a lot of RAM to load is high definition video. If the user handles many clips at the same time, this may increase the memory requirement, so as not to cause crashes and slowdowns.
High quality audio files also tend to require a lot of RAM, like lossless formats. As with high definition videos, more memory will be required if you are working with multiple tracks at the same time.
Another format that can be quite heavy is CAD, used in engineering and design projects. Rendering these files requires a lot of memory, so if the machine doesn’t have at least 8 GB, the processor will hardly be able to handle the work.
Initially, it is necessary to remember that the OS manages the RAM memory available on the machine, allocating it to the applications that are running. Operating systems tend to have different requirements regarding RAM usage, which can affect the smooth running of applications.
Windows 10 and 11
To work, both w10 and w11 require at least 2 GB of RAM. However, Microsoft recommends 4 GB or more for a better user experience. One of the uses of RAM memory in this system is the cache of files and programs, which serves to store the applications most frequently used by users.
This reduces application startup times, positively impacting the user experience. Another use of RAM memory is process management, with the system using specific algorithms to try to balance the amount of RAM in each OS process or application running by the user.
We can finish this subtopic by talking a little about three other interesting features of w10 and 11: memory compression, superfetch and Ready Boost. The first compresses data to free up space for other processes, being useful on machines with less available memory.
The second tries to predict which applications will be used most frequently, loading data into RAM before the user opens them. Finally, the third is a feature that supports USB devices or flash memory cards as a means of increasing the system’s RAM availability.
Other operating systems
Linux and Chrome OS are lighter operating systems compared to w10 and w11. In the specific case of Linux, it can run with just 512 MB of RAM. However, many users prefer to have at least 2 GB.
Number of programs running
Two algorithms used in Windows 10 and 11 are page replacement and load balancing. The first is used to manage the OS’s virtual memory, and occurs when the machine’s physical memory is full. In practice, what w10 or 11 does is store data that is not currently being used, through virtual memory.
Using this page replacement algorithm, it is decided which virtual memory pages should be downloaded to the hard disk, with the intention of freeing up space in physical memory. Some of the main criteria used by the OS when determining which pages will be downloaded are their frequency of use and the priority of the process that is using the page.
The load balancing algorithm is responsible for balancing the allocation of physical memory between the processes executed by the system. In practice, Windows does the monitoring of the use of physical memory by processes, and when they need more memory, the algorithm seeks to reduce the RAM allocation of other processes, and thus meet the most urgent needs at the time.
It is important to highlight, in this context, that the use of virtual memory can reduce system performance. This is because reading and writing data to this type of memory is slower, compared to directly accessing RAM.
What are the different user profiles?
Understanding user profiles is another point that makes all the difference when choosing the amount of RAM. Below, check out a brief explanation of each of them!
Basic users tend to have less knowledge about computers and technology in general. They generally use their notebooks for simple tasks, such as accessing the internet, working with text documents and sending emails.
These users’ knowledge of technology and computers is more advanced. They are often people experienced in programming and configuring hardware and software and are comfortable making changes to your system.
The professional user uses the business computer to work, for example, with graphic design, video editing and software development. In other words, it works in activities that require high performance and system resources.
These users use their notebook to play games, which tends to use a lot of RAM. In practice, the system needs to be high performance, including dedicated graphics cards when dealing with advanced graphics and processing resources required by modern games.
What criteria should you consider to determine the best RAM memory for a notebook?
To avoid making mistakes when purchasing memory or when choose the notebook with built-in RAM, pay attention to the following points:
- compatibility: consult the user manual or the manufacturer’s website to find out the maximum RAM supported by the device, as well as the modules that are compatible;
- capacity: this will depend on your user profile. If it’s basic, it doesn’t need much memory, but advanced players, professionals and players need more;
- speed: check the clock speed supported by your notebook before choosing a RAM memory with a compatible speed;
- latency: consists of the delay between the memory access request and its response. The lower the latency, the faster the module;
- brand: there are reputable manufacturers on the market, so choose them when buying memory sticks;
- price: if you are a basic user, for example, the price of the module tends to be lower. But if your profile is a player, be prepared to pay more.