Having too much RAM isn’t a problem from a performance point of view, but it can be costly, and take away money that can be better spent elsewhere. There are possible scenarios where 32GB of RAM can be useful, and not be considered overkill, so we’re going to find out exactly what scenarios justify having 32GB of RAM.
In this post, we’re going to go over how RAM actually works, and if it’s possible to have too much RAM and it’s negative effects. Then, we’re going to go over possible scenarios where you might require 32GB of RAM, such as gaming, streaming and video editing. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how much RAM you’ll need.
Answer: A lot of the time, 32GB of RAM is considered overkill, because many people today are comfortable with 16GB, so it’s mostly the average user saying it’s overkill. If you work with a lot of data, you may actually require more than 16GB of RAM, because you work with a lot of spreadsheets, or have a lot of tabs open at the same time.
How Does RAM Work?
RAM which stands for Random Access Memory is a type of storage device which in nature is volatile, this means it destroys data stored on it when it loses power whereas SSDs and HDDs are non volatile. It handles all the tasks you see on the computer by sending and receiving instructions between the CPU.
When you purchase RAM, you install them into the DIMM slots located on the motherboard, and by there it’s able to send and receive instructions with the CPU at extremely fast speeds. The RAM is meant to operate much faster compared to SSDs and HDDs, and you can find RAM kits ranging from 8-128GB, you can find storage devices as large as 20TB.
The relationship between the RAM and the CPU is extremely close, the CPU is meant to have constant access to the data stored in the RAM. The data needs to be accessed almost instantly otherwise issues can arise. The more RAM you have the easier the job is for the CPU, less RAM means it can get full therefore the CPU has to retrieve instructions from the HDD and the SDD. This can result in many stutters and instability issues eventually resulting in crashing.
Can You Have Too Much RAM?
Is it possible to have too much RAM? Well yes, because a lot of applications today do not use more than 16GB of RAM, having more than 16GB is just a surplus that won’t add extra performance. If you’re a hardcore PC enthusiast that likes to build overkill machines, then it’s definitely not possible to have too much RAM, you might like hardcore gaming with a lot of mods which justifies having 32GB of RAM.
From a financial perspective, overspending on RAM is possible and it can have adverse effects, this is due to two reasons. Spending too much money on RAM is obviously a waste of money if you’re not going to be using it, and the second reason is that the money can go to better places such as a stronger CPU or GPU. 32GB of RAM is not necessary if you’re going to be playing ROBLOX etc.
There is a possibility that someone is running a 32bit instance of windows which means that you can indeed have too much RAM. The operating system isn’t capable of recognizing more than 4GB of RAM therefore the extra RAM you’ve purchased will go unnoticed. But purchasing a lot of RAM isn’t always bad, it’s good for future-proofing for when applications become more RAM Intensive.
Is 32GB Overkill For Gaming?
For gaming, the recommended capacity of RAM is only 16GB, this is because most games today will not use more than 16GB of RAM making the extra RAM you’ve purchased useless. However, there are some games that warrant you having more RAM for example, DCS World 2.7 recommends 32GB of RAM in the instance that you’re running at high settings in heavy missions.
While games such as Minecraft don’t usually require a lot of RAM, personally there are instances where more than 32GB of RAM was necessary. For example, if you’re playing modded Minecraft, then 16GB of RAM may not be enough depending on the mods installed, and the settings you run at. There are so many modpacks so there’s not a specific requirement for them.
However, for light gaming, and in most scenarios, 16GB is more than enough, you can probably still get away with 8GB of RAM if you play with the right settings. Games such as CSGO, Minecraft(Unmodded), World Of Warcraft do not need 32GB of RAM, and that will be considered a massive overkill.
Is 32GB Overkill For Streaming?
Even though streaming is CPU intensive, and the CPU works closely with the computer’s memory, 32GB of RAM would probably be a massive overkill, this is because streaming usually isn’t RAM intensive. Most of the time, you can get away with 8GB of RAM for streaming via OBS using the x264 encoder. 16GB of RAM is more than enough to stream and game at the same time, and 32GB of RAM is pure overkill.
Because of how software encoding works, the RAM plays little role when it comes to the streaming performance, the most important thing is ensuring you have enough capacity to stream, and it’s recommended that you have at least 8GB. x264 is pure number crushing which doesn’t move a lot of data around therefore the RAM capacity isn’t a big deal.
The money for 32GB of RAM can be spent elsewhere improving the streaming quality and performance, for example, you can invest in a much better processor for betting streaming performance. We recommend at least 6-8 cores with SMT enabled for streaming because streaming is a multithreading application.
Is 32GB Overkill For Video Editing?
Video editing on the other hand moves a lot of data around, usually of large capacity therefore 32GB of RAM wouldn’t be considered overkill. While it’s possible to video edit with less RAM, 32GB of RAM is perfect for editing large files usually of high resolution. 4K video editing may even require you to have 64GB of RAM because it’s so RAM intensive.
Whilst 16GB is considered to be the sweet spot for most applications, 32GB of RAM is considered to be the sweet spot for video editing, anything less and you limit the types of videos you can edit significantly. With 32GB of RAM you’re able to video edit long 4K videos as well as creating visual effects with little worry.
However, you may be able to get away with significantly less RAM, with 16GB of RAM, you’ll be able to effectively edit videos in 1080P-1440P. This is perfect if you’re a youtuber that isn’t a professional video editor, but 32GB of RAM can offer massive performance benefits, and make your time easier.
The verdict is 32GB of RAM is considered to be overkill because not many people require this amount of RAM, however scenarios do actually warrant 32GB of RAM, usually when you’re handling a lot of data. If you’re handling a massive spreadsheet or have a lot of tabs open, then 32GB of RAM may actually be necessary.
Applications that do require 32GB of RAM is video editing, this typically depends on the type of resolution you’re editing at. 4K video editing can benefit heavily from 32GB of RAM, but it is definitely possible to video edit with less, you’ll just have a less easier time doing so.