Adding more memory isn't the performance upgrade it used to be, but how much RAM is enough? TechSpot compared application performance on a system with 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB and concludes 16GB offers little advantage over 8GB of memory — even when programs use more than 8GB of memory.
Photo by CJ Isherwood.
TechSpot tested a Windows 10 desktop machine with two browsers and over a dozen tabs open, as well as Postbox, Photoshop, Microsoft Word and Excel, Dropbox, and other programs running in the background to find the differences between using 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of RAM. Even with demanding programs that take up 12GB of system memory, 16GB didn't improve performance by that much.
Even playing memory-hogging games with Chrome running in the background (with 65 active tabs open!) shows little impact on performance with the higher memory, thanks to the way Windows handles system memory.
The only circumstance where 16GB was a substantial advantage over 8GB was in compressing a huge file with 7-Zip, but the authors note that compressing that much data is an extreme and unlikely scenario.
Although many of the tests show that 4GB of RAM was enough, the sweet spot these days, TechSpot says, is 8GB. 16GB of memory might not cost that much more than 8GB, but you probably won't see substantial benefits from that minor upgrade.