RAM Requirements Through the Windows In Time

System Requirements

To Windows 95 and Beyond

Windows 95 – Requires 16MB (480MB Max)
Windows 98 – Requires 16MB
Windows ME – Requires 64MB
Windows NT – Requires 64MB
Windows 2000 – Requires 64MB (4GB Max), 650MB HD
Windows XP – Requires 128MB RAM, 1.5GB HD
Windows Vista – Requires 1GB RAM,
Windows 7 – Requires 1GB-2GB RAM, 16GB HD
Windows 8 – Requires 1GB-2GB RAM, 16GB HD
Windows 10 – Requires 1GB-2GB RAM, 16GB HD

System Recommendations

Please note that system requirements are significantly lower than ideal and desirable specs.

Assuming the motherboard, CPU, and HD are all up to par (as most brand new machines are). Having 2GB on windows 10 machine can limit the usage of the machine to bare minimum tasks.

For school usage, we recommend 2x the minimum RAM requirements to safely allow having 30 tabs open while browsing the internet and haphazardly leaving basic applications open.

For work usage, we recommend 3x the minimum RAM requirements to do all of the above as well as allow opening more serious software such as a Digital Audio Workstations (DAW), Raster Graphics Editor (such as GIMP/Photoshop), and Integrated Development Environments (IDE).

For gaming and more intense usage of your device we recommend, we recommend 4x or more to allow the user experience to run smoothly.

RAM and Comptuter Speed Note

Also note that RAM is not the end-all-be-all of user experience. RAM does, however, mitigate the load of the CPU having to retrieve data from slower sources. In many cases, it’s not the RAM as the bottleneck of your computer but rather the CPU itself or other hardware.

Identifying Bottlenecks

If you are purchasing a brand new computer in 2020, this may likely not be the case; your CPU and other hardware should be holding their own and your RAM is most likely short. However you can confirm if this is true by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC (on windows) to summon the “Task Manager”.

Task Manager Image
CTRL+SHIFT+ESC Summons the Task Manager

Then click on the Performance tab to see if any area is overworking during your regular usage. Something is generally considered it is overworking if it crosses the 80% mark (CPU, HardDisk Transfer Rate, Memory).

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