By Trae Jacobs,
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Operating systems can sometimes be super memory hungry, and when you factor in other programs and applications, the RAM in your computer can get taken up pretty quickly. Can you run Windows 10 with just 4GB of RAM?
According to Microsoft, you need at least 1GB RAM for the 32-bit variant and 2GB of RAM for the 64-bit variant. You can run Windows 10 with 4GB of RAM.
Just because your system exceeds the minimum requirements does not necessarily mean that you have enough RAM to do what you need to do in Windows 10. Read further to see if 4GB is enough RAM for your needs.
Microsoft claims that 2GB of RAM is the minimum for 64-bit Windows. With that information, 4GB of RAM should be plenty, right?
Here are some things to consider to ensure that you have enough RAM to run the programs you want.
This is probably going to be your primary concern. If your computer is not going to be able to do the work that you need, then it will become annoying pretty quickly.
Are you just going to use the computer to browse the internet and read email? Then, for the most part, you will not need a huge amount of RAM.
The exception to that is if you know that you will need lots of tabs open at once in your browser. Chrome, Safari, and Edge can start taking up memory quickly if you have several tabs open at once.
People love graphic design programs like Photoshop and Premiere. If you are hoping to run any video editing or graphic design programs, 4GB is not going to be enough.
Photoshop, for example, requires 8GB at minimum to be able to run, but Adobe recommends 16GB for a good experience. Premiere Pro has the same requirements to be able to run on your computer.
Computer users typically want to be able to run some games on their computers as well. Can you run games with just 4GB of RAM?
As long as you have a decent CPU and graphics processor, you will be able to run games like Minecraft, but just barely. Minecraft requires at least 4GB of RAM, so you would have just enough.
Want to run something more AAA like Grand Theft Auto V? GTA V requires 4GB of RAM at the minimum, but that means that you will be playing at really low settings, and you may still experience some frame dropping.
Games like GTA V recommend 8GB of RAM to make the game-playing experience more enjoyable. Similarly, there are lost of games with 4GB of RAM as the minimum, but that does not mean that you will get anywhere near a console-like experience with the minimum requirements.
If you have installed Windows 10 with 4GB of RAM and you begin to experience lagging and slowdowns, it might be time to check to see if you have any memory hogs eating up your memory. But how can you do that?
Windows has some great data that you can drill down into to ensure you do not have applications taking up too much of your memory. The Task Manager in Windows can help you see exactly which programs are using memory.
To open Task Manager, there are a couple of different options. If you like shortcuts, you can press the Shift key, Control key, and Esc key on your keyboard to bring up the Task Manager.
Another option is to click on the Windows button (it looks like a Windows logo) on the bottom left area of your screen. Once the menu pops up, you can type “Task Manager” in the search bar, which will open up the program.
Once you have Task Manager open, it might look a little overwhelming. The program lists every application currently running and what resources they use.
Look for the “Memory” column to see how much RAM each application uses. You can even click on the word Memory to sort the applications by ones using the most memory or ones using the least amount of memory.
If you see applications using hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes’ worth of memory, then you know that those applications are slowing your system down. You can also look just above the word Memory to see how much of your RAM is being used in real-time.
Closing or uninstalling programs you do not need, especially if running in the background, will help speed up your system.
In 2022, 4GB of RAM is considered the bare minimum for being able to run Windows and other applications simultaneously. If your computer is upgradeable, 8GB of RAM will open up many more possibilities of programs and games that you can enjoy.
Think about your intended use of the computer, and if you will not be performing anything too demanding, then 4GB of RAM could be acceptable.