- The more RAM your PC or laptop has, the better its performance.
- Ram comes in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB.
- 32 GB will make your computer run faster, however, it’s going to be more expensive than 16GB.
Random Access Memory, or RAM, is essential to the speed and performance of any computer.
This short-term easy-access memory is the workhorse for holding and instantly serving up all the temporary data the computer needs to run its operating system and applications. Matching your RAM to your actual computing requirements can help you achieve the optimum performance for your needs without overspending.
The more RAM your PC or laptop has, the better its performance. In this article, we’ll compare 16GB vs 32GB RAM. Both are heavy hitters, but is 32GB the better? Let’s get some answers with this point-to-point comparison that explains when you should opt for 16GB RAM and where 32GB RAM will come in handy.
16GB vs. 32GB RAM: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Computer memory size:
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- Memory speed: 3200 MHz
- Optimized for wide compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards
- A low-profile height of 34mm
- Features an aluminum heat spreader
|Speedy execution of tasks
|Excessive for basic applications/ everyday office use
|Freely browse with multiple tabs open
|Additional cost to upgrade
|Run multiple programs simultaneously
|Its form factor may interfere with the installation
|Longevity of speed and performance
|Future-proofs your PC for intensive software applications
|Supports demanding activities like 3D modeling, CAD, and multiple virtual machines
|Lower power consumption
- Dynamic multi-zone RGB lighting with 10 ultra-bright RGB LEDs per module
- Carefully screened ICs for extended overclocking potential
- Maximum bandwidth and tight response times optimized for peak performance on the latest Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards
- 3200 MHz memory speed
- 32 GB memory size
|Speedy execution of tasks
|Massive RAM capacity, which exceeds most current demands
|Browse with multiple tabs open
|A tricky upgrade for many laptops which have two RAM slots
|Run multiple programs simultaneously
|Faster speed, better performance
|Greater energy consumption than 16GB RAM
|Load and run games quickly
|Future-proofs your computer for more demand software applications
|Supports 3D modeling, CAD, and virtualization
16GB vs. 32GB RAM: Key Differences
RAM amount is not the only difference between 16GB and 32GB RAM modules. If you are buying RAM to add to your computer, the following differences may affect your purchasing choice:
Type of RAM
RAM is incredibly diverse, and the type of RAM significantly affects any performance comparison. For example, 16GB of generic ‘system’ RAM has a different function than 16GB of visual RAM (VRAM). We can broadly divide system RAM into static and dynamic RAM. The Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM (DDR SDRAM) is one of the fastest types on the market.
It will determine how much RAM you can add to your computer. This is the size, shape and physical specifications of the RAM. Understandably, 32GB RAM is also physically larger. Its size and arrangement of memory installation slots may make it difficult to install on certain PCs. Even 16GB RAM may have to be a high-density 2x8GB module to fit the available RAM slots in a laptop.
Memory speed determines how fast the RAM works rather than its capacity. You want the RAM to receive processor requests and read or write data quickly. Size means nothing if the RAM is not fast enough to transfer the information it holds temporarily to other components. Check the RAM speed, which is usually measured in Megahertz (MHz). Match RAM speed to the processor’s clock speed, as this determines the overall speed of the RAM.
Weighing up 16GB RAM and 32GB RAM
Both 16GB and 32GB RAM are at the upper end of RAM capacity and can do heavy lifting when it comes to computing. To put things in perspective:
- One byte is 8 bits of data, equivalent to holding a single letter or digit.
- One kilobyte is 1024 bits of data, equivalent to a page of writing in a book.
- One megabyte is 1024 kilobytes, equivalent to a novel.
- One gigabyte is 1024 megabytes, equivalent to a set of encyclopedias!
Remember that the RAM is only the volatile or short-term memory, so you can see just how much capacity you’re dealing with.
You need this agile and fluid memory to fetch, read and write information from any part of the memory module quickly. And it’s essential for every task you perform on your computer. With more RAM, your central processing unit (CPU) can operate quickly.
Every computer application requires some amount of RAM to perform correctly. Having an ample amount of RAM (16GB+) enables you to run multiple applications and operations smoothly. For most folks, 16GB is more than enough to run additional applications. Programs shouldn’t be slowing or freezing up. And 32GB? Most people will hardly use a quarter of this vast capacity.
Our Hands-On Experience
16GB RAM is incredibly easy to work with, especially if you open multiple tabs, stream movies, or listen to music. If you drop tasks, you can pick them up right where you left off without having to refresh screens, as basic applications will still run smoothly. However, hardcore gamers and high-end multimedia users, as well as content creators, may need to look seriously at 32GB for their advanced applications.
16GB vs. 32GB RAM: Which Is Best?
The lazy answer is always more RAM, but let’s look at this differently. 16 and 32GB RAM will be the best memory solution for different users and situations.
Buy 16GB Ram if You Want to Futureproof Your Computer…
Computers brands are increasingly offering 16GB RAM with mid-range laptops, so a 16GB RAM computer or laptop is well within reach of most buyers. Additional RAM is always a plus. However, if you’re not running advanced software applications, it’s unlikely you won’t need that much RAM. Even 8GB would seem generous.
A 16GB RAM will benefit you if you use your computer to:
- Browse the web
- Handle emails
- WordProcess or run Office suite
- Creating databases/ large spreadsheets
- Running line of business (LOB) applications that apply to your work.
- Streaming video
- At most running software like Photoshop for some light (non-technical) design work
Go For 34GB Ram if You Want to Do Virtualization or Run Multiple Advanced Apps…
To be honest, purchasing 32GB of RAM because “it’s a lot,” is not a primary motivation for most computer users. 8GB to 16GB RAM is more than adequate for basic computer use, including browsing and streaming content.
Go for 32GB RAM in any of these situations:
- Running several Microsoft HyperV VMs (virtualization) on a single server
- Using multiple computing resource-intensive software programs for visual or design work like Adobe Creative Suite, Lumen5, Premiere Elements
- Advanced audio production or running a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) using software like Ableton Live or FL Pro.
- Running 3D modeling or rendering software
16GB and 32GB are more than enough for most computing tasks. For many, 32GB will be a waste of money as much of the memory would go unused. However, if you run advanced design or audiovisual applications or play FPS games, 32GB RAM is worth considering.
Will Computers Continue to Use RAM in the Future?
It’s likely that RAM will continue to be used in future computers. There are some potential alternatives to RAM, including Static Random-Access Memory (SRAM) and Resistive Random-Access Memory (RRAM). However, these technologies are not widely available because they are not yet as mature as RAM.