Last Updated on January 31, 2021
Memory or RAM (Random Access Memory) is a necessary factor when it comes to programming or coding on your computer.
If you are also a programmer or aspiring to be one, you can’t simply overlook memory size. Therefore, here we talk about what is often asked: is 8GB RAM enough for programming?
In essence, 8GB RAM is the minimum size that’s enough only for basic to intermediate programming. However, the recommended amount of RAM that’s also preferred for an advanced level of programming work is 16GB. Your level as a programmer and the type of work you do also accounts for the RAM capacity you need.
This goes to show that even if you have 8GB RAM, it’s a good idea to take it to 16GB should your work becomes more resource hungry and demanding in the future.
Is 8GB RAM Enough for Programming?
Whether you have a desktop or laptop computer and you also do programming or coding, it becomes essential to know if 8GB RAM is enough for your needs.
While 4GB RAM should suffice for those who are early learners, 8GB RAM is enough for basic to intermediate programming and development needs. In realistic terms, it’s the minimal amount that a computer must have that’s intended for programming.
However, the sweet spot and the recommended amount is 16GB to perform more advanced programming work. You can even have 32GB RAM which is great if you do very high-level projects.
We will look at these aspects in more detail in the following sections.
Why You Shouldn’t Have Less than 8GB RAM?
As you know that 8GB is the minimum amount of RAM that’s required in most cases, what if you have less than this amount?
In this case, you can face multiple problems. If you are involved with tasks such as making use of RAM hungry integrated development environments (IDEs) like IntelliJ IDEA, utilizing virtual machines (VMs) and emulators, or even opening several browser tabs like in Chrome, you might find your computer to respond very slowly.
What this means is that it’s taking more time while loading on different platforms that you are working on. There could also be significant delays as you type. You may also experience hanging or freezing issues while coding if there’s insufficient memory.
All this could result in annoyances that could hinder you from doing the programming work conveniently and your experience won’t be great.
Why 16GB RAM is Recommended for Programmers?
As RAM can be the key to working smoothly on your tasks, a large amount helps in writing long codes without crashes. This allows that you can work fully focused and with easiness. You can do multitasking on your computer to higher levels as compared to that when you have 8GB RAM.
Also, different development environments that include the likes of Microsoft Visual Studio require plenty of RAM depending upon the complexity of your project and that’s also the reason for recommending 16GB of memory. This would highly suit you if you are a software developer and involved in doing various tasks related to creating different programs.
Furthermore, if you also do image and video editing along with programming then in that case 16GB RAM is a vital necessity.
Your Level and Programming Type Also Account for RAM Size
In the previous section, we talked about having the recommended RAM size i.e. 16GB. Here we like to elaborate that RAM size also depends on your level as a programmer and what you are programming.
If you are a beginner at coding or work on only small projects, 4GB is enough only here. If you are at an intermediate level, then you should have 8GB RAM.
If you are at an advanced level of programming or work on all sorts of projects whether small or big, then you should have 16GB RAM or even more.
It also depends on the type of programming you do. For example, if you are busy in game programming and development, the usual requirement is 16GB RAM. As the workflow involves playing with graphics, you need a large amount of RAM to effectively carry out the tasks.
Concerning fields that require ample knowledge of programming like machine learning and data science, the usual need for RAM is even higher i.e. 32GB.
Why RAM Matters for Programmers?
You may know that RAM is a vital component of a computer but why does it matter so much for programmers and coders?
Essentially memory is the reason that allows you to run several programs at the same time. These will run seamlessly and steadily if you have more than an adequate amount of RAM.
Moreover, when you are programming, it’s the RAM that’s utilized for storing operating instructions in accordance with different applications. Once you are done with writing the code it may entail the execution of that code and that involves RAM as well.
That’s why it’s important to have a computer with more than enough memory as you progress more in the field of programming. It’s also advisable to have a system with upgradable RAM as it would allow for an increase in capacity. This is because a need may arise to add more memory in the future.
For instance, if you have 4GB RAM, you can upgrade it to 8 or 16GB or more depending on the maximum size your computer supports. In principle, this applies to both laptops and desktops.
Having the right amount of memory in your computer can help you greatly to learn and do programming. This applies not only to beginners but also to those coding professionals working on a part-time or full-time basis.
We covered here in detail the answer to the query, is 8GB RAM enough for programming. Therefore, you must ponder over your RAM requirements and probably go for a memory upgrade if you feel it’s not enough.
With RAM being fairly inexpensive, you don’t have to spend a large sum of money to reach the recommended amount as described above.