The RAM Battle: 16GB vs. 32GB – Which One Should You Choose?

Any computer’s performance and speed are dependent on random access memory, or RAM.

The mainstay for storing and quickly serving up all the temporary data the computer needs to execute its operating system and applications is this short-term, easy-access memory. You can get the best performance without going over budget if you match your RAM to your actual computing needs.

Your computer or laptop will operate better if it has more RAM. We’ll examine 16GB vs. 32GB RAM in this article. Both are powerful, but is 32GB better? With this point-to-point comparison, we can find out when you should choose 16 GB of RAM and when 32 GB of RAM will be more useful.

16GB vs 32GB RAM: Side-by-Side Comparison

Specification 16GB RAM 32GB RAM
Form factor DIMM DIMM
RAM technology DDR3 DDR3
Computer memory size 16 GB 32 GB
Memory Speed 1866 MHz 3200 MHz

Key Differences

The difference between 16GB and 32GB RAM modules is not just in the amount of RAM. The following variations could influence your decision when buying RAM to upgrade your computer:

RAM Type

The enormous variety of RAM has a considerable impact on any performance comparison. For instance, 16GB of system RAM that is generic serves a different purpose than 16GB of visual RAM (VRAM). System RAM can be roughly divided into static and dynamic RAM. One of the quickest varieties available is the Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM (DDR SDRAM).

Formal aspect

It will decide how much RAM your computer can accommodate. The RAM’s size, shape, and other physical details are listed here. Naturally, 32GB RAM is physically bigger as well. On some PCs, installation could be challenging due to their size and how the RAM installation slots are arranged. Even 16GB RAM might need to be a 2x8GB high-density module to fit the laptop’s RAM slots.

Memory capacity

Instead of capacity, memory speed influences how quickly the RAM operates. You need the RAM to respond fast to processor requests and read and write data. If the RAM cannot quickly convey the data it temporarily stores to other components, then size is meaningless. The RAM speed, which is often expressed in megahertz (MHz), should be checked. Because the CPU’s clock speed impacts the RAM’s overall speed, match RAM speed to the processor clock speed.

Comparing 16GB and 32GB of RAM

16GB vs 32GB RAM Comparison

Both 16GB and 32GB RAM are at the top of the RAM capacity spectrum and are powerful in terms of computation. Putting everything into perspective:

  • Eight bits, or one letter or digit, make up one byte of data.
  • 1024 bits make up one kilobyte, or one page of text in a book.
  • A novel is equal to 1024 kilobytes, or one megabyte.
  • 1024 megabytes, or one gigabyte, is equal to a set of encyclopedias.

You can see how much capacity you’re working with by keeping in mind that RAM is merely volatile or short-term memory.

To quickly collect, read, and write data from any location in the memory module, you require this flexible and agile memory. And it’s necessary for every computer task you carry out. Your central processor unit (CPU) can run more swiftly with extra RAM.

Every computer program requires some RAM to operate properly. A sufficient quantity of RAM (16GB+) enables you to run numerous applications and processes without experiencing any hiccups. 16GB is more than enough for the majority of people to run additional software. The performance of programs shouldn’t lag or freeze. And 32GB? The majority of individuals won’t even use a quarter of this enormous capacity.

When you have numerous tabs open, stream movies, or play music, 16GB RAM is really simple to use. Tasks that have been dropped can be picked up where they left off without the need to refresh the screen because the essential applications will continue to function normally. Hardcore gamers, expert multimedia users, and content makers, however, would need to take a closer look at 32GB for their sophisticated apps.

Which Is Best?

16GB vs 32GB RAM

The lazy answer is always more RAM, but let’s look at this differently. 16GB 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

If you wish to run several complex software or use virtualization, get 34GB of RAM

Windows Hyper-V Virtual Machine


To be completely honest, the majority of computer users are not motivated primarily by the fact that 32GB of RAM is “a lot.” For everyday computer tasks like web browsing and streaming media, 8GB to 16GB RAM is more than enough.

Pick 32GB RAM in any of the following circumstances:

  • 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.


How does the performance of my operating system affect RAM?

Consider the operating system (OS) restrictions before going out and purchasing that 32GB RAM module. While some older models still use a 32-bit system (X86), the great majority of computers today run on 64-bit operating systems. The OS must support the additional RAM that you plan to add. The maker of the OS can provide information on the physical memory restrictions.

Which programs consume the most RAM?

If poor speeds are making you think about upgrading your RAM, you might be shocked to learn what is actually consuming up your RAM. The following software applications are notorious RAM hogs:

  • Google’s Chrome can really hog your RAM, up to 2GB for 15 open windows. Other browsers are offenders too, including Safari (300MB on just three tabs) and Firefox.
  • Visual Studio Code (VS Code), a popular code editor can consume up to 1GB of your RAM on just a few scripts.

Additionally notorious for eating up RAM are MS Teams and Skype. Although MS Teams requires a minimum of 4GB RAM to function, users claim that this well-liked collaboration application can consume up to 8GB of RAM on its own. In order to have the performance to run MS Teams adequately with other apps, many users boost their RAM to 16GB.

Does the difference between 16GB and 32GB stand out?

The RAM consumption of the applications you use determines how much performance is improved when you increase the RAM. The performance will improve if you upgrade to 16GB from 8GB if you’re having trouble. A 32GB upgrade should ease processing if your software puts a lot of strain on 16GB of RAM. You should see increased reliability with lots more RAM, especially if programs were freezing up while you were using them. Because the apps can access the RAM they require, running numerous programs and browser tabs becomes easy and quick.


In conclusion, the amount of RAM you need for your computer depends on your specific needs and usage. 16GB of RAM is suitable for most everyday computing tasks like web browsing, emailing, word processing, and streaming videos. It is also more cost-effective than 32GB RAM. On the other hand, if you are a content creator, video editor, or use resource-intensive software, 32GB RAM would be a better choice. The RAM speed, type, and form factor should also be considered when choosing the best option. Always make sure to check your computer’s specifications before purchasing RAM to ensure compatibility.