8GB of RAM is enough for most of us.
There was a time when ram mattered more and I’m loathe to say this because I feed my family with the stuff – there’s a good chance the RAM installed is enough. In 2012, and on a notebook computer that means you’ll usually have about 4GB of ram installed, or if you end up buying an older computer you may have 1GB of RAM or maybe 2.
Netbooks are another story. In an effort to keep the cost of the netbook down the computer manufacturers skimp on RAM and if there were ever an increase in performance for your netbook that’s super cheap then adding RAM is the ticket.
But if you’re surfing and blogging and maybe running a small video or photo editing with your notebook (or desktop too) than you will be OK with 8GB of RAM.
What about 16GB?
Some notebooks today ship with 4GB and could be upgraded to 16GB. The Apple MacBook Pro is one such notebook. The problem I find with buying and installing 16GB of RAM into your notebook is that even with the recent price drops on 16GB notebook memory you still end up paying more for 16GB of RAM.
A case study that’s far from scientific is I am writing this on a 2011 Mac Mini and with 8Gb installed I still have 3GB of RAM free. I have over a dozen applications open and to be honest I find no need to buy more RAM than 8GB.
This will change over time as the 16GB prices keep on dropping and dropping, it’s only a small matter of time before you can buy 16GB of RAM, but for now – 8GB of RAM will do you just fine.