Question from Sarah: I’m getting ready to order this new laptop from Amazon and I have a question about it.
This laptop comes with 16GB of RAM but I can get the same machine with 32GB for about $50 more.
Do you think it’s worth paying an extra $50 to double the RAM? Will I even need 32GB?
Rick’s answer: Sarah, the answer to your questions depends on how you will be using the laptop.
If all you’ll be doing is visiting websites, watching streaming video, checking email and/or just general office tasks like MS Office or Google Docs, then I believe 16GB will be plenty for you.
However, if you plan on doing any serious gaming or running multiple programs while keeping numerous browser tabs open then the extra 16GB of RAM could well help keep the machine running fast and free of glitches.
Personally, I never buy a new PC that comes with less than 32GB of RAM installed due to the way I use my computers in my blogging business, but my situation is more the exception than the rule.
Now all of the above being said, I will also say that I believe it would indeed be worthwhile to double the RAM in your new laptop at the outset, for the following reasons:
1 – $50 is a reasonable price to pay for an extra 16GB of RAM when compared to what it would cost you to buy the extra RAM later and then pay someone to install it for you.
2 – Although 16GB might well be plenty today, you might someday decide to change the way you use your laptop or start using software that could really benefit from the extra RAM.
Bottom line: If I was buying this particular laptop I would spring for the extra RAM, but I’m not the one buying it – you are.
I recommend that you make your decision based upon your current needs and your expected future needs instead of the extra money.
If you don’t need the extra RAM now and you don’t believe you’ll need it in the future, then you can probably skip it and forget about it. But if you do need it (now or in the future) that extra 50 bucks will be money well spent.