a man and a woman in an office editing a video on 2 monitors

How much memory do you need for video editing?

Memory is essential for people who rely on a quick and efficient computer for video editing. Video editing software uses more RAM (Random Access Memory) than what most computers come with, and without having enough memory, it’s almost impossible to edit a video without the computer crashing or freezing. The exact amount of memory that you will need for video editing will be determined by the software you want to use, the type of footage you want to edit, and the number of different applications or programmes you want to use at the same time. In order to have a smooth video editing experience, you may need to add more memory. Having more memory is vital for every part of the video editing process and is recommended for any video editor looking to revitalise their struggling machine.

How does RAM work?

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RAM (Random Access Memory) is the computer’s short-term memory, it allows you to access multiple programmes at once, with great speed and efficiency. In contrast, a computer’s HDD or SSD is its long-term memory, where information is stored more permanently. Whether you’re editing an email, a document or a video, these tasks all require RAM. How much RAM you need depends on what kind of work you do and how many things you do at once. For video editing, the amount of memory your computer or laptop has is vital for your workflow. Without enough memory, your computer simply won’t be able to perform the tasks needed and editing a video will turn into an unnecessary struggle.

How much RAM do you need for video editing?

In short, the more RAM a computer has, the faster it operates. You need enough memory available for your computer’s operating system to load, to open the video editing software you require, to edit the video effortlessly, and for the computer’s background tasks to continue working. Plus, you might want to consider that any other applications you have open, such as Google Chrome or Spotify, also require a large part of the computer’s RAM. For video editing, it’s important to consider the amount of RAM you will need for the type and amount of video footage you want to edit.

8GB

This is the minimum capacity of RAM you should think about using for video editing. By the time your operating system loads, and you open a video editing application such as Adobe Premier Pro, most of the 8GB RAM will already be used up. 8GB might be enough to edit projects smaller than 1080p, but this will probably require closing other programmes in order to free up some RAM. 4K editing will be nearly impossible with 8GB, and you will need a lot of patience to preview video files. 8GB of RAM will only allow for basic productivity and therefore it shouldn’t be considered if you want an efficient video editing experience.

16GB

Considering most computers come with 4GB RAM, 16GB will give you enough memory to do multiple things at once without the computer struggling. 16GB is enough for editing 1080p projects or 4K files with minimum effects. However, with background tasks running, and multiple applications open, the computer might struggle to work efficiently. Most people would struggle to use up 16GB RAM, but for creative professionals who need to render large files and use complex software, 32GB should be considered.

32GB

This is the optimal capacity of RAM a computer needs for video editing. 32GB will allow you to edit all kinds of files, and you will be able to work with longer videos. With 32GB RAM, you could have multiple programmes running at the same time, and still be able to efficiently edit and preview your videos. 32GB will let you do everything you need to do to edit videos, without slowing down your workflow.

64GB

Most video editors won’t need to use 64GB RAM. If you plan to edit 8K files or work with motion graphics, then 64GB might be useful for your needs. But this might cost you more than it’s worth.

In summary, the amount of RAM you have in your PC or laptop will make a significant difference in your ability to edit videos seamlessly and efficiently. Although 8GB or 16GB is a huge amount of RAM for most people, video editing requires a lot more RAM due to the complexities of the software and the types of files being used. You will still be able to use 8GB or 16GB of RAM for video editing, but the type and amount of footage you can edit will be limited and you might have to shut down other applications. However, by purchasing at least a 32GB capacity of RAM, you will significantly improve your video editing experience and be able to perform all the tasks needed without slowing down your computer.

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