How Much RAM For Video Editing (Recommended Guide)

how much RAM for video editing

For the sake of this article, I am going to assume you are in a similar situation. You are in the market for upgrading your current setup or invest in a new one. The question arises, how much ram is needed for video editing?

If you want a direct answer, just scroll down and you will find your answer. However, before getting there, I recommend you familiarize yourself with what is RAM and why is it important?

Why RAM important For Video Editing?

RAM is an abbreviation for Random Access Memory and it is one of the most important elements of computing. RAM is the primary memory and the short-term memory of your computer. It is responsible for loading up your operating system and it provides the temporary storage your PC requires at the moment to load up programs. RAM is super-fast! It is 10 times faster than an SSD and about 50 times faster than HDDs!

how much RAM for video editing

Video editing softwares require a good chunk of RAM in order to run smoothly. If your PC does not have enough RAM, it will start to adding data that doesn't fit in your RAM onto your SSDs or HDDs. As we discussed above, SSDs and HDDs are quite slow when compared to RAM thus, in a situation like this, the software will run quite slowly and will be rather frustrating to use.

Determining how much RAM you require

It is important to understand how RAM works and also how much do you really need. Sure, it is easy to determine and factual that “the more the better” but unfortunately, not everyone can afford the latest MAC with 1.5 TB of RAM. So, due to budget constraints and just generally avoiding overkill, based on the following factors, you can determine how much ram do you really require:

  • The programs and software that you are going to use.
video editing software

Many programs and software that you might be using if you plan on video editing require a ton of RAM. Most editing apps mention 8 GB of RAM as a minimum requirement and recommend you have 16 GB of RAM for the best experience.

  • The number of programs that you will be using simultaneously or, multitasking

As we discussed, the number of programs that you are going to use at the same time also have a major role to play when it comes to determining how much RAM you are going to need. For example, in a PC with 4 GB RAM, it is going to be rather difficult to use an editing software along with an after-effects software. RAM fills up fast!

  • The overall quality of video that you will be editing

This point is specific to those that are looking for PCs for video editing. When it comes to video editing, the resolution and depth of the video play an important role. RAM will be mostly used for caching preview files for when you are ready for playback.

When it comes to rendering speeds, your CPU and GPU are responsible for that job. With that said, it is not like you can ignore your RAM, that is not the point. The higher the resolution and depth of your video gets, the more RAM it is going to require.

Keeping the above factors in mind, one should make up their mind as to how much ram is needed.

Determining How Much RAM For Video Editing

  • 8GBs of RAM should be enough if your projects are not going to be too HQ. Videos that are smaller than 1080p can be easily edited in computer with 8GBs of RAM. For a better experience, I would recommend closing all other background programs and not multi-tasking.
  • If you are working for projects that top out at 1080-4k-8bit, 16GB of RAM should work for you just fine. You do not necessarily have to close background programs with this much RAM either but again, for a better experience, you should.
  • Let us talk about 32 GB of RAM. Now, we are talking about the big boys. With this much RAM, pretty much work however you want. For the most part, you are going to have no issues. You are edit videos all the while running a movie in the background and using a DAW. 32 GBs in my experience is more than enough for the most part.
  • For the general public and casual hobbyists, 32 GB should be more than enough. However, if you are a professional or just someone that wants to crank it up a notch, you can go for 64 GB RAM (The first PC I owned had this much storage!). With this much RAM, you should comfortably be able to work on projects that have 8K footage in 10bit. You can run multiple RAM heavy programs like Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects alongside any other honestly.


As we saw, there is not a direct answer to the question “how much ram is needed for video editing”, there is a lot of variables. For the most part, it depends upon the kind of editing you are going to be doing.

Also consider the kind of editing you are going to be doing. For example, if your projects are going to include some stop-motion animation for example; you are going to require a good CPU as well as GPU. I would recommend upgrading your PC overall as that is what will give you the best results. Hope this article helped!

how much RAM for video editing

Stefan is a software engineer who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016 and currently living in San Francisco, California. He works in the leading media software industry who is quite an expert in computer manufacturing, systems development, imaging software and document management systems, and consulting. He is so passionate about computers, sports and photography and shares his knowledge by reviewing products at Yournabe.

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