Is 8gb enough ram for general non-gaming use

logicalxm

Member
Jul 21, 2009
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Hi,

I am building a budget computer for my dad who will be using it for regular web browsing and watching Youtube videos mostly.
I will be building it around the Ryzen 2 2200G CPU and most likely the ASRock B450M PRO4 AM4 motherboard.

I would obviously need to buy ram for the PC. I have become aware that I Ryzen benefits from 3000Mhz+ speeds.
However, I am still not sure whether I should get 2x4gb or 2x8gb ram.
I know that more RAM is obviously better. On the other hand, I want to save money and do not want to buy 16gb of RAM if the computer will only be used for web browsing and Youtube. The general consensus from what I understood is that 8gb of RAM is still enough for today's average user.
Should I spend the extra $70 and get 16gb of RAM if I want to build a more "future proof" PC?
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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For what your dad wants to do with this, 8GB should be fine. Of course you could go with 16GB and the 2400G instead as that will be "future proof" for a long while.
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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How many slots does the mobo have? If it's only two slots, then get 2x8GB for certain.

If it has 2x4GB, you could consider getting another 2x4GB, or 2x8GB, in the future.

I vote for getting 16GB of RAM right away, and second the vote for a 2400G. This is your Dad you're talking about, after all. Doesn't he deserve more L3 cache memory and SMT capability in his APU? And 16GB of RAM?

That said, don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. If you can't afford the 2400G and 16GB of RAM, then just get the 2200G and 2x4GB DDR4-2667/2800/2933/3000/3200 RAM. Something higher than 2400, at least.

Make sure that you can afford an SSD for it, too.
 
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logicalxm

Member
Jul 21, 2009
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For what your dad wants to do with this, 8GB should be fine. Of course you could go with 16GB and the 2400G instead as that will be "future proof" for a long while.
Thanks for replying. Glad to hear 8gb will be enough.
I was considering buying the Ryzen 5 2400G, It is only $75 more expensive. However, I decided that in the worst case scenario that there will be a substantial decrease in performance, I will get whatever APU will be in the market in 2020, since it will still have AM4 support and I would be able to basically swap them up...
I also expected one of them to drop in price during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but unfortunately, that didn't happen.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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Thanks for replying. Glad to hear 8gb will be enough.
I was considering buying the Ryzen 5 2400G, It is only $75 more expensive. However, I decided that in the worst case scenario that there will be a substantial decrease in performance, I will get whatever APU will be in the market in 2020, since it will still have AM4 support and I would be able to basically swap them up...
I also expected one of them to drop in price during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but unfortunately, that didn't happen.
By the way, you don't need an aftermarket HSF for this build as the stock one is more then good enough. And like Larry said get an SSD as that will increase performance the most.
 
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logicalxm

Member
Jul 21, 2009
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How many slots does the mobo have? If it's only two slots, then get 2x8GB for certain.

If it has 2x4GB, you could consider getting another 2x4GB, or 2x8GB, in the future.

I vote for getting 16GB of RAM right away, and second the vote for a 2400G. This is your Dad you're talking about, after all. Doesn't he deserve more L3 cache memory and SMT capability in his APU? And 16GB of RAM?

That said, don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. If you can't afford the 2400G and 16GB of RAM, then just get the 2200G and 2x4GB DDR4-2667/2800/2933/3000/3200 RAM. Something higher than 2400, at least.

Make sure that you can afford an SSD for it, too.
Thanks for replying!
Since I will be getting an mATX board, we're likely talking about 2 DDR4 slots.
I can afford the 2400G, but I just thought that it won't be required for someone that only browses the internet and watches Youtube videos.
I already purchased an SSD (Samsung 860 EVO 250gb).
I have decided to invest more money into a monitor that will likely be a 27" IPS monitor and possibly QHD, which is more costly but much better.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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Thanks for replying!
Since I will be getting an mATX board, we're likely talking about 2 DDR4 slots.
I can afford the 2400G, but I just thought that it won't be required for someone that only browses the internet and watches Youtube videos.
I already purchased an SSD (Samsung 860 EVO 250gb).
I have decided to invest more money into a monitor that will likely be a 27" IPS monitor and possibly QHD, which is more costly but much better.
Most mATX boards come with 4 DIMM slots, avoid the ones with only two. This will save you some pain later.
 
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DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
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l likely be a 27" IPS monitor and possibly QHD, which is more costly but much better.
I just got the Acer R271 27" IPS 1080p which is currently $150 at Amazon and am happy with the image quality.

The control buttons take some getting used to since they are context-based. You press one of them then look at the bottom-right of the display to see what each button does in the current context, which then changes as you move through the menus. Since they are underneath the bezel it cam be hard to map the picture to the right button before the menu times out. But once you've turned down the brightness from "torch mode" you might never use them again.

Unless your dad has great eyesight a QHD display is probably overkill.
 

logicalxm

Member
Jul 21, 2009
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I just got the Acer R271 27" IPS 1080p which is currently $150 at Amazon and am happy with the image quality.

The control buttons take some getting used to since they are context-based. You press one of them then look at the bottom-right of the display to see what each button does in the current context, which then changes as you move through the menus. Since they are underneath the bezel it cam be hard to map the picture to the right button before the menu times out. But once you've turned down the brightness from "torch mode" you might never use them again.

Unless your dad has great eyesight a QHD display is probably overkill.
Thank you for your feedback.
I can't believe how cheap the Acer is. Great reviews too.
Too bad that here in Canada it is not available for this price. Here it costs $300 CAD, which is around $225 USD.
MY dad has actually poor eyesight, that is why I wanted to get him a monitor such as QHD monitor which will have brighter colors and better image quality. It is not a must and I can just as likely get a decent IPS monitor similar to the Acer that will be just as good and surely an improvement from his 19" Samsung Syncmaster LCD bought 9 years ago.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
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Thank you for your feedback.
I can't believe how cheap the Acer is. Great reviews too.
Too bad that here in Canada it is not available for this price. Here it costs $300 CAD, which is around $225 USD.
MY dad has actually poor eyesight, that is why I wanted to get him a monitor such as QHD monitor which will have brighter colors and better image quality. It is not a must and I can just as likely get a decent IPS monitor similar to the Acer that will be just as good and surely an improvement from his 19" Samsung Syncmaster LCD bought 9 years ago.
I'm nearsighted myself. I picked a 1080p so that I wouldn't need to scale up text so much to make it legible. With QHD at native resolution, the size of text and user interface elements like buttons will be half as tall, half as wide and four times as hard to read.

Moving up to a 27" will make it easier to read text than on a 19", and a new IPS monitor will be brighter and have better colors than a 9-year-old ... TN?... panel.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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From the thread I gather he will be using a 4K monitor. Does he plan on using other monitors also? (Maybe using the 4K monitor for watching video while browsing and/or doing office work on other monitors?)

Some other things I am wondering about:

1. How long does the average web page browsing session last?
2. Operating system? Windows or Linux?
3. Is an Ad Blocking Extension being used during browsing? (Some of these can reduce RAM usage by quite a bit)
 
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logicalxm

Member
Jul 21, 2009
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I'm nearsighted myself. I picked a 1080p so that I wouldn't need to scale up text so much to make it legible. With QHD at native resolution, the size of text and user interface elements like buttons will be half as tall, half as wide and four times as hard to read.

Moving up to a 27" will make it easier to read text than on a 19", and a new IPS monitor will be brighter and have better colors than a 9-year-old ... TN?... panel.
Thank you for replying. I was not aware that a QHD monitor might present smaller icons and text might be harder to read. You are right, I think a regular IPS monitor with a 1920x1080 would suffise for basic needs and will prove to be an improvement over an old LCD panel.

From the thread I gather he will be using a 4K monitor. Does he plan on using other monitors also? (Maybe using the 4K monitor for watching video while browsing and/or doing office work on other monitors?)

Some other things I am wondering about:

1. How long does the average web page browsing session last?
2. Operating system? Windows or Linux?
3. Is an Ad Blocking Extension being used during browsing? (Some of these can reduce RAM usage by quite a bit)
Thanks for replying. It will most likely just be a simple IPS monitor.
To answer your questions, probably a regular browsing session will be 2-3 hours and will employ Windows 10. I will surely install an ad-blocking addon for Chrome.
The difference between 8gb and 16gb is around $65, which is not that bad. I will wait a few days and see if there are any good offers online.
 

hojnikb

Senior member
Sep 18, 2014
562
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For such a usecase, 4GB of the cheapest ram and 200GE is plenty enough. You save money now and upgrade later if needed, when prices come down.
2200G or even 2400G is absolutly not necessery for such a usecase. So is 16GB of ram. 4GB might be tight at times, but it's manageable if combined with an SSD.

All of these CPUs have the same decode engine, so when AV1 becomes norm (as is VP9 H265 now) it won't make a damn difference, since all of these will have to decode them by software.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,105
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For such a usecase, 4GB of the cheapest ram and 200GE is plenty enough. You save money now and upgrade later if needed, when prices come down.
2200G or even 2400G is absolutly not necessery for such a usecase. So is 16GB of ram. 4GB might be tight at times, but it's manageable if combined with an SSD.
You do have a point. For a minimalist "browser box", you might be able to get away with such specs. Try to fit in a 256GB-class M.2 PCI-E SSD if you can, though, if you only got with 4GB of RAM.

(I'm a power user, and with 50-100 tabs on this Baytrail Atom laptop, the 4GB kind of peters out a bit. Thankfully, I also have an SSD.)

ASRock appears to be making an AM4 DeskMini STX PC.
 

hojnikb

Senior member
Sep 18, 2014
562
45
91
You do have a point. For a minimalist "browser box", you might be able to get away with such specs. Try to fit in a 256GB-class M.2 PCI-E SSD if you can, though, if you only got with 4GB of RAM.

(I'm a power user, and with 50-100 tabs on this Baytrail Atom laptop, the 4GB kind of peters out a bit. Thankfully, I also have an SSD.)

ASRock appears to be making an AM4 DeskMini STX PC.
100 tabs is not your usual usecase, especially for someone using their PC for web browsing and nothing more.

I'd say go for 8GB of ram and sata SSD rather than pcie.

Honestly, for decent browsing experience (few tabs at once), 2GB of ram and a core2 era cpu is enough. Might need some tweaking here and there, but it's manageable. At least in my experience.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,105
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126
Honestly, for decent browsing experience (few tabs at once), 2GB of ram and a core2 era cpu is enough. Might need some tweaking here and there, but it's manageable. At least in my experience.
Hmm, that seems like a little too extreme on the low-end. Maybe if you were running 32-bit Windows.

I still have parts to build some FM1 rigs, with 2x2GB DDR3, and 120GB SSDs. Those make decent minimalist browser boxes.

Quad-core APU, heatsink, mobo, and like 4GB of DDR3, for roughly $100 on ebay.
 

hojnikb

Senior member
Sep 18, 2014
562
45
91
Hmm, that seems like a little too extreme on the low-end. Maybe if you were running 32-bit Windows.

I still have parts to build some FM1 rigs, with 2x2GB DDR3, and 120GB SSDs. Those make decent minimalist browser boxes.

Quad-core APU, heatsink, mobo, and like 4GB of DDR3, for roughly $100 on ebay.
Obviously, such a small amount requires 32 bit Windows, if not for smaller ram footprint, then for driver comparability. But it's doable none the less.

I've had baytrail quadcore box (z3735f) with 2GB of onboard ram as a daily driver HTPC for years and it ran just fine with a few tabs open and a video player in the background. It helped, that it ran Win10 (memory compression) but my only gripe was not the ram, but rather absent VP9/HEVC support in hardware. That coupled with poor thermals (passive cooled) and no 4K support. It was replaced by 2200G box (sadly no full passive cooling this time) that also doubles as a light gaming rig.
 

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