How Much Ram Do You Need for Photo Editing?

Curious how much RAM Lightroom requires to edit photos?

How much RAM does Lightroom actually use? Does 8GB or 16GB of RAM adequate for picture editing?

These were the exact same queries I had after upgrading my machine. I was disappointed that no one has performed RAM tests for photographers.

When I searched on Google for “How much RAM do I need for photo editing,” I typically found forum posts from gearheads who advised me to buy as much RAM as I could.

I thought that was kind of stupid.

You must keep in mind that RAM is only beneficial if it is actually being used, and there is a limit to how much RAM any given program will consume when evaluating how much RAM you need for photo editing.

So, in a perfect world, you would have a little bit more RAM than you actually need. As we’ll see, this quantity begins to peak at 32 GB of RAM for the majority of image editing scenarios.

Extra RAM won’t help you perform better after a certain point.

This made me think there might be a magic number for picture editing where I could obtain the best performance without spending a ton of money on unnecessary more RAM.

I therefore made the decision to put it to the test and determine what impact more RAM has on Adobe Lightroom photo editing.

I compared how well editing, exporting, creating smart previews, and simple photographic operations performed with 8gb and 40gb of RAM.

I kept track of how much RAM my computer and Lightroom were actually utilizing during this process to determine how much RAM was best for processing photographs.

In this video, we’ll evaluate my computer’s RAM upgrade from 8 GB to 40 GB, the change in editing speed, and if it’s worthwhile for you to do the same.

Adding additional RAM may be the simplest (and most economical) solution for photographers to speed up Lightroom and other photo editing software.

This will improve editing performance and speed.

I discovered a few significant things while researching RAM upgrades:

RAM Is Not Created Equal

Similar to how various lenses have various quality control standards, more costly RAM will somewhat improve performance.

Expensive RAM Is Typically Not Worth The Extra Cost

Why? 16GB of the most expensive RAM will still operate more slowly than 32GB of less costly RAM, even if it operates a little faster.

In the vast majority of cases, it is preferable to use the extra cash to get more inexpensive RAM rather than less costly RAM.

Never Pay Extra for RAM When Purchasing An iMac!

For the same RAM that you could install yourself in around 30 seconds, Apple charges 3–4X more money.

Save money by purchasing RAM from Amazon and installing it yourself. Upgrading the RAM in an imac is SO simple it’s not even funny.

If you’re curious, this is the RAM upgrade kit I purchased for my iMac.

Adding More RAM

This is by far the cheapest and most efficient approach to improve the efficiency of your computer when editing images (and especially editing photography in Lightroom.

A better SSD would be beneficial. Your performance may somewhat improve if you add an updated GPU.

After upgrading, Lightroom was 300% faster on my computer—adding more RAM is like turning on turboboost!

This analysis should help someone out there save a ton of time. Please do me a favor and let me know in the comments if this was helpful for you.

Have more inquiries about upgrading your RAM? Also leave them in the comments section below!