Yes, 8GB should be plenty to do the majority of programming tasks if money is tight. You should be able to open a few apps, some browser tabs, and a basic text editor.
How Much RAM Do You Need For Coding?
Sincerely, my first computer for programming was a MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM. At the time, I also worked as a freelance graphic designer, so I occasionally had 10 Chrome tabs open, Photoshop open, and Spotify playing all at once. In case you weren’t aware, those things devour RAM!
Allow me to explain to you that when all the apps I mentioned above were running, my laptop made a helicopter-like noise. The intensity of that fan’s attempt to cool the computer likely shortened its lifespan by a few months. Not to mention that my PC would sometimes run really sluggish. It was a really challenging position.
So, you might make 4GB of RAM work if you are on a very limited budget, just using a coding editor like VS Code, Sublime Text, or Atom, or are willing to put up with the horrible experience.
You’ll quickly realize that 4GB of RAM is insufficient for running many apps, and that you’ll need much more if you want to become a professional coder. If you are strategic in your operations and genuinely lack the funding, it is still possible to pull it off.
The truth is that 4GB RAM PCs are only suitable for basic text editing, running a few browser tabs, and watching Netflix or YouTube movies. Definitely not intended to be a laptop for professional coders.
Having said that, I do appreciate and won’t ever take for granted the RAM I now have.
Is 8GB of RAM Enough for Coding?
Is 8GB of RAM sufficient for coding, then? It’s undoubtedly a lot better than 4GBs, though. If money is scarce, 8GB should be sufficient to do the majority of programming work. You should be able to run a few programs, such as Spotify, have a few browser tabs open, and use the previously described lightweight text editor.
8GB of RAM should be sufficient for programming if you are just starting out in your ambitions and have some time before landing your first employment. Even while you could occasionally experience the consequences of a sluggish laptop, 8GBs shouldn’t cause too many problems for regular work.
Having said that, I have used an 8GB laptop to run more complex IDEs like Visual Studio, and while I often don’t experience any difficulties, it may be sluggish occasionally. Something to think about if you want to work in a setting like this.
Is 16GB of RAM Enough For Coding?
If you’re wondering if 8GB of RAM is adequate for programming, you’re probably on a budget and don’t want to stretch it any further than necessary. However, as I upgraded to a 16GB machine, I had a far better time programming.
When I code, I prefer to listen to music. I also have to work in a full-fledged IDE like Visual Studio on sometimes, have many Chrome tabs open, various separate desktops to switch between when I don’t have my secondary laptop monitor, and use a variety of other strange programs like Zoom.
Even with everything open, I still wish I had a laptop with 32GB of RAM. However, 16GB appears to strike the ideal mix between keeping costs down and still being able to do anything you want when programming.
Even while a 4GB PC can do simple, beginner programming jobs, I don’t advise it for long-term use. 4GB PCs are often used for running a few simple apps or taking brief notes.
If your dream experience sounds much too extravagant, 8GBs of RAM should be quite adequate. If you seem to use more RAM than I do, you might want to consider pushing your budget to cover a 32GB machine. Obviously, 16GBs should work perfectly if you utilize the same.
The basic rule is that having more RAM is always a good idea. The more you have, the more programs you can run simultaneously and the easier your programming and computer usage will be.
A PC with 8GB or 16GB of memory, though, should be more than plenty for programming if you’re on a tight budget.