Is 16GB Of RAM Enough For Video Editing?

Video editing is one of the most RAM intensive applications a PC can run, so the more RAM you have, the better your video editing software will run.

Even just running a video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro consumes a huge amount of RAM therefore you will require additional RAM overhead.

It’s often said that 8GB of RAM is the bare minimum to get a video editing software to run, so 16GB of RAM should be enough to edit at 1080P with decent effects.

Why Does Video Editing Use A Lot Of RAM

RAM sticks 16gb

Due to the complexities of the software, and the large file sizes being handled, this means that your RAM will be handling a lot of data that’s uncompressed.

So the larger the file size, the more RAM you will need to edit and add effects to the video effectively. Essentially, the higher the resolution, the more RAM you need.

If you don’t have enough RAM, then you will be extremely limited in what you can do, you may have to close other applications such as your web browser just to free up RAM for your video editing software.

And this is a common scenario when you’re video editing with 16GB of RAM, the amount of free RAM you have will be limited, and any application can consume a large amount of it.

So Is 16GB Of RAM Enough For Video Editing?

video editing pc

The answer is yes, 16GB should be enough for 1080P video editing, or 1440P with minimum effects, but it would be advised to get more RAM for a more streamlined experience.

The recommended capacity for video editing is actually 32GB of RAM which goes against what many people believe, they think 32GB of RAM is overkill.

But in reality, many tasks necessitate at least 32GB of RAM, and video editing is one of those tasks. But you can most definitely get away with 16GB of RAM if you’re a beginner.

But if you need a competent workstation that can handle intensive video editing effects at 4K, then you will need at least 32GB of RAM.

Is 16GB Of RAM Enough For 4K?

16GB of RAM is capable of video editing at 4K, but that doesn’t mean the experience won’t be unpleasant. 16GB of RAM is the bare minimum for 4K, and you will need to ensure all the available RAM is allocated accordingly.

And the longer the 4K video is, the harder time it would be on a PC with only 16GB of RAM, so to make the process more streamlined, it’s best to go for 32 gigs.

Is 16GB Of RAM Enough For Laptop Video Editing?

Laptop video editing

Laptop video editing is pretty much the same, the RAM usage is identical therefore 16GB of RAM is enough for the 1080P or 1440P video editing.

So that means you need at least 32GB of RAM to video edit at 4K on a laptop, but it’s worth noting that a laptop with 32GB of RAM is probably expensive.

So you will be buying top of the line laptops if you’re looking to video edit at 4K, but you can just upgrade your desktops RAM easily to support higher resolutions better.

What Happens If I Video Edit With Not Enough RAM?

If this is the case, then you will experience a slackening of your computer’s performance, this is because the RAM capacity has been exceeded, and the CPU has to go somewhere else to receive instructions.

So when you’re video editing, and you’ve run out of RAM, the operating system will use swap memory which is the permanent storage(HDD/SSD) as RAM.

And if you didn’t know already, the SSD and the HDD are many times slower than the computer’s memory, so you will run into issues such as slowdowns, crashes and freezing.

With 16GB of RAM, if you maintain the RAM consumption properly by closing applications such as the web browser, then you may not run into this issue.

How Much RAM Do I Actually Need For Video Editing?

If you want to video edit effectively whilst running into minimal issues regarding performance, then you will need at least 32GB of RAM.

What this will do is ensure that you have enough RAM buffer for 4K videos with decent effects, long 4K videos, and with multiple programs running at once.

32GB of RAM is perfect for individuals that are looking to take their craft seriously, and take it to the next level. However, if you are a beginner just starting out, then 16GB of RAM can serve you well.


With only 8 gigs of RAM, your options are severely limited due to the fact that the operating system will take a large chunk of that memory.

Then also the video editing software will take a portion of that memory to operate effectively, so you will only have a few gigs to video edit with.

With 8GB of RAM, you’re limited to only 720P which is fine if you’re starting with the bare minimum, and learning the ropes on how to video edit.


With 16GB of RAM, your options open significantly, you’re able to do much more with your video editing software without worrying too much about RAM consumption.

You will be able to video edit at resolutions of around 1080P and 1440P, this is enough if you’re looking to advance with your video editing capabilities.

But it’s still considered not enough for video editing due to the nature of most video editing programs, and how they consume memory.


With 32GB of RAM, you can pretty much do whatever you want except for video editing at 8K, 32GB of RAM is considered the sweet spot for video editing.

If you’re looking to video edit at 4K whilst having multiple programs open at the same time, then you will definitely need 32GB of RAM.

You will also be able to edit pretty long 4K videos, but you may find the rare scenario where you exceed your RAM limit, but this should be a rare occurrence.


For the majority of people, 64GB of RAM will be unnecessary for your video editing ventures, but that doesn’t mean it has no uses.

64GB of RAM could actually make working at 4K much easier, but it’s not necessary at all, and it’s probably considered overkill for 4K

64GB of RAM can also be useful if you’re working with RAW 4K footage which tends to be extremely large in size, hence it can fill up 32GBs of RAM pretty easily.

64GB of RAM is useful if you’re looking to video edit at 8K or higher, but the average professional video editor won’t be editing at that high of a resolution.


In conclusion, 16GB of RAM is enough for video editing, but you won’t be able to video edit effectively at resolutions such as 4K.

With 16 gigs of RAM, you will be able to video edit at 1080P, and 2K just fine which is more than enough if you’re just starting out.

But if you’re looking for something more serious with more potential for 4K video editing, then you will need to go for at least 32 GB of RAM.

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