Memory Buying Guide

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Computer memory requirements: How much memory do you need?

When it comes to adding system memory, the general rule of thumb is the more, the better. On average, doubling the amount of memory in your system will give you ample "space" to work and will make an obvious difference in overall speed. This is especially with today's memory-hungry applications such as office programs, multimedia editing packages, and graphics-intensive games. More memory allows you to run more programs at once, and your favorite programs will be easier to use.

What do you use your computer for?

If this is what you do: Here's how much memory you need:
Casual User
Internet browsing, e-mail and listening to music
Frequent User
Internet browsing, email, word processing, simple graphics programs and flash games, music and watching videos, multitasking.
Power User/Student
Internet browsing, email, word processing, photo editing, video editing, graphics programs and gaming, intensive multitasking.
Professional User/Gamer/Graphic Designer
High performance gaming, multimedia editing, high-definition video, graphics design/3D modeling, intensive multitasking.

Operating system recommendations

Operating System Minimum requirements Crucial recommendations
Microsoft Windows® 7 64-bit 2GB 4GB-8GB
Microsoft Windows® 7 32-bit 1GB 4GB
Microsoft Windows® Vista™ 64-bit 2GB 4GB-8GB
Microsoft Windows® Vista 32-bit 1GB 4GB
Microsoft Windows® XP® Professional 512MB 2GB-4GB
Windows XP Home 512MB 1GB-3GB
Windows 2000 512MB 1GB-4GB
Mac® OSX Leopard 1GB 2GB-4GB
Mac® OSX Snow Leopard 1GB 2GB-4GB
Mac® OSX Lion 2GB 8GB

Design/photo software titles

Software title Minimum requirements Crucial recommendations
Adobe® X Pro 512MB 1GB
Macromedia Studio 8 256MB 1GB recommended to run more than one Studio 8 product simultaneously
Microsoft Publisher 256MB 1GB-2GB
Adobe Illustrator® CS 128MB 512MB
Pinnacle Studio Plus Version 11 512MG-1GB (1 GB
required for HD and/or Windows Vista )

2GB (1.5 GB required for AVCHD (2GB required on Windows Vista)

Adobe Photoshop® CS 128MB 1GB-1.5GB
Adobe Photoshop® CS 3, CS 4, CS 5 1GB 8GB
Adobe Premiere® Pro 256MB 1GB +
Adobe After Effects® 6.0 128MB 1GB-1.5GB

Game software titles

Software title Minimum requirements Crucial recommendations
Crysis 2 2GB 4GB-6GB
Need for Speed SHIFT 2 Unleashed:    2GB 4GB-6GB
Rift 2GB 4GB-6GB
Fable III 2GB 4GB
Battlefield 3 2GB 4GB-6GB
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 3GB 6GB
F.E.A.R. 3 2GB 4GB-6GB
Call of Duty Black Ops:   2GB 4GB-6GB
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent™ 512MB 1GB-2GB
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® Vegas 512MB 1GB-2GB
Farcry 2 1GB 2GB-4GB
Fallout 3 1GB 2GB-4GB
Call of Duty World at War 1GB 2GB-4GB
Dead Space 1GB 2GB-4GB
Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway 1GB 2GB-4GB
Crysis: Warhead 1GB 3GB-4GB
Mirrors Edge 1GB 2GB-4GB
Dawn Of War 2 1GB 2GB-4GB
Star Wars: The Old Republic 2GB 4GB
Batman: Arkham City 2GB 4GB-6GB
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 2GB 4GB-6GB

Find affordable memory

We make it easy to find the right memory. Get a free compatibility report and find the right upgrade to improve the performance of your computer.

Crucial Memory Advisor™ tool

The Crucial Memory Advisor™ tool is a quick, 3-step process to find guaranteed-compatible memory for computers and motherboards.

Step 1 —

Step 2 —

Step 3 —    RAM Memory Configurator