Why does RAM matter for Video Editing?
The amount of RAM in your system will determine if your video editing software will run smoothly. If you don't have enough RAM your operating System will begin swapping data that doesn't fit in your RAM onto your SSDs or HDDs which are considerably slower than the RAM in your workstation. RAM is about 10x faster than an SSD and about 50x faster than HDDs.
Typical users will have several different things running on their workstation at a given time, each of which eat up a portion of the available RAM. So you may already be using more than half of your available RAM and not even have your editing software open yet!
Your Footage and RAM usage
In video editing footage resolution and bit depth pay an important role in deciding how much RAM you will need. The main use of RAM for video editing is caching preview files for when you are ready for playback. As you increase the resolution and bit depth your RAM requirements increase with it. So base your RAM decisions on making sure you have enough to handle the type of footage you plan on using. The following are recommended amounts of RAM:
- 8GB RAM: This should only be for projects smaller than 1080p and if you are fine with closing down background programs.
- 16GB RAM: Will work for projects that are 1080p-4k 8bit. This will allow minor usage of background projects as well.
- 32GB RAM: This can carry a heavy load for video editing while still using background projects.
- 64GB RAM: This amount of RAM can handle 8K footage in 10bit or more. You can also have other programs like After Effects running simultaneously.