How Much RAM Do You Need for Video Editing?

Editing videos can be a rewarding process, but your computer needs to be fast and efficient to keep up with the requirements. 

You can upgrade your RAM to help your computer increase its processing power. Learn how much RAM you need for video editing now.

What Kind of Editing Requires More RAM?

When it comes down to it, your RAM requirements rely on what kind of editing you do. If you are working on a school project that’s not judged based on quality, you can get away with lower quality tools and final products. If you are working on creating a video for a YouTube channel or a short film with more high-quality shots and edits, this calls for more processing power on the computer itself. 

When it comes to video editing, you can have a large amount of RAM, but if your GPU (graphics processing unit) is lacking, your editing will have issues. RAM works more as a support to the GPU when it comes to editing video, so it ‘s still very important. 

So much can ride on the processing power of your computer when you work with any sort of digital media. Take a look at these factors to decide if you need a higher amount of RAM or not to complete your project. 

Video Editing Software

Believe it or not, the type of program you like to use for your video editing can set the bar for the entire process. Some video editing software requires more processing power and RAM simply because it can work with higher quality video files. Some video editing programs have a cache that has RAM set aside specifically for certain tasks. 

Say you have 16GB of RAM, a video editing software could set aside 8GB for specific tasks leaving the computer with only 8GB to run the rest of the program. Many programs have that as optional or even open for editing. More often than not, you can change how large the cache is. 


When it comes to processing video, the RAM can help, but is not the main factor for the effects themselves. The graphics card of your computer has its own RAM that it uses to process these effects. 

The benefit to having an excess of RAM for your computer is that if some of it isn’t in use, the hard drive can allocate it as VRAM (video ram.) This works as a boost to the GPU to help it process faster and more efficiently. 


The quality of the video you want to work with will be one of the key points of the required processing power. Essentially the higher the frame rate and resolution, the more your computer and video editing software will have to keep up with. This pulls more and more the longer your video goes. 


The length of your film will increase your latency and playback time drastically if you do not have enough RAM. Video editing software will like to have all of the video ready to be played back as quickly as possible with absolutely no wait time. The longer your video is, the more there is to have ready pulling more processing speed and power away from the rest of the program. This will get even worse once you have started editing by adding in transitions and other related edits. 

RAM Options

Now that you know the general idea of what takes up the RAM and processing power, you can start to determine just how much you need. Changing out and adding additional RAM to a computer is more easily done on a PC than a Mac. 

Take a look at the RAM options outlined below.

1. Best for Extremely Light and Simple Editing: 8 GB

When you have only 8GB of RAM, you are on the very low end of the spectrum when it comes to editing. There are some free options for video editing software that can run on 8GB such as iMovie. When you have only 8GB, you will be better off working on lower-quality projects that are less than 1080p quality. 

Pricing: $40.99 and up

For only 8GB of Ram, you don’t need to spend much money. 8GB is the minimum that most computers hold even in the base models.

2. Best for Basic to High-quality Editing: 16 GB 

If your plan is to work with video regularly and professionally, 16GB of RAM is the minimum that you should look for in a computer. Generally, computers have 2 slots on the inside of the computer, so you will be purchasing 2 separate 8GB cards that together pull 16GB. 

Using 2 cards to produce 16GB has actually proven better processing results than a single 16GB card. If you use your computer primarily for video editing, 16GB can be trusted to get the job done every time. 

Pricing: $55.99 and up

When you look for an upgrade to your RAM, the cheaper option may yield worse results than a more expensive card. Some of the best brands for memory such as Corsair and Hyper X will be more expensive than others but will provide reliable choices.

3. Best for High Speeds: 32 GB

If you have 32GB of Ram, you will never, ever have to worry about your computer running anything. This is almost considered overkill, and many people will not even reach the limits of what their memory can do before something else in the computer has an issue. But if you are running giant projects with heavy editing regularly, 32GB can help you stay on the top of your game. 

Pricing: $129.99 and up

Upgrade Your RAM Today

When you have enough processing power, a lot of your frustration goes out the window. You don’t have to worry about the program crashing, the computer running out of memory while you are working as well as the playback being slow and full of latency. When your equipment is at the top of its game, you will be too.