How much RAM is needed for video editing? (8k to 1080p Video)

The importance of RAM is well known among the tech community. If you are into video editing and are new in the area, you might have trouble knowing the working of a RAM and how much is required. Whether it is low resolution or high-resolution editing, RAM is crucial for the editing software to perform seamlessly.

Without proper RAM, you might end with dead-slow rendering and even the functionality of the software may get compromised. Therefore, before getting into editing, you must know how much RAM is needed for video editing.

How much RAM is needed for video editing

How much RAM is needed for video editing?

For video editing, you need at least 16GB to 32GB of RAM to have a smooth experience. This is because video editing requires a lot of computing power and RAM helps to store all the data required for video editing without slowing down your computer or crashing it.

There are different kinds of footages sizes are available, which are 8k to 1080p footage then 8GB to 64GB would be enough to edit it smoothly. You can find below in detail how much RAM need for all kinds of according to resolution.

How to Choose a RAM for Video Editing? (For 8k, 4k and 1080 Resolution)

While there is no doubt that increasing the RAM will enable your PC to function better, the budget is a major constraint that hinders your ability to go for a higher capacity.

Because going for higher capacity RAM involves upgrading your motherboard and PSU to accommodate the memory.

But when compared to upgrading your CPU or GPU, upgrading RAM is a cheaper option. So, let us delve into what different RAM capacities will offer for your editing and choose how much is the recommended capacity for 4K.

# 8 GB of RAM

  • RAM is short for Random Access Memory. As the name suggests, it is a type of temporary memory which enables the processor or the CPU to access the files instantly.
  • Unlike permanent storages like HDD or SSD, RAM is multiple times faster. It takes a lot of time for the CPU to access the files every time from a permanent storage.
  • So, with a help of RAM, the CPU can get the files for processing or running the application instantly. For intense processes like video editing, RAM enables you to work with multiple processes and applications at the same time.
  • Remember that RAM works for all the applications and processes running in the PC. So, the choice must be accommodating all the tasks.

# 16 GB of RAM

  • When you double the capacity, the performance also doubles. With 16 GB, you will be able to comfortably edit 1080p videos along with other software like Photoshop.
  • This even enables you to perform 4K 8bit edits easily provided that you have a better processor that can multitask easily.
  • While this might look like an ideal choice, it will not be enough to perform full time 4K edits. Because, editors usually multitask with other media software and without a higher RAM it will be quite difficult.

# 32 GB of RAM

  • This is the recommended choice for performing video edits which has a resolution of 4K or below. You can get through editing process even if several applications open in the background.
  • If you are into 4K editing, the try to install 32 GB of RAM and load the PC with any number of software you like to have.
  • Even if RAM consuming application like After Effects, you can comfortably use your editing software simultaneously.

# 64 GB of RAM

  • An ideal choice to perform edits of all resolutions, even 8K 10bit videos. It will offer you seamless performance and comfortable multitasking with all types of software.
  • You can settle all your editing and other intense tasks with this amount of RAM.
  • It can comfortably cache preview files with ease even for 8K videos and enable you to seamlessly edit with the software.   

Therefore, to perform 4K video edits comfortably, you require at least 32 GB of RAM. If you can go higher, it is better.

Functionality of RAM

  • This capacity is only suitable for editing videos that are below 1080p provided that you don’t have any other applications processing simultaneously.
  • Since editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro itself requires 4GB of RAM, you will be only left with less than 4 GB of RAM.
  • With the balance capacity, you have to run the OS and perform the rendering. So, this capacity is only suitable for editing 720p videos. You can push the PC to 1080p provided that no other software is open along with it.

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Is 4GB RAM enough for video editing?

4GB RAM will work for video editing, but it is not recommended.

The thing is, it all depends on what you’re editing. If you’re editing 1080p video footage, 4GB of RAM should be more than enough to handle your needs. If you’re editing 4K video footage, then 8GB of RAM would be more appropriate.

Some people have found success with using less RAM to edit 1080p footage by using a “RAM disk” – an area of your hard drive set aside for use as an extension of physical RAM. This allows for higher performance when working with large files.

You can also use this technique to edit 4K footage by using a faster SSD as the “RAM Disk.”

What ideal Video Rendering time with 32 GB?

Video rendering is the process of converting video frames into a format that can be played on a computer or other device. This conversion requires significant computing power, especially if the input is in high resolution.

The video rendering time for video with 32 GB RAM will depend on your CPU and GPU speed. For example, if you have an Intel Core i3 CPU with 4 cores and an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, it will take about 5 minutes to render 1 minute of footage at 4k resolution.

You need 32 GB or more to perform 4K editing because:

  • A 4K 10-bit frame consists approximately of 47 MB of raw uncompressed data. So, it requires more RAM to process the file while editing.
  • RAM is majorly used in caching preview files so that when you work with the editing software, you will be able to look back, scroll through and seek through the footage for editing. Without higher RAM capacity, your PC will struggle to cache 4K files for previews.
  • Multitasking is a primary need in video editing. So, without a minimum of 32GB RAM, you cannot run different applications simultaneously with editing software.

If you get to know the functionality of the RAM in the first place, you would know why it is important and how to choose one for your requirement.


The choice of RAM depends on the resolution of the footage primarily. So, for a 4K edit, you need high RAM capacity. When this is combined with a faster processor, you can enjoy professional video editing and produce quality videos comfortably.

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