Video Editing: Why lots of RAM is Important

When it comes to video editing performance and RAM, the bottom line is this:  Would you rather travel on a race horse on on the back of a turtle?

The amount of RAM you have on your computer is probably the single biggest determinant in how fast your editing system runs.  More, obviously, is better.  (RAM stands for Random Access Memory.  The more you have, the more capacity your computer has to run a large amount of files at the same time.)

How Much RAM do you need?

512 MB of RAM is considered the minimum requirement today.  Granted, some programs say the minimum requirement is 128MB but honestly, that quantity will probably leave you a bit frustrated.    It is actually best to have several GB of RAM space.

Next to the CPU, RAM is the most important element in your computer for determining speed. Even if you have a fast CPU, a lack of RAM will leave your edit computer performance sluggish.

Why is that?   If you don’t have enough RAM, you can’t have a bunch of huge files open at once.   Video files are of course some of the largest files of all.

When you open a file, the hard drive delivers that file and puts it into RAM where you can work on it.  The next file you open will also be loaded into RAM.  If there’s not enough RAM to store both files, the first file will be taken out of RAM to make room for the second.  This takes time and slows your computer down to a snail’s pace.  And of course, if you actually need both files at the same time, then what?


So,  if your edit computer is too slow, or you experience a lot of crashes, probably the simplest and least expensive way to fix that is to put in more RAM.

Thanks for reading Video Production Tips.

Lorraine Grula


  1. Evguy says:

    What about video card? Increase number of laptop are using gpu as for graphic computing.

    Btw next time use HTML5 on this website for iPad users :)

  2. Dear Evguy,

    I am glad you asked. Many graphics cards do have their own RAM and processor for handling video to take much of that load off of the central processor and motherboard RAM. It really does not matter how you get there, the point is, for video editing and processing, the more RAM the better.

    Thank you for you comment



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