Is 4GB RAM Enough for Programming?
4GB RAM is generally not enough for many programming tasks. However, to be truly sure how much RAM you need for programming, you need to establish the kind of programming you will be using your computer for.
Computer specifications are not the same for all fields of programming. there are some other programming fields that use development environments or development software that use more RAM than others.
It is also important to understand how many programs you will need to run concurrently for effective development. the more programs you need to run at the same time, the more RAM you will need.
So, before you choose your RAM, establish your programming path. Are you going to be using your laptop for web development, mobile app development, game development, desktop app development, machine learning, or systems programming?
Let us dive into the different fields to see if 4GB of RAM is enough for the type of programming that you want to use your computer for.
IS 4GB RAM ENOUGH FOR MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT?
If you are developing mobile applications, the two major platforms you will be developing for are Android and iOS. Thus, you will need either Android Studio for Android apps or Xcode for iOS apps.
Even if you are using cross-platform frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, Ionic, or Cordova to develop apps for Android and iOS from one codebase, you still need Android Studio and Xcode to build your application to the targeted platform.
Android Studio requires 8GB RAM or more for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Xcode as well requires 8GB or more of RAM for a smooth workflow. If you are using Xamarin and MS Visual Studio, 8GB of RAM is recommended. This means that the minimum amount of RAM you will need for mobile application development is 8GB,
Even though these development programs recommend 8GB of RAM, aim for 16GB minimum. It can be seen that 4GB of RAM is simply not enough for mobile app development. To be able to run emulators smoothly, you need more RAM. Consider getting a computer with 16GB of RAM
IS 4GB RAM ENOUGH FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT?
Generally, Web development does not use a lot of RAM, all you need is a code editor, a browser, and a terminal. If you like working with many tabs open in your browser, you definitely need a decent amount of RAM. But for most of the tasks, you do not need a lot of RAM.
For example, Visual Studio Code which is the most popular Integrated Development Environment among web developers recommends 1GB of RAM or more. However, there are other web development tools that need more than 1GB of RAM.
Ultimately, 4GB RAM is good for Web development. For to be on the safe side and to avoid your machine becoming slow during development and compilation, consider using a computer with a minimum of 8GB of RAM.
IS 4GB RAM ENOUGH FOR DESKTOP APP DEVELOPMENT?
If you will be developing desktop applications, the major platforms are Windows and macOS. For developing Windows Desktop apps, you will need Visual Studio, for mac desktop apps, you will need Xcode.
Both Visual Studio and Xcode recommend 8GB of RAM or more. You can also use cross-platform frameworks such as Electron.js, Flutter, Tauri, and NW.js to make Windows, macOS, and Linux desktop apps from one codebase. Most of these frameworks run smoothly with 8GB RAM or more.
It can be seen that 4GB of RAM is not enough for Desktop application development for Windows, macOS, and Linux. For a smooth workflow, using more than 8GB of RAM for desktop app development is a good idea.
IS 4GB RAM ENOUGH FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT?
If you will be developing games for mobile platforms, desktops, and consoles, you will need a very good computer with good Graphics Processing and a lot of RAM. In order to develop good games, you need to use game engines and other 3D engines.
Some of the most popular game engines used for mobile, computer, and console games include Unreal Engine, Unity 3D, and CryEngine. Unreal Engine recommends 8GB RAM for Windows and Mac, and 32GB RAM for Linux.
It can be seen that 4GB of RAM is not enough for game development, you will be better off with 16GB of RAM or more, this will allow for a smooth game development experience. Aim for 16GB as a minimum. For example, Epic uses a computer with 64GB of RAM for game development.
Even though Game Engines like CryEngine recommend 4BG of RAM, I have found working with 4GB of RAM to be a bad experience for game development, the computer tends to slow down drastically.
You can also use these game engines to develop and build Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality applications. Thus, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality app development will also require more than 4GB of RAM for a smooth programming experience.
IS 4GB RAM ENOUGH FOR MACHINE LEARNING?
If you want to work on machine learning projects, there are quite a number of frameworks and libraries that you can use, these platforms include Tensorflow, Keras, Shogun, H2O, Sci-kit Learn, PyTorch, Apache Spark, Theano, and many others.
The RAM requirements for each platform are different, ultimately, 4GB of RAM can be used for machine learning models on very small data sets. To be on the safer side, it is recommended to use 16GB of RAM as a minimum and 32GB RAM or more for a smooth experience.
IS 4GB RAM ENOUGH FOR PYTHON PROGRAMMING?
Many beginners to programming start with Python because it is beginner-friendly and a good introduction to programming. Python can be used in many different fields for web development, machine learning & artificial intelligence, automation, game development, desktop applications, and more.
If you are just learning or working on small web development projects, 4GB of RAM is enough for Python programming. however, if you are using Python for machine learning with large data sets, game development, etc. you may need more RAM.
IS 32GB RAM OVERKILL FOR PROGRAMMING?
Yes, 32GB RAM is overkill for some programming projects in web development but it is good for other programming projects in game development, Simulation, Machine Learning, Mobile App Development, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality Apps.
If money is no object, getting a computer with 32GB of RAM or more will ultimately result in a smooth programming experience.
It can be seen that 4GB of RAM is generally not enough for most programming tasks. If you want to use your computer for game development, machine learning, and mobile app development, it is recommended to use a computer with more than 4GB of RAM.
Using more than 4GB RAM will help you run many programs at once without your com computer slowing down.
If you are ready to splash the cash on getting a good computer suitable for many programming tasks, consider one with 32GB of RAM or more. You can check out some of the best laptops on AMAZON.