Does RAM Impact Internet Speed?

Many people believe that having lots of RAM means faster downloads and quicker browsing online. But does RAM actually impact your internet speed? The short answer might be yes, but there is a lot more to understand when trying to get the most out of your network.

For example, your browser of choice can have a significant impact on your device’s RAM. Chrome has been known to consume a large chunk of RAM when in use, leaving users only a few extra MBs to work with. By contrast, you might be able to stream music AND host a discord channel using less RAM than keeping three Chrome tabs open.

We certainly won’t be able to cover everything RAM vs the internet, this article will show how understanding RAM can help you maximize your network.

How Does RAM Work?

Every program uses some primary memory to run. RAM is in charge of running all your applications and processes by providing that memory. The more complex the program, the more memory it would need. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. When you start a program, your processor sends a command to retrieve the application files from storage (HDD or SSD).
  2. The application runs by manipulating data kept within those files.
  3. However, those files need a “workspace” where all of this interaction can occur.
  4. RAM provides that workspace.

The RAM has a direct channel into the CPU function, providing fast speeds for an application to perform tasks. The more RAM you have, the more can be distributed across programs to perform multiple tasks efficiently.

How Does That Impact Your Browser?

Like all computer programs, a browser also needs a certain amount of memory to operate. When you load a new page within your browser, it is downloaded into the computer’s memory. If that page has high-resolution graphics (like HD pictures or 4K videos), more time is needed to store information in your computer’s memory. That speed is dependent on your processor (for which 2GHz is plenty) and RAM.

Where RAM really comes into play is how active your browsing session is. If you like to work with several tabs open or use a lot of web-based applications (like G-Suite, Slack, or Zoom), you’ll see significant benefits from additional RAM. The more you have, the more efficiently your browser will run.

What About Impact on Download Speed?

Despite having a significant influence on your browsing speed, RAM has no real impact on your download speed. You might see a slight boost by upgrading your RAM, primarily because your browser has more memory to work with. However, it’s otherwise dependent mainly on your internet service provider.

That being said, there are a few things you can do to boost your download speed if it’s running slow. Give some of these methods a try:

  • – Make sure you have enough memory cache
  • – Restarting the router, browser, and computer to clear the cache wholly
  • – Having enough space on your storage device
  • – Switching from Wi-Fi to a wired connection

How Much RAM Do We Need?

So how much RAM do you need to notice an impact on your internet speed? Although 4 GB RAM is okay for browsing, it is still recommended to have at least 8 GB of RAM on your computer. Even while idle, Windows can easily consume 30% of your computer’s memory on its own.  Your browser will run more efficiently if it has adequate RAM.

RAM can prevent video files from lagging as well. Larger video files (typically anything over 1080p resolution) relies on hardware acceleration through the video player’s engine. With limited RAM, the video will lag and won’t be able to buffer appropriately.

What Else Influences Internet Browsing Speed?

While a big factor, RAM isn’t the only culprit behind a browsing speed bottleneck. Considering the PCs built today, a simple PC will have more than enough memory for simple browsing. The following two factors have more of a significant impact on your browsing and download speed. So if you’re still facing slow speeds, here’s where to look:

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

The high-end Networks give a speed of around 10 GB/s. Realistically, this gives a download speed anywhere between 10 to 100 MB/s. Considering some games today, such as Call of Duty Warzone, these speeds can be considered low – since an update of the game can be easily around 30 GBs!

Network Interface Card

The network interface card on your motherboard majorly influence your internet speed. Most network cards can easily handle simple web browsing; however, they can cause bottlenecks during downloads.

Network cards are usually available in 10/100 format – meaning they can function on networks running 10 or 100 MB/s. The good news is modern motherboards come equipped with inbuilt support Gigabit network, they can reach speeds up to 1 GB/s – considering your internet service can provide those speeds.

Get the Most Out of Your Network

Your computer’s RAM does have an impact on your internet speed. However, it shouldn’t be seen as a magic bullet solution. Work with a home technology expert to ensure your internet speeds are blazing fast at all times.


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