How Much RAM do you need for your Chromebook in 2024

I’ve been writing on this blog since 2018, and it feels like I’ve written so many posts about RAM. You would assume how much RAM you need for a Chromebook six years on in 2024 would be totally different. Well, yes, it’s true to an extent but not necessarily for everyone.

The amount of RAM you’ll need when using any ChromeOS device depends on what you do when using your computer. It makes sense that the RAM you need in your Chromebook if you will be mainly surfing the web, is going to be different from someone who will be using Linux.

So if you’re considering buying a new ChromeOS computer but unsure how much RAM you need, then this article is a must-read.

Does ChromeOS need less or more RAM than other type of computers?

The one thing I love about ChromeOS is that it’s fast. It’s different from a Windows PC that becomes sluggish over time. The speed you get from your Chromebook when you first buy it, is the same four years on, it simply does not slow down over time.

The main reason for this is because ChromeOS is a lightweight well-written operating system. Therefore, you can easily use a Chromebook with 4GB of RAM without having to worry about it being slow. That isn’t to say a Chromebook with 8GB of RAM won’t be faster, but it certainly is true that 4GB of RAM is enough for the majority of tasks.

So it’s true compared to Apple and Microsoft you can do more tasks on a Chromebook with less RAM. If you don’t believe me try using a Windows PC with 4GB of RAM and see how you get on, it would be an annoying and frustrating experience.

What you can do with a Chromebook with 4GB of RAM

If you’re looking for a Chromebook to surf the internet, write essays or books using Google Docs, using basic spreadsheets with Google Sheets or even using basic Android apps. You’ll be happy to know you can do all of these with a Chromebook that comes with 4GB of RAM.

The best thing is you can do all of these tasks without having to compromise on performance. This is what’s great about a Chromebook, even a device with relatively low specs is more than capable of most tasks. This means you can go and buy a Chromebook for £250/$250 and get all of the tasks I’ve mentioned above done with ease.

What you can’t do with a Chromebook with 4GB of RAM

ChromeOS is far more capable today than it was six years ago. This is great news because you can get far more done using ChromeOS. The main difference is that many premium and mid-range ChromeOS devices are now capable of running Linux Apps.

There are plenty of Linux apps that you can install on your Chromebook, but it’s fair to say you need a pretty decent processor and ideally 8GB of RAM. You can run Linux apps with 4GB, but you won’t get much out of some of the Linux apps available.

You can also install Steam on your Chromebook to play games if your device is capable of installing Linux. If you do want to install Steam then you’d definitely want 8GB of RAM, as 4GB is simply not enough. Find out how to install Linux on your Chromebook.

Should you buy a Chromebook with 8GB of RAM?

If you’re only going to use your computer for internet surfing, writing essays or similar tasks, then you don’t need 8GB of RAM, so save your money. That being said, if you want to use your computer for other things in the future, it makes sense to consider a device with 8GB of RAM.

This all depends on your budget, if you have a low budget then it may not be possible. However, if you can afford it, buying a Chromebook with 8GB of RAM, will make your computer more future-proof.

You’ll also find your computer is more responsive if you have 8GB of RAM. This isn’t just because of the extra RAM, it’s also because most Chromebook computers that have 8GB of RAM also come with a faster-performing processor.

A Chromebook with more than 8GB of RAM

For the majority of people, you don’t need a Chromebook with more than 8GB of RAM. However, if you’re the type of person who likes to do all different types of tasks on your computer, then you may want more if you can get it.

I’ve installed Windows 10 on my Chromebook with 8GB of RAM and it worked fine. However, if you want to use MS Windows on a Chromebook regularly and perform demanding tasks, then more RAM would be a good idea. This is because Windows runs on top of ChromeOS using a virtual machine, and virtual machines love RAM.

If you want to play games locally on your Chromebook using the Steam Linux app, then the more RAM you have available the better. Therefore, it makes sense for some to look for more than 8GB of RAM, if you can afford it and need it.

Summary

If you need a laptop that performs well and you don’t have much to spend. Then a Chromebook is a great choice because even a budget device can perform the majority of tasks.

Unless you’re buying a Chromebook to play games or use Linux, then you can easily get away with buying a device with 4GB of RAM. However, if you want to future-proof your Chromebook and can afford more, then choosing a device with 8GB is a good choice. This is even more true today than ever, as all Chromebooks released after 2021 now get ten years of updates.