How much RAM memory and Virtual Memory is required

December 2016

It is essential to know about the requirement of Virtual Memory as well as RAM Memory for running Windows XP and Windows Vista. Depending on the requirement, the user can increase the performance of their system by increasing RAM Memory. Understanding a few steps that will increase hard drive space is extremely useful; even for a layman, it's essential to know about hardware application. If the user increases Virtual memory and RAM Memory, he can even upgrade the price of his system. The life of a PC can also be lengthened simply by increasing hard drive space. Other factors related to increasing efficiency in hardware would include the configuration and peripherals.

This article throws some light on the ideal RAM memory and Virtual memory required within the context of Windows XP and Windows Vista.

The guidelines in the article enable the user to gain information on RAM and Virtual memory. The requirement for both, as we all know, varies according to our needs. When you add more memory to your PC, it might be said that you are upgrading the performance of your system. Therefore when doing so, you need to follow the right steps.

Based upon your needs and the types of applications you use on your PC, including the configuration of your devices and peripherals the amount of RAM and the Virtual Memory needed, will vary. In layman's terms, the more power you expect from your PC, the more memory you'll need. Adding memory to your PC can be considered as making a reasonably priced upgrade, bringing significant gain in performance, and the same goes for increasing virtual memory. Tips: If you have a slow, outdated PC, increasing its Virtual memory and adding some physical memory (RAM) can help lengthen the life of your PC before you need to replace it with a new one.

You can refer to the following guidelines to get a better understanding of your requirements based upon the OS used:

Windows XP

  • Office purposes: Basic
  • Category: Spreadsheets, Word processing, Emailing, Web Browsing, Fax
  • Minimum requirements: 128 to 256Mb
  • Office purposes: Advanced
  • Category: Business graphics and Presentations, Multi tasking Application
  • Minimum requirements: 256 to 512Mb

Windows XP Presentations

  • Presentation:Basic
    • Category: Graphical presentations and proposals, Project Management
    • Minimum requirements: 128 to 512 Mb
  • Presentation:Advanced
    • Category: Databases, Statistical applications, Video Conferencing
    • Minimum requirements: 128 to 512Mb

Windows XP Multimedia Applications


Presentation:Basic
Category: Multimedia presentations, Web development, Image and Sound Editing, Gaming
Minimum requirements: 256 to 1GB

Presentation:Advanced
Category: Real time Video,Animation,3D Computer Aided Design, Digital Imaging
Minimum requirements: 1GB to System maximum range

Windows Vista


For Windows Vista it's quite simple. Don't think you can manage without at least 512 Mb of RAM and a 256 Mb graphic card.

Windows Vista Office and Business purposes

  • Office and Business purposes:Basic
  • Category:Spreadsheets, Word processing, Emailing, Web Browsing, Fax
  • Minimum requirements: Minimum 512Mb
  • Office and Business purposes:Advanced
  • Category:Business graphics and Presentations, Multi tasking Application
  • Minimum requirements: 1GB to System maximum range

Windows Vista Multimedia Application


Office and Business purposes:Basic
Category:Multimedia presentations, Web development, Image and Sound Editing, Gaming
Minimum requirements: 1.5G to 2GB

Concerning old versions of Microsoft Windows (95, 2000, NT), within a range of 128Mb and 512Mb installed on your PC, things should run smoothly.

Below is a brief explanation of how to manage virtual memory:

The aim is simply to increase the size of the paging file in order to have a larger sector of your hard disk acting like RAM on your PC.
  • Steps
    • Open your Control Panel and click on the System icon
    • Select the Advanced Tab
    • Select the Performance Options Tab


  • Select the Change Option found in the Virtual memory sub menu




Under Paging file size for selected drive, select Custom size check box. You can manage the amount of memory you would like to allocate for Virtual memory by entering the initial and maximum size. Note that it's recommended to set initial and maximum size to the same value; it will prevent your PC from changing the size of the paging file. The value entered should be a least 1.5 times greater than your physical RAM; so with a PC that has 256Mb of RAM, the minimum value entered should be equal to (256*1.5) 384Mb.
As for Windows 7:
  • The minimum requirements to run 32-bit versions is 1GB of RAM, and for the 64-bit versions count in at least 2GB of RAM.

Related :

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