How much RAM and Processor for programmers

Hi there,

I am planning to buy a new window machine/laptop. All those who have experience in programming can you please guide how much minimum hardware(RAM, processor, etc) is required while using these simultaneously:

  1. I am planning to run VScode or atom.
  2. WAMP server.
  3. Node JS
  4. Adobe Illustrator
  5. Browser with lots of tabs opened.
  6. Filezilla
  7. Antivirus
  8. Skype

Currently, my laptop is 4GB and Desktop 8GB both have poor performance.

Perhaps try Linux if you use FileZilla to connect to a Linux Server.

I have an ancient laptop with 8Gb and performance is OK using Ubuntut 21.04.


Also using a 500 GB old non-SSD drive :frowning:

After this Lockdown is over I’m looking forward to browsing the local computer mall for an upgrade to replace my old desktop which gave up the ghost :frowning:

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I have a Sony Vaio from the 2008 purchase and a desktop from the 2012 purchase.

Just checked and the only date I could find was:

SBDS Manufacture Date: 2013-07-05


Have you tried downloading Linux and creating a thumbdrive which will boot and run comfortably with 4Gb of ram. Ubuntu is to be recommended or Linux Mint. There are many other Linux systems available but I prefer older versions which have a vast amount of online support information. The only application I miss is Adobe PhotoShop.

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No. I am completely 0 in Linux.

I find this article slightly insightful, but some concepts were bombastic for me as I dont know in detail about hardwares →

Most modern multicore processors should do it, but I would recommend 16GB Ram as a minimum - and of course the fastest processor you can afford - and get a GPU that can handle illustrator (4GB should run it smoothly). The old workstation I build in 2012 with 24GB Ram, 6GB GPU, still runs everything I throw at it. I’m almost using it more than my new haha. Thinking a few years ahead is always smart when getting a new puter, as everything is happening quite fast these days.


Agree that the machine should be future-ready to some extent, I am planning to go for 16GB RAM default, the machine should have 2 slots, and it should be expandable to 32GB total.

FWIW I found 8GB RAM to be sufficient for purely web dev purposes in Windows, it was never a problem.
Though I have upgraded, but that was for the benefit of graphics and video apps that I use which struggled with just 8GB.
But certainly no harm in having more.

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Many of my friends and colleague have given the same opinion.

I have seen laptops where defaults installed RAM they are giving is 8GB installed on one slot out of the two, though the slots can accommodate = 16GB + 16GB

16GB ram if purchased independently costs around 100$, but if you ask these companies to replace the default 8GB with 16GB in one slot they charge 150$-250$ extra.

The best is to move with default configurations and later upgrade with an extra 16GB RAM in the 2nd slot.

8GB + 16GB = 24GB will be sufficient.

In the future, if additional RAM is needed 8GB slot can be replaced by 16GB slot making a total of 32GB, maximum possible RAM.

If you go for a desktop get a machine that has 4 slots with dual channel, and get 2x8 first, expandable with 2x8 later.


For web dev purposes there’s no need for a very powerful computer, anything moderate by today’s standards will be fine. 8 GB of RAM is perfectly fine today. Last year I got myself a new computer with 16 GB just to be future proof. RAM will certainly help if you run virtual machines. I have found people usually exaggerate how much RAM is necessary - 2 years ago I still had my old machine with 4 GB of RAM with Windows 10 64-bit and I was surprised how much it could handle - simultaneously an IDE, local server, local database, Photoshop Elements, GIMP, a few small virtual machines, a few browsers with some tabs open and I couldn’t bring it to its knees! Swap memory works a lot better with SSD than HDD…

As to the processor last year I bought Ryzen 3200G with 4 cores and it was perfectly fine, nothing to complain about. Recently, I replaced it with Ryzen 4650G (6 cores/12 threads) only because I found it in good price and wanted to make my computer more future proof. But to be honest I find it a bit overkill for web dev - looking at the task manager most of the time the cores rest unused. The only time I use all the cores is when I compress large amounts of data for backups. I expect to keep this machine for many years.


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