How much do you REALLY need? [RAM]

How much RAM do you really need? I see people out there with like 12GB and 16GB even up to 24GB and I'm sure it goes on and on. But how much do you really need? Do those w/ massive amounts of RAM, do you plan for peak times? Are those like people how do hours worth of 3D rendering and all that fun stuff? And then there's the PC companies (HP, Dell, etc.) even in their mid-range computers they include up to 8GB of RAM, but it's almost always partnered with not so powerful components. Is RAM an easy and cheap way to make a computer look more powerful than it really is? And like 70% of the time it's just DDR2 800Mhz RAM, so it's nothing really that impressive speed wise. IDK, I was just wondering how you could ever use soo much RAM, and why manufacturers can never seem to give you enough even though the rest of the system is of average specs.
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  1. And by the PC companies remark I made I mean that by pre-built systems that you buy from Best Buy or something like that, not customized systems.
  2. well, most companies do that for the wow facter like "Look at this computer, it has 12GB of MEMORY!!!!!"
    really for gaming 4GB is plenty
    3d rendering, photoshop, as much as you can get

    if you think 24GB is a lot, you should check out the supermicro dual LGA1366 motherboard with 18 DDR3 slots, with 3x4GB sets for servers you can hit 72GB with that motherboard
  3. See, the thing is, you never really need more than 4GB of RAM for most things, I happen to have 16GB but the only reason for that is becasue my motherboard was a new model when I got it, and I got my ram from Crucial, they had no 4GB kits for me at the time, they had some 8GB and 16GB, but the 8GB were the "High end" ones, so the 16GB was cheaper for me. I never seem to use more than 4GB though, so 4GB should be fine, but you could consider 8GB. The only time when I actually use more than 4GB of RAM is when running virtual machines.
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