How Much RAM is Enough?

This is one of the most asked questions we receive. This question can be answered simple by looking at clients needs. These can be split up into 5 areas, if you add all these up you ca get a good idea of the amount of RAM you should be considering for your project:

  • Operating System. Different OS has distinct OS requirements to run smoothly and efficiently. Each developer post their minimum RAM requirements and recommended specs. It is important to note that some OS also have a maximum amount of RAM that can be utilized.
  • Control Panel – If you plan on using a control panel such as cPanel, these also have minimum and recommended RAM requirements.
  • Additional Applications. Same as the OS and control panel. We recommend you make a list of additional applications you intend to run, making sure to include the requirements for each. These could include email clients, antivirus, spam prevention, etc.
  • Traffic and Usage. If your setting up a site and believe it will have high amounts of traffic, you have to set some RAM aside to accommodate. A generally accepted rule of thumb is that for most standard sites, you have 1GB for 2500 visitors per day.
  • Site Characteristics and Caching. Various things to consider in this section. If you are using scripting languages such as Perl and PHP your requirement for RAM will jump dramatically. A RAM increase could also be your solution to faster page speed load times. If you are using databases like MySQL, these require lots of RAM and the larger the database the more RAM you will need. It is also important to evaluate how much of your website is static content which can be cached by proxy servers and users browsers. The more images, CSS Sprites and Javascript you cache and compress, the less RAM you will be reliant on.


Once you have added up the numbers, you will be left with a good base to answer the question of how much RAM you personally need.