How Much RAM is Needed for 4K Video Editing?

You should have at least 16GB of RAM for 4K video editing, while 32GB or higher is more ideal. The more RAM you have, the better you’ll be able to edit 4K video, and anything less than 16GB will not be enough. 

Desktop Computer for Video Editing

This post will explore how much RAM is needed for 4K video editing. I’ll tell you why 16GB is the standard minimum and why you probably want even more than that for serious and professional video editing projects. 

Time to get rolling. 

Key Takeaways

  • 16GB is the minimum recommended amount of RAM needed for effective 4K video editing. 
  • 32GB or more will give you even better editing power, which is ideal for professional editing situations. 
  • While it’s technically possible to edit 4K video with 8GB RAM, you won’t be able to perform anything more than basic editing tasks effectively. 
  • In general, the more RAM you have, the more video editing power is at your fingertips. 

How Much RAM is Needed for 4K Video Editing? 

Most video editors will tell you that 16GB is the minimum RAM you need to start editing 4K video. But if you want to have excellent editing capabilities or are a professional, 32GB RAM or more is highly recommended. 

The more RAM you have, the better you’ll be able to edit. And the higher resolution of video footage you work with, the more RAM you’ll need to keep up with this. 4K is a very high-resolution footage, so you need high RAM to be effective. 

If you are an amateur videographer or editor and don’t have a considerable budget for equipment, 16GB RAM is a good benchmark to shoot for. You’ll be able to make plenty of edits when working with 4K video footage. 

But if you are a professional and really need the most editing power and capability, 16GB RAM is still not enough. 32GB is a better benchmark for professionals, and more than this can be very beneficial. 

If you are dealing with 4K footage that features a lot of effects or see yourself working with higher resolutions than 4K at some point, 64GB RAM is worth considering. It can help you future-proof your editing abilities. 

On the low end of things, 8GB RAM isn’t going to cut it with making 4K video edits. It is technically possible to complete some basic edits with this RAM, but you won’t get far with higher-resolution footage. 

Increases in RAM come with drastic price increases. That’s a factor for many editors, regardless of whether they are professionals or amateurs. But the more you can afford, the more editing power you’ll have. 

How Much RAM for 1080p Video Editing? 

If you aren’t dealing with 4K video footage and only anticipate working with 1080p or HD, then you don’t need as much RAM. More will still give you better editing power, but you can get by with much less.

16GB is still a good benchmark for editing 1080p footage. This will give you plenty to work with and allow you to handle HD footage that has effects. But you can get by with 8GB if that’s your only option. It just might be a little slower. 

You don’t really need to go up to 32GB for 1080p footage, as that can be overkill and not worth the price. But if you plan on eventually working with higher-resolution footage, having extra RAM is never bad. 

1080p is still high-definition footage, but it’s nowhere near as demanding as 4K. You can make great edits to 1080p footage with more RAM, but you don’t technically need extremely high processing power.  


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to how much RAM is needed for 4K video editing. 

Do I need 32GB RAM for 4k video editing? 

32GB RAM is suitable for effective 4K video editing. This will give you more editing power than 16GB, allowing you to perform more complex edits without sacrificing speeds and performance. 32GB is a good standard for professional 4K video editing. 

Is 32GB RAM overkill for video editing? 

32GB RAM might be overkill if you only edit HD video. But with higher resolutions such as 4K, 32GB is a good amount that will lead to effective editing. Professional editors will most likely want 32GB RAM or even more. 

Is 64GB RAM enough for 4K editing? 

64GM RAM should be plenty for 4K editing. This will give you excellent editing power and allow you to complete many high-end tasks during the editing process. 64GB is recommended if you need to make complex edits or deal with many effects. 

Is 8GB RAM enough for 4K video editing? 

8GB RAM is not enough for effective 4K video editing. While making 4K edits with 8GB is technically possible, you will experience many issues when doing so. It’s simply not enough processing power to make complex edits. 

Final Thoughts

16GB RAM is the minimum needed for 4K video editing. But getting 32GB or more is a good idea to give you increased editing power. Professionals will want at least 32GB RAM when working with 4K footage. 

Keep in mind that many editors work with multiple types of footage. Even if you only work with 1080p today, there’s a good chance you might be working with 4K in the near future. That makes getting more RAM a good idea. 

How much RAM do you have to edit video footage? What resolution of footage do you work with most often? Let me know in the comments below. 

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