Cost of Upgrading RAM From 8GB to 16GB (and is it worth it)

The cost of upgrading RAM can vary depending on the type of computer you have (desktop, laptop), RAM technology (DD3, DDR4, DDR5), and the amount of RAM you want to add (8GB only or entire 16GB). 

On average, expect to pay about $20 to $30 for one typical 8GB stick of DDR4 RAM, and $40 to $60 for 2x8GB sticks with the price tending to be on the higher end for higher frequency or higher quality RAM.

On average, expect to pay between $15 to $40 for 8GB of laptop RAM to install by yourself, depending on the RAM technology and availability.

two RAM modules circuit board

Cost of upgrading RAM from 8 to 16GB – Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of a typical RAM upgrade from 8GB to 16GB:

System type, PC8 GB of RAM (1 stick)16 GB of RAM (2×8)
Desktop DDR3$15-30$25-40
Desktop DDR4$20-35$40-70
Desktop DDR5$35-50$70-90
Laptop DDR3$15-30$25-50
Laptop DDR4$20-30$35-50
Laptop DDR5$35-40$70-90

Source: Newegg, Amazon

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $80 for a 16GB RAM upgrade, depending on the brand and type of RAM you choose. For example, a DDR4 16GB RAM module from a well-known brand like Crucial or Kingston can cost around $50 to $70.

Your pricing will largely depend on the technology you’re using (DDR4, DDR5, etc) and whether you’re buying two sticks 2x8GB, one 16GB stick, or just one 8GB stick. In general, buy one that’s compatible with the RAM you already have, or get two 8GB sticks fully compatible with each other and with your motherboard.

Often, it’s better to buy sticks in pairs, as you’ll get them cheaper, plus you can rest assured they are compatible. 

Example: These incredibly colorful Trident Z RGB 16GB of RAM at Amazon. I’ve had these for 4 years now, and they still impress me with how gorgeous they look.

Prices can be higher for high-end or specialized memory.

Remember to check the compatibility of the RAM module with your device’s motherboard, as some motherboards have specific RAM modules that they are compatible with and will work at their full potential.

How much performance will you get?

The cheapest, most effective upgrade you can make to your machine is a RAM upgrade. If you only have a single 8 Gb stick now you’ve been bottlenecked by it in various applications, you should see a 30 to 50% improvement.

Upgrading from 8GB to 16GB of RAM can result in a noticeable performance improvement, particularly when running resource-intensive applications or multitasking. However, the specific performance boost will depend on the system and its use.

More RAM can help a system run more smoothly, but other factors such as the CPU and storage can also play a role in overall performance.

Nevertheless, upgrading RAM can be night and day, especially with stuttering. Your CPU should be able to handle the 16 GBs RAM, but you should first check online to see how your system will perform. 

Is it worthwhile to upgrade RAM from 8GB to 16GB?

If you’re a casual user who mainly uses their computer for browsing the web, watching videos, and basic office work, then upgrading to 16GB of RAM may not provide a significant boost in performance. 8GB of RAM is usually sufficient for these types of tasks.

However, if you’re a power user who runs memory-intensive applications such as video editing, graphic design, or virtual machines, or frequently multi-tasks with several programs open at the same time, then upgrading to 16GB of RAM can provide a noticeable performance improvement.

With more RAM, your computer can handle more data at once, which can lead to faster program load times, smoother multitasking, and fewer instances of your computer slowing down due to lack of memory.

Make sure to get the specs as close together as possible. Not a bad idea to get a 2×8 kit so that they match. Or if you can find an identical matching stick for a competitive price, that could be a good move too.

If you intend to do demanding tasks like heavy gaming, video editing, and things like that, you may want to get 16 GBs of RAM, perhaps even some liquid cooling. But if you have the spare money and don’t see anything else that you’d want for the price of a RAM upgrade, go for it.

How long will 16GB RAM last?

In general, 16GB of RAM should last for several years even with heavy usage. As technology advances and software becomes more demanding, 16GB of RAM may become insufficient for some tasks, especially gaming or video editing.

16 GB has been the standard for several years at this point. If you’re just browsing and watching movies, then it should last you for a long time, at least five years. For any application that is RAM intensive, like video editing or modeling, go for 32GB. You can work with less, but it would be a pain to deal with in most cases.

For gaming, 16GB is already the ideal midrange amount and has been for a few years now; you might also consider a Liquid Cooling System to keep your gaming rig cool and efficient.


Can you upgrade RAM by yourself?

If you can change a lightbulb, you can install RAM. Just do it yourself. It’s the simplest thing anyone can do. If you’re using a laptop, search on youtube to see if there’s a video for changing RAM for your specific laptop. If it’s changeable, it shouldn’t be hard.

Is 8GB RAM enough for Windows 11?

RAM usage is the same for Windows 11 as for Windows 10. Windows 11 supports 4 GB RAM or more, according to system requirements. 8 GB is just enough for a good chunk of stuff, but if you want to get into the intense stuff (gaming and video editing), I’d recommend getting 8GB more. 

Is 16GB of RAM excessive?

It depends on what it is that you’re doing. Suppose it’s basic tasks like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBO, and so on and so forth, a little work. In that case, whether it’s typing up documents in Google Docs or Microsoft Word, making slideshows and video conferencing, and even a little bit of gaming, 8 GBs should suffice. 

You can buy 16 or 32 GB RAM even if your CPU is not up to snuff, and it won’t matter that much.

  • Alex

    Alex is the founder and driving force behind the blog you're reading. As a lifelong spender with a keen eye for making informed financial decisions, he's dedicated to analyzing the economy and digging deep into online data for valuable insights. With a passion for sharing financial wisdom, he equips readers with practical advice and useful tips for a better financial future. In his free time, Alex enjoys the outdoors and a good book.