Do I need more than 32GB of RAM?

Hi all,
I’m looking for some advice on PC specification.

My recently-built Ryzen 5900X with 32GB RAM is used for coding and photo editing/processing (with PhotoLab 5 and some Photoshop CS6). As I also use it for software development I also run a VMWare virtual machine to which 16GB of RAM is allocated so with PL and PS loaded, the RAM usage goes up to 28GB, leaving not much for anything else.

Are there cases when using PhotoLab that RAM usage shoots up to the extent that more than 32GB would be used in the above scenario?

I’m considering doubling my RAM to 64GB (the manufacturer - Crucial - is discontinuing the brand of RAM in my machine so there’s no a lot of stock of my RAM DIMMs now) but am wondering if it’s worth it? Even without running the VMWare virtual machine at the same time would 64GB RAM improve PL performance compared with 32GB RAM?

Thanks in advance…

Where did you see this?

Pour one out for Crucial Ballistix memory — Micron’s killing off the brand - The Verge
Thanks, my statement regarding Crucial exiting the RAM business wasn’t quite correct so I’ve corrected it :grin:

Only you can assess with all the other things going on in your machine but I would say PL never really hits limits on machines with 16GB of RAM.

You’ll have to apply that information to your own use case.

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That seems to be a very special case, justifying more than 32 GB RAM.

I’m running my ‘old’ machine with 32 GB RAM → Getting the PCspec right - #3 by Wolfgang ( and further links ) and have no problems, when working with PL, PixelEditor, Viewer, FileManager, Forum Software … all opened, what I use(d) to avoid.

In PL, some of the computing work is done by the graphic card, which should be fast enough.
With the one I’ve installed, in some cases it can get tedious, when there are really a lot of adjustments, masks and/or perspective corrections involved. → Then it’s time to leave PL and continue work with a PixelEditor.

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16Gb RAM is more than enough if you are ONLY using PL on your machine. If you are running virtual machines then you need to take that into account but more than 16Gb just for PL is enough.

Add up the RAM each app requires and that is more or less what you need but only if you are running them all simultaneously.


Running the Windows Resource Monitor / Task Manager while you work will help you decide if you have enough RAM and, if anything is slow, where the bottlenecks are. Hope that helps.

32GB RAM for any pretty much any photo editing software would be fine I should think (I say that anecdotally, not based on any great understanding of the tech). I’ve got 16GB on a nearly 6 year old PC and it handles Photolab fine, although DeepPrime processing on my 8GB RAM Macbook M1 is faster. I run into some difficulties at 16GB RAM with footage in DaVinci Resolve (video editing). I wish I had 64GB for video editing capabilties.

I guess the software developers will keep pushing the limits of the hardware as it increases in power.

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Why not just disable VMWare when using Photolab? Is it really a good thing to run them simultaneously? There are other system resources too than just RAM that can become bottle necks.

Nothing is written about if you have a decent graphics card to support the Photolab processing with. It makes a difference when using Prime or Deep Prime when exporting.

I have a six year old Windows PC with 8 GB memory and no problems with Photolab but I have a graphics card Photolab supports too even if it´s far from state of the art these days…

Thanks, yes I’m aware of using Task Manager’s Performance tab to monitor resource/RAM usage, but I haven’t had time to really push PL to see if or where it consumes a lot of RAM, so was wondering if any other PL users could say where PL gobble up RAM.

Why not just disable VMWare when using Photolab? Is it really a good thing to run them simultaneously? There are other system resources too than just RAM that can become bottle necks.

I could avoid running VMWare whilst using PL but it’s not always convenient to do so. I guess if the extra 32GB RAM was cheap then I’d just install the extra RAM, but it’s not that cheap.

My GPU is a GTX 1650 Super 4GB, dunno if, say, an RTX 3060Ti would make enough of a difference to justify it’s purchase once (if ever) prices return to normal but I find DeepPrime processing quick enough to keep me happy.

You seem to have more than enough of hardware for Photolab and image editing. It seems to me this is much more a question of how you are using it.


Computers can multitask.
Run whatever you want. If VMware+your virtual machines doesn’t impact performance in PL then great. If it does you can decide whether you should disable it.

Seriously. PL doesn’t typically use more than 8-10GB of Ram. Typically less.

If you have 32GB total and 16GB allocated to VMWare you probably will be fine.

Oh and GPU doesn’t impact PL performance at all except when you are exporting and your export uses DeepPRIME.

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Are you really sure about that? What about the first time you open a folder with a lot of heavy files and the system needs to render a lot of high quality previews? Some people has stessed that issue and vital problem before.

Feel free to try and monitor the GPU and CPU usage. I don’t think the high quality previews are GPU accelerated.

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I can’t say I noticed any significant GPU activity in Windows Task Manager when loading a folder into PL5

@MikeR is correct about that. A video card’s GPU is currently only used for DeepPRIME.


DPL5 on macOS uses the GPU sporadically, depending on image content and settings. This is what I’ve seen when flipping through a set of images with all corrections on:

  • one image raised GPU load to 8% for a second or so
  • a few images took the load to below 4%
  • more images used up to 1.2%
  • most images left GPU at 0%

My conclusion: GPU does not matter in customizing.

RAM usage stayed below 3GB during the test.

Thank´s for empiric based info guys. Good to know. Then it might be an idea for DXO to use the GPU even to speed up the rendering of high resolution previews since some people really has complained about bad Photolab´s performance when opening folders with many houndreds of heavy image files that sure won´t be any lighter to process in the future when we are going towards 100 Mpixel in FF-cameras.


Well - this is not normal. But when I built my new Threadripper 2950x system, I installed 128 GB RAM. It was overkill. I knew 64 would be fine. BUT - I do video editing, while also editing photos in the background with a few APPs opened. PS& LR, DXO, while using some Topaz plugins while working in edits. I have seen my system using upto 79 GB ram on my Taskman, which is open on my third screen. So, yes 64 is fine, but I hit no limits wiht 128. I am still happy with my disission.