Are your video calls buffering way too much? Or is the audio choppy? It can make an already frustrating situation worse. Do you even have enough memory (aka DRAM or RAM) to take video calls on your laptop? Did you know that a RAM upgrade can actually help improve video calls? Yes, you can improve the quality of your video calls with one of the simplest and most affordable memory upgrade. You may not need new laptop to successfully take an e-learning class or work meetings on Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangout, Got To Meeting or even live streaming.
Understand Your Video Tools
The recent trend of more people using video chat for work to school to social engagements has taken its toll on ISPs and data centers. There is little you can do to change that. However, do have the choice of devices. Understanding how various video conferencing tools use system resources can give you the edge you need to improve your quality and provide to smoother, more consistent and better performing video calls. Microsoft Team for example, adapts and scales it’s usage of memory based on system configuration and open tasks, whereas other services which take a more static approach to using system resources.
Minimum System Requirements
Each video conferencing tool lists minimum system requirements and, while some are more demanding than others, keep in mind that these are minimums, so they may not provide the best experience. The basic resources needed for most modern video conferencing technology is about 2GB of RAM with a quad-core processor – you may be able to get by with less but the video and audio quality may suffer as a result, especially if you are multitasking at all. If you video chat while having email open or web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge or even having Microsoft Office open to reference a document, all of these things will take up a sizable amount of memory. Even the operating system takes up memory so you will always want more than the minimum requirements advertised. Even if you shut down everything else, if your system has a firewall, VPN or any company security on it, this will take up valuable system resources as well. Other, non-software culprits that may be taking memory bandwidth from your video call include having multiple monitors, especially if your system doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card. In that case, your PC will use system memory to power both monitors.
So what exactly does RAM do to improve your video calls? In addition to letting you juggle other tasks at the same time, increasing a computer’s RAM can improve video playback by allowing the computer to pre-load content before it plays and will help to avoid any choppy video while trying to buffer or load in the moment. Your PC pre-loads video during a call to compensate for any hiccups in your internet service and network bandwidth. So while your internet speed is most important, and a RAM upgrade cannot change that, your RAM directly affects the storage available for buffering. If you are already getting smooth video, RAM won’t necessarily make it better, but it can help if you are experiencing buffering or lagging during calls.
If you think this upgrade may be right for you, feel free to check out our other videos on finding the right amount and type of RAM for your system and we’ve even got simple tutorials so you can install it yourself: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAsUq-kEMSD5M0H7WzbJy7jq_XmjRNF4o