How Much RAM Do You Need for GIMP?

How Much RAM Do You Need for GIMP?

Over the years GIMP has made a name for itself as the best free image editing software available online. Still, because GIMP has so much horsepower it’s only natural to wonder what kind of hardware it requires to run properly. When it comes to image editing software, the amount of RAM you have really counts. So, how much RAM do you need for GIMP? 

While GIMP can perform well on as little as 64 MB of RAM, it’s recommended to use 4GB or more. Using at least 4GB of RAM will keep GIMP running smoothly in the long-run. Increasing RAM beyond 4GB will increase the speed and overall performance of GIMP.

If you’re curious whether your PC is ready to handle GIMP, you’ve come to the right place. In our guide below we’ll answer all of your burning questions; from whether a low end pc can handle GIMP, to what you can do to optimize performance with a top tier machine. So without further ado, let’s dive right into it!

Is GIMP Good for a Low End PC?

If you’re considering getting into image editing but you’re still working with a PC that isn’t necessarily top of the line, you’ll need to know what your options are with GIMP. First and foremost, you’ll need to know the answer to the question, is GIMP good for a low end PC? 

GIMP can certainly work on a low end PC, however, it’s probably not the best option long term. If you’re using a computer or laptop with limited RAM and processing power, you may run into problems with things like lag or loading. Load times may be longer than usual and you may also have to deal with things slowing down or freezing from time to time. 

At the end of the day, if you want to seriously get into using image editing software like GIMP it’s best if your PC is mid grade or better.  

What is Needed to Run GIMP?

RAM isn’t the only thing you need to keep in mind when deciding if your PC is right for GIMP. You’ll also want to make sure you have adequate hard drive space and a decent processor. 

Below we’ve put together a small table to let you know exactly what basic specs you need to run GIMP:

Minimum Requirements for GIMP
Hard Drive SpaceAt least 200 MB Free 
ProcessorIntel Pentium 4/equivalent and up

It’s important to note that the minimum requirements listed above are only for the software itself. You may need more harddrive, RAM and processing power depending on what projects you’re working on, how much space they take up and how much of your computer’s processing speed they require. 

How Can You Make GIMP Run Better?

Just having a lot of RAM is a good step but it’s not going to get the most out of GIMP on its own. If you go into your preferences, you can really take advantage of the full power of your PC and optimize GIMP’s performance. 

Follow the steps below to optimize GIMP’s performance and get the most out of your RAM and other hardware: 

  • Open GIMP and look for preferences: First things first, you’ve got to open the program. Once it finishes booting up, look at the top taskbar for “edit,” then “preferences.” When you find it, click on it to reveal a pop up down menu. 
  • Adjust “resource consumption” to desired settings: Under the title “Resource Consumption” you will see a number of boxes that allow you to allocate more RAM and memory to the number of undos you can perform to your cache size. If you’re working on a big project with large files, it may be a good idea to increase it for better performance.

From here you really just need to adjust these settings to your specific PC. If you notice performance problems after increasing the allocated RAM then you can always tone it back down. It may take some time to find the perfect spot for your PC.  

So Really, How Much Ram Do You Need for GIMP?

At the end of the day, you can boot up GIMP relatively well as long as you have at least 64 MB of RAM. Still, to run the program smoothly you should really look at a minimum of 4 GB and preferably 8 or more.

You can always go into your preferences and adjust how much memory that GIMP can use at a given time. Find what works best for you and go with it!