How Much RAM Do You Really Need for Affinity Photo?

As more and more people create and develop their own visual content for personal and professional purposes, they are relying more heavily on image editing programs to get the job done. Affinity ® Photo from software developer Serif has become a go-to resource for many creators but you need to have the right setup to take full advantage of its features, including having enough RAM.

The bare minimum RAM that you need for Affinity Photo is 2 GB whether you are on a Mac or a PC, but 4 GB is recommended. Depending on the complexity of the project and whether multiple applications will be used, you may benefit from having 8 GB or even 16 GB available.

Since arriving on the scene, Affinity Photo has become more than just another image editing platform vying for users in a competitive field. It has become an indispensable tool that is giving more established programs a good run for their money. Like all software, there are certain system requirements, and aside from how much RAM you need, there are other things every user should know so keep reading.

How Much RAM Do I Need for Affinity Photo

One of the main selling points of Affinity Photo is that unlike most of its big-name competitors that operate on a subscription model (under which the costs of their software can be quite high over time and through continued use), it can be purchased outright for a one-time licensing fee with free software upgrades as they are released.

The affordability of Affinity Photo and the treasure trove of editing tools combine to form a powerful one-two punch that has earned this program high praise from users of all skill levels. But according to Serif, there are certain RAM requirements that must be satisfied in order for Affinity Photo’s vast library of features and functions to work properly.

  • For Mac computers running Affinity Photo, the bare minimum RAM is 2 GB
  • Similarly, for PCs the bare minimum RAM is also 2 GB but 4 GB is recommended by Serif

While indications are that at these levels of RAM, Affinity Photo will run smoothly with full functionality, actual user experiences indicate that 2 GB of RAM is hardly enough and that even 4 GB may be an insufficient amount of RAM under certain conditions.

For instance, when running multiple applications at the same time as Affinity Photo, you may experience sluggishness in the way that some of the program’s functions work. For complex projects or resource-intensive operations, it may be advisable to install Affinity Photo on a computer with 8 GB or even 16 GB of RAM to ensure that your workflow experiences no disruptions.

Why Does RAM Matter When Using Affinity Photo?

RAM, which stands for random access memory, serves as short-term storage for data that a computer can access quickly and efficiently. It is therefore an extremely important aspect of a computer’s infrastructure and one that directly affects its speed and performance.

In the case of a program like Affinity Photo, having a sufficient amount of RAM will ensure that all of its powerful functions and tools work properly and that the user can maintain a high level of productivity. If the RAM is too low, the software will run sluggishly, and in worst cases, possibly freeze or crash. This is why the bare minimum RAM is 2 GB and the minimum recommended RAM is 4 GB.

So what kinds of features does Affinity Photo offer? Here is a sampling:

  • Powerful video and photo editing tools including real-time editing and 60 fps pan and zoom
  • A full suite of retouching tools including skin and blemish editing
  • A dazzling array of filters and layers
  • RAW editing
  • PSD editing
  • 360-degree editing
  • Full histograms
  • Photo stitching, including panorama
  • Full catalog of brushes
  • Wacom and Apple Pencil compatibility

With so many features, Affinity Photo is a true image-editing resource with a wide range of purposefully designed functions that can handle just about any task or project. If there is any type of editing that needs to be performed on a photograph, illustration, or video, chances are the perfect tool is just a few mouse clicks away.

But to make these functions work smoothly and seamlessly, Affinity Photo needs sufficient RAM to keep the productivity going at a high level. This is particularly the case when this program is used in conjunction with other applications in a multi-tasking type of workflow.

What Are the Other System Requirements?

To ensure a productive and efficient user experience with Affinity Photo, there are certain system requirements aside from having sufficient RAM that your computer hardware should meet. These specifications vary depending on whether you are using Affinity Photo on a Mac or a PC.

Mac Users

These are the system requirements for Mac users:

  • 2.8 GB of available hard drive space (more may be needed during installation of the software)
  • 10.9 operating system (Mavericks) or later
  • M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max chip or Intel processor
  • 1280 x 768 display or larger
  • Compatible computers include Mac Pro, iMac, MacBook, and Mac Mini

A toned-down version of Affinity Photo is also available for later versions (2017 and newer) of iPad Pro, Air, and Mini running iOS 12 or later.

PC Users

For Windows users, these are the system requirements for PCs:

  • 953 MB of available hard drive space (more may be needed during installation of the software)
  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8.1, 10, and 11
  • DirectX 10 graphics card and above
  • 1280 x 768 display or larger
  • Hardware GPU acceleration requires Windows 10 (April 2020 version or later)

It should be noted that Affinity Photo can be downloaded through the Affinity Store or the Microsoft Store and the operating system requirements can vary slightly depending on where it is purchased.


Serif’s Affinity Photo is a formidable newcomer to a competitive field of image editing programs that has been dominated by Adobe Photoshop. Geared toward budget-conscious users who still demand high functionality and cutting-edge features, Affinity Photo delivers an appealing combination of performance and value.

For best results, however, it may be wise to install Affinity Photo on a computer with at least 4 GB of RAM, and ideally 8 GB or even 16 GB, if it can be managed.