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My family is getting my much younger brother a netbook for Christmas, and I'm picking it out. The sweet spot as far as prices go is 1 GB of RAM, but I'm worried that it's not enough for what he does: youtube + flash games.

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Just as a follow-up, I went with a 1 GB netbook, and it's been mostly 'good enough' but some flash games have always been slow (I guess they were poorly optimized?) and I'm getting him another GB now. –  Nate Parsons Feb 8 '12 at 0:31

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

1GB is plenty for youtube/flash games.

It's not enough if you start having several programs or several browser tabs open at the same time. Eventually, he will want to do this, and so you'll eventually want that 2GB upgrade. But you can always add the ram later.

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+1. The amount of RAM needed depends on the intended use, and youtube/flash is not very demanding (unless he'll have 20 browser tabs open at the same time). So I'd agree that 1GB is enough, even if the netbook is running a RAM-hungry OS like Vista (Win7 is a little better). However, as time goes by he will use the machine more, and use it for more advanced stuff. He would certainly appreciate more RAM by then - just keep that in mind. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Nov 30 '10 at 15:02

I would recommend 2GB, but to be honest 1GB would probably be fine and upgrading to 2GB in the future wouldn't be that difficult. If he isn't doing youtube and flash games at the same time I'm guessing that 1GB would be just fine. Windows 7 does a rather nice job of memory management and so long as there isn't a lot of other applications starting with Windows or running in the background then it should be okay.

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Personally I feel 1GB of RAM is not enough. Even for the lightest use on a computer, any modern operating system (read: Windows XP, Vista, 7) will need more than that if you're planning on opening more than one tab in a browser and having a PDF or word document open at the same time.

I would recommend going with a minimum of 2GB of RAM. Keep in mind that smartphones are starting to ship with 512 or even 1GB of RAM where multitasking is still somewhat limited as is app-size, etc.

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