Most notebooks today and desktops too, ship with about 4GB of RAM and so I recommend you double the memory on your Mac or PC to 8GB – especially for photo editing as some of the more advanced processing like sharpening or unsharp mask in Photoshop take a lot of processing and memory power.
Most photo editing software will run fine on less ram, but with 8GB of RAM being so cheap I think if you do any photo editing, even if you’re just using Apple iPhoto, you would be wise to install the additional memory upgrade.
Minimum memory requirements for the photo editing software just means that the software will open on your Mac or PC and all functions should run. But, they don’t say how fast the work will get done, and if you really want to increase the photo editing or post processing process in your photography workflow, an 8GB ram upgrade is a no brainer if you ask me.
Some Macs, like the new MacBook Pros and the iMacs will even accept 16GB of RAM which of course doubles the ram from 8GB to 16Gb and speeds up the process when it comes to photo editing even more.
Adding more ram allows your Mac or PC to get more work done faster and avoid the spinning pinwheel as you wait for your computer to catch up with your current photo editing task or function and with ram prices being so cheap, you can fill your Mac or PC with memory for much less than you may think. At the time I write this, 8GB is priced about $50, and 16GB runs you double the price at about $100. If you have a new MacBook Pro released this summer – expect to pay a bit more – especially if you want to max out the MacBook Pro’s ram to the full 16GB – current street prices cost about $175.00 for 16GB of RAM