The Acer Aspire E 15 is a budget laptop that's a bit of a throwback to laptops of days gone by. It's thick, it has an optical drive, and it has plenty of legacy ports for connecting your aging hardware. Although it has many features that are going extinct, it also has an eighth-generation Intel Core processor (CPU), 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), and an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card (GPU).
Part of this laptop's charm is how easy it is to upgrade the RAM and storage. You undo three screws, pull off the cover, and slip in some new hardware. Despite the simplicity, is it really worth buying more RAM?
The biggest factor when thinking about upgrading RAM is for what purpose you'll be using the laptop. Remember that the Aspire E 15 comes with 8GB of RAM, which is already a decent amount.
For productivity purposes — word processing, video watching, and light web browsing — you can go as low as 4GB, though if you like to multitask or have tons of browser tabs open at a time, the included 8GB will likely be appreciated. If you're a master of multitasking and find that the laptop is always a step behind you, going up to 12GB or even 16GB might not be a bad idea.
Keeping up with the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU
NVIDIA's GeForce MX150 discrete GPU is an update to the aging GeForce 940MX, bringing slightly better performance. Still, the MX150 sits considerably lower than an NVIDIA GTX 1050 when comparing performance.
It isn't going to set any records, and it certainly will not power a solid VR experience, but the MX150 can still keep up with a lot of popular modern games, if not allowing you to play them at max settings.
While a lot of high-end gaming PCs employ 16GB or more RAM, adding to the 8GB in the Aspire E 15 isn't going to turn it into a killer gaming rig. Its gaming performance is tied more heavily to the MX150 than anything else. Likewise, if you're interested in video or photo editing, adding RAM will only get you so far. The GPU will be the biggest problem.
Should you upgrade the RAM in your Acer Aspire E 15?
The Aspire E 15 has space for two sticks of DDR3L SODIMM RAM, with one 8GB stick coming already installed from the factory. If you have an extra bit of compatible RAM lying around, adding to the Aspire E 15 is at least worth a try. The entire process shouldn't take more than five minutes, and if performance doesn't noticeably improve, you can always remove it.
Buying new RAM to go in the Aspire E 15 is, however, a different story. There are certainly people who can't live without 16GB of RAM in their modern PC no matter what other hardware it has inside, and that's just fine. You can get a single 8GB stick of DDR3L-1600MHz Kingston RAM for about $75. It's not the cheapest, but it has a five-star rating on Amazon with more than 1,800 reviews.
Considering the Core i5 configuration of the laptop can be had for about $600, that additional cost might not seem worth it, especially if you plan on using the laptop for productivity purposes only.
For more information about how much RAM your PC really needs and how to install it, be sure to check out our other guides. Also, read our review of the Acer Aspire E 15 to find out exactly what it features.
- How much RAM does your Windows 10 PC really need?
- Acer Aspire E 15 laptop review: A glorious throwback with a DVD drive and vintage ports
- Ultimate RAM buyer's guide for Windows PC users
- How to pick the right PC upgrades for you
- How to install RAM in your desktop or laptop PC
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