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Finally, some good Copilot news: Microsoft could be making 16GB RAM a standard for AI PCs

 Asian woman using laptop at business table.
Asian woman using laptop at business table.

Microsoft is looking to set new standards for PC hardware specs, as the tech giant is apparently planning to set a 16GB RAM requirement for any AI PCs.

This comes from a TrendForce market research report (reported on by TechPowerUp), with the reason most likely being to push AI PCs – PCs that use built-in AI acceleration for several AI features native to Windows 11 23H2.

This is especially true of Copilot, an AI chatbot that automates and generates work. Microsoft has been pushing this feature especially hard, including a dedicated Copilot key on Windows keyboards similar to the Windows key.

Copilot and Microsoft’s other AI tools will require certain hardware requirements for local acceleration, with the first being the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) that’s used for dedicated processing and the second being memory. Hence why Microsoft needs AI PCs to have at least 16GB of RAM at a minimum for both native and cloud-based Copilot features to function.

16GB should be the standard going forward

There are plenty of other Copilot announcements like the dedicated Copilot key, the Copilot Pro subscription service that adds additional AI tools such as ChatGPT Plus, as well as a feature currently being tested that would tailor Copilot’s chat responses based on previous chats by saving them.

And though the aforementioned reveals have been on the controversial side, the 16GB of RAM requirement for all Windows AI PCs is easily one of the best announcements related to Copilot and Windows AI in general.

In fact, 16GB should be a RAM standard for any Windows laptops and desktops going forward. With the rising costs of laptops that started during the pandemic and haven’t shown any sign of slowing down, it’s honestly unbelievable that any PC could be released with 8GB or even an abysmal 4GB of RAM.

Hopefully, not only will AI laptops and desktops see a baseline of 16GB in 2024 and beyond (with commercial PCs seeing 32GB or even 64GB standards), but this requirement will spread to non-AI PCs in general.  As manufacturers see customers expect computers to have such a standard, the shift could very likely happen.

Fingers crossed that this reported initiative from Microsoft will be the kick the PC industry needs to stop releasing machines with such low RAM, as it directly harms the performance of said machines.

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