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Question S21 Ultra RAM size matters?

Making abstraction of internal memory size, would you buy the 16 GB RAM version of the S21 Ultra?

  • No, 16 GB RAM is overkill.

  • Yes, for overall better performance.


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majidessa

Member
Sep 19, 2010
25
0
One can't put aside the fact that extra 4gb of ram also include 256gb of storage for a device that records 4k/8k videos with no expandable SD cards.

However, with regard to the Ram questions, if you intend to keep your device for a long time since Samsung now support 3 major Android updates then the answer is yes. As both the OS and apps are becoming more hungry as they advance especially games.

Short answer if you intend to keep your device for more than a year then the answer is definitely
 

speedyjay

Senior Member
Oct 22, 2011
3,077
719
Farnborough
I personally think Samsung have played it smart.

16GB RAM option is only available with the 512GB model.

No SD card support, so people panic and purchase the 512GB model.

I didn't panic, but I purchased the 512GB model because I do a lot of photography work and editing. I've always said "unused RAM is wasted RAM" and that still applies.

If you want the latest balls to the wall tech with the beefiest specs, you go for the 512GB/16GB model.
 

chetly968

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2014
388
89
Paradise Valley
I don't think it makes any difference however if given the choice I always go with the phone with the top specs. Unfortunately Samsung doesn't sell the 512gb model anymore in the US and I don't want to buy used phone so I ended up with the 256gb model. Haven't felt the need to conserve use yet. The color options are also more attractive on the 256gb model compared to the 512gb. Which makes no sense, lol.
 
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blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
5,109
1,460
I'd be surprised if there was any real world, noticeable difference in performance between 12gb and 16gb in pretty much any Android task. I wouldn't call it overkill so much, but it's certainly not a requirement.
The newer ram is very energy efficient so that extra 4gb isn't going impact battery usage much at all; zero downsides. You can never have too much.

12gb is a lot, my 10+ has this and typically it's using only half. I almost always have 4gb in reserve. Even with the less efficient last generation ram I don't see excessive battery usage. Typically with heavy browser usage I get 6.5-9%@hr battery life. The worst I see is 11%
However this is running on Pie with no wasted cpu cycles or ram usage due to scope storage.

With scope storage on the newer OS's (which just plain sucks) you will want more ram.
 

nixnixnixnix4

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2021
348
72
I'm happy with 12GB RAM.
It proves to be enough for heavy video taking and editing.
I think it'll last the next 4 years of updates with ease.

But, don't let anyone tell you that size doesn't matter. It does.
Actually, bandwidth matters just as much if not more than sheer size.
 

chetly968

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2014
388
89
Paradise Valley
I'd like to point out I have 3 phones (a z Fold 2 and a OnePlus 9 pro) including my S21 ultra and I decide which one I'm going to use that morning. Does that mean I have 36 gigs if ram technically? I know I have 768 gigs of storage for sure.
 

varcor

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2017
550
164
San Diego
I'm fairly confident if 100 people were handed a device, which couldn't be identified by physical variations, didn't check the internals and used them for a couple of days, 97 wouldn't be able to determine whether the phone had 12 or 16GB of RAM. We're tripping over toothpicks here.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
5,109
1,460
I'm fairly confident if 100 people were handed a device, which couldn't be identified by physical variations, didn't check the internals and used them for a couple of days, 97 wouldn't be able to determine whether the phone had 12 or 16GB of RAM. We're tripping over toothpicks here.

Lol, I wouldn't lose sleep over it🤣
Get as much as you can. The only downside is initial cost.
Like MS I'm sure Gookill will find new and unproductive ways to hog the ram in the near future like flies on $hit.
 

nightoooo

Senior Member
Jun 17, 2016
77
31
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
I had S21 Ultra with 12GB of RAM, i started to use DEX and what i noticed that i couldn't do multi-tasking more than 3 apps at the same time! Also when i checked the RAM usage, it was up in 10.5GB and had just 1,5 GB free left. So i guess with 16GB of RAM, i would open more active apps inside dex (i think 5 instead of 3) and still have more RAM left in case i am using 4G/5G, getting a phone call while i am using Bluetooth headset, or simply a video call, i guess the extra 4GB RAM (in the 16GB variant) will help alot!

Another thing, please do not compare your PC/Laptop RAM usage with Android phone RAM management, there are many differences and think about what we today do with our smartphones are much more than before, the camera systems inside our phones getting more complicated and resource hungry, then when 5G is also new in our world, this might also affect RAM usage a bit because it's about an extra component to be taken care in the phone.

I am having my finger on the "order" button to buy the 16GB RAM variant just because i want a smooth user experience without compromises.

Also, according to this "10 months" old article https://www.sammobile.com/news/sams...16gb-lpddr5-dram-chips-pyeongtaek-line-2/amp/ it says ...

Samsung’s 16Gb LPDDR5 DRAM chips are 16% faster than 12Gb LPDDR5 DRAM chips, thanks to their data transfer rates of 6,400Mb/s. 16GB packages made using 16Gb LPDDR5 chips can transfer 51.2GB of data in one second.

So my guess is that 16GB RAM is not the same 12GB RAM inside S21 Ultra. There are performance & size differences mentioned in the article and that's also was confirmed by Ice Universe when he bought a new S21 Ultra with 16GB RAM after his first one with 12GB RAM was broken!
 
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nixnixnixnix4

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2021
348
72
I had S21 Ultra with 12GB of RAM, i started to use DEX and what i noticed that i couldn't do multi-tasking more than 3 apps at the same time! Also when i checked the RAM usage, it was up in 10.5GB and had just 1,5 GB free left. So i guess with 16GB of RAM, i would open more active apps inside dex (i think 5 instead of 3) and still have more RAM left in case i am using 4G/5G, getting a phone call while i am using Bluetooth headset, or simply a video call, i guess the extra 4GB RAM (in the 16GB variant) will help alot!

Another thing, please do not compare your PC/Laptop RAM usage with Android phone RAM management, there are many differences and think about what we today do with our smartphones are much more than before, the camera systems inside our phones getting more complicated and resource hungry, then when 5G is also new in our world, this might also affect RAM usage a bit because it's about an extra component to be taken care in the phone.

I am having my finger on the "order" button to buy the 16GB RAM variant just because i want a smooth user experience without compromises.

Also, according to this "10 months" old article https://www.sammobile.com/news/sams...16gb-lpddr5-dram-chips-pyeongtaek-line-2/amp/ it says ...



So my guess is that 16GB RAM is not the same 12GB RAM inside S21 Ultra. There are performance & size differences mentioned in the article and that's also was confirmed by Ice Universe when he bought a new S21 Ultra with 16GB RAM after his first one with 12GB RAM was broken!
Meanwhile, an iPhone can guarantee a smooth user with just 6GB of RAM. I am embarrased to be using an Android phone these days.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
5,109
1,460
Meanwhile, an iPhone can guarantee a smooth user with just 6GB of RAM. I am embarrased to be using an Android phone these days.
I've used Apple products... they aren't all that much. Maps worked better but that's about it.
I find them irritating.

I'll take my 10+ with it's 512/512* gb dual drive and 12gb of ram over a flagship Apple any day.
Even the most expensive iPhone with 512gb of memory wouldn't meet my needs.
You can have your one size fits all bore box and I'll take my customized fun box.

*expandable to 1.5 tb, that's 1tb more memory than any iPhone. I can have 1.5tb of memory for what Apple charges for 512 gb. Worse no dual drive with an Apple. NO.
 

aj7400

Senior Member
May 25, 2013
781
218
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Hi All! Leaving the internal memory size apart, is 16 GB RAM worth the pocket stretch? Does it make a difference in any specific scenarios?

I am asking because, in my usage case, I don't need 512 GB internal memory, as I keep my files (including music, recorded videos etc.) backed-up in cloud and on external drives. I would consider the 512 GB version only if 16 GB RAM would bring any additional benefit (for example smoother performance, battery efficiency, future-proofing etc.).

Curious about your thoughts on this subject.
This question is very similar to ' does d*** size matters ' ?

And the answer is preety much the same what a girl replies i.e Size doesnt matter that much , but the way you use it matters more.

Apple with 4gb ram can outperform android's 8 or 12 gb ram.
 

samuk190

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2013
486
178
santo andré
This question is very similar to ' does d*** size matters ' ?

And the answer is preety much the same what a girl replies i.e Size doesnt matter that much , but the way you use it matters more.

Apple with 4gb ram can outperform android's 8 or 12 gb ram.
thats not true, you can't compare both system because there is no nitendo switch emulator for iOS, I doubt that if that existed 4gb ram wont be enough to run a single game
 
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  • 6
    RAM is used simply for fast storage and retrieval of data and code while a program is running. The general advice is that adding more RAM when you are not using the RAM you already have is a total waste of time and money. So, what could you store in RAM? Well, for an Android phone the most likely answer is "more programs." Since the system doesn't necessarily actually close a program when you go to the home menu or push back it's still potentially taking up RAM. The more RAM you have, the more programs you could potentially keep in RAM and so the more programs you could potentially start nearly instantly. But, the flash memory on these phones is pretty fast anyway so I'm not sure you'd really notice the difference between a .5 second and 1.1 second start up for a program. Another thing RAM can do is cache the contents of your long term (flash) storage. That way the system can access such data more rapidly when it needs it. This is actually where most RAM goes when you're running Windows or Linux - they're passively using all the otherwise unused RAM as cache for the file system. So, more RAM could mean faster file I/O but only if you are doing a lot of file I/O.

    I have 16GB of RAM in my laptop. I play all the latest games, I do software development, I do CAD/CAM work. I have never used 16GB of RAM except when running high end simulation systems. There's a system called CARLA which uses Unity to simulate a driving environment for autonomous driving systems. That uses 24GB of RAM to initially compile the simulation. That's the one and only thing I would need more than 16GB for. Now, we're really talking about 12GB vs 16GB here. So, the question is, do you need those extra 4GB for anything? No, I can't think of any real reason a phone would need more than 12GB of RAM. I'll bet I could live with 12GB in my laptop and still virtually never use it all up.

    Well, maybe there is ONE thing I could see the extra RAM being used for - high speed/resolution photography. It's possible that having more RAM could allow for longer buffering of things like super slow-mo. Now, I'm about 99% sure they don't do that. But, maybe they could. You might not be able to write to flash quickly enough for some super speed or super high end (like 8K) video without significant buffering to RAM. So, maybe in that case more RAM could be useful. But, the fact that the Ultra comes with 12GB normally would suggest that they aren't likely to optimize applications just for the 1% of people who opt for the top of the line top of the line phone.

    TL;DR - No, I don't think the extra 4GB is worth the money and I didn't buy the 16GB/512GB version.
    5
    If 256 GB storage is sufficient, then 12 GB/256 GB would be just fine to go with. I would say the 4 GB extra RAM will contribute to a bit more battery drain and will do nothing at all performance wise. People who need more storage should only go for the 16 GB/512 GB variant for the storage space alone.

    I really don't think extra ram is going to significantly affect battery performance though. If anything it would be a pretty insignificant amount.
    4
    Yes, that's when extra RAM in S21 Ultra comes into play: 8k videos, director's view(simultaneous front & back camera recording), 108MP, zooming, tripod lock, pip, single take...etc, etc.. The 16GB RAM might sound like an overkill but it will definitely help with all the multitasking load when called upon.

    Sure, 12GB or 8GB would handle that too, but performance-wise 16GB RAM processor support won't suffer a sweat.
    I am sure that 16GB RAM support won't suffer a sweat! But if 12GB would still do the job, why buy the extra RAM? I mean when recording for example (8K, director's view, you name it), you will only do that, you won't be multitasking so that you will need additional RAM for the other apps. I can hardly imagine someone shooting 8K and playing games/doing heavy photo editing at the same time. So practically no RAM swapping would come into play in this scenario.
    2
    Highly doubt it. My gaming PC has 16GB of RAM and that's still fine lol.

    I went for the 256/12GB model.

    Consider the non Ultra models make do with 8GB and have excellent performance as do many phones with 6 and 8 GB.

    Also the RAM on the S21 Ultra is a newer gen of RAM which has higher speeds (read/write) which has a performance benefit as well. Reviewers have subtly mentioned that although it doesn't seem to get brought up much in marketing ect. Not sure if the regular and + models have the same.
    2
    If 256 GB storage is sufficient, then 12 GB/256 GB would be just fine to go with. I would say the 4 GB extra RAM will contribute to a bit more battery drain and will do nothing at all performance wise. People who need more storage should only go for the 16 GB/512 GB variant for the storage space alone.