Windows Copilot: Is 8 GB RAM a Thing of the Past for Laptops?

In the vast and diverse laptop market, 8 GB of RAM has long been considered sufficient for everyday tasks and a wide range of activities. However, recent developments in the Windows ecosystem, particularly the introduction of Copilot, suggest that 8 GB of RAM may be becoming obsolete.

Microsoft, as the creator of the Windows operating system, not only sets the hardware requirements for its software but also introduces innovations that redefine the user experience. The recent unveiling of the dedicated Copilot key at CES 2024 is one such innovation that will soon be featured in laptops.

copilot windows

Several laptop manufacturers showcased their latest devices equipped with the Copilot key at the CES event in Las Vegas, highlighting the significance of Microsoft’s commitment to Copilot. This AI-powered assistant, integrated into Windows with the 23H2 update, is designed to assist users in various tasks. However, it is currently unavailable in Europe until it complies with the Digital Markets Act, expected to happen in the first quarter of this year.

Copilot’s integration marks a shift in how artificial intelligence functions on computing devices. While current AI systems primarily rely on cloud-based processing, the future will see AI tasks executed locally thanks to the Neural Processing Units (NPUs) developed by both AMD and Intel. These NPUs are already integrated into some of the most modern processors on the market.

To leverage the full potential of AI locally, a minimum of 16 GB of RAM becomes essential. Language Model Models (LLMs) used by AI systems require substantial memory to manage data effectively and provide immediate responses to user queries.

With 16 GB of memory, Windows will be able to utilize Copilot Artificial Intelligence collaboratively with cloud resources and processors, resulting in significantly reduced response times. This applies to both the native operating system integration and the paid Copilot Pro version, which focuses on Office tasks and requires a separate subscription.

However, this shift towards higher RAM requirements could potentially lead to an increase in laptop prices. Manufacturers may find themselves in a dilemma concerning the sale of previous-generation Intel and AMD computers, especially those with 8 GB of RAM. One thing is certain—RAM memory manufacturers are likely to benefit from this transition to higher memory configurations.