Whether it's worth paying for any memory upgrade depends on how much memory the computer contains; in tests performed by PC & Tech Authority, 4 gigabytes of RAM proved sufficient for even heavy use, and Digital Trends recommends 4 gigabytes for typical use but 8 gigabytes for more flexibility. For people who use their laptop for video editing, software development and other work, it might be worth spending extra for an even larger upgrade.
RAM is effectively the working memory of the computer. Solid-state drives and especially hard drives are much slower than RAM, so computers load programs and files from disk drives to the RAM so that processors can access information quickly. Operating systems also support virtual memory; if there is too much information to store in RAM, the computer uses a disk drive as virtual RAM. Avoiding this scenario leads to better performance, and 4 gigabytes of RAM are typically sufficient for browsing the Internet, running office software and watching media.
People working with especially large files or running complex software development suites, however, may wish to use more RAM for more headroom. However, this extra RAM doesn't go to waste even for typical computer users. Many operating systems, including Windows, load programs and other files users access often into RAM, which leads to faster loading. More RAM allows operating systems to keep more information ready should the user access it.