Drawbacks of more RAM
However, before you load up your laptop with as much RAM as it can hold, there are some potential drawbacks to more RAM that you may want to consider:
#1 Slower hibernation times - if you use the “hibernate” feature of Windows, be aware that the more RAM you have, the longer hibernation will take.
Related: your boot times may be slower depending on how much time your computer spends checking the RAM on each boot (may be negligible, may be significant, depends on the motherboard/BIOS and settings)
#2 Another potential drawback is reduced battery life. Two, three, or four sticks of RAM are going to use more electricity than one stick. I haven’t found benchmarks saying how much of a reduction, but I would expect a small penalty of 2-5% reduced battery life depending on the battery size and comparative energy usage of the laptop’s other components.
#3 Diminishing returns – when it comes to increasing RAM, after a certain point, your “bang for the buck” really starts to go down.
#4 Finally, there is the issue of cost. RAM is not free, so unless you want a technological showpiece with the max allowable RAM then you may want to go with smaller capacity RAM if it fulfills your computing needs.
Use common sense: size your RAM to your needs
Of course, if you have an application that NEEDS huge amounts of RAM then go for it. But if you are just surfing the web then 16GB or 32GB may be a bit overkill.
The other side of the coin, why more RAM is better:
Generally increased performance
Less need to use a swap disk / virtual memory
More RAM available for virtual machines or other applications that desire huge quantities of RAM
Increased battery life – if your system was previously memory constrained and you were constantly having to access the hard drive or SSD, then that can really kill your battery life. More memory can help. [also see the drawback above, if you have too much memory and it is not being used then that can also be wasteful...]
Future proofing your system – as operating systems and programs continue to increase their appetite for memory, more RAM may let you keep your notebook kicking a bit longer.
This is of course not a comprehensive list but hopefully it gives you an idea of the benefits…
More info on RAM size and hibernation time