Most modern laptops that sell for under $1000 have at least 8GB of RAM, which is generally good enough for most basic computing tasks. Meanwhile smartphone makers continue to push the limits of how much memory they can squeeze into a phone: it’s not unusual to find flagship phones with up to 12GB of RAM, and some models even support as much as 16GB.

What’s next? 18GB, apparently. That’s how much you’ll get if you buy a top-of-the-line version of the upcoming ASUS Rog Phone 5 smartphone.

Asus ROG Phone 5

Asus is set to officially launch its next-gen smartphone aimed at gamers later this week, but memory and storage maker SK hynix has already announced that it’s manufacturing 18GB LPDDR5 memory for the Asus phone.

In addition to having more RAM than any smartphone released so far, the Asus ROG Phone 5 will also have the fastest smartphone memory from SK hynix to date, clocking in at 6,400 Mbps (a 20-percent increase over the 5,500 Mbps available for phones with earlier LPDDR5 memory chips).

The Asus ROG Phone 5 is expected to launch on Mach 10, but we already have a good idea of what it will look like thanks to an image posted by DXOMARK, which reviewed the phone’s audio system in February. In addition to an option for more memory than you’ll probably need in a smartphone anytime in the next few years, the ROG Phone 5 will have at least one other unusual feature: a matrix of LED lights on the back of the phone that can be used to display information and graphics.

We should get more details about the phone later this week… possibly including what, if any, difference having 18GB of RAM will make on gaming performance.

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  1. Is the type of RAM they put in smartphones somewhat cheaper than the type of RAM they put in notebooks? That’s what I have to assume based on the pricing of actual devices.

  2. I don’t get it. Android games suck by nature and are mostly designed with the available lower midrange phone in mind. Worse, Android is barely good for multitasking with a maximum of two applications visible on screen at a time. How exact can anyone benefit from the excessive amount of RAM?

      1. As a side note, I’d advise avoiding that particular piece of software.

        It’s basically just taking advantage of the amazing open source work made by the Yuzu team without giving them any of the credit.

        Not only that, but being closed source, and from a shady Chinese company, you may be at risk just by running the software…

    1. The reason is because Android is doomed to forever needing more and more RAM as performance requirements increase.

      Most computer operating systems use Virtual Memory, or Memory Paging. When you run out of physical RAM, the OS takes lower-priority items and removed them from physical RAM, and writes them to the PC’s storage, and then retrieves them later when that application needs them again.

      Android doesn’t do this. It simply nominates an unused app that is occupying RAM, and it kills that app.

      In the early days of smartphones, when phones had 8gb to 32gb of storage, it was unrealistic to think that Android should use virtual memory, because nobody could spare enough storage space to make any difference. Also Flash memory has a finite amount of writes before the memory wears out. So theres no realistic way to do this on a smartphone without wearing out the eMMC prematurely.

      The only thing to do is keep adding physical RAM, to minimize the potential that the user will experience a lost session when they send an app to the background.

    2. I like being able to switch between a browser and a game, both of which can take up a lot of RAM. Add in responding to the occasional message, perhaps in a couple of different messaging apps, and I could imagine a device putting 18GB of RAM to good use.

      It may also be part of how they provide the higher bandwidth – e.g. maybe it’s really 6x 3GB chips “under the hood”, and it runs them all in parallel to get the advertised bandwidth.

      Oh, and FWIW, Android does have a few decent games, especially if they have gamepad support. And, as Hemedans mentioned, there are a lot of good emulators on Android, which provide access to an incredible library of high quality games.

      I’m hoping this one has support for the LTE bands that Verizon uses.