For a change I am going to talk about SharePoint 2013 development environment. This is a common question when I present at different SharePoint Saturdays. What is my laptop specs. Well I use Lenovo W510 with i7 CPU, 32 GB or RAM and two 480GB SSD. This helps me run multiple VMs simultaniously.
But for the most developers they do not have luxury to get laptop with loaded resource. Typically they have 16GB of RAM. So here is my advsie if you want to start with running local SharePoint 2013 environment as VM.
First thing first, make sure you buy a faster SSD drive. This is must if you want to do development locally. This will help you big time. With 16GB RAM and 480GB SSD is workable solution for your SharePoint 2013 VM. Using SSD makes a notable difference. You did not mention about your CPU but as long as you are i5 or above you should be fine as long as you tweak your SP 2013 environment for smooth performance. e.g. Don’t use Search Service or any other service unless it is required.
Actually a good list of items to keep in mind is posted in the following thread.
Given the fact 16GB is bit low on Memory (I mean for SP 2013 single server as VM ) you will have to play with memory allocation to see what gives you optimal performance where you can work on your host and guest.
Also when working with SharePoint 2013 make sure you dont create or start any service applications or services if you do not need them. e.g. if you do not need Performance Point service then dont create it. Save resources for SharePoint 2013 Search. 🙂
I hope this helps someone.