As a hardcore gamer, you’ll want to get your hands on the best PC model out there. Every gamer can relate to the frustration of lagging frames and crashing gaming experiences. Are you also desperate to find a solution to this?
So how can you avoid this? While it’s fairly common for systems to get overloaded during games, the RAM speed can accelerate your computer’s performance with better storage and faster loading time. Here you’ll learn all about what does RAM do for gaming, and how it will beef up your gaming PC. Let’s begin right away!
What Is RAM?
Random access memory, abbreviated as RAM, is a temporary volatile memory that stores data while the PC is running. It holds all information that your computer needs to access during the gaming period to ensure a smooth application.
RAM loads all the relevant data quickly by maintaining efficiency in performing multiple tasks at a single time. In short, everything you do on your system, whether it’s switching tabs or opening multiple programs, is all stored on RAM.
You might want to remember that RAM is different from a hard drive or SSD which stores data permanently. This is because RAM is only a temporary space and gets cleared up whenever the PC shuts down.
What Does RAM Do for Gaming?
Games read and write data with faster processing to RAM, so they find it easier to pull data from a temporary storage rather than constantly accessing the hard drive. When you start a game on your PC, all information gets stored on the temporary storage drive or the RAM. From here, the game can quickly gain access to data without having to intercept it from the hard drive.
Multitasking is an important component in simultaneously running gaming systems like Fortnite, Discord, and COD. RAM is an active part of the gaming experience that makes sure to receive data – it all depends on how much data it can receive.
Low RAM speeds contribute to glitches, poor frame rates, and slower loading time due to poor data transfer. So, you’d want a higher RAM. Why do we say this? Because increased RAM storage of around 16GB or above gives more freedom to a game program for pulling out memory without weighing down on the rest of the system.
Nonetheless, there’s a fine line between having sufficient RAM and overdoing it. While RAM accelerates the loading speed, it’s only sufficient if the programs are utilizing the storage space. Otherwise, the extra storage ends up being wasted.
How Much RAM Do You Need for Gaming?
As per recent video games, 8GB or slightly more is the basic requirement for a smooth experience. Having a RAM of even 16GB or above might have minimal effect on your PC’s performance, but you might notice increased speed for multiple games at the same time. So the short answer is something around 8 – 16GB for recent and upcoming video games.
In order to be on the safe side, and to proof your system against heavy-duty tasks like video editing, upgrading to 16GB is recommended. This foresight will pay off in the long run as future games tend to be more complex, requiring greater RAM.
When it comes to gaming, using RAM with high-rated speeds has multiple advantages.
While it may not have as significant an impact as upgrading the processor or graphics card, faster RAM can enhance game performance and frame rates. It’s recommended to check benchmarks for average frames-per-second to determine if the upgrade is worthwhile.
Beyond frame rates, faster RAM can also improve other aspects of a system’s performance, such as shortening boot times. On the flip side, having too much unused RAM, like 32 or 64GB, will cause it to go to waste because lighter games won’t ever take up much storage.
An Insight into RAM Specs for Gaming
Simply looking for the RAM is not enough. You’ll have to consider other specifications which play an equally important role in fine-tuning your gaming experience. Here’s a brief description of the terminologies you need to understand.
DDR or Double Data Rate is a technology used in RAM sticks that allows them to transfer data twice as fast as regular RAM chips. It stores data that the CPU needs to access quickly, and the more RAM you have, the more data your computer can temporarily store. This can help speed up your system and allow for smoother multitasking.
As technology has advanced, DDR has gone through several generations, including DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5. For gaming, it’s recommended to use DDR4 or above, as DDR2 is outdated and DDR3 is becoming obsolete.
It’s important to note that different generations of DDR aren’t compatible with each other, so when upgrading your PC, make sure to check your motherboard’s compatibility with DDR4 or DDR5 RAM sticks.
The second most important feature to consider while looking for RAM is the clock cycle. The clock cycles represent how many cycles the RAM can perform every second. As a general rule of thumb, the higher this number, the faster the RAM.
RAM’s clock speed is the measurement of time per second it can access its memory, usually in megahertz.
Many believe that having a fast clock speed will improve a PC’s performance, but the difference may not be noticeable. It’s worth noting that the clock speed of RAM and DDR are related, so for optimal speed, you should use standard RAM sticks (DDR4). Mixing RAM sticks with different clock cycles can lower performance over time.
Number of Sticks
Before you step into the market to buy RAM, you should check the number of slots in your motherboard. To make the most of your system’s memory, it’s important to consider the benefits of dual-channel memory. Most motherboards support this feature, which allows your system to utilize two sticks of RAM simultaneously.
If you’re looking to install 16GB of RAM, it’s better to buy two 8GB sticks with the same clock speed and DDR to increase the bandwidth and allow for faster data transfer between the RAM and the CPU. Additionally, if your motherboard has more than two slots, make sure to arrange the sticks properly to ensure proper utilization of dual-channel memory.
Quad-channel memory, on the other hand, allows for four RAM sticks to be installed simultaneously. This configuration provides even more bandwidth and faster data transfer. This also makes it easier to replace one stick out of four in case it goes bad or gets faulty.
All About Different RAM Capacities
RAM sticks come in different storage capacities, so it’s important to know what suits your motherboard best. Usually, home computers feature 4 or 8GB RAM, but several high-end PCs feature a whopping 128GB RAM too. Pretty surprising huh? Let’s learn more about this.
This would be sufficient for playing older video games, but not for newer versions because of their complex programs. At this RAM capacity, you’ll face slower speeds, poor graphics, and might find your PC shutting down every now and then.
4GB RAM is more commonly used in domestic and workplace settings where one has to carry out light everyday tasks like emails, sorting out files, etc.
As mentioned previously, 8GB sets the threshold for any gaming PC. It’s sufficient for most games like Fortnite, Cyberpunk, Apex Legends, etc., promising a streamlined running experience. However, more demanding games will require a higher RAM.
Additionally, running multiple applications at once can also put a strain on your system’s resources and impact gaming performance. 8GB is the baseline limit to do casual internet work, watch movies, and surf websites.
If you’re a hardcore gamer, 16GB would be a paradise for you. To ensure optimal gameplay, it’s recommended to have at least 16GB of RAM, especially if you plan on streaming or recording your gameplay.
You can enjoy seamless gaming and work with high-intensity computer programs while having sufficient memory. By pairing it with an AMD or NVIDIA graphics card, you can unlock endless entertainment possibilities. COD: Warzone and PUBG thrive on this RAM capacity.
Featuring graphically enhanced games, 32GB might be overkill for most gamers. It gives you the freedom to multitask by running several other background apps simultaneously.
If you are aiming for a system with flawless speed performance, zero stuttering issues, no lag, or any other graphical or performance issues, then 32GB RAM would be the recommended choice.
However, if you’re on a budget it’s better to stick to 16GB, because 32GB RAM is so much storage, that more of it eventually ends up unused and wasted.
FAQ: What Does RAM Do for Gaming?
Still left with a few unanswered questions? Perhaps you’ll find your answers right here!
Is 32GB RAM overkill?
We’d say yes in most cases. When you have 32GB, a lot of it pretty much stays unused because most of the latest video games run smoothly on 16GB RAM.
However, you’ll definitely have your hands on a lot of storage space to play heavy games whilst streaming, play music or have video edit apps running in the background.
Which is better: DDR4 vs DDR5?
Certainly being a generation ahead, DDR5 RAM kits are a notch above in many aspects, like superior base speed and the ability to support higher-capacity DIMM modules. They also consume lesser power than previous DDRs, and quench the insatiable need for greater speed.
However, today, most PCs are still only compatible with DDR4 which offers greater stability and smooth performance.
Will greater RAM improve my gaming experience?
Greater RAM ensures smooth data flow, which in turn guarantees a glitch-free, crash-free gaming experience. After upgrading your RAM, you’ll see a notable boost in system response, frame rates, and minimal lagging.
How can I check my RAM?
For users of Microsoft Windows, simply type in ‘about’ in the Start menu, and click on ‘About Your PC’ that appears.
Under the heading of Device Specifications, you’ll find the ‘Installed RAM’ option that displays the RAM capacity of your device.
For Mac users, it’s even easier. Just click the Apple icon in the top-left corner and select ‘About This Mac.’ You’ll find listed the RAM size, along with all the specifications of your computer.
To sum up, RAM is an important factor that determines the efficiency and high performance of the games you play. We recommend 16GB as the ideal RAM capacity for most gamers.
We hope we got that cleared up when we explained what does RAM do for gaming in the above-mentioned sections. The amount of temporary memory you require pretty much comes down to the game you’re playing along with other system parts.
Before you purchase a RAM stick, make sure to check if it’s compatible with all your system components. Going beyond your actual requirements in gaming RAM is not recommended, as it becomes a waste of money and storage.
Also, keep in mind that various components play a significant role in enhancing your gaming experience. Apart from your GPU and CPU, even minor components, such as a high-quality keyboard or appropriate DPI, can make a noticeable difference.