Does RAM Affect Gaming? How Much Do You Need?
The special thing about RAM is that makes it different from most other PC components is that having more of it doesn’t always mean better performance.
Definitely, there are some places where more RAM will give you smoother gameplay but, mostly you will find that you will gain nothing by increasing the amount of RAM in your system.
If you are wondering why this happens is because of the working of games. Each game is designed to use a specific amount of RAM. For example, if your game uses 8GB of RAM and you have 16GB of RAM, the remaining 8GB will not be touched by the game.
On the other hand, if you just have 4GB of RAM but your game needs 8GB, you might be aware of the painful results you are going to see. Your game will load poorly and will lag a lot. You will see a huge impact on the FPS as well.
So, in this article, we are going to know everything about the importance of RAM in gaming. So, make sure to keep reading until the end.
What is the purpose of RAM in gaming?
RAM has its main application for holding the most important data required by the CPU. In simple words, it loads the data from the primary storage and then works as a buffer between the CPU and main storage. RAM is way faster than the raw storage devices we see on our computers i.e. SSDs and Hard Disks. So, whenever you try to load a game or even software, the RAM is there to hold all the important files and then provide them to the CPU as soon as possible.
The CPU controls which data is located where and it can relocate the data using its own mechanism. So, you can imagine RAM as a fast-paced storage space that will be there to provide the data needed by the CPU while running any game.
So, as long as you have enough RAM space as required by the game, the purpose of RAM is already fulfilled.
The thing about RAM is that it comes at different speeds. So, the faster the RAM clock speed is, the faster will be its data storing and retrieval speed. Now, if you are using an average consumer-grade CPU for gaming, you don’t need those high-speed DDR4 RAM chips. Even slow RAMs are enough to run most of the games.
So, the main purpose of RAM is to make sure there is a faster storage space to store all the important data required by the CPU to run your game/software.
Also Read: What is the life span of a PC RAM?
What if you do not have enough RAM for a game?
If your game requires 8GB of RAM to run on your computer, the best way is to keep at least 8GB or more of it on your system. But, if for any reason, you have less than the required amount of RAM in your system to run a specific game, this is going to impact the performance in a very bad manner.
The first common issue seen when you have a small amount of RAM for a game is stuttering. The next thing could be the slow booting time of games.
Without enough RAM, the CPU will not be able to store and retrieve the required data from the main storage and this can end up causing lags, frame-drops, and poor overall gaming performance.
Also Read: Which RAM brand should you choose? Does it matter?
What happens when you have more RAM than required by a game?
If you check any popular game’s system requirements, you will be able to look at the total amount of RAM required to run that game. You may also see the type of RAM such as DDR3 or DDR4. As long as you have this specific size and speed of RAM on the board along with all other required components, you will be able to play your game smoothly.
But, having more than the required RAM does not help you improve your gaming performance. It is not like other components such as CPU or Graphics card. For example, you can improve your gaming performance intensively by upgrading to a better GPU. But, upgrading to a higher amount of RAM will not provide you with many benefits.
However, if you are a streamer, you may need more RAM to run your streaming or recording software in the background. But, in general, the total amount required by your game should be there in your system. Even if you have more RAM than required, you will see no benefits in performance.
Does more RAM means better gaming performance?
No. More RAM never means better gameplay. As we discussed earlier, if your game recommends 16 GB of RAM and you have that amount of RAM, there is no performance boost you will get with 32 GB of RAM. Again, if you will be using other software along with your game, more RAM will be required to run them as well.
So, having more RAM is just going to help you with the background processes while you are gaming. But, it is not going to facilitate the Frame Rates or any other gaming parameter.
Importance of RAM Clock Speed in gaming
We have just focused on the volume of RAM above in this article. But, what about the speed of it?
Having a higher RAM speed will mean that your RAM is capable of processing the commands at a much higher pace.
Keep a thing in mind that any CPU and motherboard can work on a specific RAM speed. Installing a higher-speed RAM will not make any impact if your CPU doesn’t support it.
Generally, in gaming, the RAM speed doesn’t make that much difference.
What is the ideal size of RAM for gaming?
The total amount of RAM required in your system will depend on the kind of games you want to play. Generally, most of the games will recommend having 16 GB of RAM. Games like GTA-V, Fallout 4, The Witcher 3 can work perfectly with just 8 GB of RAM.
But, some other PC-intensive games may require more RAM. So, you should make a list of all the games you want to play before you proceed further. You can just visit their official websites and check the system requirement pages.
Again, if you want to stream your games, you will need some extra RAM to run your other software. In that case, you should go for a little higher amount of RAM as required by your game.
RAM vs VRAM: Which one is more important?
VRAM is definitely much more important than RAM when it comes to gaming. VRAM is found on the graphics cards. It works along with the GPU just like the normal RAM works with the CPU. Read this article to know more about the importance of VRAM in gaming.
VRAM is a special kind of RAM used only for graphical tasks. It is faster as compared to the normal RAM but can work for specific tasks related to the visuals. So, when it comes to gaming, having more VRAM is definitely going to give you performance boosts. But, it is not possible to upgrade the VRAM because it is always soldered on the graphics cards.
If there is an integrated graphics card, a small amount of your RAM will be allocated to the GPU as its VRAM.
Thanks for reading!