With perhaps the cheapest and best value for money of any computer component, RAM is generally ready for gamers looking to improve the performance of their gaming computer. But does it make a big impact? Is it better to spend money on another device, and how much does RAM affect games? Let’s figure it out.
What Does Ram Do For Gaming?
The impact of RAM on games is a strange problem it’s extreme and frustrating. If the system does not have enough RAM, say 4 GB, for example, RAM will have a significant tangible impact on the game, i.e. The game will have less memory to load datasets (game engine, textures, levels, lighting, and so on. Less memory equates to faster loading of game graphics and lower FPS readings.
The simple solution is to add more RAM, but there is only so much RAM you can add before it reaches the threshold and is effectively used. Two factors determine what this threshold refers to and how it can fluctuate.
First, how much RAM is programmed for a particular game. If the game is using a maximum of 4 GB, then having 8 GB of RAM means that there is actually 4 GB that is not being used in any way.
The second factor is whether the applications are launched with the game, if any. We are talking about streaming software like OBS, web browsers, recording software and any other programs that are open at the same time as the game.
If no secondary applications are running, then the base RAM requirement for a running game is the maximum threshold for RAM that is considered stable.
When a gamer runs a lot of applications in the background (music, chat, streaming software, etc.), then the more RAM in addition to the basic requirements of the game, the better.
This point is especially relevant for streamers who run multiple programs for long streaming sessions, although other beneficiaries include graphic designers or video editors who want to leave RAM-demanding programs open while playing.
In today’s gaming environment, 8GB to 16GB is more than enough to comfortably run the vast majority of games. As developers embrace the possibilities of increasing RAM, the trend is to increase in line with the standard amounts of RAM found in PCs, which gradually increase over time. Benchmarks indicate that going from 8GB to 16GB is negligible at best, but there’s a lot of value in testing your system down the road, especially if RAM gets cheaper.
There are also many types of RAM modules, such as DRAM, SRAM, DRAM, and others … All of them differ from each other not only in the size of the contact part but also in the specialization.
We have prepared rating of best 16GB dDR4 RAM For Gaming.
How much RAM do you need for games?
Once again, upgrading from 4GB to 16GB and running a game that uses a maximum of 8GB will have a minor but noticeable impact, on the order of a few frames per second. Similarly, the game will load faster.
Conversely, if you have 8 GB of RAM and you upgrade to 16 GB and the game only uses 8 GB, then the difference will be zero, or at least the improvement will not be noticeable on the part of the user.
As you can see, this gradual decline is incredibly fast and essentially means spending money on gigabytes that will remain idle and untouched for the duration of your gaming session.
How much clock speed is needed for RAM?
The answer is very similar; the improvement depends on how much volume/speed you have and how much you upgrade to. In most cases, the difference will be a few frames per second or close to zero.
It all depends on the processor and the game. Intel CPUs tend to benefit the least from better RAM clocks due to their chipsets’ built-in architecture, while AMD’s Ryzen 7 CPUs offer a somewhat measurable improvement, approaching +10 FPS in some cases and for certain games.
The GPU itself has a significant impact on the degree of improvement.
GPU and VRAM is the most important factor in gaming
GPUs have built-in RAM called VRAM, short for video memory. VRAM is a fast form of flash memory that stores rendered graphics and other data for processing and sending by the GPU to the CPU.
Unlike conventional RAM, the more VRAM a graphics card has, and the faster it is, the better the gaming experience. Equally important are the GPUs themselves. Modern iterations offer more advanced internal chipsets and algorithms that are more efficient at rendering graphics.
To improve frame rates, upgrading the GPU is considered the most effective solution. Already considered incredible improvements from a sloppy 20 FPS to an amazing 100 FPS for many games.
For example, in comparison, upgrading a GeForce GTX 950 with 1GB of VRAM to a GeForce RTX 2080 with 11GB will affect games far more than switching from 8GB of RAM to 16GB of RAM.
The answer is simple: beyond a certain threshold, RAM has minimal impact on gameplay. Find the maximum specs for your games of choice and match that against the amount of RAM, and you’ll get the maximum possible amount determined by the RAM, passing the performance metrics to other more important components like the GPU.
It is recommended to spend less on increasing the RAM capacity of your motherboard/processors and put that money towards a better graphics card. If your budget allows for a great GPU along with 64GB of RAM, by all means go for it.
When in doubt, 16GB is the perfect middle ground between meeting the basic RAM requirements of all the games on the market today, with a little headroom thrown in to test for later.