With so many options and configurations to choose from, finding the best RAM for gaming can be challenging.
This comprehensive guide will help you figure out the right amount of RAM for your computer according to your specific needs.
So, let’s dive right in.
- Is 8GB RAM Good For Gaming?
- How Is RAM Important For Gaming?
- 8GB vs 16GB RAM
- Is 8GB DDR3 RAM Enough For Gaming?
- How Much RAM Do I Need?
- How to Check How Much RAM You Have?
- 3 Factors to Consider When Purchasing RAM
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Is 8GB RAM Good For Gaming?
In short, yes, 8GB RAM is enough for MOST games.
Take GTA V, for instance: the game takes about 7GB RAM to run on full graphic settings, leaving you with 1GB for all background tasks.
If you lower the graphics settings, the game will utilize only 4GB of RAM. As the computer is processing less data now, RAM consumption has decreased. Now you can play games without worrying about limiting any background tasks.
Overall though, there can be a slight tradeoff with the graphics quality on an 8GB configuration.
Even the latest AAA games such as Horizon Forbidden West, Dying Light 2, DOOM Eternal, etc. require at least 8GB RAM.
Having said that, if you are serious about gaming, – high-end gaming experience without lowering the settings – then I would suggest 16GB. Again, you can still get away with 8GB RAM, though.
How Is RAM Important For Gaming?
RAM is important for a gaming computer as to run a game smoothly, the files responsible for recreating the textures and objects need to be delivered to the CPU quickly. SSDs or HDDs simply don’t have rough read and write speeds to fulfill this need.
This is where RAM comes into play. Even though the entire game is stored on the SSD or HDD, the part of the data that needs immediate processing is temporarily moved to the RAM so that the CPU can easily access it.
If your computer falls short on RAM, the processors don’t receive the data they need which results in laggy performance and sudden frame drops.
8GB vs 16GB RAM
We know that RAM plays a critical role in running a game, but does more of it mean faster gameplay? Not really.
If you are playing a game that requires only 4GB of RAM, having 8GB or 16GB won’t improve the gameplay because it’s already getting the juice it needs. But that does not mean that a computer with 4GB RAM can perfectly run a game that requires the same amount of RAM.
There are a lot of background processes running alongside the game that need RAM to function. If you want to use the highest settings on some of the latest games, you may run out of memory and your computer is going to lag.
This is why along with most experts we consider 16GB RAM to be the sweet spot for a gaming computer. With sufficient breathing room for background processes, it makes your computer future-proof and runs all your games smoothly.
There are 32GB or 64GB options available too, but only for super-competitive gaming. If you’re a regular gamer, then the standard 8GB RAM is enough but 16GB is recommended.
Is 8GB DDR3 RAM Enough For Gaming?
To answer that, we need to understand what DDR means and how it affects your computer’s performance.
DDR stands for Double Data Rate. DDR is an upgrade to the previously used technology, which we know as SDRAM (Single Data Rate). DDR allows much higher performance over its predecessor at the same voltages.
With each new generation of DDR, RAM’s base operating frequency has doubled, saving power and offering faster performance.
If you do a lot of synthetic computational work, like data science, 3D modeling, rendering, switching from a DDR3 machine to a DDR4 machine you will get much more additional computational power and speed.
But as far as gamers are concerned, 8GB DDR3 RAM is still relevant, and it has enough potential to run all the modern games.
That said, if you want to run a server on your DDR3 based computer, you will need 64GB or 128GB RAM. In that case, you need to switch to a DDR4 system, as DDR3 only supports up to 16GB memory on a single stick of RAM.
How Much RAM Do I Need?
Your use-case defines how much RAM you need. Ranging from 4GB to 128GB (or above), different users need different RAM capacities.
So let’s see some of the ways people use their computers most often:
For Regular Use
Even today, 4GB RAM is enough for a computer if you aren’t gaming on it. Say, if you use your computer for just light browsing, watching movies, and taking notes, then 4GB of RAM is ample.
As previously mentioned, 8GB of RAM is enough for gaming, but if you’re running into frame dips with 8GB, switching to a 16GB one will be an ideal choice.
For High-End Applications
Depending on the specific high-end applications, we recommend a minimum of 16GB RAM. But that again depends on the use case: for a professional video editor, 16GB RAM might be enough, whereas, for a virtual machine simulation, even 128GB might fall short.
Here’s a table you can use to quickly track how much RAM you need for gaming and non-gaming use as well:
|User Type||Use||Recommended RAM|
|Competitive||16GB & Above|
|Active (Professional) Use||16GB & Above|
How to Check How Much RAM You Have?
Here’s how you can quickly check how much RAM you have:
- Find the “My Computer” icon on your desktop (‘This PC’ on Windows 10)
- Right-click and select the ‘Properties’ option.
- You’ll find the MBs/GBs of RAM available there.
3 Factors to Consider When Purchasing RAM
Other than your use case, consider these qualitative factors before buying a new RAM.
1. Matching the RAM’s Specifications
For optimal performance, ensure that your new RAM’s is compatible with your computer. It might be obvious, but many people overlook this. One good way to see what kind of RAM you can use is by visiting this page on Crucial’s site.
You need to check the RAM speed, AKA the frequency at which the RAM operates. Higher frequencies mean faster performance. The trick is to buy the highest frequency RAM that your motherboard supports.
Latency refers to the delay between processing two tasks. In general, RAMs with lower latencies perform better. Any latency below CAS16 is considered optimal.
RAM Is Not That Important
When we say “RAM is not that important,” we mean that there is far more important hardware that affects the gaming performance than the RAM. If a game uses only 4 out of a 16GB RAM setup, then the rest will sit idle.
So just blindly adding more RAM after a certain amount doesn’t improve the overall gaming performance. Instead, if you spend extra money on a GPU and only get RAM that you need, the experience will improve drastically.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s take a quick look at the most common and frequently asked questions about RAMs.
Is 8GB DDR4 RAM Enough for Gaming?
Yes, 8GB DDR4 RAM is enough to play most modern games. But if you’re facing lags and frame dips, you will need to reduce some of the settings, or upgrade to 16GB.
How Important is RAM for Gaming?
RAM is crucial for a gaming pc as it stores all the essential data that the CPU needs immediate access to. But after a certain point (16GB currently), in most cases adding more RAM yields no gaming improvements.
What Are Some RAM Intensive Games?
Generally, the latest AAA titles are the most RAM-intensive games. To name a few, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Control, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Metro Exodus, Cyberpunk 2077, etc., all have a minimum requirement of 8GB RAM, and the recommended specification is 16GB.
Is 8GB of RAM enough for 4K gaming?
Yes, 8GB RAM is enough for 4K gaming. The resolution of the game has little to no impact on the RAM. It mainly depends on faster processors and better graphics cards.
Do you see how the RAM you need is subjective, AKA depends on your use-case? For most gamers, 16GB RAM is ideal.
This way, you can allocate 8GB to games, and 8GB to other tasks. Remember that unless your job requires you to have it, a setup above 32GB is not recommended. Besides, if you want better gaming experience, then investing in a more efficient GPU is recommended.
Is there anything we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments below — we love talking tech!