In this post, we are going to learn about what does RAM do for gaming.
In short, adding an extensive amount of RAM does not make any much to your gaming performance.
To get a better understanding of RAM, we will talk about:
- What does RAM Affect in Gaming?
- Does More RAM Increase FPS?
- Does More RAM Help Gaming?
- And How Much RAM do You Really Need for Gaming?
So, if you want to build a gaming PC or buy a gaming laptop, you’re going to love this post.
With this post, you can now save some of your money for RAM and use it for something better. Like better GPU or CPU.
Let’s dive right in.
What does RAM Affect in Gaming?
Gamers will often look at different PC components in terms of how they affect gaming before making a purchase.
One of the things that often become a significant factor when building a computer is the RAM.
We’ve heard about manufacturers boasting about the latest RAM capacity and speed.
But in reality, what does RAM do for gaming?
Let us first understand the purpose of RAM on your computer.
It is the component that stores content and where game data are loaded into.
As its name suggests, Random Access Memory is used to store temporary data and for the system to access the data rapidly.
In other words:
It is the place where your computer stores data when it needs the data quickly.
Unlike retrieving data from a hard drive, it is much faster to read and write data on RAM.
In general, larger RAM can enhance your gaming experience as this means smoother gameplay and faster load times.
With larger RAM capacity, your system can now store more of the game’s data into the RAM instead of the traditional hard drive.
By doing this, your system can load the data faster and easier, resulting in shorter loading times.
However, there is a limit to how much RAM a particular game will use.
And beyond which having more RAM may not do much to improve gaming.
Having RAM with a higher speed will also make it faster for data memory to travel from one computer component to another.
Put another way:
You can enjoy faster frame rates and loading time when playing video games.
So you might want to choose RAM with a higher clock speed.
Who doesn’t like quick loads, right?
Our best advice is to pay attention to the speed and capacity when choosing the right RAM for you.
But while RAM does have quite an important role in gaming, I recommend you to focus on getting the best CPU and GPU combination instead.
Does More RAM Increase FPS?
FPS, or frame rate per second, refers to the frequency of images appearing in succession in one second on your display.
To illustrate, 30 FPS means 30 different images can appear consecutively in one second.
Naturally, a higher frame rate means smoother gameplay.
Perhaps you are wondering if having more RAM can increase FPS.
Well, yes and no.
Studies have been done to conclude that adding more RAM would not necessarily improve your game performance.
If your RAM capacity is already quite more than enough (for example, 8GB), there is no use in adding more of it in terms of increasing your FPS.
However, it is different if you have a low amount of RAM initially, like 2 or 4GB.
In this case, increasing your RAM will surely increase your FPS.
Especially in games that require more RAM than what you had before.
Does More RAM Help Gaming?
Likewise, the effects of RAM on gaming is a delicate balance, just like with FPS.
If you have a low RAM of 4GB, for example, it may affect your gaming performance.
This is because less memory can be used to load game data, giving you choppy and rough gameplay.
This is when more RAM will help your gaming performance.
But once you hit a particular limit, the extra memory will remain pretty much unused.
Each game uses a various amount of RAM.
For instance, having 8GB of RAM is useless for games that only need 4GB at most.
Take a look at the example below of the Sims 4 System Requirement.
The game only uses 4 GB of RAM.
On the other hand, let us say a game can use up to 8GB of RAM.
Upgrading your memory from 4 to 16GB would most certainly help your gaming experience.
The game will be smoother, FPS may be higher, and you will not have to suffer through slow loads when launching the game.
Another question that I received a lot:
Well, I’m not going to lie to you… you can’t do that to your RAM.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can check my detailed post about this here.
How Much RAM do You Really Need for Gaming?
In short, you really do not need an excessive amount of RAM as it will simply be overkill.
Put another way:
Your games will not use all those extra RAM you buy, and they all go to waste.
But you’re probably wondering:
“How do I know how much RAM my game will use?”
Well, today I’m going to make it easy for you.
To understand how much RAM a game will use, you can just search the game’s system requirement.
Let us use the game Cyberpunk 2077 here as an example.
By typing “Cyberpunk 2077 System Requirement” into google search, I can easily find the game’s developer support page.
The game developer will tell us the minimum and recommended system requirements to run their game within their support page.
In our example of Cyberpunk 2077, we can see that the developer only requires us to have 16 GB of RAM to play the game in Ultra settings.
Knowing this information, any more RAM above 16 GB will be considered a waste.
Because now the game will not use more than 16 GB of RAM in its operation.
But it is crucial not to have too little of it either.
8 GB of RAM is the sweet spot and bare minimum for any gaming computer in 2021 and beyond.
With this amount, you can easily play most games without any difficulty.
However, If you plan to play newer titles that demand more intense graphics and processing, having 16GB of RAM is preferable.
Especially if you like to open a lot of apps while you are playing a game.
For example, maybe you like to have discord in the background to communicate with your teammates.
Or maybe you’d love to record your gameplay and have a screen recorder running in the background.
In that case, having more RAM will be beneficial for you.
Because those apps you run in your background will need RAM as well.
The bottom line?
How much RAM you need will depend on how you will game on your gaming computer or laptop.
Even between 8 and 16GB, tech experts have found practically no difference when it comes to frame rate.
And anything more than 16 GB, like 32 GB or even 64 GB, is mostly unnecessary for regular gaming.
Overall, RAM’s significance in gaming lies in its unique ability to provide quick access to temporary data required for a game to run.
Its speed and capacity do affect your gameplay, but capacity only really matters if you are upgrading from RAM of 8GB or lower.
Decide how much you need by checking the system requirements of the games you are planning to play.
In most cases, 8 to 16GB is more than enough for gaming in 2021 and beyond.
What Do You Think?
There you have it.
I hope this guide helps you understand what does RAM do for gaming.
Now, I’d love to hear from you:
How much RAM do you currently have on your gaming computer? Is it enough for gaming in 2021?
Or are you planning to add more RAM to your system?
Either way, let us know using the comment box below.