Random Access Memory, often regarded as “RAM” is the Volatile memory of your computer. The basic function of RAM is to store the data temporarily so that you get less processing and fast performance. While HDD is permanent memory, RAM is temporary memory and it vanishes as soon as you turn off your PC. RAM plays a crucial role in providing high gaming performance. Most of the Gaming Laptops these days come with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, etc RAM options which is why people always wonder “How much RAM do they need for Gaming?”
Low RAM will give you choppy frame rates, poor game performance, and a non-enjoyable experience. That is why Gaming titles come with a minimum System requirement to just run the game. For extreme performance, they also mention the recommended system requirement.
In the case of gaming, to be able to play high-end gamings, your system needs to be upgraded every now and then. One of the major components that lead to smooth gaming is RAM.
Today’s high-end games need more memory, or say RAM, to run smoothly. More RAM means less pressure on the processor to compute the same things again and again. Well, if you are an avid gamer, you will need to have a higher RAM in your gaming rig to avoid your games being slowed down.
Common RAM Capacities You Can Get
Today’s most advanced computers and gaming laptops feature 32GB, even 64GB RAM. But most of the prebuilt gaming PC and gaming Laptops feature 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB RAM. The RAM requirement depends on the task you wanted to perform. If you are an office person, who just wanted to create sheets in Excel and write documents on MS Word, you don’t need 8GB RAM. The 4GB RAM is just enough. On the other hand, if you need a workstation and are planning to connect to a certain network topology, you might require 128GB RAM or even more.
For Gamers, 16GB RAM is working just fine. In some extreme performances, you can upgrade to 32GB RAM but going beyond 32GB is an unnecessary expense.
Let’s take a look at what capacity of RAM is suitable for what device.
- 4GB RAM – 4GB RAM is ideal for common usage and surfing the internet. You will want to have more RAM in case you want to play high-end gaming. You will find 4GB RAM in mostly budget notebooks. With such notebooks, you can smoothly perform regular tasks and even be able to run some games. For Google Chrome users, 4GB might slow down your PC. Google Chrome is a RAM eater.
- 8GB RAM – 8GB RAM is the minimum that you will need if you are into gaming. Your system will be able to run most of the games without any trouble. However, when it comes to demanding graphics, 8GB RAM won’t suffice and will start to cause distractions. Check out $800 gaming laptops that come with 8GB RAM. Equipping a good GPU with 8GB RAM can make things smoother for your PC.
- 16GB RAM – If you want to indulge in a high-ending gaming experience, 16GB RAM is a beefy capacity that will allow gamers to run their favorite games easily. Also, if you are a content creator, 16GB RAM hits the sweet spot, apart from gaming. You will be able to run a variety of video/photo editing software pretty smoothly, 4K video rendering not included.
But is more RAM really important for gaming and how much is really enough?
Why is RAM Important For Gaming?
To know the importance of RAM, you should know the brief working of how data processes behind the scene. We will try to explain in a layman’s language. There are a lot of processes going on for the processor or CPU. Processing so many things with your additional commands becomes a hectic task for the processor. So the computer developers created a Volatile memory called RAM. RAM holds the frequent processings within so that it doesn’t bother the CPU for processing.
For example, When you press a button on the keyboard, the electrical signal travels and reaches the Processor asking to process that keystroke. Now, the processor checks if RAM has the data or not. If RAM already has the processed data related to that keystroke, the CPU does not process it and RAM delivers the results on the screen. You see, when you press the button on the keyboard while typing something, there is no delay in the result. This is because RAM has stored all the frequent data and the CPU doesn’t need to process it again and again. You get results directly from RAM bypassing the CPU.
When you render a video, it takes a while to give you the final rendered video because rendering a video is not a frequent task, and the CPU processes it.
Here is the in-depth graphical representation of how RAM works inside the computer system:
The importance of RAM can’t be overlooked because it allows data to retrieve more quickly than it came from the main storage disk that is Hard Disk Drive or HDD. If your system features low RAM, the computer won’t be able to process the input quickly. This results in slowing down of your system, which will lead to poor performance and continuous lag. Well, some games won’t even run if you have low RAM.
If you are planning to buy a new game and looking for minimum system requirements, you can see this.
How Much RAM Do I Need For Gaming?
Taking a look at the past trend, one thing that is ubiquitous is that the computer requirements are getting more demanding. Gone are the days when 4GB RAM was considered to be the standard requirement. Today, if you have 4GB RAM and want to play games, some of the games won’t run well and won’t be able to cater to your daily tasks.
Modern games require at least 8GB of RAM to run them on your computers. However, there is always a benefit if you have more than 8GB of RAM. Well, 16GB RAM is considered to be a standard RAM, hitting the sweet spot. The 16GB RAM will allow you to play the advanced games, and while allowing you to juggle between tasks with ease- without any lag or jitters.
On the other hand, if you are a gamer who Livestreames, 16GB RAM will offer multiple benefits. Along with the streaming, you can run Discord, record LIVE gameplay, or listen to your favorite tracks and do pretty much everything you want. In short, switching to 16GB RAM can create a noticeable difference in your experience with modern gaming titles.
For extreme needs, you can even upgrade to 32GB RAM which would not be a cheap upgrade as you have to buy 2x 16GB RAM sticks.
Other Upgrade Considerations
Apart from RAM, there are a bunch of other things that will impact your performance. SSD, GPU are other things that you will need to have in your system to experience lag-free gaming. While assembling your gaming PC, make sure you add SSD for installing games. Hard Drive Disk uses the physical arm to read and write the data whereas an SSD uses electrical signals to read & write the data. An SSD is responsible to increase the loading performance of RAM. Your games will be loaded quickly if you use an SSD.
The main purpose of using SSD is to reduce the load time drastically. In the same way, GPU matters a lot when it comes to playing certain games. The GPU enables games to run efficiently and improves the refresh rate as well so you don’t encounter problems like screen-tearing. The overall result will be smoother game-play.
How Much RAM is Enough: Conclusion
Upgrading your RAM can help you upgrade your experience. Also, if you are worried about the price of RAM, buying RAM is not that expensive but not dirt cheap as well. However, we would advise you to simply get a generous amount. The 16GB RAM is just the ideal choice, however, choosing 32GB is also the wise-decision in some cases. Depending upon what your purpose is, you can take your pick accordingly. If you are just building your PC, make sure you check our buying guide of best-prebuilt gaming PCs: