How Much RAM For Gaming
The most common question in PC building community is how much ram for gaming you actually need in 2021? The answer to this question has been answered time and time again.
Yet somehow the question is still open. And, it will be forever. Because there is no definite answer to this question. The thing is, the system requirements for games are often not validated well. It turns out that many games that ask you to use a system with 16GB of ram can actually get by just fine on 8GB with only a very marginal performance drop.
You will notice that more and more ram seems to be required as we progress through the newer generation of components. Luckily as these requirements increase the technology becomes more affordable, stopping us from spending every last dollar on our gaming rigs.
- Types of RAM In A Gaming System
- How Much Ram For Gaming Is Required?
- How Much RAM For A Gaming PC?
- Single Channel Vs Multi-Channel
Types of RAM In A Gaming System
Now RAM or memory can be of two types in a gaming rig. One is the main system memory also known as random access memory or RAM. The other one video memory or VRAM
RAM or Random Access Memory
RAM or Random Access Memory or system memory is the most common memory we usually talked about and this is the reason you read this. System memory used to load data that are used repeatedly over and over in a game. Because the data might be inefficient to load directly from the slower SSD or even slower hard drives.
VRAM or Video Random Access Memory
The other type of RAM is VRAM or Video Random Access Memory, which live in your GPU or graphics card.
The primary purpose of VRAM is to hold the graphics information that the GPU acts upon. Meaning higher resolution gaming and higher resolution texture require more VRAM. You can learn more about VRAM here: How much Graphics card VRAM need for gaming?
But for now, we are only talk about the System memory and how much ram for gaming you might need for better gaming experience.
How Much Ram For Gaming Is Required?
You’ve noticed that modern games such as Call of Duty: Cold war and Cyberpunk 2077 require more and more memory. And normal PC gamers are recommended to have at least 16 gigabytes of ram for some games.
But do we really need 16 gigs of ram for gaming or is it just a big corporate conspiracy to take every last dollar out of your pocket?
Now there is an important point that we should remember while judging a game’s performance on a certain amount of ram.
The Difference Between Lag And Stutters In The Game.
Lag In Games
Lag is basically the constant low fps performance in your games. When a game lags generally it gives an overall feeling of slowness throughout and not in bursts.
Increasing the amount of ram will not improve lag. Even if you put 32GB of memory in your system. Lag can be minimized and improved only by moving to a better graphics card or sometimes a better CPU if you are facing any bottlenecking issues.
But more often than not if you are finding yourself constantly hovering around that low frame rate territory, then the graphics card is the component you should be looking to upgrade.
Stutter In Games
Stutter, on the other hand, is not a constant state of low fps but occasional and sudden hitches and disruptions in the frame time and frame rate.
At one point you might be going smooth at say 60 frames per second and then immediately the game hitches and the frame rate drops to an insanely low number like 5 or 10 and then goes up back again.
These phenomena or slowdowns are called stutters which are more often than not caused by low ram in the system. This is the scenario when you should be looking to upgrade your ram rather than anything else.
How Much RAM For A Gaming PC?
4GB of memory
So let’s start at the very bottom of the memory pyramid with 4GB of DDR4 ram.
Well, the thing is there is not really much to say about this as you cannot simply game with 4 gigs of memory nowadays. With so many updates and developments in games throughout the years, 4GB of memory for your average gaming isn’t enough.
Not only that but with prices of ram kits dropping and expected to drop even more in the coming months if recent reports are to be believed. It makes sense to get more than 4GB.
8GB of memory
The next logical move is definitely going up to 8GB of ram. Most games these days list 8GB of ram as a bare minimum requirement in the pc specifications. 8GB of ram is actually quite serviceable for gaming. But, is it the sweet spot that you should be aiming for when deciding on the ram budget for your next build?
Only a year or two ago 8GB of fairly high-speed memory was considered to be the sweet spot. But that is no longer the case.
The reason is with the advancement of graphics, higher quality textures, and overall more detailed environments, most games these days use much more than 8GB of ram at 1080p resolution.
Some of the recent titles like Call of duty Modern warfare and Horizon zero dawn use more than 12 to 13 gigs of ram easily at 1080p even on medium quality settings. The game assets are getting more complex day by day. And inevitably the ram requirements are increasing at a faster pace.
As a result with 8 gigs of ram, you can experience occasional stutters and hitches in your AAA gaming titles. So if you are looking to build an extreme budget PC, then 8GB is the bare minimum amount of ram you will definitely need for gaming.
16GB of memory
With modern games looking as good as they are and using super high-quality assets, 16 GB of memory has really become the sweet spot for AAA gaming. Even a few years back if someone said they are using 16 gigs of ram in their pc, their pc would have been counted in the super high-end category. But that is no longer the case today.
Games regularly use 10 to 12gigs of ram easily and sometimes as high as 13 to 14gigs. So 16 GB is an absolute sweet spot to play the latest and greatest triple-a titles without any hitches.
RAM speed has also become an important factor especially with the introduction of AMD’s Ryzen based processors. RAMs with higher frequencies gain a lot of performance in Ryzen based systems. So if you are using 16 GB of 3000mhz or more memory in your gaming system, you are golden at least 4-5 years in the future.
Buy Best Gaming Memory From Amazon
32GB of memory
Anything more than 16 GB of ram currently in PC is generally fallen under the high-end category. You probably won’t gain a ton of performance from upgrading your memory from 16 gigs to 32 gigs. Games will apparently run the same on either of them.
But 32 gigs really comes in handy, if you are a content creator or streamer and you have to keep multiple chrome tabs, programs, and games open at the same time. 32 gigs of ram will be beneficial for that sort of work.
From a pure gaming perspective, however, we are still not at that point where we can say that we need 32 gigs of ram for gaming. And we are still a fairly long way off from getting there.
64GB of memory
Anything more than 32 gigs of ram is absolutely unnecessary in day-to-day usage, gaming, and even for heavy users and content creators. There is no way your pc will use more than 32 GB of memory in your day-to-day tasks.
Anything more is purely a waste of money and will be much better utilized if invested in other parts of the pc build especially, in the graphics card, processor, or even an SSD.
Single Channel Vs Multi-Channel
When installing RAM in your PC, here is a thing you need to look at, whether you use a single ram stick (1 x 16Gb) and use a single channel or use multiple ram stick (2 x 8Gb) and utilize multi-channel. This is because a multi-channel setup can give you 5-10% more performance than a single channel. Even though the performance boost is not for every single but most of the game.
The single-channel and multi-channel setup depend on the motherboard you have. Is it support multi-channel? If yes, then you are good. Honestly speaking most motherboards in 2021 or even those from 4-5 years back can support multi-channel. So won’t be a big problem. There is no reason to use multi-channel these days. It gives you extra performance also better maintenances room.
is 8gb ram enough for gaming?
8GB RAM is the bare minimum amount you want to have on your gaming PC nowadays. Modern titles easily require a minimum of 8GB of RAM. 8GB is not enough, but it is the minimum requirement.
how much ram do i need
In order to play the AAA title in 2021 and the upcoming 2-3 years, you must need 16GB of RAM. 16 GB is an absolute sweet spot to play the latest and greatest triple-a titles without any hitches.
is 16gb ram enough for gaming
16GB RAM is required to play latest and greatest AAA titles in 2021 and upcoming 2-3 years.
So how much ram for gaming is required in 2021 or even in the future? As of the year 2021, 8GB of ram is the bare minimum you will need for gaming. Anything less than that, and you can goodbye to the modern triple-A titles.
If you want to hit the sweet spot, however, and experience a smooth setting in the latest games, 16 GB of high-speed ram is the way to go. If you are a heavy user, a content creator, or a streamer, then 32gigs can be useful to give you a completely hassle-free experience. Anything more than 32 gigs, however, at this point in time is useless and a complete waste of money.
Hi, I’m Karunamay Murmu. Blogger, Web Developer by profession, and hardcore PC gamer by hobby. Playing video games since when I was 10 years old. Have special respect for gaming and PC.