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How Does RAM Affect Gaming Performance?

by  Jone -  Last updated on August 26, 2021

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If you are a PC gamer, you are aware that there are various factors that affect its performance. One of them, in particular, is RAM. How does it affect the overall performance of your system?

We will answer this question in detail and explain how it all works. The more effectively each component your PC performs, the better. But does more RAM equal a better performance?

You may be building a PC computer from the ground up and maybe thinking about the kind of parts you want to ensure optimal performance.

Some gaming titles can perform well if you use the minimum recommended RAM, CPU, and so on. Other gaming titles will have minimum hardware requirements but demand recently-made hardware components to give them the best possible performance.

If you are building a gaming computer or planning an upgrade, keep reading. Let’s dive in and talk about what RAM is and how it helps with your gaming computer:

What Is RAM?

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. This is considered to be one of the most important components that make up your computer system. RAM allows you memory storage for all the apps and programs that you use on your computer.

RAM will store the information so you can be able to access the apps and programs a lot quicker if you frequently use them. Loading them won’t take up a lot of time every time you use them. If you run more programs, the more RAM you are going to use.

One of the things to be aware of is that the speed and performance of the computer as a whole will be determined by the amount of RAM that is installed.

So it can do so much with the amount of RAM that it has. You can install more RAM if you so choose, but the added result will be minimal at best.

What Does RAM Do?

RAM will allow your computer to perform various tasks, even if they’re done on a regular basis. This includes surfing the internet, using a word processing app like Microsoft Word, or playing your favorite video games.

If the system operates at a slow rate of speed, there is a good chance that you may need to upgrade your RAM.

As mentioned before, you can add as much RAM as possible. But the result may yield minimal results. So it may be pointless to add all kinds of RAM if your intent is to maximize as much performance as possible.

Think of your computer’s RAM as a desk. The more RAM you have, the more storage space you’ll have for everything you are planning on using. But if you are using all kinds of programs at the same time, the speed and performance of the computer will decline.

How Does RAM Affect Gaming?

Since RAM is used for everyday tasks and performances, the real question is how useful is it in gaming?

There is no doubt that RAM can play an important role in a gaming computer’s performance. It is one of two important components as far as performance goes (with your GPU playing an even greater role).

Does RAM Affect FPS Performance?

One of the things that gamers focus on most is how many frames per second (FPS) they can get while playing their favorite titles. But does add more RAM means better FPS performance?

The short answer is no. To further elaborate, adding more RAM will not always mean better FPS. To reframe this question, you can ask it from a position of having low RAM to begin with.

If you were to ask, ‘if I had low RAM, would adding more of it increase FPS performance’? The answer is that it could bump up the FPS.

But keep in mind that the overall performance including FPS will differ from one game to the next. There are games that will require more memory to run and others won’t need much of it.

Just remember, if you plan on playing a game with maximum settings in place, then it will definitely use a good amount of RAM so it gets the performance that you want.

How Much RAM Do You Need?

Whether you are building a gaming computer or upgrading one, there is always the question of how much RAM is necessary. These days, you could get away with a minimum of 8GB of RAM in order to play most games.

Again, even with 8GB of RAM the FPS performance still varies depending on the games that you play. If you are building a gaming PC, it may be best to go no lower than 8GB.

However, if you plan on using your computer for more than just games, you may double up and get 16GB of RAM.

This way, it will allow you not only to play games, but it can also be used as a multi-purpose computer for such tasks as surfing online, video editing, and so much more.

Does Faster RAM Mean More FPS?

To clear out any confusion, adding more RAM does not always equal more FPS. But faster RAM will mean that your FPS performance will be even better. Once again, this can depend on certain scenarios and it may not always be the case.

It may also depend on what processor is being used. For example, if you have a PC gaming computer that has an AMD Ryzen processor. One of the reasons why it is the preferred processor for gamers is its ability to deliver higher framerates, especially when it is paired with fast RAM.

In the final analysis, it all comes down to the game. One game can be demanding in terms of overall performance, so the FPS performance can be good but it can still be worse than some other titles. So as you can guess, each title will vary and it may not always be the PC itself.

As a general rule, consider the following: 2666Mhz will be a good place to start if you are planning on using DDR4 memory. You get an excellent performance boost compared to PC systems that have 2133MHz of memory.

But performance will depend on the game or the scenario even if you have enough RAM and a good enough processor to get the job done.

Types Of RAM (DDR4, SDRAM)

What is DDR4 or SDRAM? What is the difference between the two? We will be talking about these module types here so you know what you want to get when you are building a PC from the ground up.

Let’s talk about each type of RAM for a moment:

DDR4

For most computers used today, they use what is known as DDR4. This stands for ‘Double Data Rate 4’. The number 4 stands for fourth generation. This is designed to be a replacement for SDR (or single data rate) RAM.

DDR4 is the type of RAM that brings faster transfer rates, lower voltages, and larger memory capacities compared to its older counterparts.

SDRAM

SDRAM stands for synchronous dynamic random memory access. This is usually synchronized with the frequency of your PC’s processor. It does come in a form known as DDR4 SDRAM.

So you get excellent performance if not something a little more if with DDR4 SDRAM. This might be a great choice for those who want to build their PC computers from the ground up.

That’s because DDR4 as a standalone is not backwards compatible due to some of its characteristics such as pin count, voltage, and timings.

When searching for RAM modules, it is important to find one that will be compatible with your system. To know what kind of compatibility you are looking for, you may want to check the documentation of the processor or the PC itself.

Alternatively, you can run a tool that is available online that will check for compatibility.

DIMM vs SO-DIMM

When choosing RAM, you will need to know the difference between DIMM vs SO-DIMM. Let’s compare them: DIMM is your usual sticks of RAM you will see on most computers. This is something you will commonly find on the motherboards of desktop computers.

SO-DIMM on the other hand stands for small outline dual in-line memory module. This is much smaller in size and will usually be found in laptops. At this point, the choice is a no-brainer since it depends on the type of computer that you want to upgrade RAM to.

Final Thoughts

RAM does play a role in gaming performance. But at the end of the day, the speed of RAM can play a role in the computer’s performance.

Adding more RAM may do little to nothing at all. When upgrading RAM, it is important to focus more on speed than anything else.

Also, you want to consider the kind of processor that you have. An AMD Ryzen processor and most RAM sticks will perform well and can improve the FPS of most games. But once again, the overall FPS performance will vary from game to game.

Also Read: How Much RAM Do I Actually Need for Gaming?

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