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RAM Requirement For Gaming In 2019 –
Lags and stutters are some of the most frustrating glitches you can experience while gaming. Luckily, the fix is pretty simple—get more RAM. Whether your computer is literally telling you that it’s low on memory or you’re experiencing minor gaming obstructions, RAM is the solution. But how much RAM do you really need to support your computer’s memory transfer rate requirements? Read on here to learn more about exactly how much RAM you need for gaming in 2019.
What is RAM?
RAM, or random access memory, is a type of data storage that allows data to be read or written, regardless of the physical location of the data inside the computer’s memory. There are two types of RAM that are widely used including dynamic RAM (DRAM) and static RAM (SRAM). The DRAM is less expensive to produce, but it is slightly slower than SRAM. You’ll find that most modern computers use DRAM.
What Does RAM Have to Do with Gaming?
As you’re playing your video games, there are a number of temporary files that must be swapped and stored. To avoid delays while gaming, your computer tasks the RAM to take charge here, as it’s much faster than the hard drive. The constant file transfer is so frequent, that most times, your hard drive wouldn’t be able to handle it at all.
When your computer doesn’t have enough RAM, it ends up using a swap file on the hard drive that slows the performance of your game significantly. Adding the right amount of RAM improves your gameplay and ensures higher FPS (frames per second).
The Old Standard –
Before games took on such intensely complex graphics and gameplay, 4GB of RAM was the standard. It was more than enough to handle any game on the market. With today’s demanding games and audience, it is no surprise that 4GB just doesn’t cut it for most serious gamers anymore. One of the easiest ways to compare the necessary amount of RAM is to check out the FPS at each level.
Comparing Games –
Some modern games don’t really have a problem playing with just 4GB of RAM, but the frame rate and gameplay experience does vary between 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. As an example, consider Grand Theft Auto V, Total War: Warhammer, and Witcher 3. When playing these games at various levels of RAM, only Witcher 3 has significant issues playing with only 4GB of RAM—even with graphics settings set at Ultra, High, or MAX. At 8GB and beyond, the games run completely fine. Some Steam games that recommend 8GB or more of RAM can easily run with less.
Is 4GB of RAM the Ideal?
While 4GB of RAM does a great job with most games, and runs almost all of them adequately, you may want more RAM now for the simple reason that you will want more RAM later. RAM requirements will increase as games develop. Getting more RAM for your computer now will pretty much guarantee that you won’t need to upgrade again any time soon.
So What Is the Ideal?
If 4GB is not the ideal, what is? Well, 8GB of RAM will really do all your games justice and there will be no need to get any more for a while. It’s a great investment, as it’s right in the middle price-wise and allows you the freedom to explore all the games on your Steam account at the highest level. If you’re only interested in RAM for gaming, then 8GB is more than enough.
While there is some slight concern that games and technology will advance more quickly than anticipated, 8GB of RAM is a pretty safe option. If you are concerned about having enough, upgrading to 16GB of RAM isn’t as big a deal as many think.
Is 16GB of RAM Worth It?
If you’re just using your RAM for gaming, 16GB of RAM is not really worth the investment. There’s no harm in getting more RAM, but you will be paying more up front. You may be spending upwards of $75 for 16GB of DDR4. If the monetary investment doesn’t bother you, go for it and then save up for other updates like a better graphics card, SSD (solid state drive) upgrade, or top-notch CPU (central processing unit).
Does More RAM Mean More Speed?
RAM does typically mean more speed in data writing and transfer, but your games won’t necessarily benefit from more RAM. There are other situations in which more RAM is necessary, including those who are focusing on playing games full time.
The people who benefit most from additional RAM often run heavy-duty design applications like Photoshop, architecture modeling, and CAD programs simultaneously. If you’re streaming on Twitch or focused on content creation, more RAM is also for you. Even people who like playing music in the background or browsing Google Chrome could be using a ton of RAM. Checking and responding to chats on Twitch could definitely strain your RAM if you’ve only got 4GB to work with.
Having more RAM is not all about gameplay or faster reaction time, it’s also responsible for ensuring everything else you’re doing on your computer is running smoothly. More RAM helps you avoid crashing, freezing, or force quitting applications.
How Much is Too Much?
The answer here depends on what you do with your computer. You won’t get a definitive answer until you assess what you’re using your memory for. Generally, 4GB is great for the casual gamer, 8GB is ideal for a jack of all trades type, and 16GB is the go-to for heavy duty users. You’ll have to take into account how much you want to invest in your setup and make a decision based on that combined with your usage requirements.
Final Decision –
As a gamer who’s considering the future, 4GB of RAM is not the smart investment to make. On the low end, you should at least consider upgrading to 8GB, as well as updating your graphics card and CPU. This trio together will ensure great performance and gameplay. Look into the top brands to compare prices and quality before making your final decision. The best investment of all would be to build your own computer, but that’s a post for another time. Today, get yourself some more RAM and get your gaming on!
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Chris Scalise is a technical writer and content strategist from Los Angeles, CA. When he’s not playing LoL, he writes about tech trends and developments for several publications and companies, including Discount-Computer.com