How Does RAM Affect Gaming Performance?


RAM is an essential component in every gaming PC. It can significantly improve your frame pacing and frame rate while playing games on your PC. 

Adding more RAM to your system can boost the responsiveness compared to desktops with less memory. Modern PC games need to quickly retrieve art assets, which call for more RAM capacity. 

The best graphics card will offer optimum performance only when paired with an equivalent RAM capacity. 

Before diving right into the conclusions and RAM benchmarks, let’s understand some related factors. RAM speed specifically refers to the frequency and is measured in MHz. 

It measures the command times that your RAM can effectively process per second. Computers use SDRAM, which is synchronized with the processor’s frequency. 

With technological advances, SDRAM now offers superior benefits like faster transfer rates, lower power consumption, and enhanced data transmission. 

The current standard of RAM speed for modern-day computers is DDR4 SDRAM. If you wish to upgrade your RAM for a better gaming experience, you need to deal with DDR4 SDRAM. 

Higher RAM speeds ratings deliver a faster response to the process, read, or write requests, which leads to improved gaming performance. 

Does RAM Increase Gaming Performance?

RAM is a key part of altering your computer’s performance. After your graphics card, SSD, and processor, RAM will play the biggest role in boosting the performance of your PC. 

Adding more RAM can increase your FPS in certain scenarios. Modern games require a modest amount of memory for effective running. The amount of memory or RAM capacity that games need to run will vary from game to game. 

Some games will offer optimum performance when integrated with a high capacity of RAM, while other games can effectively run on low memory. 

Your game settings will also affect the amount of memory required for optimum game performance. If you wish to run your games at the maximum or optimum settings, you will need more memory at high speed. 

If you have a memory of less than 8GB, adding more RAM will significantly increase your frames per second.

If you wish to build a new gaming PC or upgrade your existing computer, then you must go with 16GB of RAM to enjoy the highest gaming experience. Faster RAM can increase your gaming performance, too, in some situations.

Most benchmarks for the games show that the gaming experience difference base speeds of DDR4 memory have a similar or slightly lower than the highest RAM frequencies. 

For the majority of gaming applications, RAM speed can influence gaming performance only slightly. 

However, there are few exceptions to this benchmark. Ryzen-based systems are known to deliver improved framerates in many synthetic benchmarks and games when they are integrated with a faster memory like 2666Mhz or higher. 

Such systems will deliver reduced gaming performance when paired with less RAM capacity to slower memory of about 2133Mhz.

If you are building a PC with Ryzen CPU, you should opt for a clock speed of a minimum of 2666Mhz. 

However, this will not increase your gaming performance and framerate in every game. For new systems, it will be best to opt for a 2666MHz DDR4 memory kit and pair it with faster memory.

How Does RAM Affect Gaming Performance?

RAM offers quick access to your data and faster retrieval of information from the main storage disk. Pulling your game data from the hard drive can result in inefficient gaming performance. 

With low RAM capacity, your system will fail to store all the game information it requires for optimum running. Low RAM usually results in poor gaming performance and choppy frame rates. 

Often extremely low memory can prevent your game from running at all. However, you must note that all dedicated video cards come with their own memory, popularly known as VRAM. 

Such RAM is focused on directing graphics to your system’s display. If you wish to play high resolutions or 4k games, you need to opt for a higher capacity of VRAM. You must have adequate video RAM capacity on your card.

Is More RAM Better For Gaming?

Yes. RAM enables you to load the game efficiently. Adding more RAM will always boost the loading speed and performance of the game. 

However, your RAM must be at par with the gaming information your system needs to hold. If you have extra RAM than your system requires, the additional memory goes to waste. Casual tests have shown little performance difference between 8GB and 16GB of memory.

VRAM is heavily used while gaming, and a minor increase in the capacity of VRAM can bring noticeable improvements in gaming performance. 

If you have high-resolution displays like UHD and QHDs, it is essential to pair them with a high VRAM.

Faster and bigger RAM is usually preferred for gaming systems as it will enhance the gaming experience with faster loading times. You will be able to store and hold more temporary gaming information.

The impact of memory on gaming performance is a strange beast. If you use a RAM of about 4GB, your game will be left with less memory to process and load data sets. 

It will impact the game engine, lightning, levels, and textures associated with the game in question. You will have a choppier gaming performance with frequent frame-rate drops. The easiest solution to this is to add more RAM. 

However, there is a certain limit to adding memory to your system. Beyond that limit, all the additional RAM will remain unused. Two main factors determine the threshold limit for adding RAM:

 RAM Usage In Games

The first thing is to note how much RAM a certain game will use. If a game uses only 4GB of RAM, upgrading to a higher memory will not lead to increased gaming performance. 

Background Applications

The second factor comes from the fact that a game is not the only component to use your RAM. While gaming, some applications will run in the background. 

It can be your streaming software, recording software, web browsers, and other programs such as anti-viruses, Steam, and so on. The operating system will also use a portion of the RAM. You should also account for that while deciding on a RAM capacity. 

Having some extra RAM will allow the applications to run in the background effectively. It will also allow you to multitask while running your game. 

In 2021, most games are becoming more demanding in terms of memory and require more RAM to perform effectively.

How Does RAM Clock Speed Impact Games?

The improvement in gaming performance mainly depends on the speed of your previous RAM setup, the software you are using, and the current RAM capacity. 

A higher clock speed allows operations to be executed quickly and enables the RAM to process data faster. 

However, the impact of RAM clock speed on gaming performance is hardly noticeable. You must also consider your motherboard and CPU while opting for a higher RAM. If your motherboard and CPU don’t support the high RAM speeds, you will face bottleneck issues.

GPU usually has the greatest impact on your gaming performance. The second next factor is VRAM. 

How Much RAM is Ideal for Optimum Gaming Performance?

It depends on certain factors. Are you willing to play focused gaming sessions, or do you want to multitask and stream? 

The baseline for gaming AAA titles is usually an 8GB RAM capacity. However, with modern-day gaming, the requirements for RAM are increasing. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 calls for 12GB of RAM to improve gaming performance. 

While games like Half-Life: Alyx will work on systems with a minimum of 12GB of RAM. If you want to keep playing the latest game launches in the future, you should opt for a minimum of 16GB of RAM. 

If you wish to multitask, 32GB of RAM is recommended. A minimum of 32GB capacity will give you the optimum freedom to group-chat on platforms like Twitch, live stream, and open Twitch or YouTube in the background. 

However, you need to balance the RAM capacity with ideal speed. A slow RAM with 32GB will do you no good, nor will a 4GB capacity with fast RAM. 

The starting speed of DDR4 SDRAM begins at approximately 1600MHz. However, to improve your gaming speed, you need around 2933MHz or more. 

Running your RAM with high speeds will improve your frame rates and game performance. However, the performance boost will vary according to the game you are playing. 

Some games will have a noticeable performance improvement, while others will be barely impacted. In addition to boosting the game performance, faster RAM can also enhance the steadiness of your frame rate. 

The Bottom Line  

RAM can impact your frame rates and performance in certain games and systems. However, the amount of impact will depend on the game you are playing. 

The benchmark for optimum gaming performance is 2666MHz RAM in the DDR4 memory range. It doesn’t cost excessively more than 2133Mhz RAM capacity. 

Ryzen-based systems offer the optimum gaming performance, then paired with a decent 2666Mhz memory. Faster memory kits have shown enhanced gaming performance results compared to the standard 2133Mhz memory. 

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