Trying to figure out how much RAM will fit your system? Or do you wish to understand whether more RAM will boost your FPS? This guide covers everything you need to know regarding whether adding more memory to your system will improve your in-game experience.
First, you should understand that RAM plays a vital role in your computer’s performance after your processor and graphics card. However, there’s always a lot of confusion regarding how the installed RAM affects your system’s performance, especially its FPS.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is an essential component for gaming PCs. Adding more RAM to your PC helps improve its responsiveness and frame rate compared to systems with less memory. RAM temporarily stores data whenever your system is powered on.
Gaming programs read and write data on the RAM because it’s easier than accessing data on storage devices. Let’s dive in and discuss the scenarios where the RAM affects your framerate.
Does increasing RAM improve FPS?
Various tests indicate that adding more RAM to your system doesn’t automatically improve in-game performance. However, the questions you should be asking aren’t necessarily whether you should add more RAM to your system to improve FPS.
Instead, you should ask whether adding more RAM to a system with a low amount of RAM will increase the games’ FPS. A simple answer to this question is “yes.” Adding more RAM to a gaming system with low RAM will help improve the FPS and overall gaming experience. Various gaming programs require systems with unique specifications to run correctly.
Often, these specifications include the amount of RAM, storage, processor, etc. The amount of RAM necessary for games to run appropriately differs depending on the game, and some games will require more while others require less.
Additionally, the game’s settings will likely affect how much RAM your game uses. Thus, players who want to enjoy their favorite games at maximum settings must install more RAM than those who play with lower settings. So, what’s the best advice when purchasing RAM for your system?
Realistically, individuals with a decent amount of RAM, i.e., 16GB, will not get more FPS by adding more RAM to their system. This happens because only some games and scenarios require over 16GB of memory. However, individuals running systems with a low amount of RAM, i.e., 4 to 8GB, will benefit by installing more RAM, which can improve their FPS.
Individuals upgrading their gaming computer or those looking to build a new one should choose an 8-16GB RAM capacity. However, those doing more demanding tasks like graphic design and video editing can choose to install over 16GB of RAM, depending on their budget.
Does Faster RAM Equal More FPS?
Adding faster RAM to your system can boost your FPS in specific scenarios, similar to how adding more ram can improve performance. However, various tests indicate that performance differences between base speeds of RAM (the DDR4 memory’s 2133MHz being the lowest speed) perform only slightly slower than the fastest RAM in various applications.
However, there are a few exceptions, and research shows that Ryzen-based systems can provide higher framerates in various games and synthetic benchmarks when paired with faster memory than with slower memory. This may vary depending on the game, meaning no standard answer exists. It depends on the games you want to play and the programs you want to run.
You should also note that faster and slower sticks or RAM vary in price, and some shops will sell faster RAM 10-15% more expensive than the slower RAM. However, the price could be slightly different, depending on where you purchase your RAM. So, what is the best advice?
What you should do when building a system with a Ryzen CPU is get a memory kit with a 2666hz+ clock speed. Note that this won’t increase your system performance and framerate for each application or game. However, it will be helpful for programs or games requiring your system to have a faster memory.
The other thing you should consider is your budget. Individuals who can’t get a faster RAM and are forced to downgrade their GPU or CPU are better off buying a slower RAM and getting a quicker GPU or CPU.
This happens because a faster GPU/CPU provides a better performance difference than that offered by a speedier memory. Thus, you should choose a quicker RAM if its price doesn’t affect your budget when purchasing other vital components like your GPU and CPU.
How Much RAM Do You Need?
How much RAM you need depends on what programs you want to run. For instance, if you are a gamer planning to play focused sessions, 8GB is enough. However, RAM demands are increasing, and some games, i.e., Red Dead Redemption, demand up to 12GB of RAM or more to run well. Ideally, you should get 16GB RAM to stay ahead of the curve and play new releases in the future.
Individuals who plan to do more than gaming should get 32GB of RAM. This provides you more power to group-chat on Discord, live-stream, and have Twitch or YouTube open in the background. Individuals performing more taxing tasks like 3D modeling can get the latest processors that support up to 128GB of RAM.
What RAM Is Compatible with Your Motherboard?
Before considering its frequency and capacity, you should consider the RAM’s compatibility with your processor and motherboard. Purchasing an incorrect module won’t work, and buying one with the wrong specifications could cause your PC to underperform.
You should understand that there are various types of RAM, and they are installed onto the motherboard. Memory sticks incompatible with your motherboard won’t function properly or even fit. Motherboards in modern computers support DDR4 RAM, which shouldn’t be confused with DDR3, which is the previous SDRAM generation. These aren’t interchangeable; users can’t replace a DDR3 (8GB) with a DDR4 (16GB) memory stick.
DDR4 and SDRAM
Computers use SDRAM or Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. This type of RAM is synchronized with the processor’s frequency leading to improved performance over time. DDR4 SDRAM is the standard type of RAM for modern computers and features larger capacities, faster data transfer rates, and lower voltage than previous generations.
Individuals upgrading their PCs or building new systems will likely deal with DDR4 SDRAM. You should check your system or processor’s documentation for compatible memory. You can also use an online memory compatibility tool or a system profiling utility to avoid purchasing the wrong product.
DIMM (Dual in-line memory module)- These are larger RAM modules for desktop motherboards. SO-DIMM (Small outline dual in-line memory module)- These are smaller modules designed for small form factor (SFF) motherboards, mini-PCs, etc.
What RAM Speed Do I Need?
You should purchase RAM that provides the right balance between speed and capacity. For instance, you shouldn’t purchase 32GB of slow RAM or 4GB of fast RAM. Remember that DDR4 RAM speeds begin from 1600MHz; however, this is considered low by current standards.
You should choose a memory stick with high-rated speeds if you want to use your system for gaming. However, you should also remember that upgrading your RAM (unless it’s ineffective) won’t improve your system’s performance as much as upgrading your graphics card or processor would.
Regardless, it can still improve your game’s FPS and performance. Note that the system’s performance depends on the game. Some games will be barely impacted, but you’ll notice a fair amount of improvement in others. You should check the benchmark stating the average FPS to determine whether the upgrade will be worth your investment.
What Is Dual-Channel RAM?
Most modern computers have dual-channel memory. The Dual-channel (Interleaved) mode enables the CPU’s memory controller to transfer data with the RAM via dual channels. This allows the system to simultaneously write and read onto the two memory sticks, increasing the available bandwidth.
This mode is automatically enabled for most motherboards with only two DIMM slots. Using two memory sticks in motherboards with four slots requires the RAM to be symmetrically installed to use the same channel.
The slots may be side-by-side, staggered, or color coded. You should check the motherboard’s documentation for specific instructions regarding proper installation. For the best performance, you should ensure each stick has the exact timing, capacity, and speed. You should avoid mixing different module specifications if you want optimal performance.
Overall, adding more RAM to your system will improve your system’s FPS and responsiveness and load the game faster. However, the amount of RAM you need for your game is determined by various factors, including the type of games you want to play, how many applications you want to run simultaneously, and if you wish to stream your game.