What is RAM & what does it do
RAM (or Random Access Memory) is the computer’s short term memory that stores information used by actively running processes on your computer. The data held in the RAM is unique in functionality as it can be accessed at any time and in any order. Actively running programs make use of RAM, so having more RAM effectively means you can have more programs running at the same time.
Why is RAM important in gaming
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, RAM isn’t actually that important when it comes to gaming. That being said, there are certain aspects to RAM that can have an impact on your gaming experience – albeit limited.
Whilst every game requires a certain amount of RAM to run, having additional RAM won’t necessarily increase the framerate output. That in mind, RAM timings (the latency measured in clock cycles) and frequency can actually affect gaming performance.
Choosing a RAM kit that has tighter timings or quicker frequency can see positive effects on your gaming performance.
DDR4 RAM & Gaming
The latest generation of (Double Data Rate) is DDR4 RAM that became available in 2014, upgraded from DDR that was available in 2007. DDR4 RAM has 2 data transfers occur per clock cycle, meaning it can read faster; perfect for power hungry gaming pcs.
How do I find out how much RAM I have?
The simplest way of finding out how much RAM your PC has is to type in Windows search function – “System Information”. Press enter on the System information tab and it will bring up the hardware data you have inside your PC. Scroll down to “Installed Physical Memory” to find out how much RAM your PC has & whether it’s enough.
How to choose the right RAM for your PC
Choosing the right amount of RAM for your PC has become much easier over the years, mainly because pricing is much more affordable nowadays. Below are some considerations that will make choosing your next RAM kit a little easier:
- Gaming – For a gaming PC, you really want to be using at least 16GB of RAM. Whilst you can probably get away with 8GB for most games, it’s really worth spending the extra $20-$30 on the extra RAM to ensure you cover most gaming scenarios.
- Workstation – Workstation PCs usually require more available RAM than gaming alternatives. Just take the motherboards as a prime example. Whilst gaming motherboards come with 4 RAM slots, a workstation motherboard will offer 8. Depending on the tasks you perform will ultimately dictate how much RAM you need, but as a general rule we’d go for 16-32GB as a start but you can check how much RAM you need.
How to check how much ram your motherboard supports
Before purchasing a RAM kit for your build, you really want to make sure that the motherboard can support the speed of RAM you’re planning on getting. The easiest way to check this is, find the motherboard you’re using, then do a simple search for the manufacturer product page. Go to specifications and find out what RAM speed it can accommodate. Alternatively, if you already have the motherboard, simple check the user manual for available speeds.
You can also look to improve speed & performance by overclocking your ram, which can also have a positive impact on your CPUs performance & improve frame rates.