June 15 2019

What Does RAM Do For Gaming

Every hardcore gamer has been in the same position. That new video game with mind-boggling graphics and a captivating story is coming out in a few weeks and, boy-oh-boy, you’re looking forward to buying it. But, before you even consider committing a part of your gaming budget to it, you have to answer one crucial question. Can your gaming PC run the game?

You decided to treat yourself to an awesome gaming PC. This is not a quick and easy decision. All of a sudden, your happy moment turned into an annoying but critical decision-making process. Sure, you can use resources like https://buyersimpact.co.uk/ to help you to decide what is best according to reviews, but there are still some big decisions to be made. Unlike consoles, which come in specifically manufactured models, your PC can be whatever you want it to be. You build your gaming rig from a wide variety of different components while simultaneously balancing your build budget and your desired performance.

If your budget is limited, then I recommend you settle with purchasing the best budget gaming PC available. If performance is all you care about and the sky is the limit in terms of your budget, get something that rocks the best graphics card for gaming.

In any case, significant determinants that measure a PC’s performance and decide whether you can play a specific game or not are the processor, GPU, and RAM. For example, using the best gaming processor out there will make a huge difference compared to trying to fire up the Witcher 3 with a 10-year old Pentium.

So, since we’re focusing on random access memory in this piece, what is it exactly? What does RAM do for gaming? How is it different from other kinds of storage? Most importantly, how much RAM do you need for gaming? A bunch of questions that we provide a bunch of answers for.

What is RAM?

RAM (Random Access Memory) is where data from your hard drive and CPU are pre-loaded and temporarily stored. Your hard drive, in particular, is much slower than your RAM is, even if you have a top-tier solid-state drive.


Source: https://buyersimpact.co.uk/

When the processor needs to work on a process, it requests specific data from the RAM. Also, the processor sends data to RAM for storage. RAM enables swift response times in the storage and delivery of data, but it has one significant disadvantage: data is stored in RAM only while it’s receiving power. When you turn your computer off, and the RAM loses power, it will immediately empty its storage.

Therefore, for permanent data storage, we use the best HDDs for gaming. In the last decade, SSDs have become the most popular form of storing data. They are much smaller than HDDs but are able to load video games and other data ten times as fast. For the sake of simplification, we can compare RAM to the short-term memory in our brain and HDDs/SSDs to our long-term memory.

What’s the correlation between RAM and PC performance? RAM is, as mentioned before, the place where the computer keeps all of the data it currently is working on. The processor accesses data from RAM instead of requesting it directly from the HDD. The time the processor needs to get data from the PC’s RAM is measured in nanoseconds while the time it needs to retrieve data from the HDD is measured in milliseconds. That may not seem like a massive difference but it’s extremely noticeable in practice. (1 millisecond is one million nanoseconds.)

hp 4gb ram memory

In general, RAM helps the processor compute faster. The more RAM a PC has, the faster it can process data. With the appearance of DDR RAM, the memory manufacturers even managed to synchronize RAM and the processor to speed things up even more.

What Does RAM Do for Gaming?

How does everything we went over so far influence your gaming experience? RAM doesn’t impact a game as obviously as the graphics card does. Visually, our gaming experience stays the same, but under the hood, RAM handles an enormous workload and is as essential as any other part of a gaming PC.

Games consist of a large number of files and data that need to be processed. That data is kept in RAM while we play the game. On the other hand, the computer is simultaneously working on other processes in the background. RAM is the silent hero which makes this multitasking possible.

1GB 800Mhz PC2-6400U ram memory

As video games became more and more complex, they demanded more RAM and better graphics cards. Therefore, a new kind of RAM was introduced. Graphics double data rate (GDDR) RAM, or VRAM, now comes with GPUs when you buy them and functions in much the same way as DDR RAM.

This kind of storage is also called dedicated memory because it is used for graphics only. Our video games will use GDDR first when it’s available. Only in the case that GDDR is used up will the game turn to regular RAM for storage. It basically takes some of the load off of the general RAM in your PC when video games are played.

GDDR and regular RAM work together. They complement each other and they can compensate for each other as well. These solutions are essential because they maximize the performance of our PCs and smooth out our gaming experience.

RAM Sizes and Types

In general, we are witnessing extremely fast development of video game technology right now. A couple of years ago we could have said that 4GB of RAM was enough for almost every game on the market. Today, things have changed. RAM also comes in a bunch of different sizes—we can have 128 GB of it if we really want to.

So, how much RAM is enough for gaming?

Nowadays, a gaming PC should have at least 8GB. Most games should run smoothly with 8GB of RAM. We need to keep in mind that background processes impact RAM as well and future gaming development is always on the horizon. With 8GB, you might not be able to have other programs open on your PC while you play a graphics-intensive game. You’re also toeing the line of needing an upgrade soon for upcoming titles.


The smartest decision would be to grab 16GB of RAM for your PC. That amount would work with every current game while you have other applications open and it would provide a safety net for future upgrades. If you live stream, then you should have at least 16 GB of RAM, no questions asked.

Streamers should consider getting 32GB RAM, which could be viewed as overkill for normal gaming. Current games don’t come close to demanding 32GB of RAM but if you’re hardcore multitasking with games, streaming, and whatever it is you kids do on the internet, it could be worth it.

RAM speed is another important factor you might want to consider. Before upgrading, check your RAM speed and decide whether you want your next memory stick to be faster.

Final Words

You came here wanting to learn what RAM does for gaming. Now, you know the basics.

Running video games is one of the most demanding tasks that a modern computer is asked to perform. Games stress every component of your PC. RAM is a vital component and should be viewed as one. Understanding the purpose of RAM and the way it functions is critical if you want your games to run smoothly.

If you’re interested in upgrading your PC’s random access memory, be sure to check out the best RAM for gaming in 2020. Purchasing a model from a trusted manufacturer can help you avoid troubles when setting up your memory sticks and make you feel okay about the quality of the product. If you’re not feeling a new purchase, take the time to learn how to overclock RAM.


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}


Matthew Lyons