How Much RAM Do I Need For Gaming in 2021?

All gamers take great pains to keep their PC up to date with all the latest computer equipment and hardware as this is necessary to enjoy games with good graphics. Therefore, all gamers know that it is tough to set up a gaming rig with everything you need for gaming.

It is tough because, first of all, there are many things to consider when it comes to setting up a well-balanced gaming rig. Secondly, PC games have been steadily increasing the system requirements needed to run them.

But luckily now technology is more affordable so we can afford to update our PC to play all the latest games with excellent graphics. Plus, now we can easily find answers to our questions and make a smart consumer choice.

There are a lot of questions that bother people when they are setting a gaming rig. However, one question tends to bother people more than others; how much RAM do I need for gaming?

You must have noticed that more and more RAM is required to play the newer games or even a new version of old games. In this blog, we will tell you how much RAM do you exactly need for gaming in 2021? Is 4 GB of RAM is enough for gaming? Or 8GB is the least you should have?

This article will tell you how much RAM you need for gaming in 2021.

What is RAM?

RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and it is one of the most important components of PCs. RAM is a temporary data storage space that contains all the information your computer might need now or shortly. Nothing would run on your computer without RAM. Your programs, files, or Netflix shows would not work without RAM.

RAM plays an important role in the computer’s working, which will be discussed in detail below. However, for now, it will suffice to say that a PC will be very frustrating to use without RAM.

What is the purpose of RAM? Does RAM play a role in running games?

RAM is actually a short-term memory of your device. It temporarily stores and remembers everything that is running on your PC. It remembers all the basic services like your image editing tool, your web browser, and even games so that all of them are easy to load and immediately available to play.

If your CPU had to dig through a hard drive every time you open a new tab, you’d be sitting for hours in front of the screen without getting anything done.

So when you run a game on your computer, all the required data that your computer might need to make sure the game runs smoothly without any lag is stored in the RAM. Your PC won’t run games if you do not have the recommended amount of RAM for games. 

Without adequate RAM, the PC will not run games at all, and if the game runs, it’ll lag. Not only will games lag, but your PC will take a lot of time, even in opening your web browser or opening your editing app, etc. So RAM really helps in speeding up the work by storing adequate data required by your PC.

What happens when you run out of RAM?

Almost all operating systems have a page file, which is also known as the swap file. This file temporarily stores data present in RAM. It stores data when the RAM module is unable to store data alone.

Hence when RAM cannot handle all the data, the least used data is sent to the page file, which becomes virtual memory. Over time the size of the page file can increase and, in some cases, exceed hundreds of MBs. In some cases, the page file can give you as much data storage as your RAM module. However, it is possible to limit the size of your page file. 

If you ever see a message saying that you are running low on virtual memory, it means that the space on your page file is almost at its limits. It is a signal that you should start thinking about buying new RAM.

Also, keep in mind accessing the data stored in the page file can lag and slow down your PC. It is because data drives like the page file are slower as compared to the RAM modules.

Hence it would help if you started considering investing in RAM instead of relying on the page file.

How to check the RAM installed on your computer? 

Well, you need to keep checking RAM to know when to start looking for a new RAM module. If you want to see the RAM installed on your Windows computer, open File Explorer, right-click on This PC, and select the option named Properties.

If you follow these steps, you will open the System page on your control panel. The control panel will reveal the capacity of your RAM.

RAM and its capacity, Frequency, and Latency 

You must have often heard about RAM capacity and frequency etc. A basic understanding of these terms can help you in making a smart consumer choice.

If you do not understand these terms, then do not worry. I will explain them briefly so that you can understand the specific qualities associated with RAM. The capacity of RAM refers to its storage size, and it is measured in megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), and terabytes (TB).

For Example, if I say my computer has 8GB RAM, I am saying that RAM installed on my computer has 8GB space.

Frequency RAM indicates how fast it can access the data stored on it. It is usually measured in MHz and RAM with higher frequency numbers indicates that they can access the stored data faster. The Latency of your RAM should be lower as it refers to the difference in time between a request and the execution of the task.  

Frequency and Latency together affect the working speed of a RAM module. You should pay attention to the Frequency and Latency of a RAM module when you are buying it.

You should choose a RAM with a higher Frequency, as a higher Frequency can even compensate for higher Latency. However, the most important factor is the capacity of RAM.

When you are buying a RAM module, focus more on capacity instead of frequency and latency. 

How many RAM capacities are available?

Now that you know that you need RAM to run games, it’s time to learn how many RAM capacities are available. Most computers have 4, 8, or 16 GB of RAM, but PCs have 32, 64, and 128 GB of RAM. 32 GB and higher capacity RAM are found in high-tech computers. How much RAM a PC need depends upon the work required of the PC. 

4 GB :

4GB RAM is very commonly found in office and desktop computers. Few old, outdated games run on it, so you can work with 4GB RAM if you like those games.

There are tons of people that like old games, so it is perfect for them. However, it cannot run all the latest games of 2021. To make your experience worthwhile, it is better to invest a little bit more in RAM.

8 GB

8GB is considered to be the new minimum recommendation. Your PC will be able to run almost all current games with 8GB of RAM, which is why it’s the minimum recommended RAM required for gaming.

Gamers should at least invest in 8GB of RAM if they want to play new games without lag. Although even with 8GB RAM, your PC would have trouble loading the graphics of more complex games. 

16 GB :

There is no downside to having 16 GB of RAM as it will run all the current games and the games that will be released later. You will never run out of RAM, no matter how heavy the games are.

It is the optimal amount of RAM required for gaming, and it is also a good investment as you will be able to play future games. You can even play 4k games on 16GB RAM.

32 GB :

People who call themselves professional gamers are investing in 32 GB RAM to be prepared for future games. I mean, RAM is cheap nowadays anyway, so why not? 

People who edit videos or design 3D models also go for 64 or even 128 GB RAM depending upon their needs. However, if you are not a professional gamer or have no use for that much RAM, then investing in anything more than 16 GB of RAM is a waste of your money.

So how much RAM should you get?

Today almost all motherboards can accommodate up to 32 GB of RAM, but that does not mean you have to buy 32 GB RAM or RAM with more capacity. If you have a tight budget or do not want to spend a lot on the RAM for the time you bring, then 8GB is your best option.

Almost all games run well at 8GB of RAM. However, 16GB of RAM can prove to be a great investment. Every game will run with great graphics and smoothness with 16 GB of RAM. Moreover, you will install incoming games too, so it’s a great future investment.

16 GB should be the default amount of RAM in 2021, especially for gamers. But there are more things to be considered. For Example, if should you get a single module or multiple module channel memory?

Should you get a single module RAM or multiple module RAM?

Today every motherboard can support a dual memory channel, and some advanced ones can even support quad-channel memory. It is generally recommended to have multiple RAM modules.

The main advantage of having multiple RAM modules is that it provides security against broken modules. If one RAM module breaks down, the other ones will ensure that your computer runs properly.

For Example, if you have 16 GB single module RAM and it breaks down, you will not be able to use your PC properly until you replace it. On the other hand, if you have two 8GB modules and one of the malfunctions, you will still be able to use your computer because one 8GB RAM module is still working.  

However, you are unlikely to notice any difference in your gaming experience with both single or multiple RAM modules. But multiple RAM modules are easier and cheaper to replace in case one of them malfunctions. 

Summary:

As said earlier, 16 GB RAM is ideal for gaming in 2021. My pick is to buy two 8GB modules to have a total of 16 GB RAM. This will allow you to enjoy gaming with good graphics, and since you have multiple modules, you will be able to use your PC even if one of the RAM modules malfunctions.

If you have 16 GB RAM, you can sit back relax for a long time since you are not likely to run out of space.  It is also future-proof as you will most likely be able to play any game that comes out in the future.

However, how much RAM you should get depends upon your budget and need. Some gamers live stream, edit video, and create content; they might need 32 GB and more RAM.

Plus, video editors, software developers, and 3D modelers would probably go for higher capacity RAM modules because they need them for their work.  

If you cannot afford 16GB RAM, your next best option is the 8GB RAM. If you have 8GB RAM, you will be able to play almost all the games, but some compromise would be required in terms of graphics.

But it’s easy to upgrade RAM nowadays, so even if you get 8GB RAM, you can always upgrade it to 16GB RAM later. However, if you like old games well, then you can go for 4GB RAM. It’s okay to get even 4GB if you think your need can be meet by it.

So now you know everything you need to know about RAM. You are ready to make a smart consumer decision. All you have to do is understand your needs and choose a RAM that suits your needs. So go ahead and buy the ideal amount of RAM according to your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 8GB RAM enough in 2021?

Yes, 8GB RAM is a standard for gaming, but heavy video rendering and Graphical work of at least 16GB is required.

Is 32GB RAM overkill 2021?

In general, the answer is yes, 32GB does overkill because, as far as gaming goes, 16GB is more than enough, and 8GB is the standard to go.

Do you need 32GB of RAM for gaming?

NO! 32GB RAM is overkill, and one would get 32GB only for future-proofing, and as far as gaming goes, 8GB does the job fine, and 16GB is more than enough.

Is 64GB RAM overkill for gaming?

Yes! 64 GB RAM overkills for gaming as a minimum of 8GB is enough for gaming. So even if you want future-proofing, go for 32GB, and for gaming, buy a 16GB kit or a good 8GB standard kit.


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Atif Liaqat
By Atif Liaqat

I have been fond of computer technology for a long time, ever since childhood, and was always meddling with various hardware and software. With graduation in computer engineering from a recognized university like NUST was a dream come true and enabled me to pursue my dreams in swift ways.



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