Building a custom PC is a daunting proposition. Moreover, choosing the correct set-up, suitable for all your gaming needs is an equally brain-melting prospect. Especially, since there are so many possibilities out there in the market, therefore it’s easy to get unstuck when choosing the correct RAM. Yes, one can become disheartened by all the jargon and rhetoric circulating the scene. That’s why, we are here to put those demons to rest, once and for all.

So then, specifications vary from one piece of tech to the next. Further, still, games run differently and at altering rates of efficiency depending on the hardware selected.

For instance, RAM usage will fluctuate with each task at hand. That said, if all you’re doing is using the PC as a gaming unit, without the need for workstation requirements, then most games, even those of triple-A quality, should run at low to moderate rates — Albeit, with standard level RAM. Alternatively, if you use your computer to run applications, then you’ll most likely encounter some bumps in the road regarding performance. These include anything from frame-rate drops to lag and slowdown issues. Not to mention, graphical pop-in problems.

Consequently, it’s worth noting that modern day PC’s come equipped with Windows software. Surprisingly, standard applications eat into RAM quite significantly. In the modern day, web browsers with open tabs, although running in the background, will have an impact on performance. Not least so, on the minimum required RAM. The consensus on RAM is that 8GB or above should hold its own when gaming on a decent PC. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Besides, PC gaming is a highly specialized hobby and one that allows for total modification to suit the needs of the individual.

Perhaps then, RAM can best be defined as the rate of efficiency at which the PC operates. Besides, the more information the system collects, the higher the demand, and the larger the strain on the body. Surely then, that more RAM equals lower loading times, higher frame-rates and improved performance. Most of the time, that cliché fits, but there are a few key points to understand before committing to a specific build.

Which RAM Is It Then, Four, Eight or Sixteen?

how much ram for gaming

That’s a challenging question. Well, most home computers usually have either four, eight or sixteen gigabytes of RAM. Sure, you can exceed this, but that’s a build designed with professionals in mind. An example of this would be those that use demanding software, such as video editing applications. That said, thirty-two gigabytes of RAM are the optimum threshold. Although, this amount is not necessary for gaming.

The truth is, it’s now easier to pick up RAM than ever before. In part, this is due to the introduction of the 64-bit operating system, which paved the way for globalized software. Meaning that specific RAM was not tied down to hardware restraints and limitations. As a result, RAM is more accessible than ever.

Moving on, four gigabytes of RAM sits at the lower end of the spectrum. All in all, this is the minimum requirement for any gaming PC. Even with all other systems shut down, you’ll experience some technical issues to a degree. What’s worse, when apps are running in the background, then performance suffers as a consequence. Also, gaming in 4K will cause technical issues. Equally so, when playing online shooters, where the onus is on the frame -rates. Both of which are likely to jeopardize stability. Or at least, stretch the game to its very limits.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Now then, one might assume that sixteen gigabytes are going to improve performance substantially, but that’s not exactly true. At least not in every instance. In all honesty, eight gigabytes are more than adequate to handle the technical demands of current games. Provided you have a decent GPU and CPU. Of course, high-spec games which require optimum PC settings, and 4K visual quality have a better chance of running effectively on a higher RAM. Though, for the most part, these titles are few and far between. 

Most games will run and run well on eight gigabytes of RAM, so long as all other applications are out of use. So, what do we glean from this? Frankly, the sixteen-gigabyte mold is a touch excessive, mostly, it’s there to future proof the PC, in case of sudden hardware spikes and worldwide tech advances. Some though, prefer to prepare for the future and mod out their PC for when the next evolution in hardware rears its tech-savvy head.

Conclusion

how much ram for gaming

While the sixteen-gigabyte option does have its benefits, mainly, it’s there for peace of mind. Ultimately, the eight gigabytes will suffice for the majority of your gaming needs, granted you have a decent GPU and CPU. A lot of it hinders on whether you use the PC for applications and like to have multiple tasks running side-by-side. If the focus is purely on that of gaming, then eight gigabytes should be all you need to experience the full immersion that games bring.