Does RAM Increase/Decrease FPS?

When gaming, the frame rate(FPS) you have determines how playable the game is, many components such as the RAM, CPU, and GPU can influence your FPS. So when building a gaming PC, you need to ensure you have the right amount of RAM for your needs. We usually recommend around 16GB of RAM for gaming.

Since 16GB of RAM is the recommendation for a gaming PC, does increasing this value to 32GB or 64GB improve FPS? That’s exactly what we’re going to find out in this post, we’re also going to go over whether RAM speeds have an influence on FPS. Many people will swear that 3200MHz is better than 3000Mhz, so we’re going to go over that.

Answer: In some cases, increasing the RAM capacity will increase FPS, but this only holds true if the games you’re playing are reaching a RAM capacity bottleneck. So if your games are playing fine, and not exceeding your RAM capacity, increasing it will only result in diminishing returns.

What Does RAM Do For Gaming?

does ram influence gaming performance and how

We know RAM is a crucial component for the operation of your system, but does it have any noticeable impact on video games? The answer is an unsurprising yes, RAM is really important for video games because the RAM works closely with the CPU. And we know the CPU is responsible for processing whatever data is sent by the GPU.

Many mainly like to focus on RAM capacity, and while this is the right thing to do, you should not neglect the RAM speed. If you didn’t know, the RAM has to work at extremely fast speeds, far faster than your traditional storage devices (HDD & SSDs), this is because it has to communicate with the CPU within nanoseconds. So speed is crucial, and if it’s not fast enough, it can result in stutters.

So now we know that RAM speed is pretty important, but the capacity is also really important for games, this is because the CPU is constantly storing assets that are actively being used. If the RAM capacity isn’t large enough, the computer will access something called swap memory, and this is where things can get worse. Swap memory is basically virtual memory on your secondary storage(HDD/SSD), and it’s pretty slow, working with swap memory results in slow computer speeds and even crashes.

Will Increasing The RAM Increase FPS?

does more ram or faster ram mean more fps?

To understand whether increasing the RAM capacity will increase FPS, we first need to know how much RAM your games are currently using. At the moment, the sweet spot of gaming is 16GB of RAM, most games should never exceed this limit, but in rare circumstances where they do, increasing the RAM may actually increase FPS.

Some games can use upwards of 32GB of RAM, so we can see in some niche circumstances where more RAM is acceptable. But if you’re just increasing the RAM for no reason, you will waste money as well as achieve no FPS gains. 32GB of RAM is understandable if you do professional work on the side such as video editing, but for gaming, it’s almost overkill.

If you’re on 8GB of RAM, you may actually notice a decrease in FPS compared to a system on 16GB of RAM, this is due to newer titles becoming more RAM hungry. In this case, upgrading your RAM to 16GB will result in FPS gains, but if you mainly play older titles, 8GB of RAM can be the perfect amount.

How Much RAM Is Enough For Gaming?

As of today, 16GB of RAM is enough for gaming, this is the sweet spot and most games are unlikely to exceed this capacity. But if you’re into future-proofing your system, 32GB could be the next move, and with DDR5 RAM being fairly new, you can build a system that can last many years without needing an upgrade.

But as of today, there are a few games that require 32GB of RAM, and these games are mainly massive open-world games that load a lot of assets. One such game is DCS World 2.7 where you load in a simulation environment. Some games that are heavily modded will require upwards of 32GB of RAM such as modded GTA V, and modded Minecraft.

If you’re asking for a number that is truly overkill, then going for 64GB of RAM is just plain unnecessary, this amount of RAM is recommended by high-end video editors. We genuinely can’t see games using 64GB of RAM unless it is loading an insane amount of mods.

Does RAM Speed Increase/Decrease FPS?

Having faster RAM does have a measurable impact on the FPS, so the clock speed of your RAM is fairly important. The CPU is in constant communication with the RAM, so if you have the chance to have faster RAM, then the extra bandwidth can make the CPUs job easier which will result in FPS gains. But, we recommend focusing on the capacity before the RAM speed as this will make the biggest difference.

Another metric of RAM speed is the CAS latency and this stands for Column Address Strobe. The CAS latency refers to how many clock cycles it takes for the RAM to access data in one of its columns. When looking at RAM specs, the CAS latency should look something like this (CL16-18-18-38). And with latency, the lower the number the better, this will have a very small impact on FPS, and it’s usually optimizable within the BIOS.

RAM speed is pretty important for both Intel and Ryzen based systems, but for Ryzen, it’s extra important, this is because Ryzen CPUs are pretty sensitive to your RAM speeds. They react better with faster RAM speeds, so this means you will get more performance/FPS out of having higher-speed RAM. The goal with Ryzen processors is to have your Infinity Fabric Clock(FCLK) match the same value as your memory clock, this can result in up to a 5% boost in performance.

3000 Vs 3200MHz For FPS

In a gaming scenario, if you were to put a 3200MHz RAM module up against a 3000MHz RAM module, it will show that the faster module outperforms it. The extra 200MHz is an extra 200million clock cycles per second, this will produce a measurable FPS difference in games. This is because memory bandwidth is pretty important for performance.

Just because it can produce a measurable difference in video games, it doesn’t mean you should always go for the fastest option. RAM speed is definitely important, but in this case, we’d recommend you go with the cheapest option. This is because the difference between 3000MHz, and 3200MHz isn’t as large as you’d think, you may experience a 1-5FPS difference. The biggest benefit with the fastest RAM is the 1% low which accounts for stuttering.

Also, in some video games, the RAM speed won’t even make a difference, so it’s pretty much game dependent as some games are more RAM intensive than others. If you’re on a budget, we’d recommend going with the cheapest option, and saving your money for better components if possible. Never go with super slow RAM as this can result in a memory bandwidth bottleneck.

Does Overclocking RAM Worth It?

RAM overclocking is pretty popular, this is because it’ll improve the performance of your computer across the board. Also, overclocking your RAM will increase the FPS which is sought after by pretty much all gamers. Imagine if you can overclock your RAM safely with the press of one button, most games would pretty much do it, well this is how RAM overclocking usually works.

Overclocking is usually associated with being dangerous, maybe you had a bad experience with your CPU, but RAM overclocking is pretty safe, especially with XMP memory. Overclocking is mainly dangerous when you’re messing with voltage values, this wears down the memory and increases heat.

But with XMP RAM, the overclock profile is saved on the memory chip by the manufacturer. So the overclock is verified to be safe, and with a press of one button usually, you can have your XMP overclock. Typically, DDR4 XMP memory modules are clocked at 1.35V whereas normal DDR4 RAM is clocked at 1.2V, but there’s honestly no need to worry, the 1.35V value is safe for the XMP memory.

Okay, overclocking is pretty cool, but how does this benefit me with games? Overclocking your RAM is a no-brainer for gamers especially if you have DDR4 XMP memory, you can experience up to a 5FPS difference for free. Remember, the CPU relies on the RAM, so if you can make the CPUs job easier by increasing the RAM speed, you will see higher frame rates.

DDR4 3000MHz, Vs 3200MHz, Vs 3600MHz

More On RAM Speed Bottlenecks

Technically speaking, a computer is never bottleneck-free, so RAM can actually bottleneck your computer. The only thing you can do is minimize the bottlenecks effect, this is why XMP overclocking and super-fast RAM exist. A RAM bottleneck will likely result in lower FPS as the CPU has to wait on the RAM, and the GPU has to wait on the CPU, if your RAM is slow enough, your GPU won’t run at 100%.

If you happen to have a RAM bottleneck, and you’re looking to fix it, you need to first find out how your RAM is bottlenecking your system. If the RAM bottleneck is due to slow RAM speeds, then overclocking or purchasing faster RAM will solve this issue. If your RAM bottleneck is caused by low capacity, then unfortunately you cannot download more RAM, you may need to purchase more RAM.

Nowadays, a RAM bottleneck is pretty rare, if you look at the RAM market, you’re going to find high-speed DDR4 RAM modules reaching up to 4000MHz. Also, DDR5 RAM has recently been released, and they can reach even higher speeds, your main concern is to purchase enough RAM so you can play the video games you like.

Verdict

The verdict of today it’s yes, the RAM will influence the FPS, and it can do this in two ways mainly. The first way is RAM capacity, if you don’t have enough RAM, this can cause stuttering, poor 1% lows, and overall lower FPS. RAM speeds can also have a similar effect with lower 1% lows, but you can overclock your RAM.