Having enough RAM is crucial for having a properly functioning machine, the lack of RAM can result in poor performance, stuttering, and system crashes. For gaming, especially at 4K, having enough RAM is important because lagging and stuttering in-game isn’t ideal, especially in competitive games.
4K gaming is becoming more popular as graphics cards are becoming more capable of running at this resolution, so it makes sense to pair capable hardware such as having enough RAM. This is to reduce the chances of bottlenecking your CPU as having little RAM will cause the processor to send and retrieve instructions from the permanent storage.
Answer: For gaming, it really depends on what you’re going to be playing, standard games without heavy modding can do just fine with 16GB of RAM. Games such as Minecraft with a lot of mods cranked at the highest settings will need more RAM, even DCS World 2.7 recommends 32GB of RAM in the instance that you’re running at high settings in heavy missions.
How Much RAM For 4K Gaming?
If you’re not trying to spend too much money on RAM, and want just enough RAM to game, then we recommend at least 16GB of RAM, this will ensure that you have enough capacity for most games. 16GB is considered the sweet spot at the moment, just like 8GB of RAM was once considered back in the day, so it won’t be quite future-proof.
For future-proofing, we recommend at least 32GB of RAM. Not only will this future-proof your system, it will allow you to do much more than 16GB of RAM can do. With 32GB of RAM, your system is more multipurpose orientated allowing you to do professional work as well as play games at the same time. Also, for RAM-intensive games, you will have enough RAM to play them too therefore 32GB of RAM is considered the safe option.
Just ensure that you don’t spend too much money on RAM, as spending more than necessary is just a waste of money. If you’re not going to use the RAM full capacity, then that money could’ve gone to purchasing better components. It’s always worth knowing exactly what you’re going to be using before you purchase it so you don’t waste a lot of money.
How Much VRAM For 4K Gaming?
VRAM just like normal RAM is basically the RAM for the graphics processing unit naturally, video games will use more VRAM than normal RAM. The VRAM is responsible for handling terrain and geometric data, so these files can get pretty intensive depending on what game you’re playing.
As you increase the resolution, the terrain and geometric data also become larger in size, therefore higher resolutions require more VRAM, so how much VRAM do you exactly need for 4K gaming? When gaming at 4K, we recommend between 8-10GB of VRAM, most top-tier graphics cards come with this type of VRAM capacity anyways.
It’s important that you have enough VRAM when gaming otherwise the game experience will become extremely frustrating. Your gaming performance will suffer severely resulting in stuttering, massive FPS drops, and crashes, it’s always good to have a surplus of VRAM when gaming so these types of scenarios are unlikely to happen.
VRAM Vs RAM For Gaming?
When gaming, you’ll require more RAM than VRAM to play comfortably, this is due to games requiring at least 16GB of RAM, and this will likely increase in the future. However, VRAM plays an important role in handling most of the graphical data, it’s just not much of an issue because most graphics cards come with enough VRAM.
Since we’re going to be gaming at 4K, a decent amount of VRAM will be necessary as the textures, terrain, and geometry data increase in size significantly, also the graphical settings influence the VRAM usage. 8-10GB of VRAM is the sweet spot for 4K gaming, and only the top-tier graphics cards come with this type of capacity such as the RTX 3080. Naturally, this will make 4K gaming super expensive due to the need for a top-tier graphics card.
Playing games on ultra-high settings will increase the VRAM usage due to the data becoming more complex, but the biggest impact to VRAM would be Anti Aliasing. This setting will consume a massive amount of VRAM, but luckily you won’t need to use this setting at 4K, it’s mostly used when gaming at 1080P or lower. Games such as Minecraft won’t use a lot of VRAM as they’re not rendering high-quality textures, but games such as Battlefield will.
Does RAM Speed Matter For Gaming?
The speed of the RAM matters for any processor you’re using, no matter if it’s Intel or Ryzen based. Having fast RAM means that the data is being sent and received between the processor at a faster pace which is obviously better. The RAM speed works in clock cycles, so a 3000MHz(3GHz) RAM module will cycle 3 billion times a second. For gaming, we recommend a RAM clock speed of 3200MHz for optimal performance.
For gaming, this will matter because if the RAM is indeed slow enough, you will be leaving performance on the table resulting in lower FPS and stuttering. Faster RAM will smoothen this experience and give you an FPS boost, but it isn’t always this simple just like higher CPU clock speeds don’t always result in better performance.
To understand the true speed of your RAM, you can’t just buy based on the clock speed, this is because factors such as CAS latency play a big role. The CAS stands for (Column Address Strobe or Signal) and the CAS latency refers to how many clock cycles it takes for the RAM to access the data in one of its columns, lower CAS latency is always better. CAS latencies will look something like this CL 16-18-18-36, mainly you will want to optimize the clock speed first then optimize the CAS timings.
Is 32GB RAM Overkill?
32GB of RAM is considered overkill by many that tend to perform non RAM intensive tasks, but when you’re gaming at high resolutions, and playing certain games you may require more than 16GB of RAM. Only a small percentage of games will justify you having 32GB of RAM, but it can be nice to have in certain games that push your PC to its limits.
For 4K gaming, if you’re a light gamer, then 32GB of RAM would be overkill, and that money could’ve gone to buying a better CPU or GPU. So 16GB of RAM with a 3070 is better than 32GB of RAM and a 3060, you’ll receive far higher frame rates because your build is more optimized for gaming.
If you’re a gamer, but also a YouTuber that wants to edit at 4K, then 32GB is probably justified because 4K videos are quite large in size warranting more RAM. If 16GB of RAM is the sweet spot for gamers, then 32GB of RAM is the sweet spot for video editors. Video editing is known to be more RAM intensive because it’s usually dealing with larger data sets and visual effects.
The verdict is, for 4K gaming, you’ll want at least 16GB of RAM for non-RAM-intensive games, this will be most games as 16GB of RAM is the sweet spot for gaming at the moment. But if you’re playing games such as DCS World 2.7, then 32GB of RAM is necessary because that game deals with large data sets.