How much RAM for a gaming PC in 2022

How much RAM do you need on your PC? How much for it to just run efficiently, and how much for running the latest titles and “not kneeling at work”? We say “check” and… check!

How much RAM memory for PC in 2022?

The question of how much memory to run in a gaming computer comes up like a boomerang every year. The hundreds, if not thousands, of tests available on the Internet and the ocean of opinions scattered on the forums only engender even more confusion for the laymen. Therefore, I think it is worth looking at this issue again and determining how much RAM we need for a gaming PC?

The opportunity for this is quite good, because a few months ago DDR5 memory made its debut. Additionally, older DDR3 modules are still floating around, and the ubiquitous DDR4 is the dominant standard and unlikely to change any time soon. I won’t write about DDR2 or older class memory, because they already touch on the topic of retro-PC. By way of introduction, I want to say that to simplify the publication as much as possible, I will skip the paragraphs filled with complex benchmarks and their analysis. Without prolonging it, it’s time to get down to business.

16 GB of RAM is always standard

Surprised? The formula developed years ago still applies, even when it comes to AAA games featuring cavernous worlds and exuberant graphic design launched in 4K. In my experience, 16 GB is also enough for all multiplayer games, streaming and when a lot of apps are running in the background – including minimized Chrome. After all, this swap file is for something. However, make sure to install two modules. Thanks to this, they will work in dual-channel mode, which is especially felt in games that greedily use the potential of the processor.

16 GB is a sweet spot. For DDR3, it should be measured in 1600-1800 MHz clock; DDR4 from 2900 to 3200 MHz

The speed of the modules is extremely important. Here the appropriate selection of parameters to the rest of the components bows. On point, for Intel and AMD platforms, there are 3000-3200 MHz modules with CL16 latencies. The speed up to 3600 MHz makes sense, but if we invest in a CPU and graphics card from a really high-end shelf. With a solid GPU, this kind of processing will pay off when playing at lower resolutions, where the CPU has to provide the pace while chasing the card. However, values ​​above 3600 MHz for the reader are already an excess of form on the content. You can invest, but the profit is marginal.

8 GB of RAM is good too?

For gamers, eight gigabytes in two modules with a solid clock fulfill their role perfectly. When? An example will be free to play positions, where the requirements for popular titles are sometimes ridiculously low. Big budget games also work, whether we’re talking about years of production or new products that are highly optimized. 8 GB of RAM is enough because the way we configure PeCets has changed over the years. The games, system, and swap file usually end up on an SSD, not a slow hard drive. I absolutely do not recommend antediluvian badass for electronic entertainment.

RAM, graphics and keyboardThe amount of RAM needed is influenced by the VRAM capacity of your graphics card

Eight is not enoughwhen we encounter apps running in the background and when the game suffers from the so-called memory leak (more on that in a bit). 8 GB is also a bottleneck in the case of graphics with a small amount of VRAM. Example? When testing the GTX 1060 3GB or RX 570 4GB, the 1% low frame rate differences between 16GB and 8GB of RAM were significant and sometimes felt as clipping. When the full-fledged 1060 or the more powerful GTX 1070 with 8GB of VRAM were tested, the differences between the two RAM configurations, while still present, narrowed. Much depends on the game itself.

From extreme to extreme – 4 GB and 32 GB of RAM

Some of you will probably ask what about 4GB of RAM? There are no revelations here. This amount will work for a desktop machine, NAS or retro-PC. We’re not going to launch or launch a large pool of titles on such a setup, but a journey through ordeal awaits. On the other hand, the other extreme will be 32 GB of RAM. In modern games, this is too lavish, so mods with this ability end up in unrepentant enthusiast machines or sets used for work. 32GB is a comfortable minimum for someone professionally involved in photography, graphic design, and film editing.

RAM memoryThe configuration results (number and type) of modules depend on the memory controller. Ryzen units from the Zen 2 family and newer are interesting in this area

For thirty-two gigabytes, I see the validity of three scenarios. First of all, PeCet is used not only for games, but also for work. The second is the unbridled habits in the use of the application (laughs). However, it is not a fetish of hundreds of tabs on Chrome. Have you ever tried on a PC with 8 or even 16 GB of RAM to burn Minecraft with a whole galaxy of mods and all the graphic bells and whistles? Good luck 😉 The third problem is the so-called memory leak. When playing Flight Simulator or Escape from Tarkov, the more RAM you add, the more they will use. This is caused by an error that prevents previously allocated memory from being freed. Such cases are however rare and you can easily play with less RAM.

Well… how much RAM for a PC in 2022? 12 GB, does it make sense?

By quoting the classic internet meme, we can go further in our reflections. For example, what to do with an unusual configuration in the form of 12 GB of RAM? While this makes sense with DDR3 (e.g. 2+2+8), it should be avoided when using DDR4. Especially in the case of Ryzen processors, but also on the Intel platform, the results will be unsatisfactory. The 4 + 8 motherboard set works in the so-called flex mode mimicking a dual channel, but the classic in the form of two fours is undoubtedly a better deal. In general, the topic of memory shuffling definitely deserves a separate post.

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RAM Single Rank vs Dual Rank – Ryzen 5 5600x + RTX 3080 10 Games 1080p and 1440p. Benchmark results are often influenced by the resolution and, above all, by the engine itself and the optimization of the game.

The Single Rank and Dual Rank memory problem also causes a major headache. For the uninitiated, this parameter describes one of the physical characteristics of the memory module structure. For example, the Gamers Nexus, after extensive testing, concluded that four single-tier modules and two dual-tier modules perform the same in terms of performance. It should also be mentioned that the management of four memory banks can sometimes give the memory controller a hard time. Therefore, achieving high clock speeds with low latencies will be quite a challenge, especially on much older platforms.

How much RAM for a gaming PC? Let’s summarize these considerations!

Minimum Optimally With butt
DDR4 RAM quantity 8 GB 16 GB 32 GB
Hourly 2600 – 3200MHz 2900 – 3200MHz 3200 – 3600MHz

The subject of RAM memory is a complex problem, even on several levels when you add to the equation an issue that goes beyond gaming – workstations, HEDT platforms, etc. In a nutshell, fertile ground to be explored by the tester and, of course, readers. Therefore, I am aware of the gallop that has occurred in the above paragraphs, but so far we have been looking for an answer to a simple question: how much RAM for the player?

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RAM test 2133 MHz vs 2666 MHz vs 3200 MHz in 8 games

In summary, 16 GB is still more than enough for modern games. I’m talking about both aftermarket and primary market computers. Especially when it comes to new equipment, prices often discourage investment in smaller, slower modules. Nevertheless, 8 GB, when esports games need to hit the wallpaper, also works in everyday life. If you have to stick to budgetary rigor, the transfer of capital to a GPU with more than 4 GB of memory makes perfect sense.

In my opinion, the player has to worry about three variables. First, the dice must be dual channel. Secondly, the clock speed around 3000 MHz, especially if there is a medium regimental graphics card on board, is sufficient. On older PCs using DDR4, even 2666 MHz memory does a pretty good job. There is no shortage of solutions of this type on the secondary market and the prices are often encouraging. Remember to always run the XMP profile, otherwise DDR4 will run at 2133 MHz and DDR3 at 1333 MHz. Finally, the lags – here DDR4 CL16 memory is enough for the average gamer. And single or double rank problems, etc. I would treat as a separate topic for enthusiasts who like to play with PC hardware.

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