16GB vs 32GB RAM (Pros, Cons & Which Performs Best)
Wondering whether you should opt for 16gb or 32gb of RAM in your PC? We can help!
Let’s get the short answer out of the way:
Generally, most users will find 16GB of RAM to be plenty. There aren’t that many applications that can use up 16GB of RAM, let alone 32GB, and 32GB just isn’t necessary outside of a few use-cases. That being said, there are good reasons to opt for 32GB over 16GB, especially if you plan to hold onto your computer for a long time.
Realistically, there are a lot of different scenarios in which you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right amount of RAM. This quick guide will cover everything you need to know what makes sense for your PC.
P.S. – While you’re on the subject of RAM, we recently dove into the details to cover whether or not RAM brands really matter these days.
socrates471 / Shutterstock
RAM isn’t the primary concern for most PC gamers. Even visually intensive AAA games only require a minimum of 8GB of RAM, and there are only a handful of titles that can make use of 16GB, so 32GB is overkill for most gamers. There are some exceptions, however, namely simulation games and titles with lots of mods.
Simulation games like Cities: Skylines, Rimworld, and Dwarf Fortress require your computer to keep track of insane numbers of individual elements—people, vehicles, animals, stored materials, etc—all of which get stored in your RAM so your CPU can access it quickly. They won’t eat up much RAM when you first start a new map or scenario, but they’ll demand more and more RAM as your civilization grows.
Mods can also increase the amount of RAM a game requires. Developers typically make games with underpowered gaming PCs and consoles in mind, so they go to great lengths to optimize their titles. They’ll spend months tweaking their code to make it run more efficiently and require fewer resources, often requiring hundreds or thousands of expensive labor hours.
Mod creators, on the other hand, have no such concerns. They’re more interested in adding content to their favorite games than making sure their code runs as efficiently as possible, so their additions tend to be more resource-intensive than they need to be. Adding a bunch of mods to even relatively lightweight games can jack up the resource requirements considerably, and the effect becomes even more pronounced with resource-heavy titles.
If you don’t play many simulation games or use many mods you’re probably fine with 16GB for now, but there’s no harm in future-proofing your rig by adding another 16GB of RAM, especially if you use your gaming PC as a workstation or use it for video editing or graphic design.
P.S. – If you’re wondering about how the size of individual RAM sticks affects the whole process, take a look at our guide to 4x8GB vs 2x16GB RAM.
Rifqy Sakti Pratama / Shutterstock
You’re probably thinking something along the lines of “16GB is plenty for most stuff, right?” And you’re right…mostly. It’s true that most basic computing tasks—navigating the desktop, managing files, etc—don’t take up much RAM, but that isn’t true for other applications you’d consider to be relatively basic.
Take internet browsers for example: As anyone who used Google Chrome back in the day can tell you, your internet browser will consume just about as much RAM as you let it, though it depends on how many tabs you have open and what websites you’re using.
You can probably figure this out intuitively, but more complex websites take up more RAM than simpler ones. Watching a show on Hulu, for instance, will consume a lot more RAM than scrolling through a blog or reading an article on a news site.
You can check on how much RAM each site uses by opening your task manager (Ctrl + Shft + Esc) and looking at the column for memory usage. You might be surprised what you see.
16GB of RAM will be plenty for most everyday computing stuff, but 32GB will let you keep more tabs open and keep more programs running at the same time. It’s up to you, and it’s probably a safe bet that websites will only demand more and more RAM as time goes by.
Professional Multimedia Applications (Video Editing & Graphic Design)
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock
This is a relatively broad category that includes video and photo editing applications like Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, audio editing programs like Ableton Live, and 3D modeling programs like Blender. These RAM-hungry applications require your computer to hold onto and quickly switch between lots of large files, and the required RAM tends to skyrocket as the projects get bigger.
Many professional graphic designers, video editors, and audio producers consider 16GB of RAM to be the bare minimum for a functional workstation. Anything less will make working on all but the smallest projects a complete pain in the neck; every click and drag will make your computer stutter, every added element will make your computer freeze until it catches up, and rendering your finished product will take long enough to tick off even the most patient professionals.
You might be able to get away with 16GB of RAM for now, but programs and projects are only going to get more complex and demanding in the future. So even if you don’t need all 32GB of RAM now, it’s still a good idea to invest in the extra capacity.
PixieMe / Shutterstock
Standard office work—writing documents, sending emails, working on spreadsheets, running reports, etc—is one area which can benefit greatly from more RAM.
If you’ve ever worked in Excel, for example, you know that spreadsheets can balloon in complexity and resource-intensiveness very quickly, and your standard office computer with 8GB of RAM will grind to a halt every time you change a formula or adjust a graph. More RAM will help your computer’s CPU handle big spreadsheets more efficiently, and that efficiency will help you get your work done more quickly.
Putting 32GB of RAM in your work machine will also make it easier to multitask: The extra RAM will help your computer manage multiple programs at the same time, so you’ll be able to check Outlook, answer messages on Slack, and work on a PowerPoint deck while you wait for a report to process or tinker with a spreadsheet. That extra productivity is reason enough to invest in 32GB of RAM for your work machine.
Pros & Cons of 16GB & 32GB RAM
Going with 16GB is a pretty safe bet for most users. It’s cheaper than 32GB (obviously), it’s more than enough for most applications, and there are very few games that can use 16GB of RAM, let alone require that much.
The downside of going with 16GB is that you’ll be sort of hamstrung if you want to use heavy-duty professional programs like Excel, Adobe Premier, Ableton Live, and Blender. Programs like these will gobble up all your available RAM and still want more, and you may experience some serious slowdowns when working on big projects.
The upsides and downsides of 32GB of RAM are pretty much the opposite of 16GB. You’ll have way more RAM capacity than you need for most applications and almost all games, and as of now there’s no real reason to have that much RAM outside of a few use cases.
On the other hand, having 32GB of RAM will help boost your productivity if you’re working in heavy-duty professional graphic or audio design applications, and that alone may be worth the price of admission.
You’ll also be future-proofing your PC in case programs become significantly more demanding in the future, and there’s really no downside to having too much RAM. It’ll just be sitting there, unused, most of the time, but you’ll be glad to have it when it’s time to edit a big video project or put together a complex spreadsheet.
Understanding How RAM Works
RAM, or random-access memory, is a special type of memory found in every computer, tablet, and smartphone. Unlike hard drives or solid-state drives, which provide permanent storage for files and programs, RAM only holds onto pertinent program data for as long as your CPU needs it.
There’s a good reason computers are designed with both temporary and permanent storage, and it’s actually pretty simple: RAM is much faster than hard drives or their speedier solid-state drive cousins.
Without RAM your computer would have to search through your main storage every time it needed to find a program file, load data, or even open a new tab in your internet browser, which would slow everything down to a crawl.
RAM is essentially a computational compromise; it might not be necessary if the main storage could keep up with your CPU, but until the main storage catches up RAM remains an absolute necessity for today’s computers.
How Much Memory Do You Need: 8, 16 or 32GB of RAM?
RAM prices have been trending down lately due to falling demand and slower device sales. For example, a 16GB (2 x 8 GB) pack of G.Skill TridentZ DDR4 RAM that cost around $215 a year ago is $100 cheaper today. And you can find a 32GB kit for less than $230, which used to sell for well over $300.
With those kinds of prices, you may be thinking about buying more RAM for your PC. But how much memory do you really need, 8, 16 or 32GB?
Over the years, the need for more RAM in general has of course increased. Web pages, applications and games are allocating and using more RAM compared to just a few years ago. A few years back, PC users were able to get away with 8GB for typical use, including gaming. Today that value can be eclipsed just by running a single game, some heavy rendering, or even through just browsing the web with several tabs open.
If your existing RAM gets used up, your computer will write out anything else to the page file on your hard drive or SSD. If whatever you’re doing needs to exchange that information frequently, slow downs and even hitching can occur. No matter how fast your storage drive, its performance is still exponentially slower than if your applications run directly from RAM.
Though running out of RAM can turn a solid system on its head, buying too much is a waste of money. And no matter what your PC building budget, every dollar (or pound sterling) matters. Let’s look at what you can do with different amounts of memory.
8GB: The Bare Minimum for Most People
For starters, forget about 4GB. Unless you’re refurbishing an old computer for the kids or you’re buying a Chromebook, 8GB is the bare minimum for most people. These days, a system with 4 GB is reserved for a web/email/casual gaming machine only. Most PC games use a fair amount of memory. We ran six games (F1 2018, Apex Legends, Battlefield V, PUBG, The Division 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider) to see just how much. Note this is with no other major programs running, just whatever naturally starts up with Windows (which uses about 2.7 GB at idle) and the game itself.
Image 1 of 7
In these titles, the amount of RAM used in total ranges from 6.6GB to 11.3GB (F1 2018 and The Division 2, respectively). Even the low-end 6.6GB is too close for comfort to pegging 8GB capacity, given the overhead for the OS. So if you are a gamer, you may be able to get away with 8GB, but we recommend going for at least 16GB.
8GB of RAM is fine for those who stick to basic productivity, or those who aren’t playing modern games. You can do plenty of productivity work without swapping out to the page file, but if you plan on running something memory intensive and doing another task at the same time, you could end up exceeding your limit.
16GB: The Sweet Spot
Today, 16GB is the sweet spot between price and capacity for most enthusiasts and gamers. That amount gives you the headroom to do a couple of things at once, without having to close tabs or applications to exceed your available RAM.
Even with The Division 2 using 11 GB (system total), keeping a browser up with 14 tabs, using MS Word, and streaming Twitch in the background, I used around 14 GB. This is getting close to the 16 GB limit, but how often are you really leaving all your work open and playing a game?
My personal system has 32 GB in total and I find it difficult to go over even 16GB with my use model. My typical use includes gaming, MS Word and Excel, photo manipulation in Paint.Net and keeping a dozen or more Chrome browser tabs open.
If you’re a creative professional, however, your needs are different. Those who are rendering large files or doing other memory intensive work, should consider going with 32GB or more. But outside of those kinds of use cases, most of us can get by just fine with 16GB.
Stepping up to 32GB yields quite a bit of freedom as far as leaving applications (and / or lots of browser tabs) open without a care in the world. None of the games I tested used close to 16GB, let alone 32. Some users on the productivity side of things who manipulate large files, or more than one at once, should consider 32GB or more. Certainly, there are situations where more than 16GB can be used, which would of course push the user to the next tier of 32GB. But for many (probably most) people, this situation it isn’t common.
So what can we do with the extra capacity that 32GB affords if you’re not making use of it regularly? Some movie and photo editing tasks (among other uses), especially in 4K+ resolutions, can benefit from a RAM disk, which takes some of the ultra-fast volatile RAM capacity and turns it into a drive. That drive can then be used as a scratch disk for projects, which is notably faster than having it on a traditional drive—even a very past PCIe SSD. In those cases, having a RAM disk can cut project times down, and make general performance (like scrubbing through an unrendered video project) more smooth and responsive.
So where does that leave us? Is 8GB enough? Is 32GB needed? For most people the answer is going to be “No” to both of those questions. While there are some users who can easily get away with using 8GB of RAM, if you play modern games and / or are doing some demanding productivity work 16GB is preferred. Using 16GB, most users are able to leave the tasks they are working on up and running and play a game or do extra work without eclipsing that mark and paging out, potentially creating a negative user experience.
32GB, on the other hand, is overkill for most enthusiasts today, outside of people who are editing RAW photos or high-res video (or other similarly memory-intensive tasks). That said, the extra capacity if unused does allow users to create a RAM disk for ultra-fast disk access, which could benefit some applications and tasks.
If your use model currently doesn’t have you coming close to 16GB when fully loaded, get 16GB. If you see your system often getting close to 16GB, then you may want to go ahead and jump into a 32 GB kit, now that prices are lower than they have been for years.
The smartest move, if you have a full-size ATX board with four or more RAM slots, might be to stick with 16GB in a dual-DIMM setup for now if you can get by, and see how much more memory prices fall. If prices slip substantially further you can grab yourself a matching set of low-cost sticks and drop them in alongside your existing pair. A system with four sticks installed may not clock as high as a dual-DIMM setup, but if you can actually make use of that extra memory, having twice as much will be far more beneficial than having half as much that runs a bit slower. As we’ve seen in both our memory reviews and our recent feature about RAM overclocking on AMD’s Ryzen X470 platform, moving up to the fastest RAM possible doesn’t often lead to massive (or even substantial) gains, unless you’re gaming with integrated graphics or using a few specific programs.
MORE: Best Memory
MORE: DDR DRAM FAQs And Troubleshooting Guide
MORE: All Memory Content
Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.
16GB vs 32GB RAM: Is Bigger Always Better?
Random Access Memory, or RAM, is essential to the speed and performance of any computer. This short term easy-access memory is the workhorse for holding and instantly serving up all the temporary data the computer needs to run its operating system and applications. Matching your RAM to your actual computing requirements can help you achieve the optimum performance for your needs without overspending. The more RAM your PC or laptop has, the better its performance. In this article, we’ll compare 16GB vs 32GB RAM. Both are heavy hitters, but is 32GB the better? Let’s get some answers with this point-to-point comparison that explains when you should opt for 16GB RAM and where 32GB RAM will come in handy.
16GB vs 32GB RAM: Side-by-Side Comparison
|16GB RAM||32GB RAM|
|Computer memory size:||16 GB||32 GB|
|Memory Speed:||1866 MHz||3200 MHz|
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz C16 Desktop Memory Kit — Black (CMK16GX4M2B3200C16)
- Hand-sorted memory chips ensure high performance with generous Overclocking headroom. SPD Speed-2133MHz
- Vengeance LPX is optimized for wide compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards.
- A low-profile height of just 34mm ensures that vengeance LPX even fits in most small-form-factor builds.
- A high-performance PCB guarantees strong signal quality and stability for superior Overclocking ability.
- A solid aluminum heatspreader efficiently dissipates heat from each module so that they consistently run at high clock speeds.
|Speedy execution of tasks||Excessive for basic applications/ everyday office use|
|Freely browse with multiple tabs open||Additional cost to upgrade|
|Run multiple programs simultaneously||Its form factor may interfere with the installation|
|Longevity of speed and performance|
|Future-proofs your PC for intensive software applications|
|Supports demanding activities like 3D modeling, CAD, and multiple virtual machines|
|Lower power consumption|
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3200 (PC4-25600) C16 Desktop memory – Black
- Dynamic Multi-Zone RGB Lighting: 10 Ultra-bright RGB LEDs per module.
- Take control in CORSAIR iCUE software and synchronize lighting with other CORSAIR RGB products, including CPU coolers, keyboards and fans.
- Custom Performance PCB provides the highest signal quality for the greatest level of performance and stability.
- Tightly Screened Memory: Carefully screened ICs for extended overclocking potential.
- Maximum Bandwidth and Tight Response Times Optimized for peak performance on the latest Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards.
|Speedy execution of tasks||Massive RAM capacity, which exceeds most current demands|
|Browse with multiple tabs open||A tricky upgrade for many laptops which have two RAM slots|
|Run multiple programs simultaneously||More expensive|
|Faster speed, better performance||Greater energy consumption than 16GB RAM|
|Load and run games quickly|
|Future-proofs your computer for more demand software applications|
|Supports 3D modeling, CAD, and virtualization|
16GB vs 32GB RAM: Key Differences
RAM amount is not the only difference between 16GB and 32GB RAM modules. If you are buying RAM to add to your computer, the following differences may affect your purchasing choice:
Type of RAM
RAM is incredibly diverse, and the type of RAM significantly affects any performance comparison. For example, 16GB of generic ‘system’ RAM has a different function than 16GB of visual RAM (VRAM). We can broadly divide system RAM into static and dynamic RAM. The Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM (DDR SDRAM) is one of the fastest types on the market.
It will determine how much RAM you can add to your computer. This is the size, shape and physical specifications of the RAM. Understandably, 32GB RAM is also physically larger. Its size and arrangement of memory installation slots may make it difficult to install on certain PCs. Even 16GB RAM may have to be a high-density 2x8GB module to fit the available RAM slots in a laptop.
Memory speed determines how fast the RAM works rather than its capacity. You want the RAM to receive processor requests and read or write data quickly. Size means nothing if the RAM is not fast enough to transfer the information it holds temporarily to other components. Check the RAM speed, which is usually measured in Megahertz (MHz). Match RAM speed to the processor’s clock speed, as this determines the overall speed of the RAM.
Weighing up 16GB RAM and 32GB RAM
Both 16GB and 32GB RAM are at the upper end of RAM capacity and can do heavy lifting when it comes to computing. To put things in perspective:
- One byte is 8 bits of data, equivalent to holding a single letter or digit.
- One kilobyte is 1024 bits of data, equivalent to a page of writing in a book.
- One megabyte is 1024 kilobytes, equivalent to a novel.
- One gigabyte is 1024 megabytes, equivalent to a set of encyclopedias!
Remember that the RAM is only the volatile or short-term memory, so you can see just how much capacity you’re dealing with.
You need this agile and fluid memory to fetch, read and write information from any part of the memory module quickly. And it’s essential for every task you perform on your computer. With more RAM, your central processing unit (CPU) can operate quickly.
Every computer application requires some amount of RAM to perform correctly. Having an ample amount of RAM (16GB+) enables you to run multiple applications and operations smoothly. For most folks, 16GB is more than enough to run additional applications. Programs shouldn’t be slowing or freezing up. And 32GB? Most people will hardly use a quarter of this vast capacity.
Our Hands-On Experience
16GB RAM is incredibly easy to work with, especially if you open multiple tabs, stream movies, or listen to music. If you drop tasks, you can pick them up right where you left off without having to refresh screens, as basic applications will still run smoothly. However, hardcore gamers and high-end multimedia users, as well as content creators, may need to look seriously at 32GB for their advanced applications.
16GB vs 32GB RAM: Which Is Best?
The lazy answer is always more RAM, but let’s look at this differently. 16 and 32GB RAM will be the best memory solution for different users and situations.
Buy 16GB RAM if you want to futureproof your computer…
Computers brands are increasingly offering 16GB RAM with mid-range laptops, so a 16GB RAM computer or laptop is well within reach of most buyers. Additional RAM is always a plus. However, if you’re not running advanced software applications, it’s unlikely you won’t need that much RAM. Even 8GB would seem generous.
A 16GB RAM will benefit you if you use your computer to:
- Browse the web
- Handle emails
- WordProcess or run Office suite
- Creating databases/ large spreadsheets
- Running line of business (LOB) applications that apply to your work.
- Streaming video
- At most running software like Photoshop for some light (non-technical) design work/
Go for 34GB RAM if you want to do virtualization or run multiple advanced apps…
To be honest, purchasing 32GB of RAM because ‘it’s a lot’, is not a primary motivation for most computer users. 8GB to 16GB RAM is more than adequate for basic computer use, including browsing and streaming content.
Go for 32GB RAM in any of these situations:
- Running several Microsoft HyperV VMs (virtualization) on a single server
- Using multiple computing resource-intensive software programs for visual or design work like Adobe Creative Suite, Lumen5, Premiere Elements
- Advanced audio production or running a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) using software like Ableton Live or FL Pro.
- Running 3D modeling or rendering software
16GB and 32GB are more than enough for most computing tasks. For many, 32GB will be a waste of money as much of the memory would go unused. However, if you run advanced design or audiovisual applications or play FPS games, 32GB RAM is worth considering.
Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
16GB vs 32GB RAM: Is Bigger Always Better? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How does my operating system affect RAM performance?
Before you head out and buy that 32GB RAM module, you need to think carefully about operating system (OS) limitations. The vast majority of today’s computers have a 64-bit operating system, with some older models using a 32-bit system (X86). It is vital that the OS supports the amount of RAM you are going to add. You can find out the OS physical memory limits from the OS producer.
What applications use the most RAM?
If you are considering upgrading your RAM because of slow speeds, you’d be surprised to know what is actually using up your RAM. Here are some software programs that are infamous eaters of RAM:
- Google’s Chrome can really hog your RAM, up to 2GB for 15 open windows. Other browsers are offenders too, including Safari (300MB on just three tabs) and Firefox.
- Visual Studio Code (VS Code), a popular code editor can consume up to 1GB of your RAM on just a few scripts.
MS Teams and Skype are also notorious for using up available RAM. MS Teams specifies a minimum of 4GB RAM to operate, buts users report that this popular collaboration tool can hog up to 8GB of RAM all by itself. Many MS Teams users upgrade their RAM to 16GB to have the performance to run the program properly alongside other applications.
Is there a noticeable difference between 16GB and 32GB?
The improvement in performance that you would expect with increasing the amount of RAM depends on the RAM consumption of the applications you use. If you’re struggling with 8GB, upgrading to 16GB will boost performance. If your software places a heavy demand on 16GB RAM, an upgrade to 32GB should make your computing easy. With large amounts of RAM, you should notice improved reliability, especially if programs were freezing up when you used them. Running multiple programs and browser tabs also becomes smooth and fast, because the programs can access the RAM they need.
How Much RAM Do You Need For Better Gaming? (8GB vs 16GB vs 32GB)
Why is it that if you were to play a game on the brand new PS5, you’d likely not run into any graphical or performance issues compared to your CPU?
Well, aside from games being designed within the framework of a console, there are dedicated amounts of GB of RAM for consoles. In contrast, your computer is much more open to customization.
For example, the PS5 has 16 GB of GDDR6 SDRAM. So is 16 GB the standard for all games? Well, it’s a little more detailed than that.
What happens if you want to play a graphically intensive game like Death Stranding or Kingdom Come Deliverance on your computer?
If you want to forget graphics for a second: what about running games like League of Legends or Fornite without any stuttering issues or lagging?
We’ll show you everything you need to know about RAM, what to look for when shopping around for a gaming computer, how to check your computer’s memory status, and more.
Table of Contents:
An Introduction to RAM
You may have heard of RAM. It stands for random access memory, and it gives applications, games, and more the ability to store data. Unsurprisingly, the more memory your computer has, the more files and programs can perform better.
That’s why having more massive amounts of GB of RAM is crucial to things like intensive creative projects and, of course, gaming.
What Does RAM Do To Gaming?
The more GB of RAM, the more freedom a game performs without pulling memory from slower storage on the system.
A fundamental example of different GB of RAM was when I played the same game on various consoles. In 2015, I downloaded Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for PS3. I was surprised that the PS3 was able to handle the impressive graphics.
Years later, I bought the same game on sale for Microsoft’s Xbox One. The difference between the two performances was stunning. On the PS3, MGSV ran alright. It was smooth, crisp, and fluid on the Xbox One. Why is that?
PS3 had 256 MB of video memory, while the Xbox One operated on 8 GB, along with the help of the AMD “Jaguar” APU. While higher GB of RAM doesn’t necessarily mean that the game runs faster, it allows the Xbox One to run longer without having to access slower storage sources within the system.
Let’s look at some critical parts of RAM and what they mean.
The computer’s memory refers to the dedicated area of the processor where things like data and programs are stored when in use. There are a few different types of memory. RAM is one of them.
This is where the memory resides on the computer. While there are other memory spaces within the computer, this is the mainframe. The larger the RAM, the more programs and data your computer and processor can take on at one time. This is great if you’re playing an intense game, balancing many work projects, and more.
SSD, or solid-state drives, are crucial parts of RAM and computer memory. The SSD is a secondary storage device for computers.
GB stands for gigabytes. A gigabyte is basically your storage measure for any console, computer, or device. The higher the given gigabyte count, the more memory capabilities you have with your hardware.
Let’s break down the three main types of RAM you can purchase, what is ideal for what purpose, and what you should buy for your needs.
8GB is considered the minimum requirement for effective gaming on PCs. Anything below 8GB of RAM will result in slower performance speed, lackluster graphics settings, and more. Doling out the extra cash for at least 8GB of RAM is well worth it.
If you aren’t a hardcore gamer, 8GB is a significant amount of RAM to just casually browse websites on the Internet or do some digital media work with.
16GB of RAM is considered the ‘sweet spot.’ It allows for solid game playing, high-intensity work with computer programs, and gives you a fair amount of memory. If you want to be a serious gamer, 16Gb might be your ideal setup. Coupled with an AMD or NVIDIA graphics card, you could find a wealth of fun with 16GB of RAM.
With 32GB, many consider it to be overkill. Many game consoles don’t even use anything close to 32GB, so you can imagine the sheer amount of power it has on a gaming PC.
If you want the absolute top speed performance, no stuttering issues, lag, or any other graphical or performance hiccups, 32GB might be your ideal of good RAM. Add to that the longevity that 32GB of RAM can provide your hardware, and you may end up saving money by not buying or upgrading new tech.
How Much RAM Is Right?
So you might not be using a gaming PC for all of your work and gaming needs. So what’s the ideal amount of RAM for various devices? Let’s take a look.
Tablets aren’t precisely hubs for high-performance gaming. Still, you’re probably browsing for a tablet that can handle a ton of activity. In that case, choosing a tablet with nearly any amount of GB of RAM is sufficient.
If you merely play crosswords and access e-books on a tablet, the GB of RAM likely wouldn’t have to be higher than 4 GB of RAM. However, if you’re doing more intensive things like actually playing a game, streaming Netflix, and creating digital media, you could increase it to 8 GB of RAM.
Laptop RAM can vary. You’ll often see in Steam forums for particularly graphically demanding games people asking if their gaming laptop can run a particular game.
If gaming isn’t the main thing behind a possible laptop purchase, going for something like 4GB is a good idea. However, if you want to seriously game, go for something with 8GB and an AMD or NVIDIA GPU.
With that combination, you should be able to accomplish a lot of what desktop CPUs can.
Desktop gaming PCs should have at least 8GB. If they have anything less, game performance suffers considerably, as the computer is pulling out all the stops trying to store and pull data while the game is running.
How Much RAM Do I Need?
For a frequent computer user, you probably won’t need to go overboard and go above 4GB of RAM. If you’re using your computer to perform essential functions and perhaps mess around in Photoshop or web pages, you don’t need a ton of space or even an SSD starting out.
Gamers need a little more kick to their GPU, CPU, and RAM. Gaming PCs often require a minimum of 8GB of RAM. Very rarely do gaming builds need more than 8GB or 16GB, so either choice is reliable.
However, 8GB should be the minimum for most gamers. Anything lower, and you’ll undoubtedly run into quite a few problems and issues.
If you are basically married to your gaming PC, you might even want to upgrade to 32GB. It is often considered overkill to invest in a 32GB storage unit, but there are a few benefits.
First, you can pretty much-run anything with no sweat. Your computer has enough room at the proverbial table to perform well. Another benefit to 32GB hardware is that your computer is set for the future. You won’t have to upgrade your RAM or hardware for a while.
So, if you’re looking to invest in the long term, 32GB may be more your style.
How to Check How Much RAM You Have
Okay, so how do you check how much RAM you have on your computer? For Microsoft Windows users, you type in ‘about’ in the Start menu. You will see ‘About Your PC’ pop up. Under Device Specifications, you’ll see “Installed RAM.” In it, you’ll see how much RAM you have.
For Mac users, it’s even more accessible. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner, and select the option ‘About This Mac.’ There you’ll find all the various specifications of your computer.
5 Excellent Gaming RAM Options
Here are our favorite RAM options. While we believe that these are the best on the market right now, you might find something that works specifically for you while browsing our picks.
- TEAM XTREEM ARGB 16GB DDR4-3600 MHz C14
- Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB DDR4-3200 MHz
- G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB DDR4-3600 MHz
- G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4-2400 MHz
- Patriot Viper Elite 8GB DDR4-2400 MHz
Hopefully, you have a better idea of what RAM is and how much you need for both casual and hardcore gaming. Like with most tech-related things, there seems to be a lot to know and remember. But just remember a few key takeaways about RAM to help you determine which type you need.
Good for things like tablets and maybe phones, but not for gaming rigs. The main problem with 4GB is that it simply doesn’t have the capabilities of the higher gigabytes. It may be able to run some games, but there will be stuttering issues and other concerns.
8GB of RAM
The standard benchmark for PC gaming today. Gaming PCs and gaming laptops should have at least 8GB of RAM to run graphically demanding games successfully.
16GB of RAM
A cut above 8GB. This is a good ‘sweet spot,’ where you can run your computer reliably with nearly any program, game, or piece of media without issue.
32GB of RAM
Absolutely dominant, future-proofs your CPU, and ensures that you don’t have to replace RAM or even your gaming PC.
Overall, the choice is yours. Keep in mind what fits you better: Are you a casual PC user who only plays games like Cities: Skylines? Or are you a multiplayer FPS fanatic, looking for the fastest way to score a headshot in a heated online match?
The primary choice should be between 8GB and 16GB of RAM. Either way, there are tons of options from various companies and computers.
16GB Vs 32GB Vs 64GB Ram
RAM or Random-access memory is responsible for storing temporary data for quick use by your CPU and operating system. Having sufficient RAM means that your entire PC and gaming experience will flow smoothly without stuttering or freezing.
Most gamers would be more than satisfied with the performance of 16GB RAM. However, there are some specific gaming use cases where having more than 16GB of RAM would be required for a stable experience. There are no exact one-size-fits-all answers regarding how much RAM you need.
This article will compare the different RAM options in terms of price/performance so that you can ultimately make the right choice when building or upgrading your PC system.
Table of Contents
How to Tell if Your Current RAM is Maxing Out?
Finding that you have a RAM-related bottleneck is incredibly straightforward. Here are the steps to do so:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and then click on “Task Manager“
- Click on the Performance Tab on the top
- Click on the section called “Memory“
- If you see that your RAM usage is above 80%, it’s a clear indicator that you are close to maxing it out.
Keep in mind that even if a game alone uses less than 80% of your RAM, you have to factor in another 4-5 Gigabytes of RAM used by your background processes or applications such as browser tabs Discord and other apps you might run parallel to gaming.
A good rule is always leaving a couple of GB of free RAM as a buffer to increase in-game FPS stability and smoothness.
Is 16GB Enough for Gaming?
Having 16GB of RAM is the golden standard for current PC gaming builds. Since RAM has become much more affordable over the last few years, running anything less than 16GB for modern games makes little sense. Even if your other PC parts are up to par, having anything less than 16GB will give you plenty of micro freezing and in-game stuttering.
To bring things into perspective Modern titles like Cyberpunk and the latest Call of Duty versions all list having 8GB of RAM as a minimum requirement, and 16 GB RAM as their recommended.
If you plan to play low to moderately intensive games like League of Legends or Minecraft, then anything above 8GB of RAM will not yield you any in-game performance boost. So while you can get away with just having 8GB of RAM, you will find that many of the more demanding modern games will start to freeze and stutter as they max out on the 8GB RAM limit.
If your PC has 16GB of RAM you can rest assured that any modern gaming title will run smoothly, and you will not be facing any significant FPS drops due to lack of RAM.
Pros of 16GB RAM for Gaming
- Offers best price/performance when building/upgrading a gaming PC
- Covers the recommended RAM by any current game requirements
- Will let you run any game smoothly
- You won’t worry about freezing when switching between your game and other applications
Who Should Buy 16
GB of RAM?
The person for 16GB of RAM is most suitable is the budget-minded individual that likes to spread their PC building or upgrade budget as efficiently as possible by not overspending in a single hardware category. You will get the most FPS for the price spent by going for 16GB of RAM.
While no current games exceed 16GB of RAM usage in the year of 2022, this might quickly change in the next coming years as GPUs and game engines become more sophisticated and demanding.
16GB RAM Vs 32GB RAM
Regarding budget and mid-range gaming solutions, you will be hard pressed to justify the price increase from 16 to 32 GB of RAM. This is because almost all current games are optimized to run smoothly by using less than 16 GB of RAM. Very few AAA titles in between sometimes come close to 16GB of RAM usage, especially with resolutions ran higher than 1080p.
The in-game FPS gain you will receive when upgrading from 16 to 32GB of RAM would be quite underwhelming. Almost all benchmarks comparing 16GB vs 32GB RAM often show just a couple of FPS increases for using 32GB. So to the average gamer the only noticeable performance difference would be the speed and responsiveness when you are switching up between applications and multitasking during gameplay.
In some rare instances the in-game 1% and 0.1% lowest Frame Rate times would also go up, increasing the overall smoothness of your gameplay. This is especially noticeable if you are running high refresh rate monitors. If you successfully raise the 1% lowest frame rates during gameplay, this would mean that the game looks much more dynamic and fluid. Gamers often get fixated on the average FPS, which is incredibly important.
Pros of 32GB RAM for Gaming
- Could boost your 0.1% and 1% FPS lows in certain situations
- Completely eliminate in-game micro stuttering due to RAM
- Ensure that you have enough RAM to play any AAA titles in the next coming years
- Gives you a large buffer so you can multitask whilst gaming without worrying
- Could give you a slight competitive edge when gaming at large refresh rates
What User Should Get 32GB of RAM?
Having 32GB RAM would best fit into your gaming build if you already have top-of-the-line GPU, CPU, and other hardware parts. In that case, you can rest assured that no matter what type of gaming you do, you will never face any downsides of not having enough RAM. In general getting 32GB of RAM is a fantastic way to future proof your system for the coming years.
With 32GB of RAM you would also be in an excellent place to use other RAM intensive tasks such as video processing for example.
Lastly, if you are a streamer, you will find that 32GB of RAM is the ideal way to go, as this allows you to stream any gameplay at better performance compared to a streamer with just 16GB of RAM.
32GB Vs 64GB RAM for Gaming
Whilst having 64GB of RAM next to your PC build specs might be impressive for your friends, your gameplay FPS will see no tangible difference between 32GB and 64GB of RAM. As many benchmarks have promptly shown in the year 2022, having 64GB of RAM just for gaming, no matter at what resolution, settings, or game would yield diminishing performance returns.
At this point, your budget could be better allocated to upgrading your GPU, CPU or other components (if you are strictly looking for better gaming performance).
Who Should Get 64GB of RAM?
If you are a music producer, use heavy 3D modeling software, game development engines and even run physics or AI simulations, then 64GB of RAM might be a necessity. RAM-intensive tasks such as rendering 4k or 8k video will quickly eat up almost all that 64GB of RAM.
In short, any PC enthusiast or professional seeking to utilize RAM-heavy specialist software should definitely look into getting 64GB of RAM
Can We Mix Two RAM Sticks?
Due to the way that RAM works, you can mix different brands, RAM speeds and sizes of the RAM sticks. Your system will still boot up as usual.
This doesn’t mean that its recommended to do so for several reasons. When you are running mismatching RAM of different sizes, then the memory will automatically be forced to run in SDR or lower performing single data rate mode.
Mismatched RAM will also run in single-channel mode, which is significantly slower in terms of bandwidth capability as well as memory timing, compared to the recommended setup of having ram in dual-channel mode.
If you use the same gigabyte capacity for your RAM sticks, but suppose they are at different speeds, then your system will always limit the RAM speed to the slowest installed. This means that if you have one 3200MHz stick and another 1600MHz RAM stick, then your system will run both at just 1600 MHz.
So as a rule of thumb, always try to get the same size and speed (and preferably brand) when putting RAM into your system.
16GB vs 32GB RAM | How much RAM Do I Need for Gaming?
Choosing the correct amount of RAM for your PC is a decision that has haunted many gamers with less understanding of the matter. After all, RAM is an integral part of the PC and no one wants a PC that is slow and choppy to use right?
When it comes to gaming the popular consensus among gamers is to go give with 16GB RAM. Gamers who are on a strict budget however tend to go for 8GB to save cost. Nonetheless, I deem 8GB RAM to be insufficient for today’s gaming and to find out why check our take on is 8GB RAM enough for gaming. Similarly, some gamers tend to go for more than 16GB. Regardless of the amount of RAM you go for one thing is for sure that it no longer comes cheap as it used to 4-5 years back, so gamers now have to be more calculative with their choice.
Another aspect that people often overlook is that games are becoming increasingly more complex and demanding, hence requiring more RAM. The best example of this is PUBG, a battle royal game with huge maps containing 100 people all fighting it out for the number 1 spot.
With gamers now realizing the need for higher capacity RAM, a debate has stirred up with the topic being 16GB vs 32GB RAM. Many gamers are now questioning the efficacy of having just 16GB RAM and some gamers think it hinders the multitasking aspect of the PC.
The information coming out of these debates is not always right hence leading many gamers along the incorrect path. The topic needs proper addressing so we have taken it upon ourselves to properly inform you in this regard.
16GB vs 32GB RAM: Which is Right for You?
Deciding between 16GB or 32GB RAM is not as easy as it sounds. When it comes to RAM you do not gain performance benefits with having more RAM. Any Unutilized RAM is essentially a waste while having not enough RAM is catastrophic for the system. Therefore a balance has to be maintained and find the RAM that is more fitting for your persona use.
Why Choose 16GB RAM?
16GB RAM is considered the sweet spot in terms of memory capacity. Going below 16GB is not recommended as most modern games now are based on complex engines and require more RAM. Not having enough RAM to cope with the demand of the game leads to the system becoming choppy and laggy hence owing to a bad gaming experience.
With having 16GB Ram you also leave some headroom for other applications to run in the background besides the game. If you are an avid Reddit junky like I am or like to browse through stuff or listen to music in between rounds, then 16GB is perfect for that purpose as well. It allows the flexibility of multitasking without having to compromise on the gaming performance.
16GB RAM however is quickly becoming the bare minimum for some upcoming games and hence is no longer future proof. If you want to go with the buy once and forget about it approach then get higher capacity RAM. This leads up nicely to the 32GB RAM section so let’s address that without any more delay.
Why Choose 32GB RAM?
It is given that if you are looking into 32GB RAM then you want to do more than gaming. If not and you only want to game, then 16GB RAM will be plenty. The only reason we see in this case for upgrading to 32GB RAM is if you want your gaming PC to be future-proof.
Now let’s be honest here guys, gaming is not the only thing we would do with our PCs right. A pc has so much multi-tasking potential and then there is the fact that streaming games on platforms like Twitch or Youtube has picked up a rapid pace in the community and becoming popular with each passing day.
If you want to stream games while playing them then getting 32GB RAM holds weight. This is because a lot of resources are used for streaming which can quickly nip away the vacant RAM capacity.
If you want your game and your stream to do run smoothly then I recommend getting 32GB RAM. This also grants you a lot of levy in the setting you use for streaming, and you can go with higher settings by knowing that RAM is not the limiting factor in your case.
The other plausible reason for getting 32GB RAM is if you want to run a virtual machine. To do this properly you need 32GB RAM and 16GB just won’t cut it. Besides that, having higher capacity memory is also beneficial if you are working with large media files or doing content creation.
How much RAM Do I Need for Gaming?
If you are content with the above comparison and have figured out which RAM is better for your purpose, then you can skip this section. Otherwise for the folks who need more granular information on the amount of RAM required for their PC then this section is for you.
Deciphering the amount of RAM, you need for your gaming computer is not quite straightforward. I would love to put a number and say that this x amount of RAM is needed for gaming but that will be kind of going in the wrong direction. So, let’s take real-world examples and analyze them one by one to find out the amount of RAM needed for us.
Which Resolution and Refresh Rate you want to Play At?
This is a huge deciding factor in the amount of RAM needed for your gaming PC. You see high resolution and high refresh rate gaming is increasingly popular. The 1080p 60fps target that used the staple for many gamers is no longer a thing now as the industry is moving towards 1440p resolution.
The high refresh rate monitors bandwagon is riding a new high and many gamers are switching to a high refresh rate for smoother gaming. If you also want to incorporate high resolution and high refresh rate in your gaming, then get higher RAM capacity as gaming at higher resolution and high refresh rate demands more resources.
Do you Work on Memory Intensive Applications?
If you are a gamer by heart but also have to work on memory-intensive applications for a living, then get high-capacity RAM. This is especially applicable if you work with very large files such as large media files containing multiple 4K videos that you have to edit. This is just one example and there are so many other professional tasks that require high RAM capacity so if you are into professional tasks then get at least 16GB RAM.
Do you want to Stream Your Games?
Streaming is a very demanding task and hence requires a lot of free memory capacity. When streaming you also have to factor in that the game you are streaming also requires memory. Therefore, if you are on planning on streaming then get high RAM capacity than usual.
How Many Apps Do you want to Run in the Background?
This is a very important factor and the one that most people will base their decision on regarding how much RAM do they need for their PC. You see, not all people use their PC in the same way. Some simply use it for gaming while others do a lot more than gaming.
Given you are the one that uses his PC in a multi-tasking manner and has a lot of apps open in the background then get high RAM capacity while if you only have 1 or 2 apps open along with the game then you do not require a lot of RAM for your use.
What it boils down to is how many applications you have open in the background and the frequency at which you switch between them. This also goes for gaming if you are someone who uses discord, Spotify and other similar application with your game then get high RAM capacity according, otherwise, if your only focus is the game then you can get away with having low-capacity RAM.
Check out our related prebuilt gaming PC guides below.
- The Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $1500
- Best Prebuilt Gaming PC
- Best RTX 3070 Prebuilt
- Best RTX 3080 Prebuilt
- Best RTX 3060 Prebuilt
- Best RTX 3090 Prebuilt
- White Gaming PC
- Pink Gaming PC
Other related guides:
- 10 Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming
- 12 Gaming Best Headset Under $50
- 10 Reasons Why PC Gaming Is Better Than Console
- PC Shuts Down When Gaming? Try These Fixes
- How to Optimize Windows 10 PC for Gaming
Let’s wrap up everything now, shall we? For starters, there is no right, or wrong RAM capacity and it all boils down to personal use. Through the above-mentioned information, I hope you were able to make out a rough estimate on the amount of RAM needed for your use.
The gist of it is that 8GB RAM is not enough in 2021, you can get away with 8GB RAM but then you will be restricted in your PC use. 16GB RAM is the sweet spot and if you are building a new PC for playing games then simply get 16GB RAM. 32GB RAM is not for everyone and for most people it will be a waste to go with such high RAM capacity. I will recommend getting 32GB only if you are planning to stream or your use involves working with memory-intensive applications.
Five reasons for and four against buying 32 GB of memory in a gaming computer in 2020
This article was written by a website visitor and has been rewarded.
A couple of days ago, I came across the blog «DDR4 16 GB vs 32 GB: how much RAM is needed for games», which touched on the burning question — how much memory to put in a gaming computer in 2020 — 16 or 32 GB?
In the comments on the blog, there was a serious discussion about the need for 32 GB of memory in 2020. I have always considered comments to be the most important part of overclockers.ru blogs, in which you can get as much useful information as in the blog itself. So this time after reading the blog, I sat down to read the comments.
As usual, there is no unambiguous solution to this issue, and those who choose 16 GB and those who choose 32 GB are right.
For myself, I decided this question in favor of 32 GB, describing this in the blog «Five reasons why I bought 32 GB of memory in a budget computer in 2020».
But my arguments in that blog were too tied to my current PC configuration, AM4 platform, and future upgrade plans.
In this blog, I will try to more objectively weigh the pros and cons of buying a 32GB gaming PC in 2020. It is in the game, because 8-16 GB is still enough for office and multimedia, and for many working PCs 32 GB is already not enough.
Let’s start with the arguments against buying 32 GB.
The first argument «against» — 16 GB is enough for any game. You can close the browser and background programs, minimizing memory consumption and 16 GB in this scenario is enough for any existing game.
Not only that, in our age, the paging file, located on a fast SSD, can make the lack of RAM very inconspicuous. It is radically different from the times when accessing the paging file located on the hard drive was accompanied by brakes and crackling.
The second argument is that 16 GB are cheap. 16 GB is half the price of a similar set of 32 GB. Moreover, some users spend this difference on the purchase of faster modules, which now give a noticeable increase in games and applications.
The third argument is that almost any user with a set of 8×2 GB of memory can add another 2×8 at any time when he starts to miss them, increasing the memory to 32 GB.
Yes, similar modules may not be found and the memory will not work at optimal timings and will not take overclocking records, but everything will work.
Or you can sell your 2×8 GB on the secondary market and buy new 2×16 GB.
The fourth argument is that DDR5 memory is coming out soon, which will immediately make DDR4 memory obsolete.
Now let’s deal with the pros.
The first pro argument is that games will definitely require more than 16 GB of RAM. This is inevitable and this time will come during the lifetime of the AM4 and socket 1200 platforms. This means that users will have to upgrade the memory on the existing platform, adding a new one or changing it entirely.
Therefore, a memory upgrade is inevitable.
And this will cost money, and this leads to the second argument — spending is inevitable.
I don’t see any reason why DDR4 will become much cheaper. On the contrary, a decrease in the production of DDR4 chips while maintaining many current AM4 platforms and sockets 1151 and 1200 will cause an increase in its price. As is the case with DDR3.
Therefore, there is not much difference when you pay for 32 GB of memory, now or in a year and a half. I have paid now.
I don’t like to mess with the used market, letting strangers into my house to sell iron, so I’m more comfortable buying 32 GB now and sitting on them for several years.
The third argument «for» — fast DDR4 memory will remain relevant in games and applications for a long time. Users who equipped their PCs with fast DDR3 memory at one time, for example, on systems with Intel Core i7-4790K , do not experience much lack of its throughput in games.
DDR3 2133 MHz test. It is quite comparable with the results of DDR4 2133 MHz.
The fourth argument is stability and comfort. Buying 32 GB of memory now, you can overclock it by «squeezing all the juices» and adjusting the timings. And for several years to use a fast, stable kit that does not require any intervention.
This is exactly what I did, overclocking the CRUCIAL Ballistix Sport LT AES to 3400 MHz and squeezing the timings and sub-timings as much as possible.
The fifth argument «for» is the price of DDR4 memory, which can only grow. Take any store like Regard and open the prices for 8 GB memory.
See how the 2666 MHz DDR4 memory modules are already on par with the cheapest 1600 MHz DDR3 memory modules? The same increase in prices for obsolete memory was in the days when SDRAM was replaced by a new DDR memory, and when DDR was changed to DDR2, and when DDR2 gave way to DDR3 memory.
This time history repeats itself, and fast DDR3 is obscenely expensive.
Same for the aftermarket. It is enough to monitor the offers on Avito. There is even a slight shortage.
The matter is aggravated by the fact that the lifetime of DDR3 and DDR4 platforms is now indecently stretched by the Chinese with their server processors.
Do not forget the instability of the exchange rate and the seasonal increase in prices by September 1, after the summer holiday and dacha lull, when thousands of schoolchildren will go to buy computers «for study».
Add to this the claims of RAM chip corporations, who say that it is no longer profitable for them to produce such cheap memory. Remember the situation that was a few years ago and the memory of the same volume cost almost twice as much?
Perhaps the memory is now at the very minimum, to which it will not return very, very soon. And it’s time to buy 32 GB of memory for a few years ahead.
Here are my arguments for and against buying 32 GB of memory in a gaming computer in 2020. I do not pretend to be the ultimate truth, and maybe I made a mistake by buying 32 GB of RAM into my PC.
Therefore, I will be happy to hear your opinion in the comments, because truth is born in a dispute.
This material was written by a site visitor and has been rewarded.
How much memory do you need for video editing?
To get started, click accept below to bring up the cookies management panel. Next, tap or click on the Personalization button to turn on the chat feature, then Save.
Your web browser version is out of date. Please update your browser to improve your experience on this website. https://browser-update.org/update-browser.html
Client level SSD
RAM is essential for people who need a fast and efficient computer for video editing. Video editing software uses more RAM (Random Access Memory) than most computers typically have, and without enough memory, it’s nearly impossible to edit videos without your computer crashing or freezing. The exact amount of RAM you’ll need for video editing will be determined by the software you want to use, the type of footage you want to edit, and the number of different apps or programs you plan to use at the same time. For more convenient video editing, you may need to increase the amount of RAM. Having more RAM is vital at every step of the video editing process and is recommended for any video editing engineer looking to bring a struggling machine to life.
How does RAM work?
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a computer’s short-term memory that allows you to access multiple programs at the same time with great speed and efficiency. In contrast, a computer hard drive or solid state drive is its long-term memory, in which information is stored for a longer time. Whether you’re editing an email, a document, or a video, all of these tasks require RAM. The amount of RAM you need depends on what kind of work you are doing and how many tasks you are doing at the same time. When editing video, the amount of RAM in your computer or laptop is vital to your workflow. Without enough memory, your computer will simply not be able to perform the necessary tasks, and video editing will turn into an unnecessary struggle.
How much RAM do you need for video editing?
In short, the more RAM a computer has, the faster it runs. You need enough RAM to boot your computer’s operating system, open the necessary video editing software, edit videos freely, and continue to run computer background tasks. Also, be aware that any other apps you have open, such as Google Chrome or Spotify, also require a significant portion of your computer’s RAM. When editing videos, it’s important to consider the amount of RAM you’ll need for the type and amount of video you have.
This is the minimum amount of RAM to think about when editing videos. By the time the operating system boots up and you open a video editing application like Adobe Premier Pro, most of the 8 GB of RAM will have been used up. 8 GB may be enough to edit projects below 1080p, but you may need to close other programs to free up RAM. Editing videos at 4K resolution will be next to impossible with 8GB RAM, and you will need a lot of patience to preview video files. 8 GB of RAM will provide only basic performance, so you shouldn’t consider this option if you want to edit video efficiently.
Considering that most computers come with 4 GB of RAM, 16 GB will provide enough space to perform multiple tasks at the same time without problems with the computer. 16GB is enough for editing 1080p projects or 4K files with minimal effects. However, if there are some background tasks running and multiple applications open, it may be difficult for the computer to operate efficiently. 16GB of RAM will be difficult for most people, but for creatives who need to process large files and use complex software, 32GB should be considered.
This is the optimal amount of RAM that your computer needs for video editing. 32 GB will allow you to edit all types of files and you will be able to work with longer videos. With 32GB of RAM, multiple programs can be running at the same time and you can still edit and view videos efficiently. 32 GB will allow you to perform all the operations required for video editing without slowing down your workflow.
Most video editing engineers do not need 64 GB of RAM. If you plan to edit 8K files or work with motion graphics, then 64 GB may be useful for your needs. But it may cost you more than you need to.
Thus, the amount of RAM in your PC or laptop will significantly affect the ability to easily and efficiently edit videos. While 8GB or 16GB is a huge amount of RAM for most people, video editing requires a lot more RAM due to the complexity of the software and the types of files used. You will still be able to use 8GB or 16GB of RAM for video editing, but the type and amount of content you can edit will be limited and you may have to close other applications. However, by purchasing at least 32 GB of RAM, you will significantly improve your video editing experience and be able to perform all the necessary tasks without slowing down your computer.
Search by system/device
Simply enter the make and model number or part number of your computer system or digital device to find the Kingston product you need.
Search by article
Search by Kingston serial number, distributor serial number, or equivalent manufacturer serial number.
Amount of memory — How much RAM do you need? DIY in 5 Issue 27
Think of RAM like a corkboard: it keeps all your documents you work on in memory when the power is on.
Video Editing Tips — Hardware and Software Tips — DIY in 5 Issue 136
Have you suddenly found yourself wanting to create cool video content and share it with the world?
PC Build — 2019 4K Video Editing PC Build — DIY in 5 Release 108
Planning to edit 4K video but not sure if the $1,000 pre-made model will work? Do not worry. We’ll show you how to put together the best system for editing 4K files.
Video Editing PC Assembly — DIY in 5 Release 54
Here are the components you really need to build a video editing PC.
How much RAM is needed — depends on the workload
Have you stocked up on your brand new PC but can’t decide how much RAM you need? Or maybe you’re starting a new project and wondering if an update is needed.
In any case, choosing the right amount of RAM can be tricky because there are so many variables to take into account. .
The first, almost instinctive impulse to buy as much RAM as your budget allows is understandable. But this is not always the best approach.
By avoiding overspending, you can use your budget to improve the speed and timing of memory, which is important for busy workloads such as working in the viewport.
In this article, we’ll start with some basic general information about RAM and then move on to how much you need for various workloads.
We will also answer some frequently asked questions on this topic and tell you what to consider when deciding whether to how much RAM you need to buy .
How much RAM do you need — an overview
If you just want a quick guide, here’s our overview table.
|Workload/task||Minimum RAM requirements||Recommended amount of RAM|
|Windows 10||1-2 GB||8 GB|
|Windows 11||4GB||16 GB|
|Basic daily use||4-8 GB||16 GB|
|Video editing||8-16 GB||64 GB|
|Graphic design||8-16 GB||32 GB|
|Motion Design||8-16 GB||64 GB|
|3D Modeling||8-16 GB||32 GB|
|3D visualization||8-16 GB||64 GB|
|CAD||8-16 GB||64 GB|
|Music production||8 GB||64 GB|
|Games||8-12 GB||32 GB|
|Streaming||8 GB||16 GB|
|VR||16 GB||32 GB|
What is RAM
Okay, let’s start with some general information about RAM or RAM.
What is RAM used for?
No matter how trite to quote Wikipedia, its definition of RAM is can help us understand things a little better:
Random access memory is computer memory that is typically used to store work data and machine code. This allows data elements to be read or written in almost the same amount of time, regardless of the physical location of the data in memory.
In other words, RAM is a type of volatile memory (meaning that any stored information is lost when the power is turned off) and is incredibly fast. This gives your applications the environment to access and temporarily store information when needed.
Optimal memory speeds
The «speed» of RAM depends on both its frequency and timings.
You can calculate the absolute RAM latency (the time it takes to provide data to the CPU after a request is made) with this calculator.
Lower absolute latency improves performance for workloads that require faster access to data, such as video editing or gaming.
However, absolute latency is not the only factor to consider .
The optimal DDR4 memory speed also depends on the processor used. Quick tip (for Intel/AMD workstations): Choose inexpensive CL16 3600MHz memory to get the most bang for your buck.
Dual Channel vs Single Channel
If your workloads include 3D rendering, video editing, or CAD modeling, be sure to purchase a RAM kit that includes two or four sticks of memory.
Tests show that dual-channel RAM has an advantage that ranges from 3% (Adobe Premiere rendering) to 17% (Euler 3D tests) compared to a single-channel kit.
Note . If you are tempted to install 3 memory modules for various reasons, I would not recommend it. You will default to single channel mode and lose half the memory bandwidth of .
Mixing RAM blocks
As a rule, it is not recommended to mix blocks of RAM from different manufacturers, memory sizes and speeds .
Manufacturers test each kit at the factory to ensure that all modules in the kit are compatible. You waive this warranty if you buy separate RAM kits (even if they are the same brand, frequency, and timings).
That’s why you should choose the amount of RAM wisely, ideally at the beginning of the build, which leads to the question:
How much RAM do you need
We’ll go over some basic memory buying recommendations for a few popular workloads.
How much RAM do you need for Windows 10?
The Microsoft system requirements for Windows 10 state 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit and 2 GB for 64-bit as a minimum.
Of course, even for the most basic operations (such as browsing the web and using Microsoft Office), you need at least twice as much.
Today’s voracious web browsers can take up over 2 GB of RAM, so make sure you have some headroom to work with.
How much RAM do you need for Windows 11?
For Windows 11, the minimum requirement is 4 GB of RAM.
Accordingly, it makes sense to at least double the minimum requirement to 8 GB.
This does not mean that 4 GB is not enough. It just sometimes bothers you with slowdowns or stuttering when you have multiple apps running or too many browser tabs open.
How much RAM do you need for everyday use?
For basic daily use (such as watching movies, browsing the web, working in the office or editing text), you need 4 to 8 GB of RAM.
This depends on your operating system (as mentioned above) and how many applications you want to run at the same time.
Read the following article if you don’t know what type of PC you need to build. A simple step-by-step process will help you plan a custom PC that meets your needs.
How much RAM do you need for video editing?
Video editing is possibly one of the most demanding workloads, depending on the resolution of the footage and the software used. In any case, the minimum will be 16 GB of RAM, but it is better to immediately consider buying 64 GB.
How much RAM do you need for Adobe Premiere Pro?
According to Adobe, video editing in Premiere Pro requires 8 GB of RAM.
They recommend 16GB of RAM for HD media (FHD) and 32GB for 4K (UHD) or higher.
How much RAM do you need for DaVinci Resolve?
Recommended specs aren’t that forgiving when it comes to Black Magic’s DaVinci Resolve.
In its hardware selection and setup guide, Black Magic lists a minimum requirement of 16 GB of 3200 MHz SDRAM, with 64 GB to 128 GB (or more) recommended if you plan to use Fusion.
How much RAM do you need for graphic design?
Graphic design can also be memory intensive, especially when working with high-resolution images and large photo libraries. So think 32 GB minimum.
How much RAM do you need for Adobe Photoshop
For Adobe Photoshop, you will need between 8GB and 16GB of RAM, depending on the size of your work.
Power users may need up to 32 GB of RAM, especially if background applications are taking up memory.
How much memory do you need for Adobe Illustrator and vector illustration?
Depending on your GPU and monitor resolution, the amount of RAM required for Adobe Illustrator will vary. However, for most users of the , 16 GB of memory will be enough.
If you are using a 4K display or have limited video memory (for vector graphics rendering), we recommend choosing 32 GB. This is especially important if you plan to run software that uses technical diagrams, such as GIS programs.
How much RAM do you need for motion design?
If you thought graphic design was a memory hog, wait until you get into motion design!
Perhaps the most popular/suitable application for this workload is Adobe After Effects, which has a minimum memory requirement of 16 GB.
Adobe lists 32 GB of RAM as a recommended memory requirement, but you may need to double that to 64 GB or more depending on your footage.
How much RAM do you need for 3D modeling?
Moving on to 3D modeling, we see that RAM requirements will again vary greatly depending on the specific workload and software used. Flexible simulators, for example, are extremely demanding on RAM and can easily gobble up even 64 gigabytes if the simulation is complex enough. «Wrong» in a big way if your main workload is running flex sims.
To be clear, 3D modeling refers to active 3D workloads that are distinct from the actual rendering process.
Amount of RAM for Cinema 4D
Maxon’s official web page indicates a minimum of 8 GB of RAM, and 16 GB is recommended.
However, we recommend using at least 32 GB, depending on the complexity of your project and texture resolution.
Most creative professionals often have multiple applications open in the background as part of their workflow, so 32GB of RAM is essential for a professional C4D workstation.
Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max RAM requirements
Next we have Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max software.
The Autodesk Knowledge Network states that Maya will need 8 GB of system memory, although they recommend doubling this amount to 16 GB.
By comparison, 3ds Max requires much less memory as Autodesk specifies a minimum of 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended).
Of course, these official numbers are lower than what would be optimal in an active workflow environment when working on real complex projects.
For both Maya and 3ds Max, we recommend at least 16 GB of RAM, with 32 GB being more suitable for advanced users.
How much RAM is needed for SideFX’s Houdini 18.5
SideFX’s Houdini can handle 4 GB of RAM, although SideFX recommends triple that as the recommended specification.
They also recommend 64 GB of RAM for fluid simulation.
64 GB should work for the vast majority of users, and only the upper tier workstations will need 128 GB of RAM, which will allow professionals to focus on application features rather than worry about optimization.
How much memory do you need to run Blender?
Finally, we have Blender, which has three different levels of hardware requirements: minimum, recommended, and optimal, which are 4 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB, respectively.
The Blender Sculpting tool and other features may have large memory requirements.
In general, we agree with the estimate of 16-32 GB of RAM. However, we recommend 64 GB for better stability when doing various tasks in Blender. This will ensure decent multitasking and prevent unnecessary data loss.
How much RAM do you need for 3D rendering?
We’ve looked at active 3D application workloads, but what about passive ones like rendering?
Memory size for Redshift, Octane and V-Ray
Redshift and Octane and Maxon and Otoy indicate a minimum requirement of 8 GB of RAM, while 16 GB (or more) is recommended. V-Ray’s minimum requirements of 4 GB and the recommended 8 GB indicate that it can run with less system memory.
We recommend installing 1.5-2 times more RAM than is available on the video card. For example, if you have an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (with 8 GB of VRAM), we recommend 12-16 GB of RAM. Accordingly, if you have an RTX 3090 (with 24 GB of VRAM), we recommend 32-64 GB of RAM as the optimal amount.
This will also depend heavily on the complexity of the scenes. If your scenes fit in the GPU’s video memory, you won’t need that much extra system memory. However, if you use external functions, this means that the GPU will have to offload some of the scene content into your system’s memory, so make sure you have enough RAM. Otherwise, you’ll be migrating data to even slower storage, namely persistent storage (the swap file), and that’s where things get is very slow.
Arnold memory requirements
Although Autodesk does not list a recommended amount of RAM for Arnold, the same rule mentioned above (1.5-2 times more RAM than VRAM) can be used for any rendering engine on the GPU.
If you know you’ll be using your CPU for rendering, another rule of thumb is to set 1 to 2 GB of RAM per thread of your CPU. For example if you have Ryzen 95950X (with 32 threads), you will need 32-64 GB of RAM.
How much RAM do you need for CAD?
You need vector computer-aided design (CAD) software to plot mathematically accurate graphs of physical objects.
RAM for Solidworks
Solidworks lists a minimum RAM requirement of 16 GB which drops to 8 GB for their PDM Contributor/Viewer and Electrical Schematic.
In fact, you will need twice as much RAM (32 GB), given that 16 GB is needed to run SolidWorks in a vacuum.
If you have complex builds, you may even need 64 GB or more.
Most Autodesk applications such as AutoCAD, Revit, and Fusion 360 require at least 8-16 GB of RAM to run smoothly.
The exception is Autodesk Inventor, for which Autodesk recommends 32 GB of RAM (or more).
As with any CAD software, these figures should be considered as a minimum.
However, 32 to 64 GB of RAM should be a generally accepted safe amount of RAM for any of the above applications.
How much RAM do you need to make music?
Making music is another workflow that can require a lot of RAM to run smoothly.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software RAM requirements vary greatly. For example, FL studio 20 has a minimum RAM requirement of only 4 GB, while Ableton Live 11 requires at least 8 GB of RAM.
However, if you want to use Orchestral Tools, you’ll notice that their recommended specs include 32 GB of RAM, with 64 GB mentioned as the ideal amount.
We recommend 32 GB as a good starting point and 16 GB as the minimum.
How much RAM do you need for programming?
Programming/coding is one of the workloads with the largest variation in system memory requirements.
For most programmers (except those who work on huge and complex projects), the amount of RAM needed to run your operating system properly will be sufficient for programming, so we recommend 8 to 16 GB of RAM for this task.
How much RAM do you need to play games?
Over the years, the need for RAM for games has steadily increased, and many modern AAA-level games need from 8 to 12 GB to work properly.
The good news is that most games are designed for use on both PCs and consoles, in particular the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Both of these consoles have 16 GB of RAM, which is also Intel’s recommended storage capacity. mu memory for gaming PCs.
Of course, a PC is not a console, and you will probably use it for more than just gaming.
If you are not afraid of closing background applications before starting the game, then 16 GB will be enough. However, if you like using Alt + Tab to stream video, browse the web, or work on a project on the side, we recommend getting a good 32GB memory kit.
How much RAM do you need for streaming?
System memory requirements for streaming vary depending on what you’re streaming and whether you’re using one or two computers.
Non-Game Streaming (like Twitch’s «just chatting» category) requires only 8 GB of RAM.
Of course, if you’re browsing the web and watching videos with your audience, you can opt for 16 GB of RAM to eliminate stuttering or frame drops.
For gaming, most experts recommend using a second streaming PC so that the first gaming PC can focus on delivering a smooth gaming experience.
A second streaming PC will require only 8 GB of RAM to function properly.
If you have one PC powerful enough that you can play and stream at the same time (or if you don’t play games with heavy hardware usage), then 16GB of RAM would be the minimum and 32GB of RAM would be our recommendation.
How much RAM do you need for virtual reality?
Virtual reality (VR) games are very similar to regular AAA PC games with heavy use of hardware. So you can expect similar memory requirements.
16 GB of RAM should be the bare minimum considering games like Half-Life Alyx already require 12 GB.
Once again, if you’re planning on streaming or other applications running in the background, we recommend choosing the 32 GB bundle.
How much RAM do you need to develop games and applications?
Unity and Unreal Engine have become so accessible that anyone with a decent PC can start building apps and games from the comfort of their living room.
Because both Unity and Unreal and other engines can be used to build everything from simple slideshow apps to AAA games, the RAM requirements need to be tailored to what you want to develop.
At a minimum, you should have 8 GB of RAM so that you don’t run into bottlenecks, especially since your OS and other applications you open, such as a browser, don’t limit your development experience.
We recommend 16 GB for most use cases and 32 GB for more complex games and applications.
Frequently asked questions about RAM
How much RAM do you need in a laptop?
It depends on what you are using your notebook for.
If you need a laptop for 3D modeling, you will need at least 16 GB of RAM.
If you’re using your laptop for light gaming at 1080p and general basic tasks, you should be able to get away with just 8 GB.
Generally speaking, it’s always best to make sure the laptop you buy has upgradable RAM so you can add more if needed.
Why is RAM so expensive?
Like most products, RAM prices are driven by supply and demand, and many factors affect the market at any given time.
One such factor that greatly affects RAM prices is how new the DDR generation is.
When a new generation of RAM is released, the price tends to be higher — at least until vendors improve the efficiency of their production methods.
Is 64-128 GB of RAM overkill?
For most users, this is true.
If you are planning to build a PC solely for gaming and some general, basic, daily activities, 64 GB of RAM is too much.
The amount of RAM you need will ultimately depend on your workload.
Unless you’re editing 8K video or planning to run multiple RAM-intensive programs at the same time, 128 GB will also be overkill for most users. Those running workloads that require more than 128GB probably already know how much RAM they need.
Is 32 GB of RAM promising?
The concept of the «future» (when it comes to building a PC) is a bit overrated.
Best buy equipment you need today , not the hardware you think you’ll need at some point in the future.
However, when it comes to RAM, it makes sense to buy more — as long as it’s of the same quality and you have the budget.
For most workloads, 32 GB of RAM is sufficient now and will be sufficient in the near future.
Will adding RAM increase the speed?
Adding RAM will only make your system faster if you don’t have enough RAM for your software to run properly.
Fewer stutters and freezes will of course benefit in terms of speed. But if you already have enough memory to complete your tasks, adding more RAM won’t bring noticeable improvements to your workflow.
Can too much memory slow down my computer?
Not at all… at least not directly.
Too much RAM will hurt your budget; money you could spend on other hardware components that would further speed up your workloads, such as an NVMe SSD or upgraded CPU/GPU.
Conclusion — how much memory is needed
In the end, building a PC is an optimization.
Get the most out of your budget by carefully choosing each component. Choosing a set of RAM is no different.
When it comes to memory, size definitely matters. Of course, you should have enough to avoid stutters or crashes, but don’t buy in excess when the cost outweighs the value and performance.
By taking the time to find that balance, you can allocate your budget exactly where it’s most useful to get the most bang for your buck.
1, 2 or 4 sticks of RAM: does the quantity matter?
Published: 19 May 2021
What is RAM and why is it needed, everyone has long been learned. But the topic of proper configuration of a desktop computer with memory boards deserves special attention.
Briefly about RAM
Random access memory (aka RAM, aka RAM) is a volatile type of memory that the processor uses to temporarily store data used in work. RAM is a board made of textolite, on which a microcircuit of capacitors is soldered. Information is fixed on the board with the help of a charge. A charged capacitor corresponds to one, a discharged one to zero.
The criteria for choosing RAM are the following parameters:
It is difficult to name the decisive parameter, the speed of the system is determined by the combination of these values.
How much RAM does a computer need in 2021?
The amount of RAM is determined in accordance with the planned load of the computer. On average, the need for RAM today is:
- For an office computer designed to work with documents, texts and tables, 4 GB of RAM will be enough.
- A home computer that will be used to browse the web, play basic arcade games and play multimedia requires up to 8 GB of RAM.
- Mid-range gaming build needs 16 GB of RAM.
- 32 GB of RAM is required to run high-performance AAA-class games, as well as work in heavy applications for processing video or photo materials.
- 64 GB of RAM — the amount is excessive today for ordinary tasks, but can be useful when working with video and 3D editors. However, even such a volume can be found in the assemblies of computer enthusiasts, streamers and e-sportsmen.
At the same time, system performance depends not only on the amount and frequency of RAM. Configuration matters a lot.
Which configuration should I choose?
The main feature of RAM is its modularity. The required volume can be obtained by installing one board, or dialing the required rate with several modules. The main condition is to use modules that are identical in terms of technical characteristics, and ideally, identical strips of the same model.
If you install modules with different frequencies and timings, the system will work in accordance with the parameters of the weaker one. But it is strictly forbidden to use memory of different generations, although some motherboards are equipped with slots for both versions. A computer with both DDR3 and DDR4 memory cards installed at the same time simply will not start. Also, modules with different ranks cannot be installed together. The system will work, but it will be unstable and with a high chance of random shutdown.
For example, 32 GB of RAM can be achieved with three configurations:
- 1 32 GB module;
- 2 x 16 GB modules;
- 4 x 8 GB modules.
The main advantage of multiple modules comes from the width of the RAM bus. If the memory card has a 64-bit bus, then two such modules in dual-channel mode provide the system with a 128-bit wide channel. Four memory boards implement a 256-bit connection.
Therefore, a configuration with one RAM module will show the lowest transfer rate of the options shown in the example. But at the same time, one memory card is an opportunity for an easy and budgetary upgrade of the system in the future. Just buy a second one and add it to the appropriate connector.
A set of two RAM modules is the best option both in terms of price and power. The RAM module controller will then operate in dual-channel mode.
Four memory modules will increase system performance, but the increase will be no more than 2 — 3% of a two-module configuration. The controller will operate in dual-channel mode, and performance will increase by increasing the number of memory banks that the controller can operate. At the same time, the topology of the board layout significantly affects the gain. In some cases, the installation of four modules may, on the contrary, slightly reduce performance, but by the same 2 — 3%.
Note that only paired configurations are used for optimal system performance. If you install 3 memory modules in a computer, the system will work in asynchronous dual-channel mode, and the performance gain or drop, as in the case of four bars, will depend on the topology of the board layout and the rank of the modules.
How to install the RAM correctly?
Before buying RAM, check the number of corresponding slots on the motherboard. Older models may only have 2 connectors. By the way, each motherboard has its own limitations on the volume of one module and the total amount of RAM. These limits should also be taken into account when choosing RAM.
When installing RAM modules, you should follow the color scheme. The motherboard connectors designed for RAM are divided into pairs, usually painted in different colors and alternated.
For example: red, black, red, black. If the board has 4 connectors and you plan to install 2 modules, put them in single-color connectors, that is, with an interval of one. If you install RAM in adjacent slots, the system will operate in single-channel mode and will not receive an increase in data transfer speed.
After installing the RAM, be sure to check in which mode the system is operating. This can be done using the common CPU-Z utility. To do this, in the «Memory» tab, find the «Channel» indicator. If the window says “Dual”, then everything is in order.
A short video from Kingston about the benefits of next-generation 16Gb DRAM DDR4. These new chips are based on new wafer lithography that is less than 20 nanometers. This means that the DRAM density goes from 8 Gb to 16 Gb, resulting in an increase in module capacity.
- All posts
- KVM equipment (equipment)
- Powerline adapters
- Wireless adapters
- Power supplies
- Video cards (videocard)
- Video surveillance (CCTV)
- HDDs and Solid State SSDs
- Disk shelves (JBOD)
- Sound cards
- Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS, UPS)
- Cables and patch cords
- Computer peripherals (computer peripherals)
- Computers (PC)
- Controllers (RAID, HBA, Expander)
- PC Cases
- PC Motherboards
- Multifunction devices (MFPs)
- Memory modules for PCs, laptops and servers
- Monoblocks (All-in-one PC)
- Desktop storage systems (NAS)
- Notebooks (notebook, laptop)
- General help
- Software for corporate consumer
- Processors for PCs and servers
- Workstations (workstation)
- Power Distribution Unit (PDU)
- Consumables for office equipment
- Wi-Fi extenders (repeaters, repeaters)
- Routers (routers)
- Servers and server hardware
- Network cards
- Telecommunication cabinets and racks
- Telephony (phone)
- Thin Clients
- Smart watch
How much RAM do you need for games?
Putting together a PC that has it all can be tricky, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. After all, when it comes to balancing all the components, there is too much information to learn. One issue, however, tends to be more problematic than others.
How much RAM do you need to play games?
It seems that the answer to this question should be quite simple, but it is not. Why? Yes, because when it comes to how much RAM is required for modern games, there is too much misinformation.
Ten years ago, choosing the right brand of RAM, capacity, speed, type, and configuration was more problematic than it is today. Fortunately, things are much easier now.
What role does RAM play in games
When the game is running, all the necessary data that your PC may need to make the game work properly is stored in RAM.
As mentioned above, the choice of RAM used to be much more difficult, because different games had completely different requirements. After all, back then games were not yet mainstream, and not everyone knew what a real «gaming PC» was.
But today the situation is different. 64-bit operating systems, which support much more RAM than previously used 32-bit operating systems, have become the norm. The 32-bit operating system is compatible with a maximum of 4 GB of RAM, and although the 64-bit OS also has an upper limit, we will not reach it soon.
Considering this, we can say that each computer can have more RAM than necessary.
Common RAM options
Most modern PCs have 4, 8, or 16 GB of RAM.
- 4 GB can be found on budget desktop (study) and office computers, as well as computers with a 32-bit OS. Such a PC is unlikely to launch modern games, and the user will encounter brakes and crashes;
- 8 GB is the minimum for any gaming PC. With 8GB of RAM, your computer will run all but the most demanding games without a hitch. Even if a certain game might be too demanding, the performance hit is unlikely to be noticeable;
- 16 GB is the optimal amount of RAM for gaming today. You’ll likely run out of RAM no matter what game you’re playing, as long as your computer isn’t running memory-hogging background programs. What’s more, using 16 GB makes your computer compatible with 4K games;
- 32 GB — This capacity is becoming more and more popular as people, especially those who build a high performance monster, invest in two 16 GB sticks instead of two 8 GB to further secure their PC for the future.
However, 32 GB is far from the limit. Gaming motherboards can easily support 64GB of RAM, while some even support 128GB.
Do you need such huge amounts of RAM?
In short, no.
The argument for 32 GB of RAM for a gaming PC is that the bar makes the PC more future-proof. However, that argument quickly falls apart when you realize that DDR4 memory will be obsolete long before games need that much memory, even with 4K games.
So, who needs 32 GB of RAM?
They are not intended for gamers, but for professionals who do video editing, 3D modeling or any other work that requires a lot of RAM. If you are not one of these people, then investing in more than 16 GB is, simply put, a waste of money.
How much RAM should I put in?
The next question you want to ask yourself is «How much memory should I put in: 8 or 16 GB?»
Undoubtedly, 16 GB is a better option. It’s more future-proof and will serve you well for the life of your PC.
If you’re unsure or on a tighter budget, 8 GB is a better option. This is not only a great way to cut costs, but more than enough to meet the needs of any gamer for the foreseeable future.
Single module or multiple modules?
Almost every motherboard supports dual-channel memory, while some high-end motherboards even support quad-channel.
Will dual channel memory improve performance? Yes, and it will be noticeable in games — at least in the elimination of fps drawdowns.
An additional benefit of having multiple RAM modules is that they are easier and cheaper to replace in the event of a failure. If you have one 16 GB module installed and it suddenly breaks, your computer will be disabled until you replace the RAM. If you have two 8 GB modules installed and one fails, you can still use your computer. Plus, a new 8 GB module is naturally cheaper than a new 16 GB module.
Do you need DDR5?
DDR5 RAM is now available, as are motherboards and processors that support it. The memory modules are bigger in capacity, faster and more reliable, providing better performance than DDR4.
Do I need to sell my old system right now and run to the store for an upgrade? More likely no than yes. While DDR5 is only being introduced into the world of high technologies, the modules, as well as the components that support them, are quite expensive, and there will be no serious increase in games. If you are not an enthusiast, do not overclock and do not chase new products, you do not need DDR5 at the moment. However, if you are now planning to build a PC from scratch, then in this case we recommend choosing a new platform — in order to have a reserve for the future with an inevitable upgrade.
In summary — DDR5 RAM is worth buying if you are building a new system or chasing next-generation performance. If in doubt, DDR4 will not lose its relevance for several more years.
Every modern PC should have at least 8 GB of RAM, with 16 GB being the more future-proof option. Anything over 16GB is just overkill unless you plan on using the PC for more advanced tasks like video editing or 3D modeling.
2×8 vs 1×16 vs 4×8 vs 2×16 on Intel Alder Lake — i2HARD
We recently looked at the significance of different DDR4 configurations on the 12th generation of intel processors. Today we will touch on another aspect of memory and already on DDR5. The first thing you need to know, since we have a two-channel in one module, is there a big difference with a four-channel in two modules? And the second aspect is no less important: is it worth considering 8-gigabyte modules. And we are not talking about the sufficiency of 16 GB of RAM, but about the number of chips in the module itself.
- Test bench
- Stock tests
- Synthetic tests
- Tests in games
- Overclocking tests
- Synthetic tests
- Tests in games
- DDR5 temperature measurements
What is the salt? We are all used to seeing 8 Gigabyte chips on 8 GB DDR4 modules. But there are also modules with four 2 GB chips. And they are much worse.
For example, in Aida, the throughput of such modules differs by about 10%.
And if you go into Cyberpunk, then with full modules FPS is 17% higher.
In simple words: the more memory chips, the better. While the cells in one chip are being recharged, the other one is working. Recall the same two-rank memory, where ranks alternate in a similar way. Accordingly, it would be necessary to deal with this aspect on DDR5. Therefore, let’s compare 4 configurations: 2 modules of 8 GB, 4 of 8, 1 of 16 and 2 of 16.
Since the 8 GB modules do not have their own XMP, JEDEC will be used in stock. An interesting point: all 4 modules were bought separately, and two of them have Samsung chips in the SPD, and the other two have Hynix chips. At the same time, if you look at the chips themselves, only Samsung is visible everywhere, which once again confirms the inexpediency of determining not only the revision, but also the chip manufacturer using the software method.
2 x 16 GB modules from TeamGroup, presumably on Hynix chips, will also be used in JEDEC with the same timings, so as not to introduce confusion. We’ll talk about overclocking in the second half of the review.
- Video Card: Palit GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GameRock OC
- CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero
- RAM #1: Patriot Signature LinePSD58G480041 RAM #9015 4×8 GB RAM -Force Delta RGB FF3D532G6200HC38ADC01 2x16GB
- Cooling system: ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II-360
- Drive #1: Crucial MX500 2 TB
- Drive #2: ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite 1 TB Stock tests
So. A handy thing is JEDEC. Unlike XMP, you don’t even need to go into the BIOS for it to work; however, for 4 modules, a different profile is used. Not 4800 MHz CL40, but 4000 MHz CL36. And this could not but affect both the memory bandwidth and latency. 4 modules broke through the 100ns level, which we have not seen for a long time. Pairs of modules of different sizes demonstrate the very consequences of using fewer chips in a module. 16-gigabyte modules are ahead in all respects. One 16 GB module has a similar latency to two, but its throughput is almost 2 times lower.
For GeekBench 5, 2 and 4 8 GB modules turned out to be equal, despite such different JEDECs. 2 x 16 GB modules outperform them by 7% and are 23% faster than a single module.
For Premiere Pro, memory bandwidth is incredibly important, so two-channel is an outsider here, and 4 modules with low-frequency JEDEC are a little behind.
Synthetics was on the warm-up, we will make the main comparison in games.
Tests in games
Call of Duty: Warzone. The eSports settings, the tests were repeated and averaged many times, and the recording was made with a capture card from the second computer. The situation is close to that in GeekBench. 4 modules of 8 GB each compensate for the weaker JEDEC with the number of chips. The other 32GB kit is ahead by 4%, which clearly reduces our concerns. Even 1 module is not so far behind. This is a noticeable 15%, but with such an FPS in general, without monitoring, and even with an emphasis on the GPU, it turns out not critical.
CyberPunk 2077. Graphics preset — ultra ray tracing, RT reflections disabled, DLSS — ultra performance, high crowd density. This game loves memory bandwidth much more and in this regard it is close to Premiere Pro. 4 modules of 8 GB are behind two. 32 GB with two modules is ahead by another 10%, and compared to a single dual-channel module, they give 29% more FPS. This difference is 2 times greater than in Warzone.
Shadow of Lara, highest graphics preset, resolution modifier — 20%. In the tomb raider again we see not such a big difference. Pairs of modules of different volumes differ by 6%, a four-channel is 17% faster than a two-channel, and 2 and 4 modules of the same volume, but with different frequencies and timings, are barely distinguishable. On average FPS, you can scrape together only 3%.
StarCraft II, all settings maxed out. Who cares about memory bandwidth is the old games. One module quietly provides the necessary speed, and the rest already depends on the delays. And what’s funny, in one 16 GB module they are lower than in two 8 GB modules, and, accordingly, the FPS is higher. The four-channel gave a ridiculous 2% increase in average FPS. And in general, all memory options plus or minus are close.
Total War Saga: Troy, ultra preset, grass and units — extreme, resolution and anti-aliasing to a minimum. Completely opposite to the previous strategy, Troy leads to completely different results. Quad-channel memory mode increases FPS compared to dual-channel not by 2%, but by one and a half times. Even more chips within two modules gives a 10% increase in average FPS. But what has remained unchanged is the meager difference between 2 and 4 8 GB modules, despite a decent difference in frequency.
On average for the ward, it turns out that the purchase of two 8 GB DDR5 modules does not lead to large performance losses due to a smaller number of chips, as was the case with DDR4.
It comes out to about 7%, and it’s better to take them than one 16 GB module if your goal is to get as much FPS as possible here and now.
Naturally, buying DDR5 in this form makes little sense. We covered this in the i3-12100 review, where DDR5 at 4800 MHz often lost to DDR4 at 3200 MHz, so let’s look at overclocking.
So, for all configurations except 4 to 8, the same overclock will be used — again, to avoid confusion. It turned out 5800 MHz with the first timing of 30. This is much better than what we would have had on microns at one time.
Overclocking 4 DDR5 modules is currently a separate kind of pleasure that requires its own suit. Let’s start with the fact that after 4400 MHz, each frequency step requires a disproportionate increase in primary timings, and end up with the fact that high VDD voltage, which allows them to be reduced, leads to instability. Therefore, 4400 MHz came out with the first timing of 26.
Now that all timings are set identically, the latency is the same. Although in JEDEC everything was the same for us. The gap in bandwidth also decreased between pairs of modules of different sizes. However, one module is still almost twice as far behind. A modest overclocking of 4 modules of 8 GB each, which many DDR4 modules will laugh at, is 10 ns inferior in latency, and the bandwidth is a quarter lower.
Thanks to the timings setting, and the higher frequency in general, the recharging time of the cells in the memory modules has been reduced, so a larger number of them gives less growth. If earlier there was a 7% difference in GeekBench between two modules of different sizes, now it has been reduced to 3%.
In Premiere, too, instead of 13%, we get only a 4% gap between 2 modules of 8 GB and 2 of 16. And meager overclocking of 4 modules only led to a greater gap from two.
Tests in games
We return to Warzone and see that there is no difference between the extreme memory kits. One module lags behind them by 12%, and 4 to 8 are somewhere in the middle in terms of performance.
In Cyberpunk there is also practically no difference between pairs of modules of different sizes. 4 modules with a frequency of a whole gigahertz lower reduce the number of frames prepared by the processor by 8%, but a four-channel is 20% faster than a two-channel. Fortunately or unfortunately, in these, and in most other games, the emphasis on the video card and the lack of monitoring will not allow you to feel the difference.
In Lara, the large L3 cache partly compensates for slow memory, allowing fewer accesses to it. In this regard, the four-channel mode gives only an 11% advantage over the two-channel one, and weak overclocking of 4 modules leads to a loss of only 6% in average FPS.
In Starcraft, the difference between different channel configurations remained the same at around 2%. The rest of the results are even closer to each other. As in previous games, 2 overclocked 8 GB modules have almost identical performance to the same number of 16 GB modules. And a higher latency of 4 modules leads to a decrease in FPS by 4%.
An interesting result came out in Troy. If in stock the four-channel had 51% dominance over the two-channel, now the difference has been reduced to 33%. That is, it looks like there is a certain threshold, after which the increase from overclocking gives a much smaller increase in FPS. If one 16 GB module received a 28% increase from overclocking and it still lags behind two modules in JEDEC, then they received only a 12% increase from the same setting.
On average, it turns out that if you have enough 16 GB of total RAM, then two overclocked modules will have almost the same performance as 32 GB with the same number of modules. In theory, the same can be applied if memory with 4 4 GB chips appears in the future.
In turn, it’s worth buying one module, just so you don’t have to suffer with overclocking four later, but keep in mind that if in the future the second module comes across on chips from another manufacturer or another revision, then overclocking can be problematic.
DDR5 temperature readings
DDR5 temperature readings without any artificial airflows will be a bonus. Only convection.
Starting with two modules without heatsinks in JEDEC. One of them warmed up, judging by the internal sensor, to 50 ° C in 15 minutes of the TM5 stress test. What will the thermal imager show? 54°C. Higher, but not much. Move on.
With the maximum voltage for such a memory of 1.435 volts, the temperature in the BIOS is quite acceptable — almost 62°C. True, without airflow, our overclocking became unstable and after 2 minutes rolled into a BSOD. That’s just if you look through the thermal imager, you can shudder in surprise. 85°C is no longer a joke. This is quite the operating temperature for the chips, but go even hotter inside.
What about modules with heatsinks? Despite its presence, twice as many chips did their job: the module warmed up higher than it was on uncovered modules with the same JEDEC. It is difficult to say how much the temperature of the chip and heatsink differs, but without airflow, the difference should be small.
When using XMP, the heatsink temperature reached almost 70°C, causing errors. This is the turn…
In overclocking, we have 68 ° C on the sensor and 74 on the radiator.
Looks better than it was on four chips not covered by a heatsink, but, again, we don’t know the temperature delta between the heatsink, the chip case, and its inside. Therefore, a draft in the case is very desirable during overclocking.
And you shouldn’t draw parallels with the processor, saying «It’s hot in a stress test, it will be less in games.» Will not.