The world of gaming and PC upgrades can be a confusing place. With so many different upgrades available, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worthwhile. One of the most popular upgrades is adding RAM, but does adding RAM increase gaming performance?
Adding additional RAM to a gaming PC can increase gaming performance. However, there is a limit to the amount of additional RAM that will have a noticeable effect on gaming performance. Additionally, upgrading the type of RAM in a gaming PC can also increase gaming performance.
Now that we know it’s possible to increase gaming performance by upgrading your RAM, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. In the rest of this article, I’ll cover details like the different types of RAM, how much RAM you should have in a gaming PC, and how to install RAM.
How Much RAM Should Be in My Gaming PC?
The recommended RAM is 16GB for an up-to-date gaming PC. However, the amount of RAM required to stay up to date doubles regularly. Therefore, to keep your gaming PC prepared for future hardware requirements, you should have at least 32GB of RAM.
What Does Adding More RAM Do for My Gaming PC Performance?
Adding more RAM can increase your gaming performance in frames per second (FPS) and graphics. However, RAM’s strong suit is increasing your PC’s ability to multitask. The more intensive programs you use at once, the bigger performance increase you’ll notice by adding RAM.
The Different Types of RAM
RAM comes in different types and models. The type of RAM you choose will have an impact on your computer’s performance while gaming. The most common type of RAM is Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory (DDR SDRAM).
In the DDR SDRAM category, the most common RAM is the DDR4 RAM. However, there is also DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR5 RAM. The number in the DDR RAM refers to the generation of RAM.
On top of the DDR SDRAM, there are other types of RAM you can explore. For further reading, you can check out Guru 99’s article on the different types of RAM.
The first iteration of DDR SDRAM was DDR1 RAM. Samsung released DDR1 RAM to the public in 1998 with a 64 Mb DDR1 chip.
DDR1 RAM was the king of RAM for a few years before the second generation of DDR SDRAM was released. These days DDR1 RAM is outdated technology and couldn’t even offer the memory capacity needed for a modern smartphone!
DDR2 RAM is the second generation of DDR SDRAM, superseding the DDR1 RAM mentioned above. Thanks to Samsung’s innovation with DDR2 RAM, DDR2 RAM came onto the market in 2003.
DDR2 RAM has a slow start overtaking DDR1 RAM. Higher latency and a greater power consumption led consumers to stick with DDR1 RAM until late 2004. In late 2004 low-latency DDR2 RAM started hitting the market, eventually leading to DDR1 RAM becoming obsolete.
DDR3 RAM is the most recent DDR SDRAM to become outdated. If you’ve been gaming for a few years, there’s a good chance you’ve used DDR3 RAM, and some lower-end gaming PCs still use DDR3 RAM.
The staying power of DDR3 RAM is impressive, considering gamers have been using DDR3 since 2007. However, with newer generations of DDR SDRAM being released, we see DDR3 RAM become obsolete before our eyes.
If you’re using DDR3 RAM, you’ll receive a more significant boost in performance, upgrading to DDR4 RAM, not adding more DDR3 RAM.
The current standard of gaming PC RAM is DDR4 RAM. If you purchase a pre-built gaming PC, odds are it will be packed with DDR4 RAM.
If you’re looking to upgrade to DDR4 RAM, I recommend getting the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 DRAM (available on Amazon). Corsair makes reliable products with a high standard for quality, and their RAM is no exception.
Additionally, if you’re looking to future-proof your gaming PC with 32GB, you can get the Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4 RAM (available on Amazon). These are the same type of Corsair RAM mentioned earlier, just in two 16GB sticks instead of two 8GB sticks.
Moving on to the up-and-coming DDR5 RAM. The DDR5 RAM is a new innovation in RAM technology and only recently became available to consumers.
Unfortunately, new and innovative products usually come at a cost. You can expect to spend about two times the amount on DDR5 RAM compared to DDR4 RAM. Therefore, it may be best to wait on upgrading until DDR5 RAM becomes more widely available.
If you’re looking to upgrade to DDR5 RAM today, you can look into Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 32GB RAM (available on Amazon). Like I said before, Corsair makes reliable products, and, if you’re ready to plunge into the next-gen of RAM, I would go with Corsair.
What Type of RAM Should I Get for My Gaming PC?
Currently, DDR4 RAM is the best type of RAM for your gaming PC. You should refrain from getting DDR3 RAM since it is quickly becoming obsolete. Additionally, DDR5 RAM may not be an affordable option. Therefore, DDR4 RAM is currently the best RAM for a gaming PC.
How To Install RAM in a Gaming PC
There’s a good chance the information in this article got you excited to upgrade your RAM. If you’ve already ordered a new set of RAM sticks and have no idea what to do next, don’t worry! I’ll walk you through the installation process for your new set of RAM—just follow these easy steps:
- Open up your PC and identify your RAM slots. The first step is knowing where your RAM is going to go. Refer to your motherboard’s user manual to easily identify your RAM slots.
- Open your RAM slots. Pull back on the two small clips on either end of your RAM slot. Once the clips are pulled back, your RAM slot is ready for installation.
- Install your RAM. Carefully line up and insert your RAM into the opened RAM slot. You’ll know you’ve successfully installed your RAM once the clips have snapped back into place and your RAM is securely placed in your motherboard.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3. If you have another stick of RAM, you can repeat the previous steps with a different RAM slot.
- Close your PC. You can close your PC and start gaming with all your RAM installed! Check your task manager performance tab to ensure your RAM installation is successful.
Increasing the RAM in your gaming PC will very likely give you a significant boost in performance. Additionally, it can be an affordable upgrade as long as you stick to the DDR4 RAM!