Does RAM affect gaming: Things to consider
There is a certain amount of information regarding Ram that needs to be understood before you can answer that question. Ram on its own does not determine how fast your computer can be, it is like all parts of your setup, it’s speed is dictated by the components around it.
Does RAM affect gaming: The Processor
Ram will only be of any use if you have a good processor working with it. The Rams job is to hold the data processed by the CPU until it is needed, so the speed of the computer is determined far more by how quick your processor is.
You can also look at it the other way round and say theres no point having a good processor if you havent got a substantial amount of RAM to keep up with the data coming from the CPU.
Choosing a processor is a far more important task than choosing RAM. If you have a processor already in your setup or you are thinking about buying one then be sure to check the guidelines of that Processor regarding how much RAM it requires to run smoothly. Checking online you will find the RAM specifations for pretty much any processor.
Does RAM affect gaming. Quick word on the motherboard.
Another factor that has a bearing on how effective your RAM is, is the motherboard. Just as your CPU and motherboard are tied together by the socket specification, (eg. LGA 1155 processor is only compatible with a socket 1155 motherboard), so to a certain extent is the RAM to the motherboard.
This is due to whats called multi-channel memory. As the need for faster transfer of data between the CPU and RAM became more important, motherboard and RAM producing companies began to manufacture dual, triple and now quad channel memory and memory slots, to allow for faster data flow. Although it has been somewhat debatable how much multi channel memory actually benefits data tranfer, it is important to understand. So before buying any RAM make sure it is compatible with your motherboard.
Does RAM affect gaming: Your hard drive may be holding you back.
If your setup already features a good processor along with the appropriate RAM in a good motherboard then the next thing you need to consider is your hard drive. If your hard drive is old and has been in your system along time then it can be whats holding back your gaming experience. As data for games has be read from the hard drive, if it is slow the data will be read slower and therefore limit how fast the game runs. Nowadays most serious gaming setup are built with SSD (solid state drives) hard drives, as the data speeds both read and written is much better than regular hard drives.
Does RAM affect gaming: Back to the question.
We felt it neccessary to outline in this article the number of things that can affect your gaming experience.
The answer to the question ‘does ram affect gaming’ is of course yes. But we hope we have made it clear that it is not the only thing that can affect the speed of your computer. If you are looking to upgrade your RAM or simply troubleshooting as to why your computer is not running your favourite game as fast as you like, you now know the various things to consider.
When it comes to RAM it is essential to have enough and maybe slightly more in order to deal with demanding games or just to future proof your setup to an extent. However buying a massive amount of RAM and just dumping it into your system alone will not effect your gaming experience.
You will only feel the effects of upgrading RAM if you didn’t have enough to begin with. Slapping 32 GB of RAM into an otherwise moderate to high-end setup and expecting your computer to go 100% faster will in the end leave you disappointed.
You should only really consider upgrading your RAM if you are upgrading your processor, as a faster processor will generally use more RAM. ‘Use’ is good word to describe RAM, as it is used by the computer rather than the RAM using the computer.
I hope this post has helped to clarify things for anyone wondering what role RAM actually plays in a gaming setup.
- By Medjaï (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- By Mixabest (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons