For beginners, RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory on a computer used to store running programs, and the more RAM you have, the faster your games and other programs will run.
Investing in a sufficient amount of RAM made by a trusted manufacturer is a good and smart idea. Additionally, the amount and type of RAM you have has a pretty direct influence on the overall performance of your gaming system.
But what kind of game should you get, and how much do you need to play these days?
There are different types of RAM that you can buy for your computer, such as SDRAM, DDR2 ram, DDR3 ram, and DDR4 ram.
They also have different speeds ranging from 333 MHz (SDRAM) to over 2400 MHz for DDR4 type RAM.
When choosing RAM for your gaming PC, make sure your motherboard supports both the type and speed of RAM you plan to use.
The latest type of RAM on the market is DDR4 and if you want high performance this is what to go for.
Either because you want to change platforms, because you need more RAM or more performance, if you are about to buy new RAM for your computer, you will surely have doubts about which model is the best for you.
In this buying guide we are not going to discuss which brand, model or speed is better, but we are going to give you a series of tips so that you can be sure of getting the right thing when buying new RAM for your PC.
In the RAM market you will find many and very diverse manufacturers – although less than in other types of devices – and there are literally hundreds of options available in terms of models, speed and capacity.
Sometimes it is difficult to know which model is the most suitable for you, so we are going to proceed to assess some aspects so that you can get it right and buy what best suits your needs. Clever? Let’s go there.
What Capacity of RAM to Buy?
The first thing to consider is, of course, capacity. You probably have already decided that you want to buy new RAM for your PC to expand its capacity, but do you really need that capacity?
Today the “standard” is 8 GB of RAM in almost all PCs, whatever their purpose.
For mid-high and high-end gaming PCs, 16 GB is the most reasonable capacity, especially due to the technical requirements of the latest triple A games that increasingly require greater amounts of RAM, and it is no longer uncommon to see that in the Recommended requirements estimate 16GB.
Already jumping to 32 GB or more of RAM memory would be for very high performance PCs, either enthusiast category gaming PCs or for equipment with which you plan to perform very heavy tasks, with virtual machines, audio / video editing and, ultimately, equipment more oriented to professional use.
How much RAM for games?
You may be wondering how much RAM is needed for the game . And the simple answer is “as much as you can afford”.
The adding memory to your system will not only affect game performance but also those of other programs and applications, so more is always better. RAM prices are quite cheap these days so adding RAM to your system is a very cost effective way to increase performance.
However, there is a point where adding more memory won’t necessarily give you a noticeable increase in performance, so the trick when choosing computer memory (for those who do have a cap on their spending budget and want to maximize gaming computer performance – in truth, most people) is to buy just the right amount to meet your needs without wasting your money on excess memory you don’t have. will ever need.
To run Windows 10 and other programs well, you will need at least 4-8 GB of RAM. But if you are a gamer, and I guess most of you are the more you visit this site, then you will need more RAM than the average computer user.
To play the latest current and future games, 8 GB is the absolute minimum. With 8GB of decent quality RAM in your gaming system , you shouldn’t have any problems playing the most demanding games on the market today with your gaming pc.
Although, since RAM is quite cheap these days, if you are not on a super tight budget for your machine, you might as well go for 16 GB of RAM; which would be ideal and would definitely give you a noticeable improvement over 8gb both in your games and while running other programs. Plus, you won’t have to worry about upgrading in the future.
For those of you who are lucky enough to have a sizable budget, go for 16 or 32 GB for more longevity of your PC’s ability to use the games of the future. If you are using high-end and demanding applications such as 3D rendering, video production programs, or a flight simulator such as P3D (32-bit) or Xplane (64-bit), these amounts of memory are required.
Remember, the more RAM the better, but to be sure make sure your motherboard supports more RAM. Most motherboards currently on the market support up to 16GB, but it is always wise to recheck and note the number of RAM slots on your motherboard.
Speed, latencies, and performance
Of course, the speed and latencies of RAM are closely related to its performance and performance , so you usually want to go for the highest possible speed.
However, you must take into account several factors, and that is that the higher its factory speed, the higher its price, and in many manufacturers an increase of 200 Mhz raises the final price of the device several integers.
The recommendation here is that you always, always check the compatibility of your motherboard and never buy more speed than it natively supports or you could have incompatibility and / or stability problems.
To do this, go to the manufacturer’s website and, instead of consulting the technical specifications of the board, consult the QVL list of RAM memory, since there you can see brands and models that are already tested and guarantee compatibility.
In any case, if you have a modern PC that uses DDR4 RAM, the speed with the highest compatibility among motherboard manufacturers has been established at 3,200 MHz and, in fact, they are usually a speed that is quite reasonably priced, and brand the limit from which the price shoots up.
If you are not looking to squeeze the performance of your equipment to the limit, in terms of real use you will not notice almost no difference between RAM at 3,200 MHz and others at 3,600 MHz, for example.
How important is the heatsink? And the PCB?
Most DDR4 RAM memories for PCs have factory-installed aluminum heatsinks, although from now on we tell you that in many cases they are merely for aesthetics rather than to keep the RAM at a good temperature.
In high-performance RAM they are necessary to avoid overheating, but in low-speed models they are used simply to maintain aesthetics.
Necessary or not, the recommendation we give you is that you look at the height of the heatsink , since if it is too high it could cause compatibility problems with the processor heatsink, depending on the model you have and the arrangement of the sockets. RAM and CPU socket on the motherboard.
This way you will avoid annoyances, because you would not be the first who after buying a new RAM memory realize that they cannot install it because the heatsinks are too high and physically collide with the processor heatsink.
On the other hand, many manufacturers boast that their RAM modules have 10-layer PCBs, which are very stable, etc.
And this is something that is very important in two situations: if you are going to overclock the RAM, or if it has a high speed XMP profile.
Actually, as we have indicated before, motherboards “get along” with memory modules up to 3,200 MHz without too many problems, but above that speed stability is usually a critical point.
Before buying new RAM, check the warranty
We have said before that there are quite a handful of RAM memory manufacturers, and most are manufacturers that offer a lifetime warranty.
RAM is not one of the hardware components that fails the most, and the proof of this is that many manufacturers give this guarantee.
The recommendation is that you take advantage of this and that since you are going to buy new RAM, do it from one of the many manufacturers that offer you this guarantee (since there are also those that offer the standard two years and then wash their hands) .
Beware of second-hand RAM
RAM, like other types of semiconductor, degrades over time, which is why we recommend looking for memory manufacturers online if you need to expand a PC whose memory is no longer available on the market.
The only reason we recommend buying second-hand RAM is because it is a very old system that uses a standard that is no longer used.
Tips on buying your RAM
An important factor in choosing the best RAM for your PC is the brand name of the memory you purchase. I highly recommend that you stick to purchasing from a quality manufacturer who has proven to be a reliable and successful supplier of RAM.
Some of the best are Kingston, Crucial, Corsair, G. SKILL, OCZ and Patriot. Buying inexpensive hair clips from an unknown manufacturer is risky and not something I wouldn’t recommend.
For a gaming computer, the frequency of the RAM must be at least 1333 MHz (the good compromise is 1600 MHz). And you must have at least 8 G0 of capacity.