Looking to build a gaming PC? You already know this is no average computer. A good gaming PC must have powerful specs. These not only include the motherboard and processor but also other things like the graphics card and RAM.
The modern-day gaming environment has grown in leaps and bounds especially due to the technological advancements of our era. That said, not all computers are built for gaming. In fact, you may have to build a computer that has the needed specs.
Top 6 Tips to Find the Best Gaming RAM for Your Computer
We reached out to boothardware.com to share some tips for choosing the best gaming RAM for your PC.
1. Determine How Much RAM You Need
Your first order of business is to find out how much RAM you need for your gaming computer. The easiest way to know how much RAM you need is to think about your needs. Are you looking to play focused games or do you plan on streaming or multitasking? The more robust your needs, the more RAM you will need.
On average, a gaming PC should have at least 16GB of RAM for optimal performance. You can get away with 12GB but that may limit some operations. If you want more focused gaming sessions, go for 32GB. This will give you a chance to do plenty of heavy tasks at once.
These include live streaming, participating in group chats, and opening Twitch or YouTube in the background. In case you want a computer that can do more than gaming, you can go up to 128GB. Of course, that will cost an arm and a leg but if you can afford it why not?
2. The RAM Should Be Compatible With Your PC’s Motherboard
Once you are aware of how much RAM you need, the next thing is to know is whether the RAM is compatible with your PC’s motherboard. See, the motherboard has a specified number of DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) slots where the RAM is plugged. RAM modules typically depend on when the motherboard was created.
All have a standard DDR form factor. The recent module created in 2015 is DDR4 SDRAM. Most modern PCs have this module. DDR3 SDRAM is found in PCs made between 2007 and 2015. The oldest one, DDR2 SDRAM, was built between 2003 and 2007. It is said that DDR5 SDRAM will hit the market this year, 2021, and will have major performance upgrades.
Besides the RAM module, you want to establish the actual number of DIMM slots in the motherboard. Smaller form-factor motherboards can have only two slots. That means you cannot add a memory kit of 4x4Gb in the slots.
3. Chose the RAM Frequency Right
The performance of any memory kit depends on the frequency and latency. Frequency is a fancy word for speed. Latency is the time taken by the machine to enter and execute a command. Low latency means high speed and high latency means low speed.
Both qualities are linked as far as the PC’s performance is concerned. A good gaming PC has high frequency as it boosts system performance. To make the right decision, find out which games you want to play and if you will have other RAM-intensive programs as you play.
4. The Operating System
Every Operating system comes with some limitations that you must factor in when considering an upgrade. If your workstation is running on Windows 10 Home, then your maximum memory is 128GB.
If you are running Windows 10 Pro, then you can upgrade up to 2TB of RAM especially in the Education and Enterprise environments. In case you are still running older operating systems, your limits will be even lower. For instance, the Windows 7 operating system will only support 4Gb of RAM.
5. Rzen Restrictions
By default, the X570 motherboard memory controller will switch to half-speed if you exceed the DDR4-3600 speeds. Obviously, this will cause your performance to drop whenever you are using DDR4-3733 and above.
You can try to circumnavigate this by disabling the stability protections but it’s too much trouble for just a slight performance improvement. It will help to know these restrictions on your motherboard before you make your purchase to help you make a more informed decision.
Price is an obvious but important consideration when selecting a RAM for your gaming PC. As you might have guessed, the more RAM, the higher the price. When choosing the best RAM, you might have to consider the opportunity cost.
For instance, the difference between 8GB RAM and 16GB RAM could be around $80. The first question to ask is whether you can afford the extra $80 and if yes, the next question is if the extra money is justified. If you will not be running memory-hungry games on your computer, then you might be better off saving the money. However, if the RAM will be put to good use, then you will want to spend the extra dough.
As you upgrade your RAM, remember you don’t have to get it right in one go. You can always add more RAM later if your motherboard allows it. So, buy the RAM that is within your means for now and then after you save some more money, go for the one you wanted.