RAM memory is one of the most important components when running video games or heavy programs on a computer. The recommendation for gaming equipment is 16 GB, but not all equipment incorporates this capacity. So you might be wondering if 8GB of RAM is enough for gaming.
In general, 8 GB is enough to run most video games, even most of the current generation titles. Nevertheless, there will be certain limitations, such as in the amount of FPS and the general fluidity of the video game.
On the other hand, there are certain criteria that influence the efficiency of RAM. In addition, it is not the only component that has an impact on the performance of video games. Here, we go through all the details.
Explore the amount of RAM needed for video games.
What is the function of RAM?
Before going into detail, it is important to know what function RAM performs, in this case specifically in video games. This component is part of the three basic pieces of hardware, which are made up of the motherboard, the processor, and the subject that interests us: the RAM.
RAM is volatile memory, that is, it stores data temporarily to execute it. This means that when you open a video game, all your data is stored in RAM, and the more demanding that game is, the more memory it will have to have.
Difference between RAM and storage device
Although it seems obvious, there are still users who confuse the storage capacity with the capacity of the RAM memory. In theory, hard drives could be made to store game data, but that would slow down gameplay given the massive amount of information on the computer.
On the other hand, the processor is much faster than storage drives, even SSDs themselves. As a result, you need memory capable of keeping up with your speed, and this is where RAM comes into play.
When applications are opened, the information constantly changes with each click, movement, or action that is performed. For this reason, RAM is volatile or temporary because its data changes every second.
Ultimately, RAM makes data transactions fast, reliable, and with less latency.
The importance of RAM size
The size of this important component of a computer is measured in GB, so having the optimal space is essential for the correct operation of the machine. Every time a process is executed, it is stored in RAM.
You must take into account that just having the computer turned on already consumes RAM memory because the operating system makes use of it. For example, Windows 10 64 bits can easily consume 3 GB of RAM. Likewise, its consumption increases if several applications are opened at the same time.
How much RAM do you need for gaming?
This answer is somewhat relative because it all depends on the type of video game that you are going to run on your computer. Some consume very little, and others are truly demanding. However, the recommended RAM memory for all gaming equipment is 16 GB, regardless of the graphic quality that is played.
This means that for both 1080p and 4K, going through 1440p, low, medium, high, or ultra graphics, 16 GB is the standard. However, when that amount is reduced to 8 GB, it is possible to continue playing, but perhaps the settings will have to be adjusted.
The generation of the game also comes into play, because if we talk about a 2010 title, it will be perfect even with 4 GB. Either way, 8 GB is enough, not optimal, but enough to run the most common games.
In the following table you can find some of the most popular games and their minimum and recommended RAM memory requirements:
|Game||Minimum RAM||Recommended RAM|
|Fortnite||8 GB||16 GB|
|PUBG||8 GB||16 GB|
|COD Warzone||8 GB||16 GB|
|GTA 5||4 GB||8 GB|
|LOL||2 GB||4 GB|
|APEX||6 GB||8 GB|
|Minecraft||2 GB||4 GB|
|CO:GO||1 GB||4 GB|
As you can see, they are all executable with a capacity of 8 GB of RAM, although of course, probably in certain games the graphic quality will have to be adjusted.
Relationship between graphics quality and RAM
You might be wondering what the graphics quality of a video game has to do with RAM. At the end of the day, the part that is responsible for improving the graphics is the video card, and the processor is the one that is responsible for executing all the processes.
However, you must remember that the higher the graphic quality, the more information there will be in the game. All textures, shadows, light rays, and special functions are made with data, and that data must be stored in RAM.
Taking this as a reference, the well-known bottleneck is formed at certain times. It is a phenomenon that occurs when one of the components of the computer weighs down the performance of the others.
Therefore, you can have a good processor and a great video card, but if you don’t have enough RAM, the game will not run at its maximum performance.
What influences the performance of the RAM?
There are several characteristics that change the performance that a RAM offers. That is, not everything is limited to capacity, because 2 different 8 GB modules can work differently, even on the same computer.
The criteria to be evaluated are the following:
Here. you have to first look at the format or generation of the memory. DDR2 RAMs are now totally obsolete, although there are still those who keep computers with this type of module.
DDR3 RAM memory is also common, reaching a speed of up to 2133 MHz. They are not totally obsolete, but they do have a lower performance than DDR4 cards, which are the current standard.
If you have a more or less recent computer, your RAM is probably DDR4. Under these, you will find models with frequencies ranging from 2133 MHz to more than 4000 MHz, although this requires overclocking.
The frequency of the RAM is what indicates how fast it can work and transport the data. The more speed there is, the more fluidity there will be in video games.
An 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM is notably better than 8GB DDR3 1600MHz.
Dual-channel consists of the installation of two RAM memory modules instead of just one. It is preferable to have 2 4 GB cards than a single 8 GB card. The dual-channel increases performance by approximately 20%.
This is because the load is evenly distributed between the two modules, and it is not a single card that has to do all the work. As a result, there will be more bandwidth, which influences the fluidity of the game, at least indirectly.
Dedicated or integrated graphics card
Finally, many do not take into account that the inclusion of a dedicated or integrated graphics card influences the performance of the RAM. When there is no dedicated GPU, the integrated graphics of the processor use part of the RAM to work.
In situations like this, 8GB of RAM might be pretty short for gaming, at least when it comes to current video games. On the other hand, if you have a dedicated graphics card, the processor will not have to resort to RAM to store video memory.
What happens if all 8 GB of RAM is consumed when playing games?
When a PC consumes the entire RAM memory capacity, it begins to store volatile data on the hard drive. It may seem like a good solution, but as we mentioned at the beginning, the speed of the storage units is much lower than that of the RAM.
Even the most powerful SSDs are around 10 times slower than plain RAM. As a consequence, when you are playing games and all the RAM is consumed, the memory used in the storage unit will not be fast enough to keep running the game with good performance.
It will start to suffer from slowdowns and occasionally there will be screen crashes and freezes.
Can you game with 8GB of RAM?
Yes, it is possible to game with 8 GB of RAM, as long as some nuances are taken into account. For example, do not expect the highest fluidity or graphics quality. It is also essential that you close all applications and only run the video game.
Lastly, if you are thinking of building a PC and can’t afford more than 8GB in your budget, opt for a dual-channel capability to maximize performance.