How Much RAM Do You Need For Gaming?

Get enough RAM for an enjoyable gaming experience

How much RAM you need for gaming very much depends on what games you want to play and how you want to play them. If you're looking to play the latest AAA releases at the highest possible settings, then ensuring every component in your gaming PC is top-notch will help you do that, RAM included. However, if you want to play less demanding or indie games on lower settings, you can get by with much less memory.

How Much RAM Do I Need For Gaming?

Although every gamer and gaming PC has different needs for the types of games they play, a general rule of thumb about RAM can apply to broad categories.

RAM has a relatively minor impact on gaming performance by itself. However, having too little will result in you not being able to play some games. If in doubt, check the minimum and recommended specifications for the games you're trying to play.

  • 8GB: If you're looking to play older games, indie games, or those with less demanding specifications, 8GB is enough to get by. It'll have enough to run the operating system and background apps and leave a few gigabytes of RAM leftover for the games.
  • 16GB: For most gamers, especially those playing modern and AAA games, 16GB of RAM is the best bet for mid-range settings. It ensures you have enough to run the operating system, background apps, and your favorite games without any slow down or memory bottlenecks.
  • 32GB: If you're playing the latest games at high settings, or want to do some video editing or transcoding when you aren't gaming, 32GB of RAM can make a big difference to your system's performance. Some games, like Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020), now recommend 32GB of RAM for ideal settings.
  • 64GB or more: Very few gamers will need this much RAM. If you're streaming and gaming at high settings on a single PC and have other high-end components like a powerful processor, it might be worth upgrading to 64GB. Upgrading your RAM ensures you don't have any problems with low memory, and it gives you the greatest future-proofing for upcoming AAA games, too.

Is 16GB RAM Enough for Gaming?

For most gamers, 16GB is more than enough. 16GB of RAM meets every modern game's minimum and recommended specs, even the high-end ones. It won't necessarily be enough for peak performance in every game, but there isn't a game out there that you can't play with this much.

Indeed, for most games outside the top AAA releases of recent years, 16GB is double the recommendation.

Is 32GB RAM Overkill?

A few years ago, 32GB of RAM was overkill for gaming, only really useful for video editing or simultaneous gaming and streaming. However, modern gaming has much greater demands for high-fidelity gaming. Some current titles can only run their best if you have 32GB of RAM, so for high-end AAA gaming systems, 32GB of RAM is perfect.

  • How do I optimize my PC for gaming?

    To optimize your PC for gaming, ensure your graphics drivers are up-to-date, disable startup programs you don't need, stop unnecessary processes, and defragment your hard drive. Check the system requirements for your games to see if you need to upgrade your RAM or graphics card.

  • How much RAM do I need for 4K gaming?

    The minimum you need for 4K graphics is 8 GB, but 16 GB is recommended. Most modern graphics cards are capable of 4K. You also need a 4K monitor.

  • How much RAM do I need for VR gaming?

    Most virtual reality headsets require at least 8 GB of RAM. That said, the HTC Vive Pro works with only 4 GB, while other headsets recommend 16 GB of RAM.

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