What does RAM do In a pc and how much is needed for high-end gaming?


What does RAM do In a pc and how much is needed for high-end gaming?

In: Technology

It holds all the data you need for the game while it’s running: the game’s code, textures, sounds, 3D geometry, maps, as well as the state of the game itself: where you are, how much ammo you have, etc. If you don’t have enough things are going to run really, really badly.

Today I’d say 16GB is a minimum for good performance, 32GB is desirable, and 64GB is probably overkill for most, unless you’re doing other things than gaming.

If you want high end you should go for at least 16gb, 8gb works for the most part on current games but newer games will most likely require more ram. 8gb won’t get you high-end pc anymore. You should also look att the speed of the ram and not just the gb.

RAM is the short-term memory of a computer. It keeps the fast processor fed with data that it needs to have available all the time that programs are running. When you close a program, it’s RAM is freed for other programs to use.

(As opposed to hard disk/SSDs which are permanent long-term storage but comparatively slow… so you load the game from disk to RAM when it first loads, and then you hope to keep everything you need in RAM).

For high-end tasks, you need enough RAM to keep everything you need in memory, and you need fast RAM to keep up with your processor (anything faster is pretty much wasted because the processor can’t keep up).

I haven’t used a machine with less than 16Gb RAM for the last 8 years (and that’s a gaming laptop). 8Gb is my minimum for work machines running nothing but Office. People seem to build PCs with pathetic amounts of RAM nowadays – likely because they close absolutely every other application before they play a game, or they don’t notice that it’s swapping (using the disk a lot) because they have an SSD or NVMe.

I’m looking at a new gaming laptop, I’m not considering anything less than 16Gb of main RAM.

Think of your hard drive as a series of bookshelves. You can’t read a book on the shelf. Instead you take it to a reading table (RAM) and lay it open to read it.

The more RAM you have the bigger the table and the more books you can have open at once. If the table fills up, you have to return a book to the bookshelf before you can get to another.

Some games might need you to read 4 books at a time, others might need 8 to get the information fast enough.

Ram is temporary memory that is not stored long term. Each time you turn the computer off, it is “forgotten”. Let’s say you have to copy a very long sequence of more than 500 digits from one page of a book to another one. You can memorize maybe 10 digits, turn the pages, write them and resume to the first page starting with the following 10 digits. It makes no sense to try to memorize the whole sequence before turning the pages and writing everything in one go. In this situation, RAM would be the number of digits you are able to quickly memorize before turning the pages and writing them down. Then you forget this first small sequence of digits and proceed to the next. The more digits you memorize in one go, the faster you can copy and paste the whole 500 digit sequence from one page to the other.