FPS in games is mainly controlled by two factors the CPU and the GPU. This doesn’t mean you can run a AAA title game with 4GB RAM.
You need a recommended amount of RAM to run a particular game but does RAM affect the FPS of that Game? I have answered this question for you below and I have also included the minimum amount of RAM you need for gaming.
- 1 Does RAM affect FPS?
- 2 Does RAM Frequency or RAM Speed affect FPS? Does RAM Speed Matter for Gaming?
- 3 Will More RAM Increase FPS?
- 4 More RAM vs Faster RAM – Which Is Better?
- 5 How Much RAM Do You Need For Gaming? (8GB, 12GB, 16GB or 32GB)
- 6 Dual Channel RAM vs Single Channel RAM – Which is Better for Gaming?
- 7 Conclusion
Does RAM affect FPS?
Before I answer this question it is important that you guys understand how RAM works. RAM acts as temporary storage for CPU and Hard Drive.
Whenever you start a game the most important game files are stored temporarily on the RAM from your Hard Drive. This helps the CPU to access those files much quicker than accessing from the Hard Drive.
This is so because RAMs have much higher file reading and writing speed than Hard Drives. In other words, RAMs are much faster than both HDD and SSD Hard Drive Storage.
If you don’t have the recommended amount of RAM then your CPU accesses the files from Hard Drive rather than the RAM. But, the hard drives are slower than RAMs. So, in such a case you will instantly see a huge drop in FPS.
RAM affects FPS negatively if you don’t have the recommended amount of RAM to run the game.
If you have an integrated Intel Graphics Card or integrated AMD Graphics card then the RAM can increase the FPS of the game by a small amount. Here is how this works.
Integrated Graphics Cards have a very low amount of VRAM. If they run out of VRAM then these Graphics cards borrow memory from the RAM to run the game.
So, if you have a good amount of RAM then you will see an increase in FPS because the Graphics cards can now satisfy the memory requirement.
RAM affects FPS positively if you own an Integrated Intel or AMD Graphics Card but don’t have a dedicated Nvidia or AMD Graphics card.
You can also increase the VRAM of your Integrated Graphics card but this method isn’t that effective to run a game that requires a dedicated Nvidia or AMD Graphics Card.
Now, if you have a good amount of RAM and a dedicated Nvidia or AMD Graphics card then increasing the RAM won’t affect the FPS of the game. In such a case, a latest Graphics card with higher VRAM or a faster CPU will increase your FPS and not the RAM.
RAM has no effect on FPS if you have the recommended amount of RAM and a dedicated Graphics Card to run a particular game.
Another possible situation is when you don’t have the recommended amount of RAM but you own a dedicated Graphics card. In such a case the RAM can increase the FPS of the game.
Example – Fortnite has a minimum requirement of 4GB RAM and a recommended requirement of 8GB RAM. If you have 4GB RAM then you can run the game but your FPS will be low. So, if you increase the RAM to the recommended amount(8GB) then you will see a definite increase in FPS.
An increase in RAM increases the FPS by a small margin if you don’t have the recommended amount of RAM to run the game but you own a dedicated Nvidia or AMD Graphics card.
So, RAM does affect the FPS of a game but more importance is placed on the CPU and GPU because most gaming laptops come with a decent amount of RAM of around 8GB or higher.
Does RAM Frequency or RAM Speed affect FPS? Does RAM Speed Matter for Gaming?
If you own a laptop with a dedicated Graphics card then the RAM Frequency or RAM speed doesn’t affect the FPS.
A higher frequency of RAM means the temporary game files can be stored and retrieved much quicker but this does not translate into an increase in FPS of the game.
The reason for this is that the FPS is mainly controlled by the GPU and CPU. If you have a CPU with higher frequency then you will definitely see an increase in FPS but this is not the case with RAM.
An 8GB DDR4 RAM with 2133 MHz frequency won’t increase the FPS when compared to 8GB DDR4 RAM with 4200 MHz frequency.
However, 16GB DDR4 RAM with 2133 MHz frequency will increase the FPS marginally when compared to 8GB DDR4 RAM with 4200 MHz frequency if the recommended amount of RAM to run the game is 16GB and minimum amount of RAM to start the game is 8GB.
Instead of investing in a RAM with better frequency or speed, it is better to invest in a RAM with more size.
Will More RAM Increase FPS?
If you upgrade your RAM to the recommended amount to run a game then you will definitely see an improvement in FPS but this improvement will be small.
If you already have the recommended amount of RAM to run a particular game then getting more RAM won’t increase the FPS. This will actually have no effect in FPS.
Example – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has a minimum RAM requirement of 8GB and a recommended RAM requirement of 12GB.
So, if you have 8GB RAM on your computer then increasing the RAM to 12GB or 16GB will increase the FPS than before but not by much.
If you already have 12GB RAM on your computer then increasing it to 16GB or even 32GB won’t increase the FPS of the game anymore.
More RAM vs Faster RAM – Which Is Better?
After all that discussion about RAMs and FPS, it is clear that More RAM is better for your computer than faster RAM.
RAMs with higher frequency(Faster RAM) can increase the speed of reading and writing of temporary files but it doesn’t increase the FPS of your game.
This is because the FPS is mainly controlled by the speed of CPU and speed as well as the VRAM of Nvidia or AMD graphics card VRAM.
But, more RAM will definitely increase the memory available for storing temporary files. This means you can store many more temporary files than before thereby increasing the performance of your computer.
Getting more RAM may or may not increase the FPS of a game and depends on the amount of RAM you have and on the game you’re trying to run.
If you have the recommended amount of RAM to run the game then getting more RAM won’t help improve the Game Performance.
If you don’t have the recommended amount of RAM to run the game then getting more RAM will definitely improve your Game Performance.
How Much RAM Do You Need For Gaming? (8GB, 12GB, 16GB or 32GB)
If you want to enjoy AAA Title games on the Highest Graphic Settings then you should get 16GB RAM for your computer. You can easily run all the games with 16GB RAM without any drop in FPS or lags. You will also need a good enough Graphics Card with enough VRAM.
16 GB RAM is the best if you love playing AAA games like COD: Modern Warfare, Witcher 3, Far Cry 5, GTA V, Middle Earth Shadow Of Mordor, Battlefield V, etc.
Also, with 16GB RAM you can stream games at Full HD 1080p Quality without affecting the game performance or stream quality.
You can run most games with 8GB RAM but you may not get good FPS while playing on the highest graphic settings for AAA games. 8GB RAM is good for playing games like League of Legends, Minecraft, CS GO, PUBG, Fortnite, etc.
12 GB RAM is also a good option to go for gamers but with 12GB RAM you won’t be future-proofing yourself.
Also, 12GB RAM may not be enough to stream games at 4K Quality. If you are a game streamer then 12GB may not be the ideal fit for you.
32GB RAM is considered overkill by most but I believe that it is a great option because you are future-proofing yourself from spending money on more RAM.
Also, with 32GB RAM you can perform multiple tasks while gaming and streaming at 4K quality at the same time without any lags or drop in stream quality.
4GB RAM is not enough for gaming so you shouldn’t even consider it. Most smartphones have higher RAM than 4GB.
Dual Channel RAM vs Single Channel RAM – Which is Better for Gaming?
Single Channel RAMs are single dedicated RAMs with one RAM slot whereas Dual Channel RAMs contain two slots of RAMs instead of one.
Dual Channel RAMs are much faster and better for gaming compared to Single Channel RAMs. You will definitely see an increase in the FPS and an overall increase in computer performance.
Dual Channel RAMs are better because both RAMs are available to the CPU at one time. If you’re running a game then only one RAM is being used. Now, if you also open a streaming software then it needs more RAM and in this case, the other RAM will be used without putting pressure on the first RAM.
But in Single Channel RAMs, all your temporary storage functions will be done by a single RAM. So, if you open a streaming software now while playing a game then the information has to be retrieved from that RAM which is busy. So, it will take some time for this RAM to free up storage for the stream. Hence, it will be slower than Dual Channel RAM.
Two sticks of 8GB RAM will provide a better game performance compared to one stick of 16GB RAM.
An increase in RAM will increase the FPS of a game if you don’t have the recommended amount of RAM to run the game or if you don’t have a dedicated Graphics card.
If you already have the recommended amount of RAM to run a game then getting more RAM won’t increase the FPS.
Getting more RAM for your computer is much better for gaming than getting faster RAM.
16GB RAM is good enough to play most games at the highest graphic settings without any lags or drops in FPS.
32GB RAM is the best option if you want to future-proof yourself.
Dual Channel RAMs are better for Gaming than Single Channel RAMs.