Is 8GB RAM Enough For Gaming In 2023? [Complete Guide]
So, you’re setting up the ultimate gaming rig and left wondering, "Is 8GB RAM enough for gaming?" Your RAM, or Random Access Memory, plays a key role in how your computer functions and impacts your gaming experience.
This question becomes incredibly important for those PC gamers just starting or perhaps working with a more conservative budget.
Despite the technical nature of discussing computer components like RAM, we'll break it down in a way that's easy to understand.
Instead of getting lost in computer jargon or technical talk, we aim to provide practical advice every gamer can implement for their setup.
Gaming should be about enjoyment and relaxation, not fretting over machine specs. So, sit tight as we navigate the nuances of determining the right amount of RAM for your needs.
Is 8GB RAM Enough for Gaming?
Yes, 8GB of RAM is enough for most games. It is the standard amount of RAM for gaming and will allow smooth gameplay for a wide variety of games, including popular titles like Fortnite, PUBG, and Minecraft.
For more demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 or if you plan to do simultaneous tasks such as streaming while gaming, then 16GB or higher would be recommended.
While adding more RAM beyond this won't increase gaming performance, it can help with multitasking and running heavy applications.
Why Do You Need More RAM?
You need more RAM to ensure your computer can handle multiple tasks or operations at the same time. More RAM allows for better multitasking, such as having multiple browser tabs open while using demanding applications without slowing your device down.
Some software and applications also require large amounts of RAM to function properly. Many modern games require more than 8GB of RAM for optimal performance.
More RAM also becomes necessary when performing tasks like video editing or 3D rendering, which are memory intensive.
Is More RAM Better for Gaming?
Yes and No. While more RAM can help games run smoothly, there is a limit to how much of a difference it can make. For most games, 8GB of RAM is enough, but some demanding games might require 16GB for optimal performance.
Beyond 16GB, the return on investment diminishes for gaming alone unless you do other demanding tasks, such as streaming your gameplay or editing videos.
While having more RAM is good for gaming up to a certain point, it won't always lead to better gaming performance.
How Much RAM is Needed For Gaming?
Determining how much RAM you need for gaming can often feel like a round of roulette. But don't fret! It depends on the games you plan to play and your machine's other elements, such as your GPU and processor.
Generally speaking, most gamers will sail smoothly with 8GB of RAM, with 16GB being the sweet spot for more demanding titles.
Why? Well, it all boils down to Frames Per Second (FPS). The higher the FPS, the smoother your gaming experience will be.
Before we dive deeper, here’s a simple explanation: The FPS refers to how many frames (images) your monitor displays per second - high FPS means smooth visual flows; lower values may result in choppy gameplay. Let's turn this into real-world data using one of the most timeless games.
World of Warcraft
If you upgrade your system to higher RAM, an increase in RAM significantly improves game performance. The FPS increases from 42 with 4GB of RAM to 103 with 32GB of RAM, enhancing the visual fluidity and overall gaming experience:
- With just 4GB of RAM, you can expect an average performance of about 42 FPS.
- Doubling 8GB will significantly boost you, with an average FPS of around 73.
- If you aim for high-performance gaming and have a more powerful GPU, jumping up to 16GB can secure an average FPS of roughly 91.
- For hardcore gamers and those who demand nothing but top-tier performance from their games, investing in a massive 32GB could yield as much as 103 FPS.
Call of Duty Warzone
Increasing RAM overall elevates the gaming performance of Call of Duty: Warzone. While improvement in FPS is noticeable, it's less distinct beyond 16GB:
- 4GB of RAM delivers an average gameplay performance, with about 43 FPS.
- Upgrading to 8GB gives you a better gaming experience with an average FPS rise to around 61.
- Doubling the memory to 16GB gives a slight boost in performance, with an average FPS going up to roughly 69.
- And, for high-end gaming setups or users running demanding operations simultaneously with the game, having a sizeable 32GB RAM might increase your average FPS to about 81.
The FPS values shared for Apex Legends increase as the RAM size increases. However, gains seem to plateau after a certain level:
- A computer with 4GB of RAM can run Apex Legends at an average of 58 FPS.
- With 8GB of RAM, the FPS nearly doubles to an average of 108 FPS, providing a more fluid and seamless gaming experience.
- An upgrade to 16GB of RAM enhances performance, lifting the average FPS to around 135.
For gamers considering 32GB of RAM, it's important to note that while it does improve performance, resulting in around 143 average FPS, the gain compared with having 16GB isn't as profound as previous jumps.
This indicates that investing in more RAM may not substantially improve your gaming experience for this game beyond a specific limit.
If we Increase RAM the FPS for Fortnite indicates a progressive improvement in game performance. However, the improvement becomes less substantial beyond 16GB:
- With 4GB of RAM, Fortnite runs at an average FPS of around 64. This might be suitable for casual gamers or those with low-spec PCs.
- Increasing your RAM to 8GB gives a noticeable boost in performance, with an average FPS of about 85. This offers a smoother experience for regular users.
- For serious gamers looking for optimal performance, 16GB provides an even better experience, raising the average FPS to approximately 108.
While moving up to an ample 32GB RAM will slightly enhance your gaming experience to around 115 FPS on average, the gain is relatively smaller than previous jumps. Thus, it may benefit those who multitask heavily with gaming or use high-end gaming setups.
Other Latest Components To Get The Most Out Of Gaming
If you want to elevate your gaming experience to new heights, you can't shy away from exploring the latest tech components. It's not just about RAM; several other essential hardware parts will significantly influence how your games run and look.
Good Series Graphics Card - RTX/GTX
A quality graphics card like the latest series from NVIDIA's RTX or GTX range can greatly enhance your gaming experience. They are designed to handle high-end graphics and offer features such as real-time ray tracing and AI-enhanced graphics.
The RTX 3000 series, including the RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080, are especially notable for outstanding performance. Similarly, the GTX 1660 Super is a solid choice for those on a budget who want impressive performance.
Latest CPUs - 11th/12th gen
The 11th or 12th generation Intel Core processors currently provide superior performance, with their innovative architecture offering high speed and performance stability.
They are designed to handle a wide range of games, with capabilities that directly benefit gaming, such as hyperthreading for improved multitasking and turbo boost for speed.
The AMD Ryzen 5000 series is another top-notch option for gaming CPUs, providing equivalent or sometimes even better performances.
RAM - DDR5
DDR5 is the latest iteration of RAM, succeeding DDR4. It offers twice the speed, enhanced bandwidth, and improved power efficiency.
DDR5 can dramatically improve loading times and overall game performance with gaming systems. Note that you'll need a compatible motherboard that supports DDR5 to utilize this new type of RAM.
Storage - NVME SSD
For storage, NVME SSDs are the top choice for gamers. Unlike traditional hard drives and SATA SSDs, NVME drives (such as the Samsung 970 EVO or Western Digital Black SN750) can read and write data much faster.
This means games and levels load quicker, graphical assets appear faster, and there's less waiting around. NVMe SSDs install directly onto your motherboard, freeing up some spare room in your PC case.
Also Read: 10 Best SSD Laptops In 2023 [Under Budget]
Liquid Cooling System
A liquid cooling system is superior to thermally controlling your high-performance gaming system. It is generally quieter than typical fan cooling and effectively disperses heat from critical parts like CPU and GPU.
This allows your gaming components to run at their full potential without overheating, thereby enhancing the durability and performance of your system.
Brands like Corsair and CoolerMaster offer reliable all-in-one liquid cooler options that are easy to install and manage.
A high-resolution monitor can drastically improve your gaming experience. A 144Hz or higher refresh rate monitor will provide smoother and more fluid gameplay.
Regarding resolution, 1080p is the standard, but you might want to consider 1440p or even 4K for sharper, more detailed graphics.
Other features include a low response time (1 ms to 5 ms is ideal) and support for adaptive sync technologies like G-Sync or FreeSync. Brands like Acer, ASUS, and Dell offer great options across different configurations and price brackets.
FAQs about 8GB RAM Enough For Gaming
Can I run modern games smoothly with 8GB of RAM?
Many modern games can run smoothly on a system with 8GB RAM.
Is 8GB of RAM suitable for games like Fortnite or PUBG?
Games like Fortnite and PUBG usually perform well with 8GB of RAM.
If I upgrade from 8GB to 16GB of RAM, will my gaming performance improve?
While the improvement might not be significant for gaming alone, you may notice better performance if you multitask while gaming.
Does having more than 8GB of RAM affect my computer's speed?
Additional RAM can help with multitasking but won't necessarily improve the speed of individual applications.
What's more important for gaming - more RAM or a better graphics card?
Both are important, but the graphics card is often more crucial as it directly impacts visual renderings and gameplay.
While 8GB of RAM is sufficient for a fair share of games, you might want to consider bumping up your system's memory if you frequently play heavy-duty titles or plan on multitasking while gaming.
The amount of RAM you need largely depends on your gaming habits and the specific requirements of the games you play.
Remember that RAM is not the only factor that influences gaming performance. A powerful graphics card or a high-speed processor can significantly elevate your gaming experience.