RAM Buying Guide For Gamers

Also known as ‘memory’, RAM (random access memory) is one of the most important components in any PC, especially gaming PCs. Without a sufficient amount of RAM, games can often become unplayable with computers operating slowly and more often than not, crashing.

We regularly get asked by customers ‘How much RAM do I need to play the latest gaming titles?‘.

So, let’s take a look at the key things to consider when choosing RAM for your gaming PC.

Latest Technology

Back in 2014 DDR4 RAM was introduced to the market, analysts predicted that it would take a good 12 months before the technology was adopted by gamers.

So 18 months on, we’ve seen DDR4 prices drop, plus more and more chipset manufacturers are supporting the technology.

The majority of modern chipsets will support DDR3, whilst you will still find some of the older ones support DDR2.

The main differences between DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 are the speeds and efficiency. DDR4 speeds are expected to reach twice those of DDR3 once the technology matures. DDR4 is also 40% more energy efficient than DDR3, using less voltage (1.2V compared to 1.5V).

If you’re building a PC from scratch, we’d 100% advise going with DDR4. If you’re upgrading an already built machine then check what RAM your chipset supports.

Compatibility With PCs & Laptops

As we mentioned earlier, choosing RAM is made slightly more complicated as you must make sure that it is compatible with the rest of your components.

Other things to take into consideration are factors such as shape of the RAM, what might fit into a desktop gaming PC might not fit into a gaming laptop.

When choosing the size of your RAM, whether it be 8GB, 16GB or even 32GB, you must ensure that your PC or laptop will support it.

Refer to the compatibility guides created by manufacturers.

How Much RAM Do I Need?

The question we receive most at BT Shop. RAM comes in various sizes. Common sizes you’ll find are 2GB, 4Gb, 8Gb, 16Gb, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.

We recommend that gamers will need a minimum of 8GB in order to play games at 1080p. However, if you’re looking at gaming in 4K or using multiple monitors then you should be aiming at installing a minimum of 16GB.

Remember that RAM will only improve gaming performance up to a certain point. If the rest of your components are not up to speed then this will hold back performance. Investing in a decent graphics card will help you get the most out of your gaming PC.

I Want To Play Grand Theft Auto V, How Much RAM Do I Need?

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Rockstar games recommend that in order to play GTA V at low settings you’ll need at least 4GB of RAM. Normal settings require 8GB of RAM and anything above (High or Ultra) will most likely mean you’ll need 16GB.

This gives you a rough idea of how much RAM you’ll need within your build. If you’re playing fast moving first person shooters then we’d recommend at least 8GB to play at 1080p on a single monitor.

Why not future proof yourself with 16GB?

Which RAM Would We Recommend?

There are a lot of factors to consider when upgrading your memory, but trusting you’ve read the above article you should now be able to make an informed decision as to what you should go for.

DDR4 Recommendation

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB, shop.bt.com

DDR3 Recommendation

Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX Fury Red Series

Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX Fury Red Series
Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX Fury Red Series, shop.bt.com

DDR2 Recommendation

Crucial 4GB (2x2GB KIT)

Crucial 4GB (2x2GB KIT) 800MHz
Crucial 4GB (2x2GB KIT) 800MHz, shop.bt.com

This guide should have helped you understand what to look for when buying RAM for gaming. Leave your thoughts or questions in the comments section below.

Take a look at our full range of RAM here

 

 

 

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