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How to Pick RAM for Your Gaming PC

Credit: TrendyKits/Corsair

How much beef do you need in those muscles?

As games get bigger and fancier, the recommended specs for PC ports get higher and higher. Some of these specs listings make it seem like if you don’t have the most tip-top of the line parts in your rig, you’re not gonna be playing diddly squat. In reality, though, a lot of those parts recommendations tend to be a little overblown. You could probably get a really good experience with a solid mythril graphics card from the heavens and infinite RAM, but in reality, some middle-tier stuff is usually fine.

Speaking of RAM, a lot of triple-A games have started recommending that you have 16 gigs of RAM in your setup. Now, I have 16 gigs in my rig, but that’s only because I really don’t want to have to get a new one for a long time. For games that are out right now and will be out in the near future, you probably don’t need 16. You might get a few more frames per second, but not really enough to be noticeable (unless you’re one of those people who can, allegedly, determine any frame changes from sight alone). For most current games, a couple of 4 gig sticks will do the job just fine. 8 gigs of RAM is more than enough to get an upper-middle to upper-level experience, depending on your graphics card and display, of course.

However, if you wanted to be like me and get 16 to plan for the future, that wouldn’t be a terrible idea. As I said, games are getting beefier, and that beef is coming quicker and quicker as the years go by. There are a handful of games out there right now that chug a bit unless you’re equipped with 16. Granted, that could just be because the games are poorly optimized and are using more memory than they actually need, but whatever it takes to get a good experience, right?