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A Gamer's Guide: What to Look for When Choosing RAM

Choosing the right RAM (Random Access Memory) for your gaming setup can significantly impact your gaming experience. This guide will help you understand the key factors to consider when choosing RAM for your gaming PC.

t-force ram in gaming pc

Understanding RAM

RAM is a form of temporary memory used by computers. It allows a CPU to quickly access relevant data without storing it permanently. For gaming, it stores all the relevant assets that the game would need to access quickly. The more RAM your system has, the more data it can handle simultaneously, which can improve your gaming experience.

Laptop and Desktop RAM

Laptops and desktops use different types of RAM. Laptops support SO-DIMM (Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Module), while desktops use DIMM (Dual In-Line Memory Module). SO-DIMM is smaller and has fewer pins than DIMM due to space constraints in a laptop. It's important to ensure you're buying the correct type of RAM for your system.

DDR Types

Modern RAM is DDR SDRAM, and there have been four versions: DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4. Most modern machines use DDR4, which is faster and an improvement in virtually every way compared to its predecessors. However, DDR4 isn't backward compatible with older motherboards and CPUs, nor is DDR3 forward compatible with newer ones.

Inside RAM

Clock Speed

The clock speed of a RAM module, measured in MHz, determines how fast it can process data. Higher clock speed is generally better, but capacity is more important than speed when it comes to gaming. The difference in gaming performance between different RAM speeds is usually minimal.

Bandwidth – Single Channel vs Dual-Channel vs Quad-Channel

Multi-channel RAM setups can expand the bandwidth and enhance performance. However, the performance benefits of dual and quad-channel RAM are marginal for gaming. Having multiple RAM modules can be beneficial for pricing and replacing faulty RAM sticks.

Timings and Latency

Latency, or CAS/CL, signifies the amount of time that needs to pass from the read command being issued to the data being available for the processor to access. Lower latency can offer minor performance benefits, but capacity should still come first for gaming.

RAM Capacity

As of 2023, 16 GB is the golden number for gaming. Having more than 16 GB of RAM in a gaming PC is usually overkill, while 8 GB will usually be too little. However, if you're using RAM-intensive programs or want a more future-proof build, you might consider going higher.


When choosing RAM for your gaming PC, prioritize capacity over speed and latency. Choose kits over individual high-capacity modules, leave expansion room if necessary, and avoid mixing different models to prevent compatibility issues. Always remember to check the compatibility of the RAM with your motherboard and CPU.

Disclaimer: This article is based on the information available as of 2023 and may not reflect the most current technology or developments in the field of RAM.

Sources: GamingScan

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