As gamers we want our games to run smoothly and the thing that bugs us the most is a stuttery game. You would be surprised how often having not enough Ram is the cause of this mess and most people just overlook the fact thinking that the problem is with their graphics card or the processor.
The fact that games are also steadily becoming more complex and hence more demanding on the RAM does not help either. Today the gaming industry has also moved on in terms of display resolution and more and more people are switching to 1440p from 1080p gaming.
This all has affected the RAM consumption and hence PCs today require more RAM than ever before, but how much RAM do you need for gaming, and is 8GB still enough today are the main question asked by amateurs PC gamers who are new to the PC gaming scene.
In this article, we are going to address one popular question i.e. Is 8GB RAM enough for gaming. Before we crack this mystery let’s first take a look at why RAM is important for a PC in the first place. People with knowledge of the matter feel free to skip this next section.
What is the Purpose of RAM?
Random Access Memory or as we call it RAM is a fundamental component of not only gaming PCs but also of laptops, mobile phones, and even WIFI routers. In the grand scheme of things, the RAM is just another storage drive albeit a very fast one.
This however is an extremely simple and condensed explanation and there is a lot more to it. Every electronic gadget especially the computer is used for a variety of different applications. Let’s take PC as an example and when gaming most likely than not the game will not the only thing running and other supporting applications like discord or Chrome will also be active.
To keep the applications running in the background and seamlessly switch among them at will a PC needs temporary storage. This storage will give PC access to the open application pool without needing to reopen them from scratch. This makes performing tasks much more quicker and efficient. The storage that serves this purpose for a PC is called its RAM.
The reason which makes the RAM and the mechanical hard drive or the SSD of the PC different is the speed at which data can be fetched and transferred. Ram is significantly faster than the mechanical storage drive of the PC and if you are wondering how fast it is you can expect a figure of 100x.
The speed makes a light and day difference and is the key reason why the RAM and the mechanical drive are not interchangeable. Every application that is currently active on the PC is stored in its RAM and when a PC shuts down RAM wipes the data that is stored hence making it a fast and temporary storage solution. With that said and done let’s now get to answering the all-important question which you are here for.
Is 8GB RAM Enough for Gaming?
I hate to be that guy, but it depends. It would have been so easy for me to give a one-liner and call it day, but I have to provide you with the best information so here how the situation with the 8GB RAM goes in 2021.
What Resolution Are You Gaming At?
This is very important to consider as more and more gamers are moving to 1440p displays and ditching the 1080p panels. If you also want to play on 1440p then in most games 8GB Ram will not be enough. Even in the slightest if you are inclined towards 1440p gaming then I recommend getting higher capacity RAM.
As far as 1080p is concerned 8GB is still the borderline for most gamers and at this resolution you can get away with having only 8GB RAM granted you are not a heavy multitasker. Since we are already at it why not discuss it in the next point.
Are You a Multitasker?
By multitasker, we refer to people that have other apps besides the game open in the background and have a constant habit of switching to background apps in between rounds. The background apps can be a form of Chrome, YouTube, discord, or even Spotify.
If you can relate to the above, then getting 8GB is not a wise idea as you will struggle to keep all the apps and the game running smoothly. You will either have to quit all the apps or lower the graphic setting and the resolution of the game.
Otherwise, if you only want to play the game without any background apps open then 8GB RAM is adequate for that purpose.
Do You Want to Game on High Refresh Rate?
If you are a competitive gamer who likes playing first-person shooters or someone, in general, looking for a high refresh rate experience, then do yourself a favor and higher capacity RAM as 8GB is not enough for this purpose. High refresh rate gaming on just 8GB RAM is not smooth and there are a lot of hiccups that you do not need.
Do You Want to Stream Your Games?
Streaming games on platforms like Twitch or YouTube is becoming increasingly popular and there is a wave of new streamers looking to go big on the platform. If you are in that crowd then 8GB RAM will just not it.
Streaming with only 8GB RAM will not only make the game more stuttery but your stream will also be laggy due to the dropped frames. For the viewers watching the stream, this is something you have to avoid at all costs.
What some people do to remedy this situation is that they lower the graphic setting of their game and also limit the framerate. This sacrifice will make your stream smoother but at the cost of personal game enjoyment. Hence 8GB RAM is not viable for streaming games therefore I recommend ditching the idea altogether or having more than 8GB RAM. 16GB is the sweet spot which you should be looking at.
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These are some of the factors which you to consider before forming your opinion on the matter. The gist of it is if you only want to play games at 1080p then 8GB will be adequate but for multitasking, streaming, or for playing games at a higher resolution 8GB RAM is just not enough.