The RAM, aptly referred to as random access memory, plays a vital role in your computer system. It is a temporary high-speed buffer between your slower storage devices and your much faster CPU registers. With that said, how does RAM affect performance?
RAM can significantly impact your system’s performance in two ways. Firstly, having a higher RAM capacity allows you to perform and load more tasks simultaneously. Secondly, higher-speed RAM provides faster loading times and better stability.
In this article, we’ll go over the exact ways RAM can affect your system performance and some common ways RAM can increase your performance by a significant margin.
RAM and Its Impact on Performance
Having greater or more RAM significantly impacts your performance depending on your use case. Like any other component, there’s a particular point after which the amount of money you’ll spend won’t equal the performance gain.
There are two particular ways you’ll see RAM significantly impacting your performance. Either with RAM speed or capacity. We will be talking about these factors and how they individually impact performance.
RAM speed or memory speed refers to the number of operations your RAM sticks can carry out per second. Generally, this speed is largely dictated by the architecture of your RAM. For instance, DDR4 is much faster than DDR3, and the newer DDR5 standard trumps the previous modules.
But, to get into the nitty-gritty, DDR4 RAM rated at 2400 MHz will be much slower than a module that can reach 3600 MHz. A higher RAM speed allows your processor, GPU, and all other internal components to run faster as information will be stored and loaded more quickly.
In terms of practical use, you’ll notice that your operating system loads up much quicker, and all games you play will have an increase in FPS. The amount of difference you’ll end up seeing once you upgrade your RAM speed depends on what GPU and CPU you have.
Generally, the faster the CPU and GPU, the greater your faster RAM will increase their speed. But, as we mentioned earlier, there’s an upper limit to how much performance you can expect to gain with increasing RAM speed. For instance, you’ll notice a very slight difference between 3200 MHz and 3600 MHz compared to jumping from 2800 MHz to 3200 MHz.
This stale growth pattern is primarily because all your other components have a set limit of the amount of speed they can utilize. Going any higher leads to no tangible results since your components start acting as the bottleneck instead.
Increasing RAM capacity helps ensure sufficient temporary storage for your system to store and load files. This lets you open up more windows and memory-hogging Chrome tabs without worrying about crashing your system.
So, if you had 8 GBs of memory and could open a few tabs before your system started to crash, you’d now be able to do a lot more with 16 GBs of RAM. However, while the increase in performance will always be there, that is dependent on your memory consumption in the first place.
Nowadays, having 16 GBs of RAM is enough for most tasks, including gaming. However, if you have a slightly higher workload, we recommend opting for 32 GBs of high-speed memory. Going any higher is overkill for most situations.
For instance, someone who uses their computer for streaming and lightwork might not need the extra headroom high RAM capacity will provide. On the other hand, a professional musician with hundreds of plugins on Logic might just need a lot of RAM just for the program to run appropriately.
In essence, the amount of RAM you need depends entirely on your case. But, if you were to increase its capacity, you would see an increase in performance. However, whether you can utilize that increase that’s another question.
Does RAM Affect Gaming Performance?
RAM plays a huge impact in your gaming performance. RAM modules of low capacity or speed can significantly reduce your FPS. Therefore, it is always recommended that you have a decent-sized memory running at optimal speeds for the best gaming experience possible.
Games have always been memory hogs. Modern games require 8+ GBs of RAM just to run properly. With that said, besides just capacity, having high-speed memory too is pivotal for a good gameplay session. For instance, we’ve seen high-end computers being brought down to their knees due to stuttering and lag primarily caused by slow memory.
So, before blaming your GPU and CPU for the poor gaming performance, you should also look at your RAM modules and affirm whether they are of the recommended spec needed to run a particular game.
Can Having Too Much RAM Affect Your Computer’s Speed?
Yes, having too much RAM can affect your computer’s speed. However, contrary to popular belief, the amount goes up to the hundreds of GBs, where you’ll see an actual decrease in startup and loading times due to the sheer capacity of memory.
In most cases, having too much RAM slows down your computer system is common in servers and other larger infrastructures. A home-based PC is never going to have RAM that exceeds normal limits. So, by all means, plop in that 32 GB stick and don’t worry about any performance detriments.
The RAM remains a vital part of a computer system, and having speedy, high-capacity RAM can play a significant role in your overall experience, whether gaming or editing a video. However, striking a balance is key to ensuring you don’t end up spending more money than what you end up receiving.