The purpose of this article is to discuss how to select RAM for a gaming PC in 2022. RAM is a very important part of PCs and knowing what RAM you need for games in 2022 and beyond will determine whether you have a good or a bad gaming experience. Elden Ring is one example of a game that requires a lot of RAM. If you’re building a PC in 2022, then you should plan on the future, not just the system requirements of games being released today. RAM size, speed, and compatibility with your motherboard and processor are the driving factors for selecting RAM. Having enough RAM will help prevent games from stuttering and freezing.
Luckily, memory manufacturers like Crucial, Kingston make it easy to see if the RAM you are buying is compatible with your motherboard and processor. They have compatibility tools where you just enter the processor you have and they will show you what RAM to buy. What these tools don’t show you however, is how much you should have and how fast it should be for your applications.
Before looking at upgrading RAM or adding RAM to a new PC build, there are some terms that are good to know:
DDR stands for Double Data Rate. You will see this referred to as DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, or DDR5. DDR4 is the current mainstream memory generation. Basically, DDR is the measure of how many times per second data is sent and received.
Rank is the side or bank of the memory module and is used to send jobs to the processor. You will see this referred to as single rank or dual rank. The more ranks in memory you have in your PC, the faster memory is able to communicate with the processor. This is why you will see some memory sticks labeled as dual rank. It has two ranks, doubling the processing speed between memory and processor.
MHz is speed measured in Megahertz frequency. You will see this referred to for example as DDR4-4400, where 4400 is the speed in MHz. The higher the number, the better the performance. Speed is also advertised as megatransfers per second MT/s. The same rule applies to MT/s – the higher the number, the better the performance.
DIMM is the size or form factor of the memory module. DIMMs are 64-bits in size, meaning there are 64 physical pin connections going into the motherboard. DIMMs are what you will find on ATX form factor motherboards. SO-DIMMs are smaller form factors you will find on smaller motherboards, like the Mini-ITX form factors.
The size or capacity of RAM today is measured in Gigabytes. The size of memory follows the binary numbering system: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc.
How much RAM do you need for games?
- Currently, 16GB is a common standard for new PC’s designed for gaming
- Those who plan on high performance gaming, streaming, and content creation should plan for 32GB of RAM
All games are different but keep in mind that when a game lists its system requirements, it is asking that your entire system has the components it lists. It is not telling you that it will use the entirety of those hardware resources. A game that lists 8GB of RAM under its system requirements is not telling you that it uses 8GB of RAM.
RAM is used for the operating system and all the applications running on your PC. The more applications you run simultaneously, the more RAM you are using. For people who stream or create content, bigger RAM size is even more important. As applications and operating systems become more graphically rich and resource intensive, more RAM is needed.
How fast does RAM need to be for games in 2022?
RAM speed (MT/s) is limited by the processor’s ability to process data from RAM. AMD Ryzen 3000 and higher have a maximum of 3600 MHz (DDR4-3600). Buying memory above this speed with Ryzen processors would be a waste. There may be an ability to overclock, however the performance difference could be negligible with some reports showing less than 5% performance increase. There is a difference with Intel, however. Intel Z690 chipsets support DDR5, which have a native clock speed of 4800Mhz (DDR5-4800). Intel Z690 chipsets also support DDR4, whose native chipsets are 3200Mhz. Again, you could overclock the DDR4 memory to potentially get 3600Mhz but the difference would be negligible.
RAM Brands and Compatibility Advisors, Tools, Configurators and Searches:
- Crucial Compatibility Advisor
- Kingston Compatibility Advisor
- G.Skill Configurator
- Corsair Compatibility Advisor
- Adata Compatibility Search
If you want to know how to select RAM for a gaming PC in 2022, use the links above. Using the links above will make it easy to find the right RAM based on your motherboard and its chipset.
RAM is a very important part of making sure you will have a great experience using your PC while gaming. Knowing the RAM you need for games in 2022 and beyond will determine your gaming experience. If you’re building a PC in 2022, you should look to either have 16GB of RAM or 32GB of RAM depending on your specific use case.