Imagine a situation where your computer is not as fast as it used to be in the past. It can also begin running slowly. Your machine can run slow due to a wide range of reasons, but RAM or random access memory is one of the causes that result in a slower computer. That is why it is of utmost importance to find out how to choose the right RAM for your computer and what to look for when buying RAM. Let us check out the best factors that you need to check out when deciding on the right RAM for your computer.
Table of Contents
What To Look For When Buying RAM?
Let us check out a few of the factors that you need to check out when searching for the right RAM for your computer. This should help you with everything needed for an efficient choice for best RAM.
The speed of a RAM is determined by two parameters – frequency and latency. The RAM frequency is equivalent to the frequency of CPU. If the frequency is faster, you will find that the memory would be faster. The speed to process the data can be quite important and will affect the proper functionality of the RAM. It is advisable to check out the RAM speed in tune with the motherboard model.
Latency is the term used for describing the time between the command generated by the system, and when it is executed. The lower latency will translate into faster memory and it will be able to move on to the next process faster. When you are determining the performance of overall performance of a memory kit, they are never related, but they have a weightage on the performance of the RAM under question.
It is advisable to determine the frequency that you are looking forward to, than focus on something like the high frequency and latency. This is called a point of diminishing returns which means a higher RAM frequency can also result in a lower performance than RAM with a lower frequency.
The capacity of the RAM is yet another factor that you need to focus on. Of course, more RAM is always good and less RAM is bad. The RAM capacity is the major specification that users may need to check. It is always a great option to have 8 GB of RAM instead of 4 GB of RAM.
If you are using specific apps and tools, it is quite essential to look for the right RAM kits that you need to check out along with the other components. Video games and software tools specify the RAM requirements that the particular software or games would need. You can install or upgrade to the RAM as per your preferences.
DDR is the identifier that each of the RAMs comes with. DDR stands for Double Date Rate along with an appended number. DDR3 RAM and DDR4 RAM are a few examples in this context. The earlier versions of the RAM used the term DRAM. DDR is actually modern RAM in a way!
Most of the RAM is basically DRAM, but DDR was developed with the need for better bandwidth and capacity. There are several standards such as DDR3 and DDR4. DDR5 is the newest standard, but it is not yet available on RAM as yet. The DDR5 modules are available for graphic cards. That is something we can expect soon on RAM as well.
The number of memory channels would be yet another factor that would assume a lot of essence and importance. Most of the CPUs do support two or four channels. If you want to support multiple channels, you need to have more than one stick.
It may be a great idea to go with a Dual Channel 16GB RAM kit. Upgrading your memory would mean equivalent to replacing the RAM instantly and entirely. It should be advisable to pick a RAM that has matching frequency and timing performance.
Other specifications that you would need to check out
A few other specifications that you would need to have a look at when buying can include:
- ECC: ECC or Error Checking and Correction is a RAM feature where the feature is helpful in checking the data on it is handled correctly and there are no errors. ECC RAM can be helpful in letting you reduce data or memory-related errors. Most RAM modules do not come with ECC, but if you are into a high computation system, we would recommend checking out the ECC on your RAM.
- Registered/unregistered or buffered/unbuffered: Registered and buffered are the terms that are used interchangeably here. The traditional RAMs here are unregistered in most scenarios. The registered RAM is the one that includes the ECC RAM features.
- Voltage: In modern PCs, you would not need to worry about the voltage. It can be one of the excellent options for your overclocking requirements. It can also be a good option for systems that are designed for tight power needs.
- Heat spreader: RAM does need a lot of cooling. The simple case cooling should be enough for most of the systems. For high-performance RAM, it is a good idea to include a heat spreader.
- Height: This refers to the physical measurement of a RAM. Most computer systems do not need to be concerned about the height of the RAM sticks.
In addition, it is also a good idea to look for RAM compatibility for a memory upgrade. Compatibility with the motherboard and CPU ensures better efficiency.
What to Look For When Buying RAM For Gaming?
For most of the gaming requirements, you will need to satisfy a few basic considerations when it comes to RAM preferences. Playing a game requires focusing on intense gameplay. This also requires constant streaming and multitasking. Check processor compatibility as well.
As for the size of the RAM, you have to go with at least 8 GB as the baseline for the AAA titles. Given the fact that the RAM needs are increasing, it is advisable to check out the RAM capacity. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 need a RAM size as high as 12 GB. There are several games that will need at least 12 GB of RAM for effective system performance.
If you are looking forward to the best possible gaming experience, a minimum of 32 GB of RAM would be advisable. That would provide you access to several options that include the freedom to live-stream, group-chat on Discord, and have YouTube or Twitch. Windows 10 and the latest Intel® Core™ i9 processors support RAM capacities up to 128 GB.
What RAM Speed Do You Need for Gaming Computer?
You should be looking for the right balance between capacity and speed. The 32 GB RAM at a slow speed may not be the right option to go for when compared to 16 GB RAM at a high speed.
Ultimately what kind of RAM and how much RAM you need for your gaming setup would largely be dependent on your budget and your individual requirements.
RAM Compatibility Issues to Be Aware Of
Understanding RAM compatibility is a huge task and if you are not careful, you would end up facing severe issues with the proper functioning of your computer. If you are looking to maximize the PC capabilities to a considerable extent,
A few of the best specs and parameters that you need to be aware of when it comes to RAM compatibility would include:
The Concluding Thoughts
Choosing the best RAM for PC may not be easy. There are several factors that would go into deciding the best RAM for gaming and other requirements. Of course, your budget should be one of the prerequisites that would decide the type of budget that you want to decide. If you are on a tight budget, it may be a good idea to look for installing 8 GB of RAM and you can add more RAM in the days ahead.
A Few FAQs
What is important when buying RAM?
The clock speed and capacity are the two prime parameters that you need to focus on when it comes to choosing the best RAM. At least 16 GB of SO-DIMM RAM is a good option to begin with.
Why is DDR4 RAM better than DDR3?
The DDR4 RAM modules are more energy efficient and operate at 1.2 V when compared to the DDR3 voltage of 1.5V. the reduction in power consumption can result in effective power savings. That would also provide you with better speeds.
Do you need specific RAM technology for the operating system?
You need not check RAM compatibility with the operating system. It is only with respect to the components that RAM compatibility is checked.