When shopping for components to build a new PC, gamers always wonder how many sticks they need to buy and how much RAM will be sufficient for their workload and gaming. Developers have been improving their games graphically through the years, and because of this, the minimum system requirements have increased as well.
A few years ago, most games required 4 GB of RAM. This later increased to 8 GB, but many triple-A games today need 16 GB to run smoothly.
To run games at a higher FPS, the system needs higher-than-minimum specifications that can handle heavy loads without much hassle. However, the amount of necessary RAM for a gaming PC also depends on the types of games the user plays.
16 GB of RAM is the sweet spot for a majority of gaming PCs
The purpose of the component is to store short-term data that the system needs to operate, and this is reset every time the system reboots. In modern games, graphical assets need to be stored so they can be retrieved quickly when a new area needs to be loaded. With a higher RAM capacity, the system can store more game data at once and help with increasing FPS, but the RAM's speed and configuration also play a major role in this.
If you are a casual gamer who plays single-player games or if you are a competitive gamer who plays esports games, 16 GB is adequate for both types of games. However, readers need to be advised that Random Access Memory is not a component that will boost the PC's graphical prowess as much as the graphics card will. Upgrading the GPU will have the biggest boost in FPS and help the latest games run smoothly, and a strong processor will have the second biggest impact on performance.
Your system will be capable of running the latest games at high settings with just 16 GB of RAM installed, assuming all the other components are fast enough. More RAM is recommended for gaming at a higher resolution as high-resolution textures are bigger in size and require more accessible storage. Even then, 16 GB is plenty because most of the heavy load will be handled by the GPU and CPU.
Before upgrading your RAM, you need to make sure that it is compatible with your system, and you should also check if you have enough empty slots to install the sticks. There are various generations of the component (for example, DDR3, DDR4, or the latest DDR5), and each generation is faster than the previous one. It's also important to note that they are not backward compatible. Consult your motherboard manual to check which generation it supports.
Secondly, if your motherboard and CPU only support RAM with a certain speed, buying sticks with a higher speed will be a waste of money. For example, if your motherboard and CPU have support for RAM that has a speed of 1666 MHz, installing 2133 MHz sticks will not be helpful as it will run at a maximum speed of 1666 MHz only.