RAM is one of the most important hardware of our computer that makes it possible for the system to handle multiple applications simultaneously. Most users know RAM is Random Access Memory, but what does it really mean? Well, today, we are going to find out how RAM influences your system’s performance and provides the processor with just the right amount of files to process without cluttering it. Besides, we are also going to discuss how much RAM you will need in 2022 for both gaming and productivity. So let’s begin.
How Does RAM Work?
When you power on your system to do some work, your computer uses memory in various ways to get the work done. Now when you open the browser to check the mails and edit the photos in Photoshop at the same time, your system will not automatically close the opened browser. That’s because the process of a web browser is saved in your RAM, and whenever you switch from the Photoshop software to the web browser, the RAM will push the files to your CPU that it has stored before so you can work on your mails seamlessly.
Example of How RAM Works?
This might seem a little daunting to understand if you are not from a technical background, and you may have multiple questions arising in your mind. So let’s simplify the above-mentioned process using a day-to-day example. So think of RAM and your hard-drive space as a cabinet that is right beside your working desk. Now when you sit down at the working desk to get the work done, you pick up the files from various cabinets that are spread around your desk. You take out the files, and then you create a small bundle on the top of your desk. You go through each of the documents and do the needful task. Once the task is done, you put the files back in the cabinet. Now there are some files that you know you will need today, so there is no need to put them back in the cabinet, and you put them in the bundle which is present on your desk so that they can be picked up in an instant whenever required.
In the same manner, the cabinets work as your hard drive storage; when you open an application, that program or file will be sent to the RAM so that it can be pushed to the processor and opened. Once the work is done, you close the application, and it will be dumped out from your RAM storage and back to your hard-drive storage. Similarly, you put back your files in the cabinet that you no longer need for completing the tasks for today.
On the other hand, the files you put on the top of your desk in a bundle are the ones that you might need instantly or after some time. That bundle on top works as your RAM storage, and you are the processor here who is getting the tasks done. You take out the document, go through it, and put it back in the bundle. In the same manner, when you open multiple programs, they will be stored in your RAM, and when you switch between them, the program will still keep on running in the background. When the processor needs those files, it will ask the RAM to send them over, not to the hard drive, as the hard drive is slow to send the file, and you will witness lag in your processing.
Different Types of RAM
Every computing device needs RAM. Your laptop, Smart TV, Smartphone, and even a graphics calculator requires RAM to process all the requests that you put on a processor. Although all types of RAM serve the same purpose, there are still different RAMs that are present in devices that you use on a daily basis. Let’s have a look at the different types of RAM.
1. Static RAM (SRAM)
Static RAM was first introduced in the 1990s, and it is used in digital cameras, routers, printers, LCD TVs, and more. It is one of the two basic types of RAM, and it requires a constant flow of current to function properly. Due to a continuous flow of current to the static RAM, it does not need to be refreshed from time to time. That’s one of the reasons why it is called static in the first place. The main advantage of static RAM is that it consumes less power in comparison to dynamic RAM and provides much faster access speeds. The only problem with SRAM is that it has lower memory capacity and costs a lot more in manufacturing; that’s why you will only find SRAM in CPU cache, hard-drive buffers, and digital to analog conversion devices such as video cards.
2. Dynamic RAM (DRAM)
This is the second basic form of RAM, and it requires to be periodically refreshed to perform optimally. The capacitors that are present in DRAM gradually discharge with time, and when there is no energy left in those capacitors, the data present in them gets lost. As a result, these types of RAMs are called Dynamic RAM. Also, it needs a constant change of action to keep the RAM functioning properly. DRAM is also more volatile in nature, which means all the information stored in RAM will be lost once the power is turned off.
The major advantage of using DRAM is that it is cost-effective and comes with greater memory capacities. What you are getting as a disadvantage of using DRAM are the slower access speeds and high power consumption. These are the main characteristics of DRAM. You can find DRAM in your system memory and video graphics memory.
3. Standard Dynamic RAM (SDRAM)
SDRAM came after the invention of SRAM, and it is the one that operates in sync with your CPU’s clock. What this means is it waits for the clock signal before it responds to the input that you have requested. The main feature which differentiates it from DRAM is its asynchronous nature. As a result, it only responds when you input the data. Another benefit of SDRAM is that it makes the CPU capable of processing various instructions in parallel. This is also known as pipelining, which is the ability to receive a new instruction before the previous instruction has been processed by it.
Keep in mind that pipelining does not interfere with the processing of the previous instructions; what it does is allow the CPU to get more instructions and process them simultaneously with the processing of one read and one write instruction per clock cycle resulting in a higher overall CPU performance. The main reason why SDRAM supports the pipeline is that it has divided memory banks, which results in the widespread preference for SDRAM over DRAM.
4. Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM (DDR SDRAM)
DDR SDRAM works quite like an SDR SDRAM; the difference here is the operating speed, which is twice as much as SDRAM. DDR can perform two reads, and two write instructions in a single clock cycle. That’s why it is named “double.” every other function is pretty much the same. The physical difference between the two is the presence of a single notch on the connector along with 184 pins. The SDRAM has 168 pins and two notches present on the connector.
How Much RAM Do You Need?
The amount of RAM that your computer needs depends on the type of work you do on your system. You can crank up RAM all you want, but you won’t be getting that required speed. That’s because the amount of RAM you are adding to the system should be compatible with the CPU and other hardware devices that you have installed in your system. For simple web browsing and editing of documents, you can go with 8GB of RAM as it is more than enough for tons of Chrome tabs to be opened at a time without any problem.
Most of the latest computers work well with 8GB of RAM, and you can complete your day-to-day task with ease. If you do anything more than normal usage, you need to upgrade the RAM. Given below, we have provided you with a basic idea of how much RAM you need for the specific tasks that you complete using your system.
Content Editing & Creation
If you are someone who is using Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, or any other form of media editing software, then we recommend you to stick with 32GB or more. Anything less than 32GB can cause your PC to hang up as you add massive multimedia data files to editing applications. On the other hand, there is a chance you will be running multiple content editing programs when working. Therefore, it is better to have a little breathing space in terms of RAM for your system. So whenever you are working on editing projects, always make sure that you have enough RAM bandwidth in your system to work without facing any lags.
When you are playing a AAA title or a Battle Royale game with your friends, there is one thing you want to make sure of, and that is not losing a single frame of the game. There is a misconception that having more RAM will lead to better frame rates. You can run games even on a regular computer that doesn’t have all the top-spec hardware installed. But if you are rooting for the ultimate experience, we recommend you to go with 16GB of RAM. For 2022 standards, this is the maximum amount of RAM you need to make your AAA video game titles run smoothly. Right now, most of the big game developers recommend users to go with 8GB or 12 GB of RAM, so here you need to make sure that your system is getting some extra memory in case you want some other programs running alongside your game.
Even if you are a streamer who shares a live video game walkthrough with their fans, you can easily work with no lags at all if you have 32GB of RAM installed in your system. Anything more than that is not going to help you get better performance out of your machine.
There are a lot of people out there who underestimate the importance of having a good amount of RAM when gaming. Suppose the amount of memory an application needs to run a program smoothly is more than the amount present in the system. In that case, your application will run, but it is going to face frequent lags, frame-rate drops, and in some cases, total crash if the installed RAM is below the recommended RAM size. Given below are some benefits of using 32GB of RAM when you are aiming to play AAA titles on your computer.
1. Better Graphics and Higher Details
First, with 32GB of RAM, you can run games in much higher detail and simulate the game at a much smoother frame rate. The latest Flight Simulator by Microsoft is a massive game that asks for more than 8 GB of RAM if you want to run it in full detail and with every graphical option on.
2. Run Less Optimized Games
On the other hand, having more RAM gives your system enough power to run games that are not optimized well for the PC port. One of the great examples of this can be seen while running GTA 4 on your PC. Here, Rockstar Games, the developer of the GTA franchise, set the required RAM to play this game smoothly as 4GB. However, with 4GB of RAM, the hardware is not able to run the game at its full graphical potential. That’s because GTA 4 was poorly optimized for PC. But, if you have 8GB or 12GB of RAM present in your computer, the same hardware will be able to run the game without any problem.
3. You Can Run Indie Games As Well
When it comes to playing the Indie game titles, there is always a doubt about whether the game will run in the system or not. With higher RAM, you can play almost every Indie game title.
4. Play Games with High Memory Hungry Mods
When talking about games, we surely need to address how some mods make your game look totally different and enhance your experience of gaming. But those mods come with a little hiccup that is they tend to hoard a high massive chunk of your RAM. Skyrim is a game that modders completely overhauled with their dedication to giving the community more content and maps to explore. But to run those mods, you need to have at least 16GB of RAM in your computer.
5. More RAM Enables You to be Future Proof
With higher amounts of RAM, you have a better chance to future-proof your system and run both upcoming AAA video game titles and new software programs that require a high amount of RAM in your computer. To make your system future-proof, you can go with 32GB of RAM, and it will save you from buying more for at least five years.
6. Run Game Servers
When you have a child at home, and you want to make sure that other users who are playing with him online are the ones you have given permission to in the first place, then you need to have your own gaming server. This is a pretty common phenomenon for Minecraft users; even though 8GB of RAM will pass as the bare minimum, you still want to make sure that you are leaving some extra memory for the future growth of your gaming server.
7. Gaming with Multitasking
There is a 50% chance that you stream your gameplay while playing. Streaming video games have become quite popular in recent years, and to be honest, anyone with medium to top-end hardware can play games while streaming at the same time. With more RAM, you can stream at the same time as you are playing the video game.
Note: Suppose none of these scenarios match your use case. Still, we recommend you to go with 16GB for both playing any video game and running intense programs in your system with ease.
So this was all about RAM. We hope this article has made you feel the importance of RAM in your computing devices. If you still have a question regarding RAM, feel free to drop them in the comments section, and we will provide you with a satisfactory answer. Till then, happy learning.