Choosing The Best Computer Memory For Your Gaming PC

Do you need help choosing the best computer memory (RAM) for your gaming computer? For the total beginners out there, RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory in a computer used to store running programs, and the more RAM you have, the faster your games and other programs will run.

Investing in a decent amount of RAM made from a trusted company is a smart idea, and the amount and type of RAM you have does have a fairly direct influence on the overall performance of your system. But which type should you get, and how much do you need for gaming these days?

There are different types of RAM you can buy for your computer, such as SDRAM, DDR2 RAM, and DDR3 RAM. They also have different speeds such as 1333MHz and 1600MHz. When selecting RAM for your gaming PC, make sure your motherboard has support for both the type and the speed of RAM that you plan to use. The latest type of RAM out on the market is DDR3 and for a new build these days you don't want to be getting anything except DDR3.

How Much RAM For Gaming?

You may be wondering how much RAM is best for gaming, and the simple answer is “as much as you can afford”. Adding memory to your system will affect not only the performance of games but the performance of other programs and applications, so more is always better. RAM prices these days are quite cheap so adding RAM to your system is a very cost-effective way of increasing performance.

However, there is a point where adding more memory won't necessarily give you a noticeable boost in performance, so the trick when choosing computer memory (for those who actually have a cap on their spending budget and wish to maximize performance for your money - which means most people) is to buy just the right amount to suit your needs without wasting your money on excess memory that you'll never need.

To just run Windows 8 and other programs well you will be required to have at least 1-2 gigs of RAM. But if you’re a gamer, and I assume most of you are since you’re visiting this site, then you will require more RAM than the average computer user.

To play the latest games now and into the future, 4GB is the absolute minimum. With 4GB of decent quality RAM in your gaming system you shouldn't have any problems playing even the most demanding of games on the market today. Although, since RAM is fairly cheap these days, if you're not on a super tight budget for your build you may as well opt for 8GB of RAM which would be ideal and will definitely give you a noticeable improvement over 4GB in both your games and whilst running other programs. Plus, you won't have to worry about upgrading in the future.

For those of you who are lucky enough to have a fairly loose budget, go for 12 or 16GB for the ultimate in lastability. If you're running high-end, demanding applications such as 3D rendering or production programs then these amounts of memory are mandatory. 

Remember, the more RAM the better, but to be safe make sure your motherboard will support more RAM. Most motheboards out right now will support up to 16GB, but it's always wise to double check and also note how many RAM slots your motherboard has.

Tips On Buying Your RAM

An important factor when choosing the best computer memory for your PC is the actual brand name of the memory you buy. I highly recommend that you stick to buying from a quality manufacturer that is proven to provide reliable and high-performance RAM.

A few of the best are Kingston, Crucial, Corsair, G.SKILL, OCZ, and Patriot. Buying dirt cheap memory from an unknown manufacturer is risky and not something I'd ever recommend.

If you're interested in specific, up to date recommendations on the best gaming RAM to buy right now, head on over to the Recommended Custom Gaming Builds. The RAM recommended in those builds are the best-rated in terms of value for money in various price ranges.