Gaming desktops: How much RAM do you actually need to play games?

Random Access Memory (RAM) sticks are easy to come by, and pretty affordable too. We’ve also heard many horror stories about having our computers crash from having too many Chrome tabs open and not enough RAM to handle them. Hence, we tend to want to get as many RAM sticks in our desktops as possible. Just recently, I built a gaming desktop that had 64GB (16GB x 4) of RAM in it at Volta PC. Is 64GB considered overkill for a gaming desktop? How much RAM do we actually need to play our favourite games anyway? In this article, we will explore the different RAM options and determine the suitable games that can be played with these options.

What is RAM?

Image taken from Volta PC's Catalogue. This is the GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 RGB DDR5/64GB/6400MHZ F5-6400J3239G32GX2-TZ5RK. We have many RAM options for your every need.

Image taken from Volta PC’s Catalogue.

According to Intel, RAM is your computer’s short-term memory storage. The data that your computer processor needs to run applications and files is found in there. Lifestick likens it to a ‘reusable scratch paper that you would write notes, numbers, or drawings on with a pencil.’ The greater amount of RAM that your computer has, the faster your files and applications run. This is because the processing speed directly correlates with the amount of storage space your computer has. The larger your memory storage, the faster the processing speed. This is why tech consumers tend to go for the highest amount of RAM that they can afford (without busting their budget!).

What are the different RAM options?

Nowadays, the least amount of RAM in a functioning computer is 8GB. DDR4 is also the most common type of RAM that you will come across today. Here at Volta PC, we use GSKILL’s Ripjaws series quite often in our builds (see below).

Typically, there are 4 sizes of RAM (single stick) that are in the market:

  1. 8GB
  2. 16GB
  3. 32GB
  4. 64GB (yes, actually)

If you’re looking to primarily play games on your gaming desktop, and not delve too much into multimedia work, like video and photo editing etc., then the amount of RAM does not actually affect your gaming experience too much. Most popular game titles, such as Valorant, Fortnite and Minecraft only require 4GB of RAM to be able to run smoothly. As such, 8GB of RAM will still be able to get you by.

However, if you are looking to up your gaming desktop experience, then you might want to look beyond 8GB. Instead, most pre-built gaming desktops these days offer 16GB of RAM in their systems. This is because more demanding games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed etc. require up to 8GB of RAM in a system to run well. Most gamers, like myself, like to have webpages open to refer to while playing the game, and thus, 8GB of RAM would bottleneck your system pretty badly. This means that no matter how good your processor and graphics card are, your gaming performance and experience will be capped pretty low. This spoils the gaming mood most of the time.

How much RAM should I get for my gaming desktop then?

We would recommend either 16GB or 32GB of RAM for your gaming needs. As modern games continue to become more resource-intensive, demanding substantial memory, a higher RAM capacity allows gaming desktops to efficiently handle the complex calculations and data required by high-quality graphics, detailed textures, and expansive virtual worlds. With ample RAM, gaming performance improves significantly, resulting in higher frame rates, reduced loading times, and enhanced visual fidelity. This ensures a smooth and immersive gaming experience, delivering optimal gameplay without interruptions or performance bottlenecks.

With 16GB of RAM, we believe that it is sufficient to handle most modern games and provides a good balance between performance and cost. While we mentioned above that RAM is generally quite affordable, there are those expensive ones that can cost almost $600. If you are looking to build a budget gaming desktop or if you just have a limited budget to spend on gaming desktops, then those are not practical.

However, if you have a higher budget and want to future-proof your system or engage in other memory-intensive activities like content creation or streaming, upgrading to 32GB of RAM would be a wise choice. This larger RAM capacity ensures optimal performance for resource-demanding games and provides more headroom for multitasking and running memory-intensive applications simultaneously.

What about 64GB of RAM in my gaming desktop?

For most people, 32GB of RAM is already more than enough for their gaming needs and otherwise. Going above that would only yield minimal benefit. Taking the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility/Returns into consideration, if you were to look at 64GB of RAM, that would incur a higher cost than benefit. Most games do not utilize such a large amount of memory, and you are unlikely to see a significant improvement in gaming performance. If you are only using your gaming desktop to run games, then this is the case.

Single-Channel or Dual-Channel RAM for my gaming desktop?

In terms of overall performance (not just gaming), we find that dual-channel RAM fares better than single-channel ones. For gaming purposes, dual-channel RAM is recommended as it can provide a noticeable performance boost, especially in scenarios where the game is memory-bound. It allows for faster data transfer between the RAM and the CPU, potentially improving frame rates, reducing loading times, and enhancing overall responsiveness. If you like playing open-world games (Skyrim, Cyberpunk 2077, Witcher 3) or multiplayer games (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)), then dual-channel RAM is the way to go.

However, this might not be the case for all games. For example, competitive multiplayer games such as League of Legends prioritise GPU performance and network connectivity over memory bandwidth. These games prioritize fast-paced gameplay, precise controls, and low input latency. As such, whether you have 16GB or 32GB of RAM would barely affect your gaming performance.


In conclusion, we can see that the higher the amount of RAM you have in your computer system does not necessarily correlate to better gaming performance. For most gamers, 16GB of RAM is generally sufficient. If you have a high-enough budget to cater to RAM, then 32GB would be more than enough for primary gaming purposes, as well as future-proofing your system. 64GB is overkill for most desktops, gaming or not.

Thank you for reading this article, and we hope that it was informative. You can check out our other articles here for more information about gaming desktops, peripherals, performances and the like. Should you wish to purchase RAM for your own system, do check out our RAM catalogue here. Otherwise, should you choose to purchase PC components to build your own custom PC, you can check out our entire catalogue here. Volta PC does offer custom PC building services, so if you would like us to help you build your PC, do contact us via our website. Happy gaming!

Follow Us on Social Media

Scroll to Top