RAM is the short form for Random-Access Memory. It is a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly and allows information to be stored and retrieved in any order.
The primary purpose of RAM is to store data temporarily. The operating system also uses it to store data. It is also used to store cached data from the disk and other storage mediums. This allows you to load games much faster as the needed files are already in RAM so they don’t have to be loaded off of your game discs or hard drives.
All of this information is stored in units called bytes. A byte consists of 8 bits. A bit is a binary digit that can represent two values; 1 or 0.
A computer needs RAM to function as the CPU requires it for storage, and loading of data from the hard drive when needed. If an insufficient amount of RAM is present in your system then it will cause damage to your computer’s operating system as well as all of the other programs running in your system.
If you have insufficient RAM then Windows runs everything off of virtual memory using hard drive space as a substitute. A computer game can only load and use certain data while the rest of it gets paged on and off to virtual memory. That means that for every individual task your computer is performing like when you play blackjack there’s a chance that it will pause as some memory gets swapped from the disk.
Even if you have enough RAM present in your system, a lot of games require more RAM to be installed in order for them to run flawlessly. If you are not planning on installing additional RAM into your computer then it is recommended that you buy the minimum amount of RAM for your system.
Some games need more RAM to run smoothly or even at all. Do not assume that you don’t need any additional RAM just because you have enough to work with in order for Windows and other programs to function properly. Even if one game seems fine, another may require more memory than what your system has.
The Ideal RAM for a Gaming Computer
Most computer games require that you have at least 1GB of RAM onboard in order to run properly. Games such as Minecraft, WoW, and World of Tanks will not load with less than 512MB.
Windows Vista requires that your system have at least 1GB of RAM in order to function properly.
Most computer games require a minimum of 2GB of RAM on board in order to run smoothly with no lags whatsoever. Games such as Diablo 3, Command and Conquer (C&C), and StarCraft II will not run if you have less than 2GB.
Windows 7 requires that your system have at least 2GB of RAM in order to function properly.
Most computer games require a minimum of 3GB of RAM on board in order for them to run smoothly with no lags whatsoever and even then there is a chance that you may encounter random lags when playing certain games. Games such as Crysis, Battlefield 4, and Diablo III will not run if your system only has 3GB of RAM installed.
Windows 8 requires that your system have at least 4GB of RAM in order to function properly.
Currently, the amount of memory (RAM) that a computer can use is limited by its hardware and operating system. Windows will always try to utilize all available memory until it reaches about 3.5GB of RAM usage before it starts to utilize virtual memory from the hard drive.
The average computer gamer will need at least 4GB of RAM in order to play most games with smooth frame rates. And if you are playing high graphics games such as Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, or Command and Conquer: Red Alert then you should install more than 4GB of RAM before attempting to play these games without experiencing severe lags.