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Is 8GB RAM enough for gaming laptops?

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Minimum RAM requirements to game on your laptop in 2022

If you’re buying a new laptop and are confused about the RAM you need; don’t worry, you’re not the only one. The ‘minimum RAM requirement’ is something that changes every few months. You must have noticed the number going up steadily. Games, Apps and even Windows has its RAM requirement, which seems to be going up after updates. And that makes it all the more confusing, gaming laptops these days start from 8 GB RAM in their most basic configs, and go upto like 64 GB. Of course, the higher you go up the more it’ll cost. 

So, choosing the best config isn’t that easy. Stick around and find out what the minimum RAM should be in your gaming laptop in 2022. Take a look at what we have planned:

Why is RAM important?

Introduction

You must be familiar with the concept of RAM and how it works. But if you aren’t, this section is for you. To put it into simple words; RAM is your Primary Memory, this contains your active tasks and processes. Unlike your SSD; the Secondary Storage, that contains all your files, games and Windows. You might be wondering why my laptop doesn’t use the SSD for that. The thing is that your system processes need a data stream constantly. 

And for that your Harddrives would prove to be super inefficient as it takes a relatively long time to retrieve data from this ‘secondary storage’. To keep everything running quick and snappy; your system stores some data and processes in the Random Access Memory for quickly retrieving the necessary information that needs to be displayed on the screen.

Importance of a decent RAM

Without a decent amount of RAM, your system will not have the space to store the necessary data and tasks for quick access. This would result in a slow, jittery and laggy experience with not just your games, but even Windows. The processes will queue up and it would become a total nightmare. It works pretty much like an actual queue. 

So, in order to make your laptop, and its processes run smoothly; you need to have a RAM that’s bigger than the minimum required one. 

So, always make sure that your RAM is as much or bigger than the required RAM of the software you’re trying to run. This will make sure that a single process isn’t taking up all of your RAM. But what about gaming? Why does RAM matter in gaming?

Why does RAM matter in Gaming?

RAM is one of three things that matter the most to gaming. Your game is stored on your Hard Drive or SSD. Once you launch your game; the system loads your game on the RAM and runs it. So, a big RAM is crucial for your smooth gaming experience. Once your game starts running, it keeps pulling the required objects, variables, textures and all kinds of game stuff from your SSD and into your RAM. 

If your RAM capacity isn’t enough; the system would not be able to load the required files on your RAM and your game would lag or, worse; crash. Suffice to say, the RAM dictates the kind of gameplay you’re going to experience. 

Remember when we said there are three things that matter the most to gaming? Well the other two are the CPU and the GPU; technically the VRAM. You should know that the VRAM and RAM aren’t the same thing.

Difference between VRAM and RAM

VRAM stands for Video Random Access Memory. And as the name suggests, VRAM is your GPU’s RAM that stores all the image and video data required to run your game smoothly. RAM is somewhat of a general memory for the system’s processes. The VRAM, however, is specifically used to store tasks that help process graphics. It depends on your laptop whether your VRAM is dedicated or shared. A shared one uses a portion of the actual RAM. 

A dedicated one is an independent GPU that allows you to play AAA titles. You can’t really play games without a dedicated GPU. The MSI GF65 for instance has a dedicated Nvidia RTX 3060 that has 6GB GDDR6 of VRAM. This allows it to run the latest AAA titles like the GTA V and the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

What is the minimum amount of RAM your gaming laptop needs?

This is something that is completely dependent on the game developer’s requirements. Every game has a minimum specifications list. This list contains the bare minimum specifications your machine needs to have in order to run that particular game. You need to check that list and make sure that you at least have the required memory. It is better to have a bigger RAM than your game’s requirements. 

This is to allow your background processes to run smoothly. For instance, the GTA V takes almost 7 gigs of your RAM when running on max settings, this leaves like less than 1 GB of RAM for the processes running in the background. This isn’t the end of the world as your game won’t be affected. But this will bottleneck your gaming laptop, and if you don’t want that to happen you should consider a bigger RAM.

Not only do your games have a minimum specifications list, but Windows does as well. For Windows 10, Microsoft requires at least 2 GB of RAM. That isn’t massive but add on some apps and bloatware and the number is bound to rise up fairly quickly. Considering all the modern applications and operating systems; TechyWired recommends a minimum of 8 GB RAM for your gaming laptop. 

An interesting FactDid you know there are primarily 3 types of RAMs SRAM, DRAM and SDRAM.

But is 8 GB RAM enough for modern games?

We know that 8 gigs of RAM is enough for day to day tasks, but is it enough to run all your latest AAA titles with ease? Well let’s see. Here is a list of modern titles and their minimum RAM requirements:

Title of GamesMinimum RAM
GTA V4 GB
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla8 GB
Red Dead Redemption 28 GB
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt6 GB
Fortnite4 GB
Hitman 38 GB

As you can probably see from our chart; 8 GB is the minimum requirement for most major titles. But that doesn’t mean you can’t run these games. With 8 gigs you can easily run these games, but of course the rest of your processes would queue up. 

If you’re looking to game on a budget, 8 GB of RAM is enough for your gaming laptop. But, if you want to future proof your laptop and have that extra bit of smoothness; we recommend doubling up. We’ve created different scenarios and the amount of RAM you’ll need for them, take a look:

How much RAM do I personally need?

Day to day tasks

If you’re not much of a gamer and usually just do basic office work on your laptop you probably don’t need a lot of RAM. Your day to day tasks like Microsoft Office and other productivity apps barely need 4 GB of RAM. Browsers are something that utilize a large portion of your RAM, but they work according to your RAM’s capacity. They’ll only utilize a certain percentage. So, for your day to day tasks; the minimum amount of RAM you need is 4 GB. TechyWired recommends going for 8 GB if you want to multitask.

Programming

If you’re a coder and you run editors like Visual Studio etc., on your gaming laptop, you would probably need a minimum of 4 GB RAM. But, for certain VS libraries you should go for 8 GB RAM to run everything smoothly.

Entertainment

We’ve already talked about gaming so that leaves movies in the entertainment section. Again, you don’t need a lot of RAM for this. Apps like Netflix would barely require 4 GB of RAM. If you’re watching a 4K movie you’d probably require more RAM but 4 GB is enough in our professional opinion.

So, by now you must have figured out the minimum amount of RAM you need for your particular needs. But are there other RAM specifications that matter?

Other RAM specifications that matter

DDR version

You might have heard this term a lot, usually with a number like DDR3 or DDR4. DDR stands for Double Data Rate and to put it into simple terms; it essentially defines the transfer rate of the RAM. You should always go for the latest DDR version when choosing your RAM. It works pretty much like the generations of your CPU, the generation dictates the efficiency and speed. 

These days DDR4 is the industry standard and the latest that is available in the market. So, go for DDR4 RAM. Another thing to keep under consideration here is the compatibility. Your motherboard will only run a certain DDR version of RAM, meaning that a DDR3 compatible laptop cannot run a DDR4 RAM. Keep that in mind before upgrading your RAM.

Clock Speed

Just like your CPU, the RAM also runs at a specific clock speed. But unlike the CPU, RAM runs at a much slower speed. To put it into perspective, RAM speeds are measured in MegaHertz (MHz), whereas processor speeds are measured in GigaHertz (GHz). 

You can expect your RAM to run anywhere between 2133MHz to 4800MHz. But, realistically, most gaming laptops have either 2133MHz RAM or 3200MHz RAM. And both will do just fine. Just don’t choose anything below 2133MHz, or you’ll start to notice some lag.

Armed with all this RAM information, you’re ready to choose your laptop. Here are a few TechyWired picks of top gaming laptops that have an 8 GB RAM:

HP Victus 16t-d000

Key Points

  • Intel Core i7-11800H
  • Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB
  • 8 GB DDR4 3200MHz

Buy from here

Buy Now: $1299

Dell G15

Key Points

  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
  • Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB
  • 8 GB DDR4 3200MHz

Buy from here

Buy Now: $779

MSI GF65

Key Points

  • Intel Core i5-10500H
  • Nvidia RTX 3060 6GB
  • 8 GB DDR4 3200MHz

Buy from here

Buy Now: $1099.99

Conclusion

The minimum RAM requirements for games change quite frequently, especially if you want to play the latest and the greatest titles. We’ve gone over the requirements for a lot of games and from what we’ve seen, most of them require 8 GB and less in most cases. So, if you’re looking for a budget laptop, you can, without hesitation, go for something that has an 8 GB RAM. RAM is not the biggest factor when it comes to gaming, but rather things like the GPU and the CPU matter much more. If you’re not on a budget, we recommend going for 16 GB of RAM. This will future proof your gaming laptop to some extent and you won’t have to worry about checking the minimum requirements for games again and again. So, in TechyWired’s opinion, 8 GB RAM is enough for a gaming laptop!

FAQs

Is DDR5 RAM available yet?/What is the latest DDR version?

DDR5 was planned to hit the market in mid 2021 but it didn’t. At this moment, the latest RAM available on the market is DDR4. DDR5 aims to double the speed of its previous version once it goes into commercial level production.

What is dual channel memory?

Dual Channel Memory means that you can plug more than one ram into your laptop or desktop. This means instead of one memory stick, you can run two. This makes upgrading RAM much easier.

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