When it comes to a desktop or laptop’s optimal performance, the computer’s RAM is the most important component. It dictates how other important components, like the storage drive and processor, perform. If you are a new PC user who has never bought RAM before, you might find the range of options and terminology a bit overwhelming.
In fact, the more confusing part is that the RAM’s performance isn’t dictated by how expensive it is. Still, you also have to consider other factors to determine if a particular type of RAM will fit in with other desktop components. Here are some of the most important factors you should consider when considering a RAM purchase to make your decision easy.
Choosing the Right RAM for Your PC
Before choosing your very first RAM, you must first consider how you want to use your desktop or laptop. Based on how you use it, you should determine the size and speed of the RAM required for your setup as well as the model of motherboard you will be purchasing since older motherboard models don’t support the latest RAM models.
If you’re into gaming, graphics design, and video editing, you’ll typically look at 16 GB RAM for optimum performance for games and software. The more RAM you have, the better your device’s performance, with the added benefit of not wearing your RAM down trying to push it to the limit.
RAM for More Speed or More Size
Honestly, if you can afford it, go for both. These factors are very important and crucial for your device’s performance.
A faster RAM will improve your computer in certain situations, but you are likely better off choosing increased RAM capacity over speed. And having a higher RAM capacity improves cache performance which directly affects software and gaming performance.
DDR5 is the latest RAM tech in the market, but it’s costly. 16 GB DDR4 is still more than enough RAM considering speed and capacity. 3200 MHz DDR4 RAMs have the highest RAM speed, so you should go for it if your budget allows.
Most users will feel comfortable with a RAM capacity of 8 GB if they’re looking to run basic programs and apps. But if you’re looking to run performance-intensive applications like Maya, AutoCad, Movavi, VSDC, etc., then 8 GB of RAM will simply not cut. Most software users find a balance at 16 GB.
Currently, you can push your device to up to 64 GB of RAM capacity, but this is basically overkill. Even gamers with high-end gaming PCs don’t go for more than 32 GB RAM capacity. So it’s important to consider why you need it before deciding on your purchase.
Single or Multiple Slots
Generally, it is preferable to consider multiple units of lower capacity as it allows the RAM and motherboard to perform at max capacity. This is called dual channeling and often performs significantly better than a single stick of high-capacity RAM.
Most entry-level motherboards allow for 2 RAM slots, so if you want to go for more, you need to buy a high-end motherboard compatible with your RAM. If you have sufficient free slots, go for four 4GB RAM instead of two 8GB units for the best performance.
When buying RAM for the first time, you should keep the following compatibility issues in mind:
- Motherboard slots: you’ll most likely need empty DIMM slots on your motherboard to install a new RAM.
- RAM forms: DIMM (for desktop computers) and SO-DIMM (for laptops).
- CPU heatsink size: If you are considering a bulky piece of kit, ensure you have sufficient tower space for it.
- DDR Generation: Backward and forward compatibility can cause issues with RAM. New-generation memory will not work nicely with older-generation motherboards.
Once you’ve purchased and properly installed the RAM, it should perform optimally without a hitch. But in case it does give you trouble, you should call in a computer repair professional to take a look. Simply search online for the computer repair service nearest to you to get started.
Make the Right Choice the First Time
For a first-time PC buyer, choosing the right RAM for your setup is an important decision that you shouldn’t take lightly. Ensure to keep all the above-mentioned tips and tricks in mind and do your research properly.
That way, you won’t face any performance issues or suddenly need a RAM upgrade a few months or years down the line.