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How much RAM do I need and goes RAM speed matter?

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March 1, 2014 1:23:12 PM

All my friends tell me that all you need for gaming is 8GB of RAM. Well if games are going to use more than 8GB in the near future (1-2 years) I'd rather just buy 16GB now and be set. What do you guys think? Also should I get Single, Dual, or Quad Channel RAM?

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a b } Memory
March 1, 2014 1:27:12 PM

8 GB RAM is more than sufficient for gaming. The type RAM you buy will depend on what your motherboard supports.
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a b } Memory
March 1, 2014 1:31:19 PM

Mainstream desktop CPUs have two channels so that is both the least and most you should bother with unless you have specific reasons to want an Opteron or LGA2011 build.

Having 16GB does not hurt even if your apps and games do not directly address it since the OS will simply use it to cache files so they do not need to be reloaded from SSD/HDD as often. I have 32GB RAM in my PC and about 14GB of it is used by disk caching.
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a b } Memory
March 1, 2014 1:39:30 PM

To add, RAM speed has little impact when gaming or in every day use. You can purchase higher clocked RAM but unless you overclock it, it will run at your motherboard's default speed. Timing, in my opinion, is more important than speed.
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a b } Memory
March 1, 2014 2:34:27 PM

barto said:
Timing, in my opinion, is more important than speed.

That is entirely workload-dependent and in many cases, faster DIMMs with slightly "worse" timings actually have lower net latency since the shorter clock period more than covers the extra timing delay cycles.
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March 2, 2014 12:28:42 AM

I would go 16 gb to be safe and tri channel and quad channel would both be better than dual channel if you have a mobo which supports it.

I only have a dual channel mobo with 16 gb of ram and am happy with that but hey, if you can get it, go for it.

Also if current gen games need 8 gb of ram recommended and your system takes up some ram and you run some other programs in the background, having a bit over 8 gb would be helpful and also help future proof you.

This is why I suggest 16 gb. Definitely dont go for 32 gb though because it would be a complete waste as you would beyond hit cap.
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March 2, 2014 12:30:26 AM

I meant, over 16 gb is beyond whats needed for almost everyone btw but reading the other guys opening paragraph, he has 32 at uses 14gb for god knows what. He must be an exceptional case, they are rare but do exist.
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