More RAM usually means more performance, but a better GPU will have a positive effect on programs that are used for rendering graphical tasks or gaming. So, which one of the two is more important?
The graphics card will have the most impact on gaming performance, a high-end GPU with enough VRAM will be able to run all the games at max settings as long as you have at least 16GB of RAM. The GPU is more important because it renders the image on the screen, influencing the resolution and game performance.
So, below I will explain whether it’s better to get more RAM or a better GPU for gaming, and why RAM reaches a point of diminishing returns over about 8GB.
Is GPU or RAM Memory More Important for Gaming?
Overall, the GPU is more important than RAM Memory for gaming if you have 16GB of RAM or more. Your money is better spent getting a better graphics card because this will have the most impact on your gaming experience.
Independent tests show that over 16GB you will only get a 1% improvement in frames per second (FPS). Although, 1% is an OK improvement it generally won’t have a significant impact on your gameplay.
A better GPU will provide much more FPS, but this is not the only metric to look at when gaming. Other factors such as the load time in between ‘levels’, or loading the map before a game in a multiplayer game are factors to take note of.
But, generally, once the game starts the FPS mather the most, 60+ FPS means that you will have a very smooth gaming experience.
If you want to play games at high FPS (100+FPS) and your GPU can handle it, then your system’s RAM memory becomes important because every improvement counts. But you will be better off with higher frequency RAM than adding more than 16GB of memory.
RAM memory is important for gaming but it isn’t even comparable with the importance of a good GPU, without a GPU that can run your game you will not be able to enjoy your favorite games at high settings, so YES if you are on a budget focus on getting the best GPU as possible!
How Much RAM Is Required For A Gaming PC?
These days no gaming PC should have less than 16GB of RAM memory, but keep in mind that 32 GB will not give you a significant boost in gaming performance. So if you are on a budget prioritize getting a better GPU than more RAM (but no less than 16GB).
The same advice applies to gaming laptops but here the prioritization of the dedicated graphics card is mandatory because in most cases you don’t have the option to upgrade it in the future.
Which Is More Important VRAM or System RAM?
If you want to play high-resolution games (2k, 4k) the VRAM of your dedicated graphics card is more important than your system RAM, the higher the resolution the more VRAM you will need. This is the main reason why high-end graphics cards come with at least 6 GB of VARM memory.
For gamers focused on achieving the maximum number of frames per second having a faster system RAM memory is more important because the resolution is less important here.
Having a lower FPS in competitive online games may end up giving your opponents a competitive edge, to achieve the maximum frame rate possible you need fast RAM memory that can serve the video rendering instructions faster to your graphics card. In this case, you need to spend a bit more money to get faster RAM memory but keep in mind that still, the GPU is more important.
Is GPU or RAM Memory More Important for Everyday Use?
For everyday use such as browsing the web, using email, and social media a computer doesn’t need to be that fast.
A GPU is more important for everyday use because a better GPU allows you to enjoy movies at a higher resolution. RAM memory can be upgraded incrementally for a very low cost while GPUs are expensive, provided you don’t have less than 8GB of RAM, you should prioritize a better GPU over more RAM.
These days even if you build a budget PC it will have very good performance for everyday use, like surfing the net and multimedia tasks (music, movies, watching Youtube), you don’t need to worry that much about upgrading.
Gaming performance is highly influenced by the GPU, more does help RAM but only to a point, 16 GB of RAM is enough to run even the more demanding games at maximum settings if your GPU can handle it.
As a distinguished Professor of Computer Science, my expertise lies at the intersection of PC hardware, software development, and system troubleshooting. My foray into the realm of computer technology began during my high school years, where I honed my skills in building and repairing PCs. Subsequently, I provided consultancy services to a renowned PC repair establishment, solidifying my reputation in the field. Today, I am the trusted authority among peers and colleagues for insights and solutions related to PC and laptop challenges.