pcgoto.com is reader-supported. We may earn commissions if you buy through our links. (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.)



Will More RAM Help My GPU? (Important Facts!)

Pc performance continues to improve each year, and a high-performing computer requires a good CPU, GPU, as well as, a sufficient amount of RAM memory. It’s clear that if you have a fast CPU but a slow GPU your computer’s performance won’t be as good (in graphical demanding tasks) but does the amount of RAM affect the GPU?

More RAM does help the GPU, but only up to 16GB beyond that more RAM does not improve the performance of the PC by much. If you want a computer for gaming, video editing, and other tasks that have a high demand for resources you should have a minimum of 8GB of RAM.

There are certain types of programs and games that require a better CPU rather than a GPU.

Below, I will explain how the RAM speed and the amount of RAM affect GPU usage, as well as, whether upgrading RAM will increase performance for a computer with an integrated graphics card.

Does RAM Affect GPU Usage

RAM and GPU

Graphics cards (GPUs) have a set amount of memory that controls how many files they can hold at a time for processing. For a GPU to process files, they are copied onto the VRAM and executed. But, does the RAM affect how fast a GPU processes or how much work the GPU does?  

RAM does affect GPU usage on graphical demanding tasks. If you have more RAM up to a certain amount it will increase the performance of a GPU. More than 16GB of RAM offers only a very marginal improvement.

More RAM means your GPU will work faster because RAM memory will send data to the GPU faster for processing. GPU is responsible for all the parallel processing tasks and the CPU will handle serial processing.

To display the image on the screen every pixel needs to be processed at the same time, this is handled by your graphics card but if you don’t have enough RAM memory not enough data will be transferred and this can bottleneck by some degree your graphics card.

If you haven’t heard of this before I explain what it is in detail, and how to avoid it in this article about whether the CPU can bottleneck the GPU.

Will Upgrading RAM Improve Integrated Graphics

An integrated graphics card has less performance than a dedicated graphics card, however, if you increase the RAM memory of a computer it improves the performance of an integrated graphics card.

Upgrading RAM does improve the performance of your integrated graphics because it uses the RAM memory as VRAM. A dedicated graphics card will have its own VRAM but an integrated one will use the system RAM, so you need a bit more ram memory if you want to get decent performance from your integrated GPU, at least 16GB.

As you can see if you are using an integrated GPU upgrading your RAm memory will definitely be beneficial if you will need to run image/video rendering tasks.

Does Faster RAM Help GPU Usage

Faster RAM does not help GPU usage, the faster the RAM is the more demand is placed on the GPU. But, faster RAM does increase the framerate (FPS), as the screen resolution increases from 2K to 4K, the RAM speed has less and less effect and becomes insignificant.

Interestingly, if you have faster RAM it won’t automatically be set to the fastest speed by default, this needs to be changed in the settings in the BIOS. Faster RAM memory will cause the CPU to offload processing ‘work’ to the GPU at a faster rate, this causes the GPU to be constantly busy.

And it doesn’t need to wait for the CPU to process as much as it would if the RAM speed was slower.

For a computer to produce the ‘video’ on the screen it needs to copy files from the hard drive to the GPU, the GPU then processes these files and ‘draws’ them on the screen. 

Why More RAM Speeds Up the GPU?

In between the hard drive and the RAM is the CPU which also has memory. Once the memory of the CPU is full, it can’t process anything more and it needs to wait for the files on it to be transported to the GPU. So, if more of these files can be stored in the RAM memory, before sending them to the GPU, it frees up space on the CPU so it can process more.

When you have less RAM memory the CPU will be fuller for longer and giving it less room overall to process files, which makes it process less in total over time, making the whole computer slower.

Does 32GB of RAM Help My GPU?

32GB is quite a lot of RAM for a computer, but RAM memory is relatively inexpensive compared to other PC components.

Overall, 32GB of RAM does help the GPU, still, in most cases, 16GB of RAM is more than enough so that your GPU will not be bottlenecked. Any more than that will only have a marginal effect, around a 1% to 2% increase on the performance of the GPU, and is therefore really not necessary.

Unless you are making a very expensive gaming rig, using the most expensive components, then 16GB is more than enough RAM.

Conclusion

More RAM means the CPU can offload more of its memory onto the RAM, this frees up space on the CPU for it to process more tasks. The end result is increased PC performance because the CPU spends more time processing.

More RAM does help the GPU, but in most cases, you only need 8GB to 16GB. 

Any more than that only has a marginal performance benefit unless the other components are the most expensive ones on the market and you want to be sure that your RAM memory will not bottleneck them.

Maybe you will like to read the following articles:

I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.