How Much RAM Do You Need for Gaming on a Laptop

The significance of RAM capacity in a gaming laptop becomes evident when its insufficiency disrupts seamless performance. Signs of this deficiency manifest as game freezes, sluggish program responses, and persistent use of the paging file, causing strain on the SSD and depleting its resources.

Despite advanced motherboards typically featuring two RAM slots, addressing a shortage isn’t as straightforward as merely adding more memory. Availability issues may arise, with identical modules being unavailable or different memory chips, such as Hynix instead of Samsung, being utilized.

The Role of RAM ─ Elevating Gaming Experience

Upon launching a game, essential data crucial for its stable operation resides in the laptop’s RAM. Moreover, the overall responsiveness of the operating system is significantly influenced by the RAM.

However, indiscriminate attempts to maximize RAM capacity may not yield proportional performance gains. Modern games and programs are optimized for specific memory benchmarks, rendering excessive RAM installation ineffective. For instance, Battlefield 2042 recommends up to 16 GB, and exceeding this won’t enhance frame rates.

The scenario shifts dramatically when a RAM shortage occurs. Issues arise not only during game launches but also with various programs and applications, some of which may fail to initiate. Freezes, FPS drops, and system hangs collectively hinder the full enjoyment of the gaming experience.

Minimum RAM Requirements for Laptop



Formally, since 2017, certain games have mandated a minimum of 16 GB of RAM. These requirements have seen incremental increases rather than significant changes. However, not all users prioritize gaming; many seek a laptop for activities like movie streaming, internet surfing, music, and document work. For these purposes, 8-12 GB suffices, even enabling the launch of some older games.

Considering RAM options below 8 GB becomes viable for budget-friendly office laptops operating on Windows 7. It’s worth noting that Windows 11, with its minimum RAM requirement of 6 GB, is critically low, given the concurrent operation of various programs, applications, and games.

Determining the Optimal RAM Capacity for Gaming

Having a substantial amount of RAM doesn’t inherently make a laptop faster. Instead, it removes constraints during data transfer. When you launch a game, crucial data required for its operation loads into the RAM. If a game exceeds the available RAM, additional data is fetched from the slower swap file on the storage drive, especially problematic when using a conventional HDD instead of a modern SSD.

For optimal gaming, it’s advisable to have at least a modest reserve of RAM. Let’s delve into how much RAM is needed for a comfortable gaming experience.

8 GB – Absolute Minimum

Most contemporary games will run on a system with 8 gigabytes of RAM, but not all will perform optimally. Developers increasingly specify a 16-gigabyte RAM requirement, even in minimal recommendations, particularly for games with expansive open-world environments like Forspoken or Warzone 2.0 (

Testing reveals that many games operate smoother with 16 gigabytes of RAM, as evidenced by the “1% Low” metric:

The closer “1% Low” is to “Avg.” (average frame rate), the smoother the game runs.

16 GB – Comfortable Minimum

For the majority of new, even high-budget games featuring advanced graphics and expansive locations, 16 gigabytes of RAM is presently sufficient. However, this holds true for resolutions not exceeding 1440p (2560×1440). If gaming in 4K, there might be instances where this capacity falls short.

Additionally, streamers might find 16 gigabytes insufficient. During live streams, essential programs like Discord and OBS run concurrently, along with background recording of gameplay and microphone with camera in two separate files.

32 GB – Future-Proofing

As of now, 32 gigabytes of RAM provides more than ample resources for most recent titles, even at 4K resolution and simultaneous streaming. Considering that the latest-gen gaming consoles feature 16 gigabytes of RAM, 32 gigabytes will satisfy most gaming needs for an extended period.

But is installing 64 gigabytes worthwhile? This is more for enthusiasts or professionals rather than the average gamer. Applications like Adobe After Effects with numerous objects or Adobe Premier with numerous tracks demand much more RAM than standard 16 or 32 gigabytes.

While 32 gigabytes noticeably reduces lag and accelerates project rendering, 64 gigabytes might be excessive for typical gaming requirements.

Choosing RAM tips:

  1. Dual-channel mode ─ Many games have been optimized for dual-channel RAM operation, with a significant FPS drop (20-30%) in single-channel mode, especially for CPU-intensive tasks. Even with modules of different frequencies and brands, dual-channel mode activates, noticeably enhancing memory bandwidth. Recent releases like Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield demonstrate the advantages of higher memory throughput in open-world games.
  2. Need for fast memory and optimal frequency ─ While standard DDR4 values may suffice for many games, some enthusiasts prefer faster RAM. Manual overclocking is not mandatory; enabling one of the XMP profiles in the BIOS can achieve desired results. The standard DDR4 memory frequency is approximately 3200 megahertz, but high-performance modules can reach 4800 megahertz and beyond.

RAM Speed and Gaming Performance


The speed of your laptop’s RAM plays a pivotal role in determining gaming performance. Faster RAM can reduce loading times, enhance overall system responsiveness, and contribute to smoother gameplay.

When selecting RAM modules, consider their speed in megahertz (MHz), as it can significantly impact the gaming experience. While standard DDR4 values are sufficient for most games, some enthusiasts prefer higher-speed RAM for improved performance, especially in demanding titles.

Upgradability of RAM in Gaming Laptops

Gaming laptops offer varying degrees of upgradability when it comes to RAM. Before purchasing a laptop, it’s crucial to check whether the RAM is soldered to the motherboard or if there are available slots for additional memory modules.

Opting for a laptop with upgradable RAM allows you to future-proof your gaming experience. If your budget allows, choosing a model with upgradeable RAM can extend the laptop’s lifespan and adapt to evolving gaming requirements.


In conclusion, understanding the importance of RAM capacity and its speed in a gaming laptop is essential for an optimal gaming experience.

While the minimum RAM requirements for games have increased over the years, it’s crucial to strike a balance between your gaming needs and other tasks you may perform on your laptop.