Everything you need to know

RAM memory is one of the cornerstones of every PC. This component perform important tasks within the team and plays a limiting roleIf we don’t have a certain amount, we won’t be able to run certain applications and certain workloads will not run smoothly.

Not sure what RAM is? Well, relax, we’ll explain it to you in a moment. There is a component that is known as “Random access memory«, Which uses a modular format based on an elongated printed circuit board on which sit several chip-pads that contain a certain amount of volatile memory (the data that is saved when the PC is switched off) is lost.

And how does RAM work? It’s very simple, this component is installed on the motherboard using slots that are usually on the sides of the CPU. Not all motherboards share the same layout or number of memory slots, but how this component works remains exactly the same: saves in a non-permanent way, Data and instructions that have previously passed through other components such as the processor and manage them in such a way that every component that needs them can access them without repeating work cycles.

Let’s continue with a simple example to help us better understand the importance of RAM. Imagine you are working with a partner who does real-time translations for several peopleYou need to take notes in a notebook so that the result of these translations is not lost and your partner can retrieve parts of them when he needs it. Also, You would be the RAM and your partner could be the CPU. If you cannot write to this notebook fast enough, you are putting a strain on your partner (RAM speed), and if you run out of memory in the notebook (RAM capacity), you will no longer be able to record translations.

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We saw in one fell swoop and with great simplicity how RAM works, and we used it in passing to explain why the capacity and speed of the RAM memory we installed is important. Let’s go back to the previous example. In your opinion, which is more important, the capacity of the notebook or the speed of writing? The capacityTruth? Indeed, when it comes to RAM What constrains us the most is its capacityThis is a critical demarcation factor when running applications and games.

Let’s see with another example. Imagine a game that requires 8 GB of RAM but requires 16 GB of RAM to function optimally. A user with 8 GB of RAM at 2,666 MHz could run it without any problems, but a user with 4 GB of RAM at 4,000 MHz probably won’t even be able to start it. The amount of premium over speed for a very simple reason, and that’s how we expected It is the main value that determines what we can and cannot do.

In relation to the previous example, the idea is very simple, You cannot write a translation that requires specific pages if the notebook is not big enough. The same thing happens with RAM, it can’t store the instructions and data needed to move a game or application if it doesn’t have a certain capacity.

And what happens to the data and instructions stored in RAM? Well, once they are no longer necessary, they are eliminated to free up space for other games and applications. When we turn off the computer, the RAM memory is completely emptied, as it is a kind of volatile memory, as expected. It’s like the notebook is blank and you can rewrite on all of the pages.

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How much RAM does a PC need?

The first thing we need to be clear about when choosing how much RAM our PC needs is exactly: the use that we will give. Obviously, you don’t need the same amount of RAM to set up a PC for web surfing and multimedia as you would for a PC focused on next generation gaming.

Although we can find some minor variables, today we can set a whole five recommended scales These determine the amount of RAM we need to provide depending on the use we are going to give our devices.

  • Basic office automation, web surfing and multimedia content without multitasking: the minimum will be 2 GB RAM.
  • Mid-level office automation, web surfing, multimedia content, and light multitasking: at least that’s essential. 4GB.
  • Advanced office automation, web surfing, multimedia content, media multitasking and games: we must have 8 GB.
  • Working with demanding applications, advanced multitasking, and next generation games – ideally 16 GIGABYTE. That amount is exactly what it takes for a PC to survive the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
  • Professional photo and video editing, content creation, advanced virtualization, and running sophisticated applications: 32 GB.

RAM is a component inexpensive and easy to upgrade That can make a huge difference. So if you drive a certain amount and your needs change in the short, medium or long term, don’t worry. If your motherboard has free slots, you can install additional modules and expand the capacity. If you don’t have any free slots, you should look for a new memory kit to replace your current configuration with.

For example, if you have put together a 4 GB kit in two modules of 2 GB each but want to enjoy the latest games and games Your motherboard only has two memory slots You have no choice but to replace this kit with an 8 GB module in two modules of 4 GB each or with a 16 GB module in two modules of 8 GB each. Not sure how much memory you have or how fast it works? Check out this article.

Before you start choosing which RAM memory you want to provision on your PC, we recommend that you consider the slots available on your motherboard and the maximum capacity that you make a short- and medium-term forecast of your needs. For example, if you want to mount a gaming PC that you won’t have to update for a long time, the ideal would be to mount 16GB of RAM instead of 8GB directly. Keep in mind that more RAM doesn’t always mean higher performance, it is one of the most common myths.

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RAM memory types: speeds, latencies and settings

We are already clear on the section on the amount of RAM we will need depending on the use we are going to give our PC. Now we’re ready to go Three other important keys that determine gross return that will offer this component.

Once we’ve reached the recommended amount of storage we need, we’ll evaluate the speed. RAM is currently divided into four main standards. Although some of them are out of date, they are still marketed as well have a fairly high usage rate, A reality that is a direct consequence of how well the Intel Core 2000, 3000 and 4000 series processors, based on the Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell architectures, have aged.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the various RAM memory standards that exist today. Note that these standards They are not backwards compatible with each other.

  • DDR memory: We can classify it as “grandmother” as it is the oldest version. It is used in computers that have older generation Pentium 4 and Athlon processors installed. Its frequency reaches 400 MHz.
  • DDR2 memory: This type of memory is still widely used as it was used in computers with LGA775 and AM2 sockets designed for the (still capable) Core 2 Duo-Core 2 Quad and Phenom processors. They have frequencies up to 1,066 MHz.
  • DDR3 memory– The predecessor of DDR4. It is still marketed and has a strong presence as it was used with the LGA1150 (Core 4000) and AM3 + (FX) sockets. You can usually find kits running at 2,133 MHz and 2,400 MHz, although some manufacturers have exceeded these values.
  • DDR4 memory: It is the current standard that offers the highest performance and efficiency. They are available in frequencies that start at 2,133 MHz and easily exceed 4 GHz.

It is clear that if we want to mount a new PC we will have to look for DDR4 RAM. If we wanted to play we know that we need to mount at least 8 GB and that the ideal would be 16 GB. But at what speed? Should I buy a kit with two modules or just one module? We will answer both questions in a simple and easy to understand way.

The speed of the RAM determines how fast it can work and defines its bandwidth together with the data bus. Higher bandwidth results in much higher performance because data transfers and instructions, as well as communications, take less time to complete, and the process of storing, deleting, and re-storing new information and data is completed more quickly.

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This means that faster RAM is always better than slower one, but we need to take this into account There is a margin beyond which it is no longer profitable to buy faster storage. It is a complex problem as it has to do with the specifics of the processor that we are going to deploy, but we can determine it again a set of criteria that serve as a basis At the time of selection.

  • Ryzen 1000 processors and Zen family: The optimal level starts at 2,933 MHz and peaks at 3,200 MHz.
  • Ryzen 2000 processors and Zen + family: The optimal values ​​are the same as given above.
  • Ryzen 3000 processors and Zen 2 family: The optimal level starts at 3,200 MHz and peaks at 3,866 MHz.
  • Ryzen 5000 processors and Zen 3 family: In this case, a level is maintained that is very similar to that in the Ryzen 3000, although AMD has confirmed memory support of up to 4,000 MHz
  • Intel Core 8000 and 9000 processors: The optimal level starts at 3,000 MHz, but the ideal is to reach 3,200 MHz.
  • Intel Core 10000 processors: The values ​​from the previous case are retained, although reaching 3600 MHz can make a significant difference in some cases (e.g. dependent CPU games).

It goes without saying that mounting memories that exceed the recommended values ​​can improve final performance, especially in certain scenarios The return per invested euro ratio is significantly reducedwhat doesn’t make it really worth the investment keep that in mind.

We talked about speed, but also about the bus from it. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten, we will explain everything you need to know. If we connect a single RAM memory module to a motherboard, it will work on one 64-bit busThis means that your bandwidth is very limited. When installing two RAM modules The number goes up to 128 bits. This is the so-called two-channel mode.

General consumer motherboards support two-channel configurations, but in the professional device versions we find support for fourfold, sixfold and up to eightfold channel. Dual-channel makes a big difference in computers with integrated GPUs as they draw on RAM memory and use some of it as VRAM memory. This also has a significant impact on performance in CPU-dependent games and on processors with a marked memory dependency on RAM.

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So if we are to mount a new PC and want to maximize performance, it is ideal to mount it A kit with two modules to activate the two-channeland stay within the optimal amounts and speeds we’ve seen depending on the use of the equipment.

We have a third point that we need to analyze: latency. When we talk about latency, we are referring the delay the memory experiences while performing certain operations. For example, if you need to read data there is a little delay in access time, it would be latency. This has a performance impact and is directly related to the speed of operation, as faster memories usually have higher latencies.

Contrary to what it may seem, the actual impact on final performance isn’t as big as you might think. except in very extreme cases (low frequencies and high latencies). Therefore, we always have to prioritize the amount of RAM and speed and leave latencies as the last point. I always like to give an example to illustrate this reality and today I will make no exception:

  • 2,000 MHz DDR3 with CL9 latencies: 9 nanoseconds.
  • 1,800 MHz DDR3 with CL8 latencies: 8.96 nanoseconds.

As you can see The difference between one and the other is minimaland the same would happen with some DDR4 memories at 3,200 MHz with CL14 latencies and others at 3,600 MHz with CL16 latencies.

Other things to consider: quality, design and finishes of the RAM

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From all of this, we can make it clear that we need to make an assessment when choosing the memory for our PC The standard What will we use the sum that depending on the use we will give it we will need, Minimum speeds from which we have to start, the meaning of Double channel in certain situations and the role they play Latencies.

All that forms the basis on which we must build the choice of RAMBut there are also other important aspects that we have to consider if we want to refine this selection as much as possible and pay attention to the smallest detail.

If we look at the RAM market, we will see that There are a variety of different kits available They are not only characterized by capacity, speed and latency, but also by design, build quality, form factor and other purely aesthetic aspects such as the presence of RGB LED lighting.

Manufacturers like Corsair, for example, divide their catalog of RAM storage solutions into different areas that cover practically all levels of the current market. For example, we can find the series in their catalog of RAM storage solutions for general consumption “Value selection”who are very economically. One rung above is the series VENGEANCE LPX, one of my favorites for him good value for money They offer and for the good support and compatibility they offer both with Ryzen processors and with large cooling systems thanks to their low profile.

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In the “High Performance” category, there is the VENGEANCE RGB PRO series, which offers a high level of performance and takes care of both the processing quality and the designThey have high quality cooling systems and fully customizable RGB LED lighting. At the very top it positions the DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB series that uses a unique design and have a “premium” qualityThanks to the use of a high-performance cooling system made of aluminum and zinc and the integration of RGB Capellix LED lighting.

There’s no question that build quality, design, and RGB LED lighting are three things that can make a huge difference and of course come with additional costs. If you are on a tight budget but you want to enjoy a good level of performance that VENGEANCE LPX range It would be your best option. However, if you are on a less limited budget and want to add a touch of color to your PC, the VENGEANCE RGB PRO series is a great option. The DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB family would look like this A great alternative for those on a budget who want the best in the market.

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