What is RAM?
RAM, or "Random-Access Memory," is a particular type of memory designed to store and access data for a short period. An example of RAM is pictured below.
When you open an application, data from the app (how it runs, what it's supposed to do, its general functions) will be loaded into the RAM for it to operate. This is data that can be constantly re-written thousands or even hundreds of thousands of times. Additionally, this data can be read faster than conventional storage devices, such as SSDs and Flash Drives, making it perfect for holding critical temporary data that tells your software how to work.
How does RAM work?
This is a very complex subject, and there is a lot of technical details that do not necessarily help you determine what to purchase, so we will instead go over key concepts that will be of more use to you. If you would like an in-depth technical breakdown, visit the link here.
RAM can come in various sizes; typically, the rule of thumb for RAM is the more, the better. Standard sizes for RAM can be 8, 16, and 32 Gigabytes. However, the size of RAM is typically split over multiple separate RAM sticks, and on our configurator, we only sell RAM in sets of two.
RAM Speed (MHz):
RAM speed is how quickly a particular set of memory can write something from the time it's been requested by your CPU. The higher the number, means the quicker the RAM was able to complete the task. Most RAM will have a stock speed it can run at no matter what (typical speeds can be 2133 MHz and 2400 MHz). Maximum speed for RAM is the fastest it can run that the manufacturer has tested with that particular set of RAM. The maximum speed is usually achieved by overclocking your memory. (You can read more about achieving this speed by clicking here.)
RAM Timing is critical to how the RAM operates but is a highly complex subject to discuss. Timings are an additional form of speed measurement similar to MHz. However, instead of the time it takes for a request to be completed like MHz, Timings measure the time it takes for the RAM to move to a new task. The first number in the Timings (for example 16-18-18-38) is one of the more important speeds, as this is the latency rate to your CPU. This referred to as the CAS Latency, the lower the better but as long as you are at 18 or lower your PC will perform well.
Dual Channel Memory vs Quad Channel Memory:
The channel that memory operates in depends on how large of a set of RAM you select. If your set of memory is with only two sticks of RAM, this is Dual Channel. If your set of memory is in four sticks of RAM, that would make it Quad Channel. Quad Channel will have more available bandwidth than dual-channel, meaning you are less likely to bottleneck on high-end computational tasks.
What RAM should I get?
Keep in mind, RAM does not affect FPS in your games in any large way. Whether it's high in speed(MHz), has fast timings, or is in quad-channel/dual-channel, there will be almost no effect on your gaming performance.
Faster RAM just means the process of opening applications and moving through different applications is faster. Having faster RAM will improve the general feel and responsiveness to your system, which is great, but has diminishing returns. 3200-3600MHz RAM is what we typically recommend, which we offer many different variants of, so we recommend you pick what is in your budget.