If you have ever wanted to stream, then like a lot of people you must have wondered how much RAM for streaming games is needed.
Before getting into the specifics, it would help if you could understand the functionality of RAM (Random Access Memory). A computer has two types of memory storage spaces: Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read-Only Memory (ROM). RAM is the primary memory, whereas ROM is secondary.
The programs (in this case, video games) that the system requires during execution are stored in RAM. The CPU cannot always access information stored in ROM (harddisk). Hence, the temporary information is stored in RAM. The more the capacity of RAM, the faster and efficient the functioning of your computer.
For a gamer with no or minimal technical knowledge, understanding these concepts can be challenging. Hence, a simple and straightforward answer is expected. I want to let you know that the capacity of RAM does affect the video quality, audio quality, and overall performance of a live stream.
However, there is a limit to it. You cannot directly go on adding RAM chips on your CPU and hope to get a better streaming performance. In this post, I have answered a few of the common questions gamers ask on gaming forums like NeoGAF, MMORPG, Gamespot, and Reddit.
How Much RAM Do You Need to Stream on Twitch?
In 2020, there are several websites out there that let gamers stream games for the whole world to see. Twitch is one of the most popular live streaming services. It is intended to be used by all kinds of artists and content creators. However, this service is more popular among the gaming community. It’s quite dynamic and user friendly.
So, how much RAM do you need to stream on Twitch or similar live streaming platform? Before considering the capacity of RAM, it wouldn’t be unfair of you to once have a look at other critical components of your CPU like motherboard, processor speed, cooling system, etc. Your system works in unison, and a higher capacity of RAM would only benefit if you have high-powered components.
When it comes to the processor, the Intel Core i5 series is good enough for most streamers. Further, make sure your gaming PC case is enabled either with multiple fans or a water cooling system. Lastly, it would also help if you have a driver management tool installed on your hard drive. You want to give your hardware the best chance to perform.
To stream live games on Twitch, you need a CPU with a minimum of 8GB DDR4 RAM, that is, if you are not planning to run anything else other than Google Chrome and the game you wish to stream. If you want to have other programs running, I would recommend you to have RAM with 16GB storage space. The thing is, Google Chrome eats up a lot of RAM space.
Do You Need 32GB of RAM for Streaming?
Do you wish to stream in super high quality or just good enough? Streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube allow a gamer to choose the bit rate at which they want to stream. Needless to say, the higher the bitrate, the higher will be the video quality of the stream.
For instance, streaming a game at 6000kbps (maximum permissible limit) on Twitch can result in a fantastic experience for a viewer. However, you should also consider the download speed of your viewers. To stream a game at 6000kbps, you will also need the download speed to be high enough.
Let’s assume that you want to make sure you can do this–if you wished to stream at the highest bit rate permissible by Twitch or YouTube. 16GB RAM would be sufficient to stream at a high bitrate, but if you don’t mind shedding a few extra bucks from your pocket, you should take the safer route and get a 32GB DDR4 RAM installed.
Financially, it is wise to invest in a RAM with a storage capacity of 16GB. Even logically, it sounds like the right decision to make. However, it all depends on what kind of games you wish to play. Are you into strategy games like Fortnight or Dota? Or you are more of a FIFA guy or gal?
Needless to say, a game like FIFA has far more vivid graphics than Fortnight. Hence it would take up more RAM space while running and simultaneously uploading.
Does RAM Affect Streaming?
Yes, the storage capacity of RAM does affect streaming. The more the storage capacity, the more content will get buffered before it is aired online. When you stream a video game via an internet browser–whether you notice it or not–there is a delay of anywhere between a few microseconds or even a couple of seconds between the actual gameplay and upload.
The higher the storage capacity, the lower will be the latency. When you play a video game, your computer continuously retrieves data from RAM. If you are playing a high definition game like FIFA or Call Of Duty, a RAM with 8GB of storage capacity will fall short, and you will begin to see a distorted or pixelated image on the screen. Even the stream will appear choppy and blocky.
Is 4GB of RAM Enough for Streaming?
A RAM with 4GB storage space is good enough only for streaming audio or video–that too with a sub-standard level of quality. Also, if you are willing to keep no more than the browser tab open, you won’t face any issues with video or audio chatting on platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Such is not the case with gaming, though.
4GB RAM is not enough for streaming games, especially if the game itself requires a storage space of 4GB or more. Even with an advanced GPU like GTX750 (or its newer versions), you cannot make streaming on Twitch or YouTube work. If you wish to play games and share your experiences with others, I reckon you to upgrade your RAM to 16GB or 32GB.
Is 12GB RAM Enough for Streaming?
Streaming can put a massive load on the CPU as well. So, before upgrading your 4GB or 8GB RAM, make sure you have a GPU capable of withstanding the work you are planning to impart on it. As far as a RAM with 12GB storage capacity is concerned, it should be excellent for streaming average quality games at a low to average bit rate.
Are you planning on streaming older games like Pac-Man, Tetris, or Street Fighter? If yes, then a RAM with 12GB storage capacity should be sufficient. You can even go out on a limb and stream one of the recent games like Counter-Strike and Wolfenstein. Finally, make sure you have the DDR4 or high-speed DDR3 RAM. DDR4 is recommended for newer CPUs.
I hope now you are clear with the correct use of RAM in the context of streaming. Based on the bit rate you wish to set, the configuration of the GPU, and finally the game itself, you can choose a RAM with storage capacity ranging from 8GB to 32GB.