FPS drops can be extremely annoying when gaming, and in FPS games, they can be extremely destructive.
The reason for FPS drops can be hardware related, and it’s usually the symptom of a bottleneck which means your system is unbalanced in some way.
The truth is, the RAM is one of the main suspects for FPS drops, it can be caused by not enough RAM or having slow RAM.
What Are FPS Drops?
FPS drops are when the FPS(Frames per second) in game suddenly drops, it usually feels like a stutter, and can be quite destructive.
When the graphics card takes longer than usual to render a frame, this will cause FPS drops and in game stuttering.
The reason for FPS drops are mostly due to a system bottleneck, but other issues such as overheating can cause FPS drops.
Also Read: Does Bottleneck Cause FPS Drop
How Does The RAM Affect FPS?
Yes, the RAM has an indirect effect on the FPS due to the relationship the RAM has with the processor.
The RAM and the processor will often exchange data and instructions, and it’s the RAM’s job to keep up with the processor.
The ways the RAM can keep up with the processor is by being fast enough, and having enough capacity, these are the key aspects of RAM.
So, if the RAM is too slow, it will cause the CPU to stall due to it having to wait longer to receive instructions, so it’s your job to ensure that the RAM speed is fast enough.
And if the RAM capacity is full, the CPU will have to go to non-volatile storage(SSD/HDD) for instructions which is significantly slower than the RAM.
Also Read: Can RAM Bottleneck CPU
Can The RAM Cause FPS Drops?
Back to the main topic, the RAM can cause FPS drops for a few reasons, one of the main reasons is having slow RAM.
Another reason for RAM causing FPS drops is not having enough RAM, both of these factors can contribute to overall lower FPS, and worse 1% lows.
So, to ensure that your RAM is optimal enough for gaming, ensuring that the capacity is high enough, and the speed is fast enough is important; let’s get into that.
RAM Capacity Is Important For Reducing FPS Drops
It’s general accepted that 16GB of RAM is the best for gaming, this is because the majority of games will not use more than 16GB of RAM.
Having more than 16GB of RAM won’t increase FPS in most of the cases, but having less than 16GB of RAM can cause significant FPS loss, and FPS drops.
Most games will quickly use up all of your available RAM causing the CPU to use the HDD or SSD as RAM which will guarantee FPS drops.
This is why 8GB of RAM isn’t optimal in today’s standards, but there are honestly some games that will work fine with only 8GB of RAM.
RAM Speed Is Important For Reducing FPS Drops
As for RAM speed, having fast enough RAM is crucial for maintaining optimal gaming conditions, the RAM must be fast enough to keep up with the processor.
If the RAM is unable to keep up with the processor, this will create a massive bottleneck between the CPU and the RAM.
This is unideal for games, this is because games need to access data quick and fast, if the CPU has to wait longer for data, this will definitely cause issues.
The general accepted RAM speed for games is at least 3200MHz (DDR4), anything higher will generally result in diminishing returns.
But also note that AMD Ryzen processors are more sensitive to RAM speed than Intel processors, so 3600MHz may be necessary.
Also Read: Does RAM Affect FPS
How Can I Reduce FPS Drops?
Reducing or eliminating FPS drops caused by RAM can be solved by either increasing the system’s RAM capacity, or acquiring faster RAM.
However, purchasing new RAM isn’t always an option, so there are some free options you can use to help reduce FPS drops.
Overclocking RAM – Overclocking the RAM is a free and easy way to increase the RAM clock speed, this will increase the bandwidth, and reduce any speed based bottlenecks.
If you have XMP profiles, that makes overclocking the RAM significantly easier and safer, however it’s still possible if you don’t have any XMP profiles.
Overclocking without XMP profiles involves the user manually increasing the clock speed, timings, and voltages. It’s better to have experience beforehand, but it’s still possible for beginners.
Tracking What’s Using Your RAM – If RAM capacity is an issue, you can always reduce what is actually using up your memory.
Overclocking the RAM without XMP profiles involves the user setting manual clock speeds, timings, and voltages; it’s recommended doing this if you’re experienced.
This is a free and easy way to effectively increase the free memory your system has, this can be helpful for RAM heavy games.
Closing any background applications such as the web browser can significantly increase free available RAM.
Also, disabling start-up applications can significantly boost your free available RAM, and it’s pretty easy to do.
Disabling start-up applications is easy, follow the quick guide down below:
- CTRL + ALT + DELETE
- Select Task Manager & head over to “Startup”
- Within the startup section, you can pick and choose what applications to disable
- Disable all applications with a high start-up impact except for necessary applications like antiviruses.
Running An Antivirus Scan – It happens, but viruses can have a huge impact on the system memory’s performance which in turn will cause FPS drops.
Nasty malware will consume a ton of system resources, so it’s your job to maintain your PC’s health by frequently scanning for potential threats.
Removing viruses can massively improve performance across the board, the recommended software for removing harmful programs is Malwarebytes.
What we have to take from this is that the RAM has a huge impact on gaming performance, not having enough RAM or slow RAM can cause massive FPS drops.
So if you’re building a gaming PC, you should be careful about what type of RAM you’re buying, ensure you’re getting the right size, and the right speeds for your needs.