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FajardoX

Is 32GB Overkill?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi,

I was wondering if 32GB is overkill for my PC considering I only play games on it. I have to go with the 32GB because I couldn't get a refund in order to get dual channel, hence having to spend more money. Also would dual channel (2x16) greatly improve performance on Fortnite?

 

Specs:

i5 9400F

1060 3GB

16GB (1x16)

H310CM-HDV ASRock Motherboard

240GB SSD

1TB HDD

 

Thanks.

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Improve yes, probably not greatly since the GPU is nothing worth bragging about.


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I don't know about fortnite specifically but I'd always aim to go dual channel where supported. You might also have some additional benefit in that 16GB modules are likely dual rank, which can give a bit more performance in some circumstances over the typically single rank of 8GB modules.

 

The extra ram isn't entirely wasted, Windows can use it to cache files although this makes less difference in the SSD era than hard disk era. If software is installed on the HD, then the reloads after a boot might be faster.


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So, it is overkill. No, it won't increase your performance, your CPU and GPU can't push enough data to use all that RAM. You'll be at like 18% usage.

 

However, having two sticks of RAM, even if it is way more than you need, is good simply because it's dual channel. You'll get better performance running two sticks over one stick, for sure.

 

Having more RAM than you need doesn't do anything. It doesn't push its performance into the PC, the PC pulls data through it when it needs to use it.

 

Think of RAM like water in a jug, and think of gaming like you're filling cups. For my analogy, every 30 seconds, the jug refills - how this really works for RAM is more than I want to get into, but it helps explain the analogy.

 

Unless you have so many cups, or so large of cups, that you run out of water in the jug before 30 seconds is up, you'd never notice. Fortnite is like filling standard dinner glasses.

 

Running dual channel is like having two jugs pouring at the same time. Better, because you can fill more cups faster regardless of how big the cups are.

 

The speed of the RAM is like the size of the hole at the top of the jug. Faster RAM is like having a bigger hole to pour water out of.

 

The capacity of the RAM (8GB, 16GB) is how big the jugs are. Having 32GB is like having a 5-gallon pail full of water, to fill cups. If you needed to fill like a swimming pool (rendering), that's maybe not enough for you, and you'd like something bigger, but for filling cups (gaming), it's more than you need.


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17 minutes ago, NickPickerWI said:

Having more RAM than you need doesn't do anything. It doesn't push its performance into the PC, the PC pulls data through it when it needs to use it.

That's not exactly true, spare RAM is used for disk cache.


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Games won't run better.  Having lot of chrome tabs open or photoshop and other things going on won't hurt performance as much though if left open when gaming. 

Dual channel and dual ranks(more chips on each dimm) should help though.

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4 minutes ago, Alex Atkin UK said:

That's not exactly true, spare RAM is used for disk cache.

Sure, but 20GB of RAM disk cache for running games, like Fortnite, is overkill, when a 16GB kit would still give you like 4GB of cache at least.

 

Fortnite is not Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Modern Warfare, and even those games, 16GB is more than enough with cache to spare.


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You only need 32GB if you are going to use it, and often times it only helps for productivity workloads such as 3D modelling, video editing, handling tons of tabs, and etc. 


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1 hour ago, FajardoX said:

Hi,

I was wondering if 32GB is overkill for my PC considering I only play games on it. I have to go with the 32GB because I couldn't get a refund in order to get dual channel, hence having to spend more money. Also would dual channel (2x16) greatly improve performance on Fortnite?

 

Specs:

i5 9400F

1060 3GB

16GB (1x16)

H310CM-HDV ASRock Motherboard

240GB SSD

1TB HDD

 

Thanks.

 

Here's the two options I'd consider in your situation

 

1- Buy another 16 Gig Ram Stick to match the one you currently have.  Do you NEED 32 Gigs of Ram?  Probably not.  But is it going to hurt your performance?  No. 

2-Buy a 2x8 Gig set and sell the 16 Gig stick to supplement the cost. 

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Anyone know If single channel is noticeable?

In OP's case it is single channel 16gb vs dual 32gb.

Capacity is overkill for use case, but is bandwidth improvement worth it?  I know dual channel would be faster, but noticeably in something like fortnight?

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5 minutes ago, Sophia_Borjia said:

Anyone know If single channel is noticeable?

In OP's case it is single channel 16gb vs dual 32gb.

Capacity is overkill for use case, but is bandwidth improvement worth it?  I know dual channel would be faster, but noticeably in something like fortnight?

You'll get extra 10% if you run in dual channel, at 200fps does 20fps more matter?

As for 32gb, yeah it's overkill for playing games (at least for now), and it would be as good as running it at 16gb (even 8gb).

 

 

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On the other hand, if OP has the money, it is actually a good time to buy memory, as the price is low.

I don't know if corona will trigger shortage and increase the price.

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1 hour ago, SupaKomputa said:

You'll get extra 10% if you run in dual channel, at 200fps does 20fps more matter?

As for 32gb, yeah it's overkill for playing games (at least for now), and it would be as good as running it at 16gb (even 8gb).

 

 

So, running dual channel can lead to upwards of 20% increase to FPS, depending on the game.

 

Jayztwocents did a test on this, and what's interesting is that (even though he did a limited set of benchmarks) it seemed like a single 16GB stick capped at the same FPS as a single 8GB stick. I'm wondering if there's board-level bandwidth (or CPU) saturation happening. Not sure, I'm not super-knowledgeable about computer science that deep.

 

Anyway...Doom (2016) didn't care at all, so obviously some games won't care about how much RAM you have, or if it's single or dual channel.

 

For other games, dual channel will matter more.

 

 


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Intel generally benefits greatly from dual channel memory. I'd get it if I were you.


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32 GB is NOT overkill but at this point in time, I would not suggest a 16 GB system for a brand new system, unless there are still RAM slots available to upgrade to 32 later.  There are already games that recommend 16 GB (F1 2019 for one), and you should always exceed the recommended specs.  While that's still fine for games, if you're one of those guys who like having other programs open while gaming on modern games, you're going to start getting issues.  If you're on a tight budget, then barely squeezing by with a value line system may be what you need to do, but if you have the budget, you should always have some slack left.   I still remember when everyone went around saying how more than 8 GB RAM was a waste, when people who ignored them and went with 16 GB years ago are still sitting pretty.  

 

This is also important to note for 2 dimm motherboards, where if you buy 2x8 GB, if you ever wanted more RAM, you would have to get rid of it and go 2x16 instead of just adding 2 more sticks later.

 

And always go dual channel.  Single channel hurts your min fps and performance too much.

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In OP's case F1 might d be running off HDD and GPU would have 1/2 recommended vram.  Other things would probably be issue  before 32gb were needed, and dimm slot would be open.  Same time to buy argument for ram applies to ssd, same factors affect prices of both.

 

2nd ssd might be better idea before 2nd dim, unless games OP actually wants to play would benefit.

FPS gain when way above refresh rate vs games on hdd instead of ssd. 

I think the second would be noticeable and 1rst only show in benchmarks or in super competitive cases, about half millisecond shaved of reaction times in fortnight.

 

Other games could be different, going from 56 to 62 is much more noticeable then 200 vs 220.

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Buy another one and see. It’s cheap and worth the effort. Worse case scenario you make the system look better. 


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