Should you spend a ton of money on gaming RAM?

Should you spend a ton of money on gaming RAM?

With so many companies releasing high performance RAM modules boasting huge and impressive frequencies (as well as low latencies), it begs the question whether or not these components are really worth the large price tag. To answer the question, we have prepared a list of gaming benchmarks in which we will mark the FPS count each gaming title benchmark result while running the gaming RAM at stock frequencies and timings as well as overclocked frequencies. Should you really spend a ton of money of gaming RAM? Let us find out.

1. Test setup

Before we proceed with our test, we will detail our test system, so that you can have a rough image in your mind as to the kind of performance we will be receiving according to the number and performance of the components that we have installed in our system. Keep in mind that in order to get the most accurate results, we have chosen to keep all components (except the RAM) at their factory default settings. The last thing we would want is a disparity in benchmarking results. Here is our test setup:

  • Core i5 3570k (at stock frequencies)
  • Asrock Fatality Z77 professional motherboard
  • 16 GB Corsair Vengeance low profile RAM 1600 MHz stock frequencies with timings set to 9-9-9-24 (the component that will be used for gaming benchmarks)
  • AMD Gigabyte R9 290 (at stock frequencies running AMD Catalyst version 14.3 Beta 1.0)
  • Cooler Master HAF XB
  • Intel 520 180 GB SSD (for booting purposes)
  • Western Digital Caviar Green 1 TB and Seagate Momentus 750 GB (for data storage)
  • Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850 watt power supply

2. Test environment

The component being tested will be the gaming RAM. We will be conducting our benchmarks when the RAM is running at the following frequencies:

  • 1333 MHz (Timings: 9-9-9-24)
  • 1866 MHz (Timings: 9-10-10-27)
  • 2133 MHz (Timings: 10-12-12-31)

The gaming benchmark will be run three times and the average of that benchmark will be taken out after the results. If one result seems deviating from the majority ones, then we will discard that benchmark and start the benchmark again.

3. Benchmark list

  • Tomb Raider
  • Thief
  • Hitman Absolution
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Metro Last Light

We have chosen these titles because these games feature the in – built benchmark feature which we feel is the best possible way to tax the entire system and hence, the gaming RAM. Each benchmark will be run three times on each RAM frequency (which will make it a total of 9 benchmarks per title. This will help to eliminate the initial stuttering issue caused when you run the game or benchmark for the very time. The average of all benchmarks will be noted down. Keep in mind that the in – game benchmark feature of these games will in no way be similar to the actual gameplay performance that you will receive. The benchmarks have been presented to the gamer as a worst case scenario. We have also chosen to max out every single graphical settings in the benchmarks because we don’t want to make sure that the system is being utilized at it full capabilities.

Tomb Raider

With the resurrection of the franchise, a beautiful yet nascent explorer stumbles upon a journey that is both exhilarating and life threatening. Crystal Dynamics have done a wonderful job in bringing the visual experience to gamers worldwide. Crank up the anti-aliasing level to the maximum value as well as the realistic Tressfx setting and watch your system be brought to its knees.

Visual settings

  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • DX 11
  • Ultra Quality
  • 4x SMAA anti-aliasing level
  • 16x AF (Anisotropic Filtering)
  • Tessellation enabled
  • SSAO Ultra mode
  • All other settings (if some have not been listed here) at their maximum values

The results have been given below

Tomb Raider Should you spend a ton of money on gaming RAM

Not much difference in raising the FPS. May be the other titles will help us make a better judgment on whether or not you should purchase expensive RAMs.


Another gaming title that has been a product of resurrected titles, and proudly brought to you by Eidos Montreal and Square Enix, Thief presents gamers with a whole new environment of visuals, gameplay and of course stealth.

Visual settings

  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Very High Graphics quality
  • High DOF
  • SSAA level: High
  • Tessellation enabled
  • Contact hardening shadows
  • Parallax Occlusion mapping
  • Screenspace reflection
  • 16X Anisotropic filtering
  • All other settings (if some have not been listed here) at their maximum values

The results have been given below

Thief Should you spend a ton of money on gaming RAM

The interesting thing to notice in this benchmark is that even though there is a modicum amount of difference coming from the average and maximum FPS count, the minimum FPS improves substantially, if you raise the RAM’s frequency. Even though there is a performance gain coming from this title, it will be of little benefit, unless of course you are the sort of person who desires to gain the minimum FPS count by all means necessary.

Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution happens to be the 5th entry in Hitman game series, and also happens to be the most taxing title ever. Thanks to IO Interactive’s Glacier 2 game engine, you will be presented with attractive visuals as well as gameplay elements that will give you complete autonomy on what exactly does it feel like being a hired killer

Visual settings

  • Quality level: Ultra
  • SSAO: Ultra
  • 16X Anisotropic filtering
  • 8X MSAA
  • Global Illumination: ON
  • Tessellation: ON
  • Depth of Field: Max settings
  • All other settings (if some have not been listed here) at their maximum values

The results have been given below

Hitman Absolution Should you spend a ton of money on gaming RAM

Not much of a difference on either side of the benchmark that will be deemed to comment. Perhaps another title will help shed some light on whether or not purchasing expensive RAM will be an expedient move for your gaming purpose.

Batman: Arkham Origins

The third installment of the Batman Arkham series and the very first one developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal, you will play as a newly formed Batman, far less experienced than he was in the previous two installments and meeting his foes for the very first time in combat. Although the level of visuals can be praised extensively, the lack of concrete story prevents the game from building up the level of notoriety that the previous titles had held. Though we have to give Warner Bros. credit for developing an immersive Batman gaming title while making their debut attempt at such a game, we as gamers will obviously clamor for more once we clamp our gaming gears on.

  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 8X MSAA anti-aliasing
  • Geometry detail: DX11 enhanced
  • Dynamic Shadows: DX11 enhanced
  • Motion Blur: ON
  • Depth of field: DX11 enhanced
  • Ambient occlusion: DX11 enhanced
  • Hardware accelerated PHYSX: OFF (switching it on caused serious performing issues, and would result in the GPU not being utilized in some areas of the benchmark, making the results inconclusive)
  • All other settings (if some have not been listed here) at their maximum values

The results have been given below

Batman Arkham Origins Should you spend a ton of money on gaming RAM

There was a small performance gain, but not enough to actually entice the gamer to throw away exorbitant amounts of money away on gaming RAM.

Metro Last Light

Set in a post-apocalyptic time with the destination being Moscow, Metro Last Light was inspired by the novel Metro 2033, which was written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. The game was previously announced to come with the title name as Metro 2034 and although the game is a direct sequel to Metro 2033, Metro Last Light has no relationship to the book Metro 2034. In short, Metro Last Light happens to be one of the most taxing applications on the PC, and raises the bar after its predecessor, Metro 2033 especially when visuals are concerned.

Visual settings

  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • In game quality: VERY HIGH
  • SSAA: 4X
  • Texture filtering: AF 16X
  • Motion Blur: Normal
  • Tessellation: VERY HIGH
  • In game physics: ON
  • Depth of field: ON
  • All other settings (if some have not been listed here) at their maximum values

The results have been given below

Metro Last Light Should you spend a ton of money on gaming RAM

There, you go. The results were pretty much the same in this benchmark as well. We have to say that even though purchasing the gaming RAM might not have been worth the money, conducting the benchmarks was definitely a treat.

Before we moved on to test our gaming titles, we had to perform a series of stress tests in order to make sure the tweaked settings applied to our RAM modules would be stable throughout the entire benchmarking sessions. As for the benchmarks, all titles but one (Thief) produced results that would spark even the smallest amount of interest of investing substantial amount of money on gaming RAM. Since one gaming title will not do our bidding, even by a long shot, we have to trot out the following statement. Purchasing expensive RAM will not help your games increase their performance for the amount of money that you have paid for them.

Instead of purchasing faster frequencies of gaming RAM, we would advise you to spend that money either on extra RAM modules to increase the overall capacity in your system, or invest in another component; one that will actually give you benefits while gaming. If you are into some serious video editing features, then having that extra frequency (and extra capacity) will be worthwhile. For gaming, not so much.

Ali Moin

"There's always a website. There's always a writer. There's always a story"

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