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Does RAM Affect Streaming?

Does RAM affect streaming?

If you are eager to know does RAM affects streaming and what is the link between the two, this article has everything you need to know. 

Just like you are confused right now, many other users are too with the same concern i.e., does RAM affect streaming or not. If yes, how much RAM is required for streaming?

In order to find the answers to your questions, it is crucial to understand the specifics first i.e., RAM and streaming. 

RAM is basically a temporary memory in your laptop, computer, or smartphone. On the other hand, live streaming is the gameplay recorded and broadcasted in real-time simultaneously on streaming websites.

We see numerous people streaming different things; some stream their gameplay whereas some stream casual interesting videos. 

These streaming sites have some requirements for an enhanced streaming experience such as you must have more than one process running at one time. Additionally, your system must take up a massive portion of the RAM storage your device has. 

If you don’t have enough amount of DDR4 RAM to fulfill the requirements to run those processes, the stream quality would be below par. Whether you have a single or a dedicated streaming computer, these RAM requirements are for both. 

Now, what is the connection between the two, and does RAM affect streaming performance or not?

We have answered all of these questions one by one in the article below. 

Let’s discuss the impact of RAM on streaming.

Does RAM affect streaming?

Since it sends the streaming content over the internet and helps to stream comfortably, it does affect streaming. If you are streaming big title games such as GTA 5, Pubg, and Tomb Raider at least 16GB DDR4 RAM is required. However, 32GB DDR4 is good enough that offers better Frames Per Seconds (FPS) and ultimately, better streaming performance.

In short, RAM does affect streaming if you are building a custom PC for Twitch Streaming, YouTube, and others or playing big title video games.

How do RAM size and speed affect the streaming?

Up next, let’s answer the question; does RAM speed affect streaming? 

Yes, both factors significantly impact streaming. Let’s discuss both one by one. 

The RAM for a PC or a laptop speed reveals how fast it will be processing the files and here speed refers to the frequency of RAM. It can be determined in the following format:

  • DDR4 memory operating at about 2,400MHz or 2400MT/s 
  • DDR3 RAM operating at 1,866MHz to 2,000MHz at least
  • 16GB RAM 3200mhz DDR4
  • 32GB RAM 3600mhz DDR4

1. Streaming with 4GB

Is 4GB RAM good enough for streaming?

A simple answer is, to handle your operating system, 4GB is barely enough. This RAM size is unable to handle the video playback of YouTube or Netflix streams. 4Gb can play just casual games.

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2. Streaming with 8GB

Since it is the minimum required for streaming videos, the answer to, “Is 8Gb is enough for streaming?” will always be Yes! 

Pro Tip: Using OBS software will provide you with more than good performance even with demanding games.

A lot of streamers opt for this software for multitasking, playing games, and live streaming. 

3. Streaming with 16GB

Lastly, is 16GB RAM good for streaming? Currently, this one is highly recommended for most demanding games. The number of applications you can run simultaneously depends upon the multi-tasking work you have to deal with. 

All in all, the 16GB RAM offers an excellent experience on streaming, even if your PC has a very mediocre CPU and SSD. Isn’t it great?

Different streaming and their RAM requirements 

While streaming, a number of factors must be considered. For example, do you have enough RAM storage? Does extra/add RAM affects streaming? and a lot more. 

Since RAM affects the storage, measuring RAM or memory usage is an important thing to do before you start streaming. The most important factor however is the streaming application you choose and the most widely used for this purpose is the OBS or Open Broadcast Software. 

1. Streaming different software

When you first open the Open Broadcast Software, it will consume around 150-300MB of RAM. Now, this memory usage will be counted for the total memory consumed and it will take a lot more for the upcoming tasks so, make sure you don’t lose track. 

2. Web browsing

While closing down extra tabs free up some space and restore the speed of your PC, you might need to open them again while streaming. When you stream the source and want to show photos, videos, clips, another RAM consumption would be up to 50-300MB depending on streaming types.

3. Live broadcast window

Like all the other streamers, you will open your live streaming broadcast to see how you are doing. Since you will have to keep checking your own broadcast, the window needs to stay open and hence eats up the RAM storage. 

4. Discord or Chat Server

Discord – the most widely used communication platform by the streams takes up an additional 200MB. Depending on the usage, it can consume around 300-600MB.

5. Running dual monitors

Using a multi-monitor setup is not very uncommon for streamers. Only because you are running a dual monitor setup, it doesn’t mean that the streaming video may be choppy. When you are using an opened application on both monitors, it will consume the same RAM storage. 

E.g: streaming on Twitch using the Open Broadcast Software and working on the other monitor.

6. Streaming your game

It is one of the toughest parts because your Ram requirement is highly dependent on the type of game you like to play. It is always better to go for higher-than-recommended requirements for streaming so that it accounts for each and every component of a computer.  

E.g. Streaming Resident Evil Village consumes at least 2600MB to 6000MB of RAM however, 16GB RAM is the sweet spot. Whereas, Google Chrome consumes around 500-600MB of RAM.

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7. Optimizing your games

Generally, anything graphics-related consumes VRAM or the GPU therefore, it is suggested to close the assets that load as it will reduce RAM usage.

Tip: Use a third-party software such as FPS Monitor for an overlay show up displaying CPU, RAM, and SSD usage.

First Thing First – What is RAM?

RAM – Random Access Memory or the computer’s temporary memory. It is one of the two memory types in a computing device i.e., ROM (Read-Only Memory) and RAM (Random Access Memory). Here, ROM is a secondary memory whereas, RAM is primary.

This means RAM can only store a short-term memory that includes the important information your system requires for a program. For example, if you have installed a new game on your PC, all the necessary information required to run the program safely and smoothly will be stored in the RAM. However, RAM is not capable of storing any multimedia file. It holds the responsibility to provide you with a smooth experience.

Now, what is streaming, and how it works?

Over the previous decade, live streaming has gained immense popularity in terms of live streamers and audience, both. Having a multitude of use-case, live streaming is of high value among broadcasters all around the globe.

Live streaming is listening to music or watching videos in ‘real-time. Creators broadcast their games or different kinds of videos on the internet that their followers love to watch.

There is no need to download the video since it is a continuous stream of data through which you can enjoy watching internet videos and live webcasts. These live streams are carried to their target audience using different streaming devices. Even a simple smartphone can also be used for live streaming but it greatly impacts the overall quality.

Live streaming is a relatively recent development; a broadband connection should run fast to show real-time data.

The current streaming examples include internet radio stations, audio and video-on-demand services like Spotify, YouTube, Last.fm, and the BBC’s iPlayer.

While it may seem that live streaming is just the real-time broadcast of the streamer’s display screen, there is a series of steps that are involved in the working of live streaming. These include:

  • First of all, the camera captures the visual information and represents it as the visual data within the device. In technical terms, it is known as the deepest level 1s and 0s.
  • Now, this data is encoded and compressed. The files encoded for streaming are done when the video data is converted into a whole new format. On the other side, all the redundant information of the video is removed, converting it into a compressed file. These highly compressed files use little bandwidth.
  • Later, the process is followed by Segmentation, CDN distribution and CDN caching, decoding, and finally the video playback.
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Some broadcasters prefer streaming on PCs whereas some do it with other devices. But, the common problem all of the streaming devices confront is the congestion on the internet cause the audio to drop out and due to this, the screen might go blank.

The playback devices buffer content which occurs as a result of irregularities in network bandwidth. It pre-loads content into the memory’s reserved space known as a buffer. This issue is known as PC buffering and it can be resolved by simple steps.

When the internet bandwidth connection is temporarily interrupted, buffering occurs. However, the improved streaming video playback will continue uninterrupted as the connection is restored. Some other reasons that can cause PC buffering include outdated browser or graphics card, unstable internet connection, and poor internet bandwidth.

Does RAM affect streaming – Our takeaway

The live streaming of games fluctuates depending on the RAM storage available. For a great streaming performance, you must invest in good RAM since these are quite affordable to add to any PC build. 

For games such as Fortnite, CSGO, Warzone, and others a system with a minimum of 16GB of RAM is safe for streaming. Whereas, or streaming multiple games like RPGs, opt for at least 32GB of RAM.

Speaking of the streaming platforms and internet connections, YouTube recommends at least 500Kbps of connection speed. Twitch requires higher internet speed i.e., 3 to 6 Mbps for a smooth broadcast. 

About the author

Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a technology lover and loves to write about laptops, monitors, printers, tablets, and anything that's related to computers and games. He is passionate enough that he maintains this blog regarding tech updates on a daily basis.