How much RAM do I need to Run a 20GB Game?


If a PC has 8GB RAM, and say a game has a size of 20GB, then will the game run? My professor said the application first needs to load in the RAM. How much RAM do I need?

This is quite a common misconception to people who doesn’t understand how computers work.

Assuming I have a game, with a size of about 20 GB. that size accounts for mostly assets, — i.e. graphics, audio, configuration files, etc. When you install this game to your computer all these files are stored into the the hard drive.

Now I want to run the game, this game is an application or a piece of software in your computer. Every software in your computer has an executable file which is the actual instruction set that tells the computer how to behave as you play the game. And when a software runs, you are actually running this executable file.

So how does this executable file works?

The executable file will be loaded into your RAM, 8 GB of RAM means that your RAM can store 8 GB worth of instructions which the processor can access very quickly. Although executable files in your computer may be just about a few megabytes in size. These files have dependencies, libraries such as DirectX, OpenGL, etc.

These libraries are also loaded into your RAM. Additionally, some of the assets will be loaded to your RAM as well as the game needs it at a certain point.

So there you go, the Game size is not equal to the required RAM.

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