Is a 12 GB RAM Laptop Good for Gaming?

Depending on the model of laptop, 12 GB can be plenty for gaming, although you may still get better performance from 8 GB.

I’m Anthony, and I have been working with computers for 8+ years. I have experience upgrading laptop RAM, and using it for gaming for both myself and others. Today I will share some of my expertise to try and help you get RAM for your laptop.

We will be discussing the benefits and downsides of using 12 GB of RAM in a laptop for gaming, and deciding whether it is a good idea to use this much RAM or not.

Key Takeaways

  • 12 GB should be more than enough for most games.
  • Dual Channel is a factor.
  • RAM Speed is also a factor.

Do Laptops Support 12 GB of RAM?

The biggest issue when thinking about using 12 GB of RAM within a laptop, is whether the laptop will support only 12 GB. Some laptops will, while others won’t. It’s important to check the manual for your laptop model to determine its support for 12 GB.

This is because many RAM slots use what’s called channeling. This allows RAM to work faster, by combining two slots and acting as if it was one slot. In desktops, this is known as dual channel, since most desktops have 4 slots, and 2 channels.

In a laptop, however, there are typically only 2 slots for RAM. One of the requirements for channeling is that both sticks have to be the same size and speed to work. This can be a problem when trying to add 12 GB, as you would need to use an 8 GB and 4 GB stick.

So whether your laptop can support it, is the first question. If so, you may be able to play games on a 12 GB RAM laptop.

RAM Speed Factor

RAM speed is a factor as well. Due to not working in a channel, the speed of the RAM will play an important part. You will want to get faster RAM, to make up for the lack of channeling support. This will allow you to bypass any slowing down from using 2 different-sized sticks of RAM.

If it is not possible to use a faster speed of RAM inside your laptop then you may be better off using 8 GB of RAM for gaming. This is because you can do two 4 GB sticks in a channel with each other, which usually gives better performance. 

How Much RAM Do Most Games Need

Once you have determined that your computer can in fact support a working 12 GB RAM configuration, you will need to see what games you want to play.

Many games only require 8 GB, although the higher end games still require 16 GB.

This means you will be slightly limited in what you can play. For example, the latest Call of Duty would be supported with 12 GB of RAM, while a game like ARK: Survival would not run on 12 GB of RAM due to the way the game loads.

However, for the majority of games 21 GB should be high enough that you can run on at least low end settings, given your processor and graphics card are also up to par.

Other Factors to Consider

You will need to consider other things, such as whether or not you will be streaming, or if you plan to play on the highest settings and how long you plan to play. 

For streaming purposes, 12 GB will likely not be enough. You will want 16 GB or more for streaming, as adding streaming services along with the game will use more RAM. This is important to consider if you plan on using your setup for streaming.

Also, if you plan to run intensive games on higher settings then you may want to consider upgrading to 16 GB. This will allow you to run all games, assuming your processor and graphics card can handle it as well.


Here are some other questions you might be curious about, I’ll briefly answer them below.

Will GTA 5 Run on 12 GB of RAM?

GTA 5 specifications recommend 8 GB of RAM. That means that 12 GB should be more than enough to run GTA 5 on medium to high settings, assuming your graphics card and processor are capable of handling it.

Should I Go with 8 GB Instead?

As mentioned above, it depends on whether your laptop uses channeling with RAM. If so, then you will be better off going with 8 GB due to the way channeling works. If not, then you will get better performance using 12 GB than 8 GB.

Is 12 GB Good for a Desktop?

12 GB of RAM would work the same way on a desktop as it would on a laptop. The only difference is that you would want to consider going higher, since desktops typically come with more RAM card slots than a laptop does, allowing for higher amounts.

Wrapping Up

Overall, 12 GB of RAM should be good enough for gaming. Although you may want to check the specifics of your laptop and compatibility with 12 GB, it will be more than enough for most games’ recommended specifications.

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