16GB vs 32GB RAM For Gaming Performance

I am hoping to get a Librem Mini some time soon but also would love to get a Librem 14 at some point. One thing I heard around some forums was that having 32GB of RAM can make a difference when using Intel iGPUs. Now my gut is telling me that this would be false as having more video memory wouldn’t make the GPU have more raw horsepower and it would still get bottlenecked on that front but I figured I would ask those who actually own and use these devices. I have 16GB RAM on all my systems and have never came close to maxing it out but would be willing to spend more for 32GB if it were worth it.

That is true but maybe what they mean is: With Intel integrated graphics, the graphics component uses a portion of the available system memory i.e. system memory is shared between CPU and iGPU. So insufficient memory can cause performance problems both for your CPU and for your iGPU. (System memory is also shared with file caching. So insufficient memory can reduce effective disk performance.)

I don’t think anyone can generalise about how much memory is enough for anyone.

I personally consider 16 GB to be entry level for regular desktop / laptop use, if only because I would prefer to have too much than too little. Other people may have vastly different requirements, including budgetary requirements (but really memory is pretty cheap these days). 1 x 16 GB is probably the sweet spot right now if you are uncertain about future memory upgrades.

I would say both devices are just using standard memory. So, at some cost, you can always upgrade later i.e. if both SO-DIMM slots are occupied, you have to throw away (erm, redeploy) both existing memory modules and replace them both with modules with twice the capacity / if only one SO-DIMM slot is occupied, you can simply add a module for the other slot later on. Looking at the Librem Mini ordering page, you can choose e.g. whether to use 2 x 8 GB or 1 x 16 GB, based on your expected future needs but noting that having 2 modules may give better memory performance now.

1 Like

I haven’t heard about 32GiB in particular, but having multiple memory sticks installed lets the controller use multiple channels to access memory. Having more channels opens more bandwidth, and therefore speeds up iGPUs. I’ve heard this is especially important on AMD platforms.


Yeah i’ll be using dual channel regardless so no worries there.

I think the system will limit how much RAM the iGPU is allowed to have, but I’m not positive on that.

I think you are right on that but there is no magic wand. You are just robbing Peter to pay Paul. At the end of the day, you need enough system memory to support the sum total of the CPU and the iGPU, taking into account the individual customer’s activities.

1 Like

Indeed. So speaking to that, there will likely be no graphical benefit to upgrading the RAM in this case.

I think what I will do is get 16GB of dual channel as a minimum and if by some chance I can afford to get 32GB at the time of purchase then I will but I won’t let it hold me back from getting a Mini if I can only afford 16GB.