Do you still feel that 8GB (2x4) is still fine for gaming, and DDR4-2666 is optimal for price/performance benefit? (with a i7-6700k and Asus Z170)
This is a very good question, Jury-Pool-Reject. I've found that in several games I've recently benchmarked, including Rise of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield 1, more than 8GB of RAM was used during testing. I can't say for sure that performance would have suffered with less than 8GB, as that wasn't the benchmark I was running (I was testing GPUs), but I'm betting we're getting close to the point where 8GB won't quite be enough. For its part, EA has indicated that 16GB is in fact the recommended spec
on Battlefield 1.
That trend, coupled with the fact that 4GB modules are no longer quite as good a value as 8GB modules in terms of GB/$, and will likely be phased out sooner rather than later (just as 2GB modules were before them), all would suggest that 16GB be the minimum spec for a serious gaming PC.
But, alas, I'm in the business of giving sound buying advice, and there's a stiff headwind facing PC builders right now: a tremendous DDR4 chip shortage is pushing prices on DDR4 modules higher than they've been all year. That means it's a bad time to invest a ton of money in DDR4. For an ultra-high-end builder, the marginal cost just isn't that significant, so yes, 16GB is the minimum I'd recommend, but TBG's most popular build, the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
, remains at 2x4GB. I revisit that guide every few days, giving serious consideration to what I'd change to free up another $40-$45 in the budget for 16GB. I just can't find anything I'm willing to back off on. The consolation prize for any PC gamer who feels that 8GB just isn't enough in the latest games is that adding another 8GB of RAM is always an inexpensive option, at least for an ATX build (not so for ITX!).
As for speed, well, DDR4-2666 used to be the sweet spot, but it's not anymore. Patriot's 2x4GB DDR4-2666 C15 kit
is currently $48. Its 2x4GB DDR4-3000 C15 kit
? $50. The only drawback to DDR4-3000 is that it requires more voltage (1.35v) as compared to DDR4-2666 (1.2v), but in terms of performance per dollar, the DDR4-3000 is the obvious choice.