Today it is common for our home PCs to have 8GB or 16GB RAM memory kits, but in reality until the introduction of DDR4 RAM in 2014 it was customary to have only half of them. , between 4 and 8 GB of RAM. This means that the reality is very different from what JEDEC says, since 7 years have passed since the introduction of DDR4, that is, when 8 GB was standardized in home PCs, and in fact , mid-2021 is when 16GB is starting to be a standard now, but not before.
What is the pattern of increasing the density of RAM memory?
In fact, the development of chips used in RAM memory has never stopped evolving, and one could say that their density in terms of capacity per square centimeter of surface has followed a linear evolution, without much variation in recent years.
As you can see in the graph above (the one we’re interested in right now is the DRAM line, since MLC Flash is also included for example) the increase in density has been a straight line from around 2000 to 2018, right now in which it apparently stalled at 13 Gb (gigabits, not gigabytes) per square centimeter.
The reality is that the increase in RAM memory density is not affected by any model, but rather by the needs of the market at all times. In other words, in 2013 high-end PCs had 16 GB of DDR3 RAM while the normal thing was to have between 4 and 8 GB, because in 2021 8 GB can be considered the minimum, while they normalize the 16 GB and without a doubt there are a lot of users with quite powerful PCs that have 32 GB.
However, who needs 32 GB of RAM today? Really, very few users will use such a large amount of memory, and only those with very high-end PCs that play to the max or professional or hobbyist users who use design programs, virtual machines, or the like have need that amount of memory.
The answer to all this is therefore that the capacity of the RAM memory increases according to the needs of the market and not according to a marked pattern. Obviously 2GB memory modules are totally obsolete and over the last couple of years 4GB per module memory modules are starting to disappear as well, but that doesn’t mean much higher density modules don’t. have been around for a long time (something if not, its price allows its inclusion in what can be considered “normal” on the consumer market), since in reality it has been steadily increasing.
VRAM density skyrockets
Precisely because of the needs of the market, what is exploding and especially with the latest generations of AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards, is VRAM, dedicated graphics memory. This is because games are more and more complex and support higher resolutions, which implies a greater need to be able to store temporary data in the memory of the graphics card itself for quick access instead of ‘have to recalculate them each time. to grab them.
However, even when it comes to VRAM, we also don’t see any defined models because, like RAM, the evolution of its density depends on the needs of the market. Today, we have low-end graphics cards in the market with only 2 GB of VRAM, but we also have very high-end models with 24 GB, it all depends on the market segment for which they are oriented.
What is evident is that in the gaming segment, which is the one that displaces the greatest volume of graphics cards, we have gone in a short time from graphics of 4 and 8 GB at most to models up to 11 GB. in the last generation. , but now amounts of 10, 20 and even more VRAM is what we see normal in the high end, and that is, as we have said throughout this article, that is what the market is now demanding because of (or thanks to) the increasingly higher resolutions which require textures which occupy more memory space.