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You can now put a ridiculous amount of RAM in your PC, thanks to MSI

MSI announces that 12 of its LGA1700 Intel motherboards, and all its Socket AM5 AMD motherboards, can now support 256GB of memory.

There's a ridiculous amount of Corsair RAM in this mockup, but MSI's system only needs four slots

Motherboard maker MSI has just announced full support for you to put a colossal amount of RAM in either your Intel or AMD motherboard. Thanks to a round of BIOS updates, MSI’s boards can now support up to 256GB of RAM spread out over four 64GB modules (thankfully not like our comic mockup above!), although you’ll need to be doing some serious multi-tasking with massive files to make that worth your while.

Most of the best gaming RAM kits these days contain 16GB or 32GB of memory, with the latter quickly becoming the new standard, but for some people you can never have enough RAM. If you’re the sort of power user who likes to run loads of virtual machines, while also editing video, simultaneously working on loads of uncompressed, high-resolution TIF files in Photoshop, and having a game running in the background, then having more memory is always helpful, though it’s a struggle to imagine any standard desktop user somehow needing 256GB of it.

MSI originally announced its plans to support 256GB of memory on its motherboards at the end of last year, with a round of BIOS updates for AMD boards coming in January 2024, but now you can also install an infeasible-sounding amount of RAM in an Intel motherboard too. MSI has just released BIOS updates for 12 motherboards based on Intel’s B760 and Z790 chipsets, which will enable them to support 256GB of memory, and the company promises that support for the rest of the Intel range will be coming in late February and early March.

Meanwhile, the entirety of MSI’s range of Socket AM5 motherboard for AMD CPUs, such as the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, now also supports up to 256GB of RAM. That is, of course, if you can find a kit of four 64GB standard DDR5 sticks anywhere. MSI says that Kingston will be offering its Fury Renegade DDR5 memory in 64GB modules in the future, using advanced DRAM chips based on Micron’s 1-beta lithography.

Weird as it may seem, there will indeed come a day when 256GB of memory is standard. I remember laughing at the spec sheet for a motherboard in the 1990s that could be upgraded to 128MB of RAM, when my machine had 8MB, but we passed the point where 128MB was acceptable a long time ago now.

If you’re looking to build a gaming PC now, I recommend installing 32GB of memory, as it enables you to have loads of tabs open in Chrome, while also running plenty of other software.