There are such a lot of PC elements to consider if you’re constructing or upgrading your gaming PC, and amid that mountain of specs, few elements are extra puzzling than reminiscence (or RAM). On the baseline, it could appear easy, as there’s the RAM’s capability to consider, with 8GB to 16GB usually being acceptable for mid- to high-end methods. However, when you begin digging deeper, RAM will get astoundingly complicated.
Past the capability, you will have to think about issues like whether or not you need to make the most of dual- or quad-channel reminiscence, the reminiscence velocity you need to run at (sure, RAM has a clock velocity very similar to a CPU), and maybe the much more sophisticated CAS latency and reminiscence timings. All of this stuff will differ between totally different reminiscence kits, so you possibly can’t count on one 16GB equipment of DDR4 reminiscence to be the identical as one other.
We’ll assist make selecting RAM straightforward for you, although. We have chosen quite a few wonderful RAM kits, starting from stalwart DDR3 RAM to slot in an older system as much as high-end DDR4 RAM that may overclock to insane speeds, plus a handful of sharp-looking RGB kits that complement their very own speeds with killer appears. In case you’re hoping to be taught extra about RAM, we have additionally received explanations of a few of the most important particulars beneath our product suggestions. In case you’re looking within the UK, click on right here to seek out out the place you’ll find the perfect RAM to hurry up your PC.
TL;DR – These are the Finest RAM Kits:
1. Corsair Vengeance RGB Professional SL
Capability: 32GB (4 x 8GB) ● Reminiscence Sort: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Reminiscence Velocity: 3,600MHz ● CAS Latency: 18 ● Timings: 18-22-22-42 ● Peak: 44mm/1.73″
If it goes in a PC, there is a good guess Corsair has a compelling choice obtainable, and that goes double if RGB lighting is concerned. Corsair’s Vengeance RGB Professional SL delivers on each fronts. This reminiscence equipment provides you nearly all the pieces you would ask for. You may get 4 8GB sticks of DDR4 reminiscence for a complete of 32GB. That must be loads of reminiscence for nearly any gaming, and utilizing 4 DIMMs as a substitute of two will make sure the model of your system is not hampered by barren reminiscence slots.
By way of efficiency, these DIMMs hit a reminiscence velocity of three,600MHz and have a CAS latency of 18, which is pretty run-of-the-mill for efficiency elements that are not going for extra excessive speeds. Then, with regards to model, you are getting some lustrous RGB. There are gentle strips that stretch throughout the highest of the modules, they usually can sync up with different RGB gadgets in your system. Corasir additionally made the Vengeance RGB Professional SL 7mm shorter than the non-SL mannequin, making it simpler to make sure they will slot in your system.
2. OLOy Owl
Best Budget RAM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) ● Memory Type: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Memory Speed: 3,200MHz ● CAS Latency: 16 ● Timings: 16-18-18-36 ● Height: 1.53″
RAM has been pretty affordable in comparison to the steep prices seen during shortages a couple of years ago. And, with the OLOy Owl, you can see some of the lowest prices yet. This set of two sticks offer surprisingly fast, 3,200MHz memory speeds for RAM that costs less than $60. And, they even have fairly low latency for such an affordable option. If you want to make sure you’re taking advantage of the full speeds available on these sticks, you’ll just need to ensure your motherboard supports XMP and DDR4-3200. You should also make sure your CPU cooler provides clearance for the slightly tall heat spreaders on these RAM modules.
3. HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB
Best Gaming RAM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) ● Memory Type: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Memory Speed: 3,200MHz ● CAS Latency: 16 ● Timings: 16-18-18 ● Height: 42.2mm/1.66″
HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB is an amazing kit of RAM engineered for gaming. Unlike other DDR4 memory kits, it doesn’t start at a 2,400MHz or 2,666MHz base, this memory kicks off at 2,933MHz. It can even be found operating at a native 4,000MHz speed, and we haven’t even started talking about overclocking potential yet. Of course, it has addressable lighting as any other good, modern memory kit should, but HyperX has taken RGB a step further by integrating Infrared Sync tech to ensure lighting effects are always synced across all the DIMMs. Overall, this gaming RAM performs just as well as it looks.
4. Teamgroup T-Force Dark Z
Best DDR4 RAM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) ● Memory Type: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Memory Speed: 3,200MHz ● CAS Latency: 16 ● Timings: 16-18-18-38 ● Height: 43.5mm/1.71″
For a DDR4 straight-shooter you’ll get good value out of the Teamgroup T-Force Dark Z. You can get 16GB of memory for under $100, and it comes with a stylish, metal heatsink that’ll shield the memory chips while staying fairly low profile at just 43.5mm. Given the price, this set also makes it fairly affordable to go for an upgrade to 32GB of memory, in case you hate closing Chrome when you’re gaming.
These DIMMs offer a decent overclock to 3,200MHz right off the bat, and that’s paired with a CAS latency of 16 clocks to stay speedy. You can get these memory modules running up to speed on both AMD and Intel motherboards as long as the board and CPU support speeds up to 3,200MHz. And, you might be able to push the speeds even further if you’re comfortable overclocking, as the starting voltage is 1.35V, so there’s a bit of headroom.
5. Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB
Best High-Performance RAM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) ● Memory Type: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Memory Speed: 4,800MHz ● CAS Latency: 18 ● Timings: 18-24-24-46 ● Height: 55mm/2.17″
If you’re looking for the absolute best memory money can buy, it’s the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB. This memory comes at a higher premium than most RAM kits, but they also offer the highest speeds, next-level cooling with those extra-tall heat spreaders, and arguably the best RGB lighting available.
On the performance end, those fancy and tall heat spreaders allow this RAM to run at up to to 4,800MHz out of the box, and that’s without any overclocking. The Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB is the perfect memory kit for going all out on a future-proofed gaming rig and they’ll likely outlast everything else in your gaming PC, so you can use it in your next one!
6. PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB
Best AMD RAM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) ● Memory Type: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Memory Speed: 4,000MHz ● CAS Latency: 18 ● Timings: 18-22-22-42 ● Height: 46.5mm/1.83″
AMD Ryzen processors love fast memory, but unless you’re comfortable tinkering with overclocks in your system BIOS, it may be either difficult or expensive to give those fast memory speeds to your PC. The PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB takes a bunch of the guesswork out of the equation and takes out a surprising amount of the cost, too, at just $120.
This dual-channel kit offers a total of 16GB of DDR4 memory, and it’s ready to blaze a trail with memory speeds of 4,000MHz. You better make sure your motherboard can handle those speeds, as some budget models actually have a limit for how fast memory can run. With the PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB modules running at 4,000MHz, your Ryzen processor is going to be plenty happy. And, if you don’t mind a bit of tinkering, you can still hop into BIOS and see about setting your chip’s Infinity Fabric clock speed to synchronize with the memory’s clock speed to eke out every last bit of performance.
7. Teamgroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB
Best RGB RAM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) ● Memory Type: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Memory Speed: 3,200MHz ● CAS Latency: 14 ● Timings: 14-14-14-34 ● Height: 48.7mm/1.92″
As just about every other piece of your computer can turn on the light show, why not include the RAM? Teamgroup has the dazzle on display with the T-Force Xtreem ARGB DIMMs, and it’s not making you trade off performance for pizzazz. This RAM kit includes two 8GB DIMMs that can run at up to 3,200MHz with a low CAS latency of 14.
The RGB lighting effects are even more extreme than this RAM’s clock speeds, giving you control of the colors across all sides of the DIMM. And you’re not even locked into one color at a time. Just make sure you’ve got room for this RAM next to your CPU cooler, because it’s fairly tall.
8. Corsair Vengeance LPX
Best Low-Profile RAM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) ● Memory Type: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Memory Speed: 3,000MHz ● CAS Latency: 15 ● Timings: 15-17-17-35 ● Height: 31mm/1.22″
In case any of the RAM kits I’ve recommended here are too tall and would interfere with that heatsink tower cooler you’ve been eyeing, you might be better off with some low-profile Corsair Vengeance LPX memory. It’s short enough to work with any setup, but hardly sacrifices any performance to do so. Despite the Corsair Vengeance LPX’s lower height, it still offers an integrated heatsink to help it achieve great performance.
9. Crucial Ballistix MAX
Best Overclocking RAM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) ● Memory Type: 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ● Memory Speed: 5,100MHz ● CAS Latency: 19 ● Timings: 19-26-26-48 ● Voltage: 1.5V ● Height: 39mm/1.54″
There’s fast RAM and then there’s fast RAM.While just about everything over 3,000MHz is going to qualify as speedy, Crucial’s Ballistix MAX takes it to another level. These DIMMs are capable of hitting a zany 5,100MHz. You don’t even need to do any of the overclocking work yourself, as they can be set to 5,100MHz simply by using the XMP profile.
Of course, what’s the fun in settling for stock speeds, even when they’re this high. Overclockers can try to push it even further. It’s worth noting that these DIMMs already start out at 1.5 volts though. But what overclocker doesn’t love a challenge.
Where to Get the Best RAM in the UK
What to Look for in the Best RAM
Below we’ve broken down a few things you should consider in your search for the best RAM kit and how much memory you’ll need for PC gaming.
Before you even begin looking at memory kits you should consider what your hardware limitations will be. Start by checking if your motherboard supports either DDR4 or DDR3 class memory. DDR4 class RAM has been the most prevalent form of memory for more than five years now, however, if you’re running an Intel 5th Generation Broadwell or older system you’ll need to find DDR3 memory.
You’ll also want to look at the specs on your motherboard and figure out the maximum memory speed it can support. Spending some extra money on 3,200MHz RAM is completely pointless if your motherboard can only support 2,400MHz, for example.
As for how much memory you need to game, 8GB of RAM is pretty much the minimum these days and it should let you play most games without any problems. Meanwhile, 16GB of memory will give your system a little bit more room to stretch itself and ‘future-proof’ your rig. Adding any more memory on top of 16GB would honestly be a waste if you’re just gaming. However, if you’re working in a creative field like video editing, 3D model rendering, and creating other types of visual media, then 32GB or more memory would be useful.
In terms of memory speed, you should look for DDR4 memory that operates close to or above 2,400MHz—or 2400MT/s as it’ll appear on the packaging and online. Users purchasing DDR3 RAM should look for memory operating at 1,866MHz at least, and the closer to 2,000MHz the better. You don’t necessarily need to buy the fastest RAM either as it’s easy enough to overclock your memory.
Memory Timings and CAS Latency (CL) is one other figure you should keep in mind about the memory you choose it. Timings essentially denote the total number of cycles it takes for the RAM to send data. You can find the timings listed in the memory specs as four numbers interrupted by dashes such as “16-18-18-36” and the first number usually denotes the CAS Latency—so it would be CAS 16 in this case.
The basic thing you need to know is the lower the numbers are the faster your memory is. However, you should also know that faster memory speed results in higher latency. So you should also be wary of RAM that’s incredibly fast, but throws in a lot of latency that negates it.
With all of that in mind, you should stick to RAM with at most a memory speed of 3,773MHz and CAS 17.
Whether you’re building a new system or upgrading your computer, adding one of these best RAM kits is a sure-fire way to make it operate a bit faster. A bit of extra memory can do wonders for improving your PC’s responsiveness and multi-tasking capabilities. Plus, adding better or more memory is usually the cheapest way to improve the performance of your rig.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is an everyday contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark