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Whether you’re building your next PC or your current one is already slowing down, it’s time for you to pay more attention to your RAM – including its size, speed, and capacity. 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.
Having a sufficient amount of gaming RAM is crucial for both hardcore and casual gamers who are concerned about performance. After all, many gamers are master multi-taskers, with dozens of programs running in the background simultaneously while playing a resource-intensive game. The best PC gaming RAM can handle these rough waters without breaking a sweat.
Things You Should Consider Before Buying A Gaming Ram
Step by step instructions to Choose RAMIf you’re hoping to fabricate a gaming PC, your graphics card and processor will assume the greatest part in your framework’s in-game performance. After those two parts, your memory will assume the following greatest function in your framework’s performance.
In this post, we’ll cover how to pick RAM for your PC. We’ve featured four unique factors that you ought to consider when picking memory for your framework.
The Amount RAM Do You Really Need?
The snappy response to this inquiry is: most clients will probably require 8GB-16GB of RAM.
However, the genuine answer is: it relies upon what sort of framework you’re building.
Is it true that you are building a top of the line workstation PC for video altering/graphics plan, and so on? Going with at any rate 16GB (or more, contingent upon your financial plan) would be an astute choice.
Is it true that you are building a financial plan agreeable gaming PC? 8GB is a decent beginning until further notice.
Truly, there are games that are beginning to use more than 8GB of RAM, however generally, 8GB will in any case take care of business. Also, RAM is the most straightforward part in your PC to update. On the off chance that you have void DIMM openings on your motherboard, moving up to more memory is as basic as adding another adhere to your framework.
In this way, on the off chance that you have a bigger financial plan and you’re constructing a very good quality gaming PC or workstation PC, at that point go with 16GB (or more) to begin. In the event that you have a more tight spending plan, start with 8GB of RAM so you don’t need to minimize your CPU and GPU to oblige more memory.
RAM Compatibility Issues to Be Aware Of
Not all RAM is viable with each framework. Here is a rundown of things to search for while considering a memory unit’s similarity with your different segments:
Motherboard DIMM Slots
Central processor Heatsink Clearance
DDR age is significant in light of the fact that more seasoned age DDR memory won’t work with motherboards that are worked to help fresher age DDR memory and the other way around. You can’t place DDR3 memory in a motherboard that has DDR4 DIMM openings and you can’t place DDR4 memory in a motherboard that has DDR3 DIMM spaces.
Talking about motherboard DIMM spaces, it’s additionally significant that you note the number of openings your motherboard has. Some more modest structure factor motherboards (miniature ATX and smaller than usual ITX) just accompany two DIMM openings. Along these lines, clearly, you can’t place a 4x4GB pack of memory in them. You can just have a limit of two sticks of RAM in that occurrence. Thus, ensure you’re not accepting more memory sticks than your motherboard can hold.
Certain memory packs can likewise have similarity issues with certain CPU heatsinks. Enormous massive air CPU coolers can frequently loom over DIMM spaces. Furthermore, in certain occurrences, they can forestall memory packs with tall warmth spreaders from being introduced. Thus, it’s a smart thought to ensure that in the event that you are picking a major massive air cooler and you are choosing RAM that has tall warmth spreaders, that you check and ensure that your air cooler won’t meddle with your RAM.
RAM structure factor is another significant interesting point. There are truly just two primary RAM structure factors:
DIMM: work area structure factor
SO-DIMM: PC structure factor
All you truly require to know here is that on the off chance that you are building another work area PC, or redesigning a current one, you’ll need to ensure you get DIMM structure factor RAM and not really DIMM RAM, as work area motherboards are not viable with SO-DIMM memory.
There’s truly only two parts that decide the performance of a given memory pack: recurrence and idleness.
RAM recurrence is like a CPUs recurrence. The quicker a memory unit’s recurrence is, the quicker the memory can deal with information.
Dormancy, then again, is the time between when a framework order is entered and when it is executed. The lower the inertness, the quicker the memory can move onto the following cycle.
Inertness and recurrence are connected together while deciding the general performance of a given pack of memory, however they are not something very similar.
When all is said in done, RAM with higher frequencies will assume a greater function in boosting framework performance than will a unit with a lower recurrence and a lower dormancy.
Notwithstanding, it’s additionally critical to take note of that basically purchasing the quickest pack of memory available won’t bring about an expansion in-game performance. There is a state of unavoidable losses where the quicker the memory is, the to a lesser degree a performance support it will offer in contrast with a lower recurrence.
This can differ, as well, contingent upon how you are utilizing your framework and additionally what sorts of games you are playing. RAM that works at higher frequencies can give performance increments in specific programs and games while having practically no impact on different programs and games.
Thus, truly, in figuring out what RAM recurrence is appropriate for you, you have to assess the sorts of programs and games you will be running and decide if quicker memory will give you more performance when running them.
Keep in mind, RAM is EASY to Upgrade
Coordinating your RAM to the nature of your construct is additionally significant. You would prefer not to place 16GB of RAM in a $500 gaming PC work, as the additional cost of going from 8GB to 16GB will imply that you need to downsize on the parts that will biggerly affect your in-game performance (like your graphics card and processor).
What’s more, recollect that RAM is by a long shot the most straightforward part in your framework to overhaul. Since RAM is so natural to redesign, in case you’re working with a limited spending plan, it bodes well to not go over the edge on the measure of memory while picking parts for your framework.
Remember, RAM is EASY to Upgrade
To comprehend the thinking behind this, think about this situation…
You’re hoping to assemble a section level gaming PC and you conclude that you need to place 16GB of RAM in it. The distinction between 8GB of RAM and 16GB of RAM is about ~$80. Thus, basically, by picking 8GB of RAM rather than 16GB of RAM, you’re taking $80 from your financial plan.
Since you’re as of now working with a strict spending plan, you likely won’t have space to forfeit on your motherboard, power flexibly, and case. What’s more, that truly just leaves your CPU and GPU to downsize to oblige 16GB of RAM. Thus, you’re giving up in-game performance now, so you can begin with 16GB of RAM.
The issue with this is that, on the off chance that you need to improve your in-game performance, you’ll need to totally supplant your CPU and GPU. That implies the cash spent on your unique CPU and GPU is lost (except if you recover a portion of the misfortunes by selling them utilized.)
Notwithstanding, by beginning with 8GB of RAM and a superior CPU and GPU combo, your first overhaul can be to 16GB of RAM, which will just cost you an extra $80. Also, instead of supplanting your old memory, you should simply add another stick. Along these lines, you don’t lose the cash you previously put into the framework as though you would if you somehow managed to redesign your CPU and GPU.
In this way, in spite of many individuals saying “you need 16GB of RAM for gaming now,” in the event that you don’t have an enormous financial plan to spend on your assemble, beginning with 16GB of RAM is really going to hurt your performance now, and make your update cycle later on more troublesome.
What is RAM?
RAM Random Access Memory is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs, and data in current use are kept so they can be quickly reached by the device’s processor. It allows you to multitask on your computer. It is the capacity of the RAM that lets you run multiple programs at the same time. The RAM acts as a middle ground between the ultra-fast CPU cache and the large, slow-moving storage that is your hard drive (or a bit faster if you’ve got one of the best SSDs).
What is DDR4?
DDR is shorthand for a Double Data Rate (two data transfers per clock cycle). DDR4 is the latest and greatest type of RAM, and it provides the lowest operating voltage and highest transfer rate on the market right now. It is not compatible with a motherboard that only supports DDR3. DDR5 is not expected in consumer applications in near future.
One of the incredible things about DDR4 is that it generally operates at 1.2V, and even the least voltage increases can give you quite a bit more clock speed while still remaining cool. We hit 2800MHz and 3000MHz speeds with ease, and 3200MHz is possible.
Most of the RAMs which are discussed in this article are DDR4.
How much RAM do for Gaming?
As we mentioned before, the amount of RAM that your computer has is directly related to what you can run at the same time. Your internet browsers, videos, and the game of your choice running at the same time might cause you some problems without sufficient RAM available.
4GB is just too low, and you barely see machines built-in with that — 8GB of RAM is pretty much the minimum and it should let you play many games without the problems — however, with games demanding a level of graphics, and helped by RAM being at least somewhat affordable, 16GB should be the target now. Those intending to use their PCs for video editing or 3D rendering alongside their gaming should consider 32GB.
Consider Memory speed — RAM has a clock speed much like a CPU. Beyond the capacity, you’ll have to consider the memory speed you want to run at. In terms of memory speed, you should look for DDR4 memory that operates close to or above 2,400MHz. Users purchasing DDR3 RAM should look for memory operating at 1,866MHz at least, and the closer to 2,000MHz the better.
Before going into the details, see some RAM terminologies that may be used in this article:
RGB RAM— Red Green Blue RAM, memory modules for a desktop PC that light up strictly for a visual effect. The LED lights may continuously rotate through many colors or be programmed for specific colors.
DIMMs — Stands for Dual In-Line Memory Module. A DIMM is a small circuit board that holds memory chips. It uses a 64-bit bus to the memory, whereas a single in-line memory module (SIMM) only has a 32-bit path. This allows DIMMs to transfer more data at once.
Frequency — The effective speed at which the memory operates, measured in MHz.
Latency CL/CAS — Column Access Strobe Latency, the delay between the memory controller requesting data from the RAM and the data being available.
SO-DIMM — Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module, more compact DIMM slots typically deployed in laptops and notebook computers.
Timings — The measure in the number of memory clock cycles that an operation requested by the memory controller will take for the RAM to complete. Lower is generally better.
XMP — Extreme Memory Profiles, is an Intel technology that allows you to change multiple memory settings by simply selecting a different profile, taking advantage of higher than standard memory speeds.
Whatever your specific needs may be, we’ve chosen some of our favorite options for PC gaming below.
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB DDR4-3200MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 32GB (2 x 16GB) | Speed: 3200MHz
Best high-end RAM
Corsair’s Dominator Platinum memory has always been leading the products of its own style. Its lustrous facade, latest cooling technology, and unmatched performance have made it remarkable and put on the top of the list. Now, the Dominator Platinum is on hand with an exciting design and its new Capellix LED technology. This recent technology adds higher clocked SKUs and 12 individually addressable RGB LEDs.
If you want the best of the best, and your budget allows, Corsair’s Dominator Platinum RGB with itsiCUE software and best-in-class performance will give you bang for your buck.
G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB DDR4-3200MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 3200MHz
The best RAM for gaming if you also want a light show.
Illuminate RAM units have been around for a time, and LED empowered selections are now very usual. G.Skill’s Trident Z RGB is one of the stylish applications of LED illumination that we encounter these days. The beautiful RGB pattern lightens itself with five LEDs which are also addressable and its frosty diffuser creates fancy appearance through the soft blush. A lot of fun can be had with this but, of course, it depends if you have the right case to look at the components.
Not only the looks but the memory performance is also very good with speeds ranging from 2400MHz all the way up to 4600Mhz. As with other Trident RAM kits, its overclocking performance is also in line. The Trident Z RGB line is well worth consideration for any build.
Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 32GB DDR4-3200MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (4 x 8GB) | Speed: 3200MHz
The best RAM for gaming with fully customizable RGB
Are you ticking out and personalizing your PC? Then Crucial’sBallistix Tactical Tracer RGB series is one of the earnest choices. The distinguishing point here is its 16 addressable RGB LEDs with eight manageable zones and an easily detachable light bar that diffuses and enriches the RGB effects.
An awesome feature that Crucial runs in its Ballistix Tactical Tracer is its free 3D files. Now you are able to print different light bars that result in wide-ranging aesthetics for any build. Or you can alter existing files to print your own tags and designs. This is how it is a top choice for PC modders.
Note: This kits’ RGB software doesn’t work on X99 motherboards
HyperX Predator RGB 32GB DDR4-2933MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 32GB (4 x 8GB) | Speed: 2933MHz
Best Overclocker Value 32GB Kit
The best-overclocking 32GB kit for those who don’t overclock manually. HyperX Predator RGB has Incredible overclocking capability and supports XMP profiles to easily overclock with compatible systems, therefore, no need for any kind of tweaking tuning to get the speeds. So those who are looking for guaranteed speeds this kit’s specifications should pay bang for their bucks.
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB DDR4-3200MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 32GB (2 x 16GB) | Speed: 3200MHz
Dynamic multi-zone lighting. Formidable software is compatible with Intel’s 100-300 series. Far-fetched memory speeds and low latency, all at an affordable price.
The Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO is LED-powered RAM that looks as good as it performs. Load up the two 16GB sticks to unleash a superb light show as you take down your opponents with ease.
G.SkillRipjaws V 16GB DDR4-2400MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 2400MHz
The best gaming RAM for mid-tier machines
The new series of G.SkillRipjaws V is economical, swift, and has a decent heatsink. It can be found to be the top option for a reasonable capacity unit that marks cool performance right out of the box.
The Ripjaws V beats several kits in the 2400MHz range if applied without any overclocking and stands out superbly well in the standards. In spite of this, an overclock to 2800MHz to 3000MHz can be achieved with a simple dump-in voltage. G.SkillRipjaws V is very hard to compete with its affordable price.
G.Skill Trident Z Royal RGB 16GB DDR4-3000MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 3000MHz
Best RGB RAM
If you want a RAM that absolutely suits you illumine gaming gear, then G.Skill is easy to go with. If truth be told, TridentZ Royal memory, right now, is probably the best RGB RAM in the market, credit to its exclusive crown ornament design. The RAM itself is polished with aluminum heat spreaders of gold or silver colors to keep the whole thing cool. Its elegant glassy light bar throws eight LED colors for illumination that blazes and flashes.
Obviously, it’s not just appearance — the G.SkillTridentZ Royal also carries great consistency and excellent performance. A bit expensive but compatible with most boards.
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR4-2400MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 8GB (2 x 4GB) | Speed: 2400MHz
The best budget DDR RAM
If you are building up your PC for the first time and want to start on a budget, then this RAM is probably the best option. As many of today’s games are passable with 8GB of RAM, you’re probably well off starting out with Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB.
You can try overclocking the memory speed but at the same time keep in mind that it is known for PCs to fail even at the boot-up process when the incorrect overclock figure is attempted. So only do this if you’ve experienced it.
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB DDR4-3200MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 3000MHz
Vengeance RGB Pro is a testimony of Corsair’s reliable and high-performance RAM products. Due to effective heat spreaders, this couple of memory units can easily clock up to 4,600MHz.
Edge-to-edge RGB lighting is the customizable feature of Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro. You can tailor down each LED for fascinating and dynamic effects. For RAM that offers both a fine art show and incredible performance, it’s a fairly reasonable price.
Teamgroup T-Force Xtreem 16GB DDR4-2400MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 4000MHz
Best Overclocking RAM
You’ll be definitely looking for a stick that can take the heat if you are not likely to overclock the bandwidth speed of your RAM. This deal from Team group offers an overclock up to dazzling 4000MHz. Team group T-Force Xtreem supports XMP profiles to easily overclock with compatible systems, therefore, no need for any kind of fine-tuning to get these speeds. If you like some LED flavor, these kits are also available in the RGB model.
Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3-1866MHz
Type: DDR3 | Capacity: 8GB (2 x 4GB) | Speed: 1866MHz
Although the latency runs relatively high for DDR3 RAM, this 2×4GB kit by Kingston offers enough amount of memory for an economical price. In addition to its good speeds, the Kingston HyperX FURY offers a number of incentives that make this kit an ideal deal.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-3200MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 3200MHz
Corsair’s Vengeance LPX RAM is made for users who want the maximum performance with minimum footprint. It’s short enough to work with any setup, but hardly sacrifices any performance to do so. This low-profile RAM is essential for PC builds with massive CPU coolers. Despite the Corsair Vengeance LPX’s lower height, it still offers an integrated heatsink to help it achieve great performance. While its thin design doesn’t allow for LEDs, but you can get it in three colors: black, red, or blue.
Patriot Viper 4 16GB DDR4-3200MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 3200MHz
Top overclocking from a mid-priced 16GB two-DIMM kit
For those who don’t need their RAM to blush like a multi-colored rainbow and want the best value for their dosh, Patriot’s Viper 4 best sits in a sweet spot between price and performance. There are no software-controlled LED lights but this stick offers faster speeds at lower prices.
This dual-DIMM supports XMP profiles and has excellent overclocking value.
Mushkin Redline 16GB DDR4-2666MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 2666MHz
Though it’s from a band which is not very famous, it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be considered. This Mushkin Redline stick deals decent speeds and competitive latency at an economical price. These specs with 2x8GB of RAM can make it worthy in the eyes of gamers.
XPG Spectrix D8016GB DDR4-3600MHz
Type: DDR4 | Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) | Speed: 3600MHz
This kit features two 8GB sticks, offering tons of power to meet the needs of all modern games. XPG Spectrix D80 has a unique Liquid-Cooled RGB Module and Aluminum heatsink for Additional Heat Dissipation. This results in remarkable performance and unbelievable overclocking potential, with speeds exceeding 3600MHz.
Important points to keep in mind:
Quality of RAM is just as important as the quantity of RAM — The only time you need to go all out and get something like 32GB of RAM is if you’re a power user who likes to play games while using dozens of browser sessions and tons of applications all at the same time. Spending more on RAM doesn’t necessarily mean you will have always better results. That’s because once you have RAM more than enough for your purposes, diminishing returns comes into play.
Matching RAM sticks is important — All motherboards have at least two built-in memory slots, and some have four such channels. Whether you are building or upgrading your gaming PC, try to match the brand, speed, and timing of all the RAM sticks, while installing them. If there is a mismatch, you’ll be always forced to run at the slowest sticks’ speed, so mixing up speeds have no advantage. Moreover, installing RAM sticks in the right slot will perk up the performance, so check your motherboard manual for which slot to use.
Think twice before going to 32GB per slot — Before going for 32GB per slot, it is very important to check your motherboard model’s compatibility. The reason is, though the 32DIMMs are there for years, insufficient availability has given manufacturers an excuse to deprioritize its support.
AMD motherboards might not support the announced RAM speed as part of an XMP profile — XMP is a kind of automatic memory overclocking feature that was fabricated for Intel motherboards. Some manufacturers offer BIOS settings to help you achieve these faster speeds on AMD motherboards. But these settings aren’t present on all boards, and they don’t always work even when they are present.
The availability, prices and other details of these products which are described in this article might be subject to change any time, so prior to make a purchase, please be sure these are still in effect.