July 10


RAM is one of those subjects that comes up a lot among gamers but is also one that is often misunderstood. Quite often, people like to brag about their gaming setups, and quite often the amount of RAM they have is a major part of that. It’s understandable: the amount of RAM you have is a nice easy number to share, boast about, and generally show off with.

But here’s the thing. RAM comes in several different varieties, and the amount of RAM you have is not really a good measure of how good your gaming rig is. Or at least not on its own. You can have the fastest RAM in the world, for instance, but unless you’ve got one of the best GPUs for gaming, it’s not going to do much.

Building a killer gaming rig is all about balance. So whilst it’s important to know what RAM does for gaming, and also what’s the best RAM for gaming, you shouldn’t rely on RAM alone to give you great performance.

Which brings me onto DDR3 RAM. DDR3 is not the newest RAM around (that’s DDR4), but for most people, and most games, most of the time, DDR3 is perfectly fine. It’s also cheaper than DDR4 RAM, so you can get more space for the same price. So today we’re going to look at the best DDR3 RAM for gaming. But let’s get one thing out of the way first …

How Much RAM Do I Need?

Good question. Some people will say 16 GB. Some will even say 32 GB. But most games today are designed to work just fine with 8 GB. That’s why most of the reputable guides on how much RAM you need recommend 8 GB, and not a lot more.

With 8 GB, you’ll be able to play most games at a reasonable level of performance. That said, the games with the highest system requirements in 2020 will require a bit more, and if you want to push the graphics on your favorite games, a little extra RAM will help. So if you haven’t got 8 GB of RAM already, take a look below.

And if you’ve got a little spare cash and are looking to upgrade your system, these RAM chips might also help you out. 🎮 ✨

Best Choice: Corsair CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 Vengeance 16GB

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Pros & Cons

  • Safe overclocking as standard
  • Huge capacity
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Needs a good GPU to get the best performance

Key Features: 

  • Great over clock ability
  • XMP Memory Profile for safe overclocking
  • Lifetime Warranty


  • RAM Size: 16 GB
  • Dimensions: 7.13 x 6.5 x 5 in
  • Memory Capacity: 8 GB
  • Type: DDR3 SDRAM

Corsair CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 Vengeance 16GB Review

Let’s start with the best, and go from there. This Corsair Vengeance chip is, in my opinion, the best DDR3 RAM around at the moment. That’s for a couple of reasons.

First up, it’s huge for this price point. You get a full 16 GB for your money, which will mean you don’t have to buy more RAM for quite a while, and can run your favorite games at the very highest graphical settings. This RAM, in short, will future-proof your system.

It’s also easy to integrate into your existing system, assuming that you have the space for it. Like all the RAM on this list, it plugs straight into your motherboard and requires minimal setup from a software point of view. So far, so meh.

The thing that really makes the Corsair Vengeance stand out, though, is the overclocking facilities it comes with. This RAM has been designed, from the bottom up, to allow you to overclock easily, and (much more importantly) safely.

You might be thinking that you don’t want to start messing around with overclocking. But overclocking is becoming much more common among gamers, and doesn’t carry the risks that it used to. This RAM is a case in point: the XMP Memory Profile that it uses means you can overclock your system without worrying about damaging your RAM.

This gives the Corsair Vengeance a huge advantage when it comes to future-proofing your system because with this RAM you can squeeze the very best performance out of your other components. And that means that you won’t have to upgrade them for a while.

And if you’re still scared of overclocking, fear not. The Corsair Vengeance also comes with a lifetime warranty, so if it gives up you can return it. Overall, the Corsair Vengeance is the best DDR3 RAM around at the moment, giving already powerful systems a huge boost in performance, and future-proofing older systems also.

Premium Pick: Crucial 16GB Kit

Pros & Cons

  • Unbuffered 16 GB for the fastest DDR3 performance around
  • Dual voltage, so it works with laptops also
  • Plenty of support from Crucial
  • Needs a good GPU to get the best performance

Key Features:

  • Easy to install
  • Dual voltage
  • Unbuffered for extra performance


  • RAM Size: 16 GB
  • Dimensions: 1.18 x 0.38 x 2.66 in
  • Memory Capacity: 16 GB
  • Type: DDR3 SDRAM

Crucial 16 GB Kit Review

Next up, the Crucial 16 GB Kit, which is our premium pick. If you’ve got a little extra to spend on RAM, this is the one to go for. The Crucial 16 GB Kit gives you a huge, unbuffered, 16 GB, which is more than enough to run most games at their highest graphics settings.

It also has some other benefits. It can run at two voltages, so it is suitable for both gaming desktops and laptops. If your gaming laptop has the space to take an extra RAM chip, this is the one to go for, because 16 GB in a laptop is going to give you absolutely killer performance.

Another great thing about the  Crucial 16 GB Kit are the supporting materials it comes with. Experienced gamers may not need detailed instructions on how to install RAM, of course, but for a lot of people tinkering around with the innards of their laptop can be quite intimidating.

Installing this RAM kit is super easy, and Crucial provides a guide that walks you through the process.

The real value of the Crucial 16 GB Kit, though, is simply the space it gives you. 16 GB will vastly improve game performance, of course, but will also make multi-tasking on your laptop much easier. All in all, if you are looking for a RAM kit that will future proof your laptop for years to come, the Crucial 16 GB Kit is the kit to go for.

Best Value: Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB Kit

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Pros & Cons

  • Large, 8 GB capacity for this price point
  • Automatic overclocking
  • Compatible with a wide range of other components
  • Only 8 GB

Key Features:

  • Automatic overclocking
  • Asymmetric Heat spreader looks cool
  • Compatible with almost everything


  • RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Dimensions: 13 x 4.5 x 0.1 in
  • Memory Capacity: 8 GB
  • Type: DDR3 SDRAM

Kingston HyperX FURY 8 GB Kit Review

With the Kingston Hyper X Fury, you get a lot for your money. This is a cheap, easy way to upgrade the performance of your gaming rig, without the expense of some of the other kits on this list.

The Kingston Hyper X Fury has more features than any kit at this price point should have. First up, it has automatic overclocking, so the RAM will run at the fastest possible speed without you having to do anything.

This feature is enabled at a hardware level by default, in fact, so you don’t have to mess around with your BIOS settings. In fact, you won’t notice that your RAM has been overclocked at all, except (of course) for the killer performance.

Second, this kit has been extensively tested with loads of different setups, and Kingston claims that it works with almost all of them. That’s nice to know because (as I’ll go into below) buying RAM can sometimes be a bit of a minefield when it comes to finding a kit that is compatible with your system.

It also means that if you are in the process of building a rig, you don’t have to base it around the RAM. You can just get the best motherboard for gaming, and the best HDD for gaming, and be assured that this chip is going to work with them. Finally, the chip looks cool.

That might sound like a silly thing to say, but for some people it’s important, and especially so if you are building your perfect gaming machine. The asymmetric heat spreader on this kit offers ‘stylish heat dissipation’, according to Kingston, and I’m inclined to agree. If you’re going to dissipate heat, do it with style 🙂

The HyperX Fury is a great choice if you are looking for high-capacity RAM at a fair price, or looking to upgrade an existing system with just a little extra performance.

Best Cheap: Samsung Original 8GB

Pros & Cons

  • Made by Samsung
  • Tiny profile, so it fits in small laptops
  • Great for multitasking (and not just playing games)
  • Only suitable for laptops
  • Looks … kind of boring

Key Features: 

  • Solid and reliable
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • The best power-to-performance ratio on the market


  • RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 1.6 x 0.3 in
  • Memory Capacity: 8 GB
  • Type: DDR3 SDRAM

Samsung Original 8 GB Review

Hardcore gamers will be looking at this RAM chip and laughing, if only because it doesn’t look nearly as cool as some of the other RAM kits on the market. But hear me out. This is actually a great DDR3 RAM chip.

That’s for a few reasons. First of all, it’s made by Samsung, and that still counts for a lot. With so many new manufacturers popping up at the moment, it’s sometimes difficult to tell who is making quality components, and who is out to make a quick buck.

Buying a RAM kit from a recognized brand name like Samsung means you’re assured the RAM is going to be high quality, reliable, and compatible.

Second, this DDR3 RAM is super compact, because it’s designed to fit into most of the laptops out there. Unlike the Kingston kit above, this chip is composed of one 8 GB chip, rather than two 4 GB versions stuck together. That means it fits neatly into even quite small laptops, but still boosts their performance significantly.

Overall, this DDR3 RAM is a great choice if you are a casual gamer who also does other stuff on your laptop (like, you know, work). It will dramatically boost the performance of your laptop, whether you are using it to play games or simply edit spreadsheets.

Best Looking: Patriot Viper III 16 GB

Pros & Cons

  • Looks great
  • Overclocking as standard
  • Heatshield looks really cool
  • Large profile

Key Features:

  • Hand tested for compatibility and performance
  • High-performance heat shield
  • Looks cool 🙂


  • RAM Size: 16 GB
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.63 x 0.3 in
  • Memory Capacity: 8 GB
  • Type: DDR3 SDRAM

Patriot Viper III 16 GB Review

The Patriot Viper is the best looking RAM around. That might sound like a silly thing to say. Honestly, who cares what their RAM looks like? Well, plenty of people. If you’re building a system, and plan to use one of the best full tower cases, you want everything inside to look great as well.

And (obviously) I wouldn’t be recommending this RAM if it didn’t perform well. It’s based on two 8 GB chips, combined in a stylish housing, with that stylish ‘black mamba’ heatsink sticking out the side. The speed of the Patriot Viper is also up there with the best RAM chips on this list.

Best of all, it also features overclocking functionality. It comes complete with XMP 1.3, which allows you to overclock your RAM safely, and squeeze the very best performance out of your other components. Overall, this DDR3 RAM is a great choice if you are building a killer gaming rig, and want everything to look just right, without compromising on performance.


DDR3 RAMs: Buying Guide

Choosing RAM is a little more complicated than some of the other components for your system. That’s because there are lots of different types of RAM, and the kit you choose needs to be compatible.


First, and most importantly, you need to make sure that the RAM you are going to buy is compatible. DDR3 RAM is still the most common RAM around, but you should be aware that there is a new type of RAM, DDR4, which is not backward compatible with DDR3. If your system is new, it probably needs DDR4 RAM.

Samsung SO-DIMM DDR3

There are plenty of tools out there that will let you check the compatibility of your RAM, and that will guide you through the process of choosing compatible RAM for your system, so give them a read before you start thinking about capacity and price.

CPU and OS Limits

Secondly, make sure that your system does not have limits on the amount of RAM you can add. Older systems (like 32 bit Windows) will not let you add 8 GB RAM chips into one slot, for instance, so the chips above will not work if you are running an older system.

Amount of RAM

Then, once you know what is compatible with your system, you can think about how much RAM you need. More is better, obviously, but there are a few other things to consider as well. If you can, stick to the same speed, brand, and model for all of your RAM chips, to avoid compatibility issues.

Crucial 4GB DDR3 RAM

Second, always fill all of the RAM slots you have instead of buying a large capacity single chip, because running RAM across multiple slots improves the speed of communication between your CPU and your RAM.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Highest Amount of RAM?

A popular question, and one to which the answer changes every year. But if you’re looking for a system with an absurd amount of RAM, the latest Z Workstations can be upgraded with mind-boggling hardware specs, including 3 TB of RAM. Yep, 3 TB.

Is DDR3 RAM Good?

Yes, pretty good. DDR3 is still the most common type of RAM out there, even though it’s not as fast as DDR4. DDR3, though, will still run all the games you want to play perfectly well on any reasonable gaming setup.

Transcend 2GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM

Can DDR3 RAM Work With DDR4?

No. If you have a really recent system, it might have DDR4 slots instead of DDR3, and DDR4 is not backwards compatible. Make sure that you check the compatibility of the RAM you want to buy before you buy it!

Is 8 GB RAM Good?

8 GB of RAM is fine. Most games are made to run on 8 GB of RAM, and so you won’t have any trouble with that much. If you want to push your graphics a bit higher, though, or future-proof your system, you might need a little more. That’s why we’ve given you the list above.


So there we have it: 5 RAM kits, all of which are suitable for different people. All of them have a claim to be the best DDR3 RAM, but whichever one you choose will depend on your personal needs.

If you’re looking to future proof your system, or just want to push the graphics a little higher on your games, go for the Corsair kit. If you really want to push it to the limit, take a look at the Crucial RAM. The Kingston kit will give you almost the same performance for a little less money, and the Samsung kit is even cheaper. And if you’re building your own gaming system, the Patriot kit looks great.


  1. Viper RAM User Manual, Viper US


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About the author

Matthew Lyons