Last Update: Mar 12, 2019

Best RAM for Gaming in 2019: Supercharge Your PC

Building your first gaming rig, or just upgrading? [it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been playing PC games for decades or you’re a total noob, making sure you’ve got the right RAM for your gaming PC is essential to a faster gaming experience]

The motherboard of your gaming rig always needs a good enough RAM to operate at optimal performance. While picking a RAM for gaming isn’t as difficult as it used to be, getting an extra edge on the opposition can come down to the components you pick.

However, once you have enough RAM to cover your needs, the law of diminishing returns sets in. Didn’t find this funny when I found out…

So, how do you choose the best RAM for gaming?

In this piece, we will be tackling that: listing the best RAM cards you could possibly get today, as well as pointers on how to choose the ideal one(s) for your own gaming machine.

To achieve that, we spent some time swimming through a sea of RAM and picked out all the best RAM that we’ve tested ourselves, so you can be sure you’re only getting the best memory – no matter what your needs are.

Let’s get to it.

RAMCapacityClock Speeds
Corsair Vengeance LED16GB – 64GB2666 MHz – 3466 MHz
Kingston HyperX Fury4GB – 64GB2133 MHz – 2666 MHz
Corsair Dominator Platinum4GB – 128GB2133 MHz – 4000 MHz
Kingston HyperX Predator8GB – 128GB2400 MHz – 3600 MHz
G.Skill Trident Z RGB16GB – 128GB2400 MHz – 4266 MHz
Corsair Vengeance LPX4GB – 128GB2133 MHz – 4600 MHz
Crucial Ballistix Sport4GB – 64GB2400 MHz – 3000 MHz
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series4GB – 16GB1600 MHz – 2400 MHz
Patriot Viper Elite 8GB8GB2400 MHz – 3000 MHz
ADATA Spectrix D808GB – 16GB2666 MHz – 3600 MHz
1

Corsair Vengeance LED

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If you are gunning for a swanky visual experience, then the Corsair Vengeance LED, with its unique color options and custom- built lighting is the RAM to get.

Asides the extra touch of vibrant lighting, the Corsair Vengeance LED series’ built-in heat spreaders maximize cooling for higher overclocking and maximum performance.

Corsair’s Vengeance LED DDR4 series which features a CL16 latency and 3,466 MHz speeds, is also maximized for optimal performance on the latest Intel X99 and 100 series.

+Pros
  • Built-in heat spreaders maximize cooling for higher overclocking and maximum performance
  • Lighting enhances overall system aesthetics
  • Available in different colors.
-Cons
  • Height could conflict with some CPU coolers.
2

Corsair Dominator Platinum

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The Corsair Dominator Platinum is a high-capacity, high-performance RAM for gamers, and is our top choice if you need to perform a lot of high-intensity gaming. This RAM is a far cry from the everyday gaming cards, with its bulky form, and customizable dark grey exterior.

The Dominator Platinum can reach speeds of 2133 MHz to 4000 MHz, with the help of its high-quality chrome heat spreaders, which not only allow for the highest overclocking potential out of all the models currently available but also allow for top-of-the-end aesthetics.

The chrome heat spreaders are quite massive though and can get in the way of more low profile builds.

Furthermore, it also comes in two better performing variants: Torque and SE. The Torque comes in a more dynamic color scheme than the SE, which comes in either a chrome or black exterior.

The Corsair Dominator Platinum comes with either 4, 8 or 16 GB per individual module, although Corsair doesn’t sell individual modules separately. Rather, the Dominator Platinum only comes in kits of two or four modules, and those kits’ capacities range from 8 to 128 GB.

+Pros
  • Designed for over-clockers and serious gamers
  • Sleek design
  • Customizable
-Cons
  • The massive heat sinks make it a bit bulky to handle.
3

Kingston HyperX Fury

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The HyperX Fury series of RAM cards (produced by one of the most trustworthy names in the business; Kingston) constitutes some of the best and most affordable products in this category that you could possibly get.

Although these are pocket-friendly beauties, they can have a huge impact on the performance of your rig with speeds of between 2,133 and 2,666MHz.

They are all equipped with stylish heatsinks that are both practical and appealing while allowing users a choice between black, red, and white color, ensuring that the cards can blend well with almost any gaming rig, no matter the shade.

Individual HyperX Fury RAM modules come with a capacity of either 4, 8 or 16 GB. However, these individual modules can be bundled up in blocks of twos and fours, which leads to a maximum capacity of 64 GB.

+Pros
  • Quality Build
  • Automatic overclocking
  • Great value and cost-effective
-Cons
  • Limited design options
4

Kingston HyperX Predator

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The Kingston HyperX Predator is a DDR4 RAM that is not only fast but also aesthetically pleasing. The HyperX Predator comes with high overclocking potential, the stylishly built heat-sink, and a black exterior.

It has a much more aggressive appearance than other HyperX RAM products, which clearly establishes it as the very peak of the brand’s overclocking game.

With speeds starting at 2400 MHz and clocking at a maximum speed of 3600 MHz, the HyperX Predator is a true beast.

The individual HyperX Predator RAM also has a capacity of either 4, 8 or 16 GB, just like the HyperX Fury, and can also be combined to reach capacities as high as 128 GB. Although, it is worth noting that the 128GB (8×16 GB) variant is hardly popular, given that it requires 8 RAM slots which few desktops motherboards support.

+Pros
  • High speeds
  • Durable and well-built
-Cons
  • Not the best high-end RAM solution around
  • No customization options
5

G.Skill Trident Z RGB RAM

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The G.Skill Trident Z RGB is some of the best RAM available not, and just because it’s fast, but the top of every DIMM features a full-spectrum rainbow wave light bar that allows you go really wild with your gaming lighting.

The kit illuminates itself with five individually addressable RGB LEDs and a frosted diffuser that produces a soft glow that looks fantastic in just about any PC build. But you didn’t consider this for the lighting, or did you?

The memory performance is just as good as the looks, the Trident Z RGB RAM operate on frequencies anywhere from 2400 MHz to 4233 MHz. The product does not strive to dominate in terms of overclocking capacity, so variations with such high clock speeds are quite a few. A more realistic maximum is around 3600 MHz, as most of the series’ products fall into that category.

However, with some tuning and tweaking, you can usually squeeze a couple hundred more MHz out of the kit, allowing you overclock if you MUST.

The Trident Z RGB series includes RAM cards with either an 8GB or 16GB capacity, which are then combined in kits to achieve a maximum capacity of 128GB. The same story from before applies here, and 4×16GB variation is a more realistic maximum for desktop configurations.

+Pros
  • High-quality RGB lighting
  • Great overall value
  • Good performance
-Cons
  • RGB implementation can limit overclocking potential
6

Corsair Vengeance LPX

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The Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM is the RAM you need when you need to fill every available DIMM slot. They are built for users who need maximum performance with a minimal footprint.

They all have the same exterior design as seen above, although they do come in several color options, including dark grey, red, blue, and white, which allows for some flexibility when it comes to combining them with other components.

The Vengeance LPX clock speeds start at 2133 MHz and go as high as 4600 MHz. However, these extreme speeds are limited to only a handful of the most expensive variants.

Vengeance LPX RAM cards come with a capacity of either 4, 8 or 16 GB. The maximum achievable capacity is 128GB, but as before, this is not a particularly popular option for desktop PCs because it requires 8 individual cards to be installed.

Since manufacturers like Corsair test and hand-pick each individual unit in a kit to ensure they all work well together in the binning process, you can safely assume the manufacturing of a 128GB kit is exhausting—which explains the price but also provides some peace of mind in terms of performance.

+Pros
  • Good performance
  • Several color options help with the choice
  • Aluminum heat spreader for maximum heat management efficiency
-Cons
  • Somewhat cheap-looking
  • Not the best value for money for high-capacity setups
7

Crucial Ballistix Sport

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The Crucial Ballistix Sport is by far the best RAM for laptops. Offering awesome value for money, these RAM sticks are designed for efficient battery life while still delivering fast speeds for multi-tasking.

You can find the Ballistix Sport sticks as single 4GB modules right on through to 64GB kits, all using the same speed, timings, and voltage, which makes the buying decision as simple as obtaining the density you need. You do have to make a choice between the color options of the heat spreaders; white, gray, red, but that usually depends on parts you already have, making that decision much easier.

The aesthetics of the spreaders also features top tier design, color matching metal spreaders to the stickers that flank the sides, digital camo on the stickers, bright white naming, so it is easy to see, and the exposed metal sections reflect light just like the chrome sections of a classic car.

Although this RAM kit isn’t the fastest, or the largest, memory kit, its bang on the money for capacity and speed considering the cost. It can be a great choice for saving money without compromising the efficiency of your system.

+Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Great aesthetics
-Cons
  • Not the fastest
8

G.Skill Ripjaws X Series RAM

The G.Skill RipJaws X Series offers solid performance at a great price, combined with its top-of-the-class lifetime warranty. The kits come in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB sticks, with speeds ranging from 1600 MHz to 2400 MHz.

Sporting a sleek and stylish heat spreader, heat dissipation is maximized by increasing surface area for cool air to pass over while your system is gaming or computing. The hollow teeth-like heat spreader fins are made from aluminum and designed to allow maximum airflow for maximum cooling efficiency.

Although overclocking is not fantastic, the RipJaws X Series is still very fast at 2400 MHz, which makes the RAM a good choice for price, performance, and cosmetics.

+Pros
  • Very fast at stock speeds
  • Competitive price
  • Lifetime Warranty
-Cons
  • Limited overclocking potential
9

Patriot Viper Elite 8GB

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The Patriot Viper Elite series is the budget-friendly kit for those who don’t need tons of memory. This dual-channel kit is priced lower than competitors like the HyperX Fury and Corsair Vengeance LPX while also offering similar levels of performance. And unlike cheaper kits, the Viper Elite features decent heatsinks and overclock ability.

The Patriot Viper Elite comes with medium profile aluminum heat spreaders and green printed circuit boards, and they are available in red, blue or grey accents on a grey/polished body. As a bonus, each module is hand tested and validated by the manufacturer to ensure system compatibility.

+Pros
  • Budget friendly upgrade
  • Easy overclocking
-Cons
  • Possible clearance issues with large CPU coolers
10

ADATA Spectrix D80 RAM

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The ADATA XPG Spectrix D80 makes for a striking-looking RGB memory kit. ADATA terms it “liquid cool”, and if you are the type of gamer that needs a flashiest rig, then the Spectrix D80 should make your heart beat faster.

The modules have aluminum heatsinks on the front and rear with another chunk of metal behind the aluminum heatsink on one side which acts as the heat sink that makes with the liquid on the RAM.

The ADATA XPG Spectrix D80 uses Samsung B-die chips. This fact is reason enough to warrant consideration, as these chips can clock frequencies of up to 5000 MHz. Its liquid cooling also means that you don’t have to worry about this beauty overheating on you.

+Pros
  • The Samsung B-die chips
  • RGB Memory on point.
-Cons
  • Struggles to overclock
  • Liquid doesn’t cool heat effectively

Best RAM for Gaming: Buying Guide

We all dread shaky or slow performance while gaming, as you need your gaming rig at the top of its game while you are about to take cover in “Black Ops 4”.

Now, the good thing is lag caused by RAM can easily be fixed, just ensure you have the minimum required RAM listed by the game developers. Additionally, to be in the safe zone, you may very well want more RAM then is listed as the minimum requirement. That’ll help keep all the background programs running smoothly while you’ve got your game going simultaneously.

Prior to the heavy hitters of these days, one could get away with a 4GB of RAM, but it’s probably safer to plan for a 12GB – 16GB RAM range, as most games, now list 8GB as their minimum RAM requirement. You don’t want to have your task manager permanently open as you try to manage the RAM resources so that your game can run smoothly. However, if you are on a strict budget, I guess you don’t have an option.

In summary, you should aim for at least 8GB of RAM, or at the very least 4GB of RAM if you are on a limited budget. If you aren’t sure of how much you need, it’s always better to aim higher, to ensure that your gaming rig can handle your gaming system effortlessly.

Before you decide on buying a RAM for your gaming rig, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Budget – Always Has To Fit Your Budget

Knowing your budget (and sticking to it) is an important part of any decision we make. When you’re building your own rig, the last thing you want to do is run out of cash.

Regardless of your budget, it’s best to keep in mind that when it comes to RAM, you don’t really need to go all out and get the absolute best gaming memory.

That’s probably a waste of money. Just purchase only what you need and put the extra towards a better GPU or CPU.

Capacity – Crucial To Gamers

As a hardcore gamer, you probably already know what kind of programs you run. But predicting what kind of action you’ll be taking on within the next few months or year should also come into play.

Like we mentioned earlier, 8GB of RAM is a sweet spot, but if you predict that you’ll be taking on more–and if you have the budget–perhaps you should consider 16GB of RAM or even more as an alternative.

If you don’t think you’ll be adding much more, keep in mind that having more RAM will not speed up your function if you keep your level of tasks the same.

Platform – Ease of Set-up

You don’t want to get a speedy RAM stick and discover it does not even fit into your motherboard.

A good rule of thumb to follow is purchasing either 1.5-volt DDR3-1600 or 1.2-volt DDR-2133 memory sticks with CAS 15 timings. The great thing about going that route is that Intel’s X99 and Skylake platforms universally support DDR4 modules; DDR3 modules are supported by most motherboards.

The big issue with recommending ultra fast memory kits is that they usually take some tinkering around (manual configuration of the motherboard’s firmware) to receive the full performance benefit. Furthermore, if this manual configuration is not completed, or completed incorrectly there’s a possibility you’ll even get dropped to lower performance levels than what a more basic RAM component would offer.


Best RAM Card: Frequently Asked Questions

What else should I be concerned about?

How much RAM is good for gaming?

As mentioned earlier in our buying guide, 8GB of RAM is best to avoid any performance related issues. Some heavy hitters might need a 16GB RAM, but this is rare.

Extra RAM ensures your gaming speed doesn’t get affected by other activities going on in your system while gaming.

You should be just fine with an 8GB RAM.

Is the speed of RAM important?

Not necessarily.

A faster RAM will give your PC better performance in certain specific metrics, but in terms of actual game performance or experience, having more RAM available is almost always better than having faster RAM.

Does RAM make a difference in gaming?

In general, more RAM can make your computing more more pleasant, but it really doesn’t make that much difference while gaming, if you don’t have any other tasks running in the background.

Buying a better video card will make a bigger difference to your gaming experience than getting a 32GB RAM.

Which RAM brand is the best?

In conclusion, in terms of choosing your RAM stick, the performance differences are minuscule, and once your stick can overclock comfortably without overheating, then you should be fine.

However, if we had to pick, we would go with:

  • Kingston HyperX Fury would be our best budget choice for most gamers since it offers an all-around best value for your money
  • Corsair Dominator Platinum would be our best quality choice for avid overclockers and those who want the best possible performance
  • Corsair Vengeance LED would be our best choice for those who have a transparent case or are using an open rig and want to add to their PC’s aesthetic appeal
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