March 12 2019

Best RAM for Gaming

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 high amount of RAM to operate at optimal performance. 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? We have the answer.

We tested over 20 of the most popular RAM sticks today. After doing extensive benchmarks and analysis though multiple AAA titles, we have come up with the list of definitive winners.

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

Best Choice: Corsair Vengeance LED

Pros & Cons

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

When it comes to Corsair Vengeance, the first thing you notice are the incredible looks. Yeah, we gamers have become a fashionable bunch. The custom built-in LED lighting is sure to catch your attention and of all those who witness your PC. However, stunning visuals aren’t everything this RAM stick has to offer.

Corsair Vengeance LED also had built-in heat spreaders that will help you when overclocking your RAM. This function works by increasing the overall cooling capacity of the RAM module and thus allowing you to overclock without almost any dangers for your hardware.

Aside from that, the maximum speed (when overclocked) of 3,466 MHz is sure to satisfy all of your gaming needs and allow you to game on the highest settings without experiencing any lag at all. That is if the rest of your gaming rig is on par with your RAM.

Premium Pick: Kingston Hyper X Predator

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Pros & Cons

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

Not only does the HyperX predator perform incredibly well, but it also looks amazing. This DDR4 RAM stick has high speeds of 2400 MHz and you can go up to 3600 MHz when overclocking.

When it comes to actual storage space, you have three options:

  • 4 GB
  • 8 GB
  • 16 GB

The maximum amount of RAM you can reach this way is 128 GB. However, that is impractical for gaming and most motherboards don’t support that many slots. Back to realistic choices, we recommend you get 2×16 GB which will carry you through all of your gaming adventures with high settings for the foreseeable future.

If your pockets are deep and you want to build the absolute best gaming rig possible, don’t hesitate to go for HyperX Predator.

Best Value: Kingston HyperX Fury

Pros & Cons

  • Quality Build
  • Automatic overclocking
  • Great value and cost-effective
  • Limited design options

Kingston’s PC peripheral brand, the HyperX is well known and respected in the gaming community. Aside from amazing quality, their RAM cards offer great value per dollar spent.

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

You can choose between three colorways for the heatsinks; white, red, and black. So, if you’re one of those folks who appreciate having a badass-looking color scheme for their PC, you are going to love HyperX Fury.

Aside from that, the RAM modules come in sizes of 16 GB, 8 GB, and 4 GB. For maximum capacity, you can combine 4x 16 GB to a whopping 64 GB of total memory. However, we don’t think you need that much.

Best Looking: G.Skill Trident Z RGB RAM

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Pros & Cons

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

Trident Z RGB looks good but it performs even better. This RAM can operate on frequencies anywhere from 2400 MHz to 4233 MHz. The stick does not strive to dominate in terms of overclocking capacity, so variations with such high clock speeds are quite a few.

Of course, the latter mentioned speed is only possible through heavy overclocking which we don’t recommend.

A more realistic maximum is around 3200 MHz, as most of the series’ products fall into that category.

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 4Ă—16GB variation is a more practical maximum for desktop configurations.

Crucial Ballistix Sport

Pros & Cons

  • Great value for money
  • Great aesthetics
  • Not the fastest

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

Crucial Ballistix Sports RAM sticks appear in different sizes. Starting as 4GB x1, it ranges all the way up to huge 64 GB packs. While all of the presented options have the same specifications such as RPM, power requirements, and overall quality, there are three colors to choose from. Red, gray, and white.

Heat spreaders of the Crucial Ballistix Sports RAM also look amazing. Their metal design with brightly etched-in letters makes them look futuristic and match just about any color scheme.

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.

ADATA Spectrix D80

Pros & Cons

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

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.

Both sides of these ADATA Spectrix RAM sticks have built-in heatsinks. These are made out of durable aluminum and act as liquid cooling for your storage.

The amazing D80 RAM from Adata is using B-die Samsung chips. What does this mean for you? Well, these chips can clock frequencies of up to 5000 MHz. It’s liquid cooling also means that you don’t have to worry about this beauty overheating on you.

 

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”. If you have the Superfetch service running in the background right after startup, the ‘slowness’ is going to get even worse.

If you’re having trouble with long loading screens, maybe your RAM is not the issue. Check out the best SSD for gaming to improve the overall speed of your gaming PC.

gray corsair ram sticks

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.

When in doubt, take a look at some of the best pre-built gaming PCs and inspect how much RAM they’re sporting.

Budget – Always Has To Fit Your Budget

It’s important to never get ahead of yourself and invest in something that you cannot afford. When building a gaming PC, first consider the GPU, scaled down to how much you can spend in total. Next comes the CPU, then the motherboard, and finally RAM.

two rgb g skill ram sticks mounted

The most expensive RAM out there won’t do you any good if you are sporting a low-tier GPU.

Capacity – Crucial To Gamers

Gamers tend to know just how much RAM they are going to need. Also, visit our DDR3 vs. DDR4 article to determine whether your specific needs allow you to go for DDR3.

However, if you’re a beginner, this may not be possible for you. In that case, here are a few tips:

  • In 2020, 8 GB will get you through anything
  • To prepare yourself for the foreseeable future, get 16 GB
  • 32 GB might be needed if you’re doing heavy video-editing or designer work

gray red four trident gskill ram sticks

Bonus Tip: If you’re planning on streaming, go 16 GB or above.


Best RAM Card: Frequently Asked Questions

“What else should I be concerned about?” This FAQ section might help you get the answer to that question in no time.

How Much RAM Is Good for Gaming?

As mentioned earlier in our buying guide, 8GB of RAM is enough to avoid any performance-related issues. Hardcore gamers might need a 16GB RAM and this is something that is slowly becoming an industry standard.

If you’re wondering how much RAM do you need for gaming, you should know that 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 pleasant, but it really doesn’t make that much difference while gaming, if you don’t have any other tasks running in the background.

panram sticks hit by lightning

Buying the best graphics card for gaming available will make a bigger difference to your gaming experience than getting a 32GB RAM.

RAM vs. VRAM

Simply put, VRAM is RAM for graphics cards. All heavy-visual things that your PC needs to process will be done using VRAM. That goes for gaming and hardcore video-editing work, as well as some graphics designer jobs.

If you want to understand this problem better, you should head to our other article and find out what is VRAM.


Final Words

Getting the best RAM for gaming might not be as important as getting the best Intel CPU out there. Still, if you lack random access memory, your PC might experience difficulties running even the simplest of video games. If you’re doing work on your computer and need to open a huge number of tabs on your browser, having insufficient RAM will make your job a nightmare.

All in all, while you shouldn’t splurge more than 10% of your gaming rig budget on RAM, you also shouldn’t skim on it. If you’re looking to build a decent gaming rig, I recommend getting at least 16 GB of RAM that is manufactured by a trusted company.


Sources:

  1. Viper RAM User Manual, Viper US
  2. How RAM Affects Performance, Dell US
  3. John Lister, How to Check for Corrupted RAM, Chron

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Dozie Anyaegbunam