|1. Corsair Vengeance||2. Crucial Ballistix||3. Corsair RGB Pro|
With the gaming industry on the rise, everyone around you is becoming a gamer. Gamers all over the world are constantly looking to try new games. That being said, every game has it own hardware requirements and it may so happen that your present gaming-rig is not compatible with it. So, you are left with the only option of upgrading your PC.
Out of the three most important components required for quality gaming, the third most important component known as Random Access Memory (RAM) is what we’ll discuss in detail today. Followed by GPU and CPU, the RAM of your gaming desktop acts as a precursor for an excellent gaming experience. Purchasing the best RAM for gaming is no easy task.
You need to be aware of the purpose of this extra RAM as this will largely help you filter out the RAMs that are unsuitable for you.
While talking about the best RAM for gaming, you need to know certain factors which make a RAM the best for gaming. Debunk the popular belief of getting more and more RAM for better performance. This myth is not true in general.
Factors like frequency and latency are also important to note while buying a RAM kit. Whether you’re building a high-end gaming PC or you are looking to buy a pre-built gaming desktop, having necessary information about RAM can help you a lot.
We have enlisted a number of factors ranging from memory to compatibility that we think will help you in choosing a better RAM for your gaming rig. But, before we jump into the factors, let’s take a quick look at some basic jargon related to RAM.
What Is A RAM?
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. Primordially, there are two types of RAM. The first one is the SRAM which stands for the Static Random Access Memory and the second one is DRAM also known as Dynamic Random Access Memory. We are only concerned with DRAM in this article.
The prime job of your computer’s RAM is to hold data for a short term. This includes holding active applications and the data associated with them. This data can be quickly accessed, discarded, and changed. Let’s take a look at the different types of RAM available in the market.
The first one in this line is DDR type. DDR stands for Double Data Rate. This implies that there are two transfers happening per clock cycle. It is worthy to note that you cannot use DDR2, DDR3, or DDR4 RAM types in a DDR slot. Hence, make sure you know what type of slot your motherboard offers you.
DDR2 is probably the most obsolete kind of RAM these days. It has 240 pins. However, this RAM have been superseded and it is hard to find these days.
Though DDR3 has been available in the market since 2007, you will still find the market full with DDR3 RAM because it is compatible with a huge range of CPU generations. This RAM has the same number of pins that the DDR2 type RAM has. However, it operates at a lower voltage and has higher timings.
This came into the market in the year 2014 but still couldn’t supersede the DDR3 RAM type. One prime reason is the the exorbitant pricing that it comes with. However, there has been a remarkable price drop in recent years and more and more people are drawn towards the DDR4 RAM. This RAM operates on an even lower voltage. The number of pins on this RAM has, however, been increased to 288.
This is the latest type of RAM which is yet to hit the market. This RAM will sport 288 pins just like the previous DDR4 RAM. However, the RAM voltage is expected to drop even lower. DDR5 is expected to double the fastest speed offered by the DDR4 RAM.
Factors To Keep In Mind While Buying the Best Gaming RAM
1. Selecting The Right Type
While purchasing a RAM for your system, you need to be aware of the types of RAM compatible with your motherboard. There are four main types of RAM. Starting with the first, the DDR memory is very old and is almost obsolete these days. The second one is the DDR2 RAM type, which is still used by many old computers.
The third one is the DDR3 RAM. This is still used by many PCs today and offers frequencies twice as fast as DDR2 memory. Lastly, the fourth type is the DDR4. This is the latest standard in the line of RAM types. It offers frequencies even higher than the DDR3 RAM type and is priced better than the DDR3 memory.
2. RAM Capacity
RAM capacity is one of the important factors that need to be taken into account while buying a RAM kit. The capacity of memory required is subjective to the purpose it fulfills. Speaking of best memory for gaming, we often stumble upon two numbers. While 8 GB is sufficient to play most of the games available today, hardware enthusiasts and gamers would like to upsize this number to 16 GB.
16 GB of RAM is excellent for all high-end games and triple A titles. This number is the current sweet spot for best gaming RAM. However, people might want to go even further and upgrade their system with a whopping 32 and 64 GB RAM. But we recommend that anything above 16 GB today is an overkill.
3. RAM Frequency
The frequency of the RAM, also known as the clock speed, is measured in MHz. This is just like the click speed of a CPU or GPU. The frequency determines how fast the RAM processes the data which is reflected in the performance of the PC. The DDR generation RAM kits provide the least frequencies while the latest DDR4 generation RAM kits can provide frequencies as high as 4GHz.
In general, higher clock speeds are better for many purposes, but capacity turns out to be more important when it comes to gaming. Needless to say, a higher clock speed will increase the performance of your rig but by a couple of frames at best. So, we don’t recommend spending extra money just to scout out the RAM with the highest frequency.
4. Latency And Timings
In the hardware jargon, CAS, or CL, is known as the Column Access Strobe latency. CL refers to the amount of time elapsed between the issued read command and the data made available for the processor to access the command. This time is usually measured in clock cycles in the present day DRAMs such as DDR4.
The lower the CL number, the better the RAM is in terms of performance. The average CL number for different RAM ranges from 16 to 18 while a RAM with CL number 14 is excellent.
Coming to timings, it refers to the measure of the number of clock cycles that a task requested by the memory controller will take for the RAM to complete.
5. Mind The Heat Spreader
Nowadays, all RAM kits come with a heat spreader. This accessory is designed to pump out any extra heat that the RAM might be producing during a heavy task. his is a good thing, as it cools the RAM and makes sure your system’s performance remains consistent. However, quite a few times, these high profile heat spreaders might bar the installation process of the RAM onto your motherboard.
Gaming desktops featuring numerous and bigger cooling fans often obstruct the installation of the RAM along with the heat spreader. This can be a nightmare for any gamer. Hence, you should be aware of the height in mm of the RAM kit that you are about to buy and whether or not that stick will obstruct with the PCs having space constraints.
Top 15 Best Gaming RAM 2020
1. Corsair Vengeance
The Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM, this is a 2×8 GB kit. This means you get two chips with a memory of 8GB each. This RAM has a form factor of DDR4 which provides higher frequencies, greater bandwidths, and consumes lower power as compared to the DDR3 modules. The compatibility of this RAM is tested across varied motherboards to ensure fast and reliable performance.
It comes with XMP 2.0 support which lets you switch to the fastest safe speed without having to tinker with a lot of settings. The low profile design makes it ideal for smaller cases and for systems low on internal space. The RAM kit is also available in different colors. So you can pick the one that matches with your motherboard or any other color of your choice.
Each module of the kit is designed in a way to support high performance overclocking. However, we find that the overclocking is probably not the best feature about this RAM kit. Starting from 2400 MHz to 4133 MHz is the frequency range in which this kit operates. The CAS Latency of this kit stands at 18, which is quite high and not among the best available in the market.
However, when looking at the overall performance, this RAM kit stands tall and is a tough competitor to many of its rivals. The aluminium heat spreader present in the RAM kit makes sure all the generated heat is dissipated efficiently. Corsair also offers you the Vengeance series RAM in lower memory capacities such as four and eight gigabytes as well. This is the best memory for gaming in terms of overall performance.
2. Crucial Ballistix Sport
Are you low on budget but don’t wish to compromise on performance? If you are, the new RAM kit from Ballistix is exactly what you need. It is a single 8GB RAM stick which aims at delivering the power that your computer needs for gaming. The bright red color of this RAM stick makes it look very catchy. This RAM stick has a DDR4 form factor which makes is agile and faster than the previous generations.
It operates on frequencies above 2400MHz and can attain a maximum frequency of 3400 MHz. This is at par with the DDR4 generation chipsets. However, this still seems fast when you consider it’s economical price. This RAM stick can be bought under $35 which is excellent for many gamers who are on a tight budget.
The CAS Latency number of this RAM is as low as 16. This boosts the overall performance of this RAM stick and makes your gaming experience more enjoyable. Though not mentioned, this RAM is overclockable and performs neatly while being overclocked. This also features the Intel XMP 2.0 for easy configuration and overclocking of the RAM.
Coming to the digital camo heat spreader, these work excellently and keep the RAM cool even while playing high-end games. The heat spreader is available in black and white color. Above all, installing this RAM stick is an easy task. This is worth purchasing and many gamers and hardware enthusiasts recommend it.
3. Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO
If you’re bored of the dull and pale RAM kits and want to break the monotony with something stylish, then the all-new RAM kit from Corsair is exactly what you need. Corsair’s Vengeance RGB pro is a 16 GB RAM kit. This comes with two RAM sticks with a memory of 8GB each.
The RAM kit from this series comes with a custom built PCB and has been tested to provide outstanding performance and zero compatibility issues. Style meets speed with this RAM kit installed in your gaming-rig. This DDR4 RAM is optimised for high frequency performance on the latest Intel and AMD motherboards. Each module of this kit is built using carefully screening screened ICs for extended overclocking potential.
The maximum frequency that this RAM kit boasts of goes as far as 4600MHz. The dynamic multi-zone RGB lighting present on each module brings colors to your gaming-rig. Each module has 10 ultra bright RGB LEDs for synchronised lighting. Installation of the modules is fairly easy. You just need to plug the modules in and launch the Corsair’s iCUE software. This software will guide you through the installation.
Be it performance or style, this RAM kit works wonders. The overclocking ability of this RAM is excellent. Apart from being a performance beast, this does not cut holes in your pockets as well. This RAM kit is priced reasonably and hence, is a popular choice amongst gamers in the market for the best gaming RAM available today.
4. HyperX Kingston
HyperX brings to you a 16 GB RAM kit which is fast, looks great, and is easy to install. This plug and play RAM kit contains two modules with a memory of 8GB each. It aims at delivering a powerful experience to you and give you the best gaming experience ever. There are three color options to choose from. This is essentially a DDR4 RAM and is fast enough to allow frequencies up to 2666MHz.
Overclocking the RAM makes it touch frequencies as high as 3466MHz. This RAM kit is highly energy efficient and does not produce much heat. Despite the beautiful design and easy setup, this RAM kit is a little overpriced for a non RGB RAM. Also, the frequency range is not broad which is not appropriate when it comes to gaming.
The heat spreader is designed in the signature Fury asymmetrical design. The heat spreader is low profile which is advantageous for systems low on internal space. Overall, this RAM is decent and is compatible with many motherboards. But the exorbitant pricing is a downfall. If money is not a big factor for you, then this RAM kit is a good option to consider.
5. Crucial Ballistix Sport LT (White)
Let’s talk about another RAM kit from Ballistix. The new Ballistix Sport is an eight GB RAM kit. This RAM kit contains two modules of 4GB each. This memory is DDR4 and is ideal for gaming as it delivers higher frequencies than older generation RAMs. It can reach speeds up to 3200 MHz and is more responsive than the standard DDR4 memories.
The CAS Latency of this product is 16 which is excellent when compared to many others RAM kits available in the market. The modules are low profile which means that they will not take up a lot of internal space in your desktop. This becomes an important factor if your cooling fans are huge and obstruct the installation of bigger RAM sticks.
This RAM kit is economical and can be bought for under $40. Apart from being affordable, the installation process is quick and easy. The Intel XMP 2.0 profile makes sure overclocking of the RAM is easy without tinkering too much into a number of settings. This is a budget-friendly and fast RAM which many gaming enthusiasts would be willing to buy.
The next product on the list is another RAM kit from Corsair. Corsair has been a reputable manufacturer of quality RAM for a long time. This RAM kit falls under the Vengeance series. The memory offered by this kit is 8 GB. It contains two RAM sticks of 4 GB each. Great performance is coupled with Corsair’s unique design which looks appealing.
The RAM has been stringently tested and is designed to be stable. This RAM kit comes in a variety of colors so as to match your choices. Overclocking the RAM is always a good way of pushing your gaming desktop to its performance limits. With this RAM kit, you get to push your gaming-rig to its maximum limit. This DDR3 RAM is screened not only to ensure reliable performance but also to allow generous headroom for overclocking.
The maximum frequency offered by this RAM is about 1600MHz. This number makes sense consider the DDR3 form factor. However, these days DDR3 RAM kits are going out of fashion. But still for people who have a DDR3 compatible slot in their PCs, this can be a good option. All the products, including this one as well, come with a lifetime warranty covered by Corsair.
7. Corsair Vengeance 8GB
Do you own a Dual channel Intel processor or an AMD platform? The all-new RAM kit by Corsair is designed specifically for these platforms. This RAM kit is also suitable for Sandy Bridge Platform. This RAM comes with a memory of 8GB. The kit contains two memory sticks of 4 GB each. The form factor of this RAM kit is DDR3.
Despite being a DDR3 RAM, this offers speeds up to 1600 MHz which is excellent for your gaming-rig. Secured by a lifetime warranty, the RAM sticks are designed individually to deliver quoted specifications. This product looks stylish and comes in a number of vibrant colors. With this RAM inside your PC, you are sure to get reliable performance and headroom necessary for overclocking.
It also supports the Intel’s XMP profile for easy overclocking. You don’t have to go on tinkering the BIOS settings to overclock your RAM because of this feature. However, the pricing of this RAM is a bit extra considering it carrying an older form factor. Overall, this RAM does its job and performs fairly well. So if you are not low on budget, then this is the best gaming memory with a DDR3 form factor.
8. HyperX Kingston FURY 16GB
Up next in line is the RAM kit is brought to you by Kingston. The new HyperX Fury RAM kit comes with a memory capacity of 16GB. This kit has two RAM sticks with a memory of 8 GB each. The form factor of the RAM kit is DDR3. It provides you with the power necessary for quality gaming. Along with the power, the modules are styled nicely. The kit also comes in a number of color options.
This product boasts of a frequency ranging up to 1866MHz. This makes your system faster just by installing these RAM sticks. You get to experience excellent gameplays with these RAM modules installed in your gaming desktop. Overclocking of the RAM is easier than before with the Intel XMP profile. You don’t need to struggle with multiple BIOS settings for overclocking your RAM.
All these features are presented with a reasonable price tag, making this RAM kit a clear choice for the best gaming RAM with a DDR3 form factor. This RAM kit is supported by both the Intel and AMD platforms. HyperX covers this product with a lifetime warranty and technical support. This makes sure you never feel alone if something goes wrong.
9. Crucial Ballistix Sport LT (Gray)
If you are a laptop gamer and you are looking to upgrade your system for a better gaming experience then it’s time to increase your RAM capacity. The new Ballistix Sport LT RAM kit is there to help you increase your RAM. This kit contains two RAM sticks with a memory capacity of 16 GB each. These RAM modules are designed to fit perfectly in the SODIMM slot of your laptop. The form factor of this RAM kit is DDR4 which makes it way faster than the previous form factors.
The frequency range starts from 2400MHz. Installing this RAM is quick and easy -you just have to plug it in and start enjoying your game. This RAM kit boosts your integrated graphics performance which, in turn, gives you a magnificent gameplay. The faster the memory is, the better are the frame rates. With Intel XMP profile, overclocking of the RAM becomes easy.
The camp-designed heat spreaders make sure all the heat is dissipated efficiently and your system works fine. The RAM kit is optimised especially for latest Intel platforms. The price tag might seem a bit high, but the memory capacity offered makes up for it. This is by far one of the best RAM for gaming laptops.
10. Corsair CML8GX3M2A1600C9
Coming to another product from Corsair, this RAM kit has a capacity of 8 GB. The product contains two RAM modules with a memory of 4GB each. The form factor of this RAM is DDR3.
The speed provided by this RAM kit is up to 1600MHz which is justified, considering it is a DDR3 RAM.
This RAM kit is designed specifically for CPUs having larger cooling fans, small form factor builds, or other space constrained applications. The low profile design is aimed at being compatible in all of these devices. Each RAM stick is built to allow excellent overclocking performance.
In terms of pricing, this RAM kit comes with an affordable price tag. The supreme quality of Corsair comes in a reasonable price which makes this DDR3 RAM a clear choice amongst many of its rivals. The overall performance of the RAM is good for many games and it gives you the power that you need for your daily PC activities.
11. HyperX Predator DDR4
HyperX Predator brings to you the best RGB lit RAM kit. This RAM kit has a memory capacity of 16GB. This kit contains two modules of 8 GB each. The RGB lights are a perfect compliment for your gaming experience. It has a DDR4 form factor which makes it quite fast. This RAM kit is capable of reaching speeds of up to 4000MHz. The labelled frequency starts from 3200MHz which is fast enough to boost your computer’s performance.
The RGB effects are pitch perfect and can be monitored easily using NGenuity software. Moreover, the Infrared sync technology provides smooth and synchronised lighting effects without the use of additional cables. With this RAM kit in your gaming desktop, you can crank up your frame rate, improve your broadcasts, and make highlight reel clipping a breeze.
With CL15-CL19, you get fast and snappier performance. The black aluminium heat spreader takes care of the heat produced by the RAM kit. So, beat the heat with this heat spreader and strike fear in the hearts of your foes. With the Intel XMP 2.0 profile, you can enjoy overclocking without having to struggle with the multiple BIOS settings.
Overall, this RAM kit is powerful and is coupled with RGB lighting to break the usual monotony. As far as the price is concerned, this RAM kit seems to be a little overpriced for the given memory capacity. But apart from the pricing, everything is up to the mark on this RAM. This is an easy pick for many gamers and hardware enthusiasts around the globe.
12. G.Skill Ripjaws
This RAM kit from G.Skill has a memory capacity of 16 GB. This RAM kit contains two modules of RAM stick with a memory of 8 GB each. The form factor of this RAM is DDR3. This RAM boosts your gaming-rigs performance to its maximum. The latency of this gaming RAM stands at 10.
The SPD speed of 1333MHz is in accordance with the DDR3 form factor. The SPD voltage of this RAM is 1.5 Volts. The unique red RipjawsX series heat sink cools the RAM efficiently. The total height of the module is 40mm which makes it easily compatible with the motherboard.
However, this product seems to be a little overpriced for a DDR3 RAM. Apart from that, it is a good option available in the market today.
13. Patriot Viper Elite Series
Up next is the RAM kit from the Viper Elite series by Patriot. This RAM kit has a memory capacity of 8GB. This contains two RAM sticks of 4GB each. This DDR4 RAM is capable of delivering speed starting from 2400MHz. This RAM kit is designed specifically for Intel 100 series platforms. However, other platforms also support this chipset.
The Viper Elite utilizes a custom-designed high performance heat shield for superior dissipation of heat to ensure rock solid performance. Gaming is hitch-free and you get better responsiveness. The heat shield comes in varied color options like red, blue, and gray.
The XMP 2.0 profile makes it easy for you to overclock your RAM. The overclocking speeds reach as high as 3200MHz. The pricing of these modules is reasonable and affordable. This makes it a popular choice for the best gaming RAM.
14. Patriot PV316G160C0K
The next in line is another product from Patriot. This RAM kit from the Viper series, sports a memory capacity of 16GB. This memory is distributed into two modules of 8GB each. This RAM kit has an older form factor of DDR3. In terms of performance and speed, this DDR3 RAM is quite impressive.
These RAM sticks are designed from only high quality presorted ICs. And these are hand tested to be compatible with Intel and AMD processors. The speed offered by this RAM is 1600MHz. The Patriot Memory Viper 3 series utilizes a custom-designed high-performance heat shield with superior heat dissipation for rock solid stability and reliability during the most extreme gaming sessions.
This RAM kit has a taller high profile heat spreader which allows optimal airflow for efficient cooling. However, this might turn out to be problematic for gaming systems with bulky cooling fans and space constrained devices. This feature Intel XMP 1.3 profile for easy overclocking of the RAM.
The pricing of this RAM kit is reasonable and affordable. This makes this memory the best RAM for gaming with a DDR3 form factor.
15. Patriot Viper Gaming RGB Series
Last but not the least, this RAM kit is yet another person from Patriot. The all-new Patriot Viper gaming RAM kit comes with a memory of 16 GB. This product includes two modules of 8GB each. This RAM kit has a DDR4 form factor which is faster than the older DDR3 form factor and a best fit for gamers. It has a frequency range of 2133MHz to 3200MHz.
Along with great speed and high quality performance, this RAM kit is stylish and sports RGB lighting to compliment your gaming-rig. With 5 RGB zones, this LED lighting is fully customisable. The RGB sync application makes sure you get the lighting you need.
Patriot’s RAM kits are compatible with Intel and AMD platforms. The unique aluminium heat shield provides efficient cooling for uninterrupted gameplay. The Intel XMP profile lets you easily overclock your RAM and reach higher frequencies.
Powerful and stylish, this RAM kit is best suited for hardcore gamers who are looking to enhance their gaming experience. Thus, this is the best memory for gaming both in terms of style and performance.
What’s your pick for the best RAM for gaming?
Purchasing the best RAM for gaming is not child’s play. However, we noticed that if you keep track of certain factors, then filtering out the best gaming RAM is not as hard as it looks. We have seen how the type of RAM that you should buy depends largely on your gaming desktop or any other gaming-rig. The more aware you are of your gaming desktop, the easier it is to choose the RAM compatible with your system.
Once you have made your choice of the RAM, you need to look out for some crucial factors which largely determine which RAM is best suited for you. We have seen how the capacity of the RAM to be purchased is purely subjective and depends on the purpose of your purchase. If you are an amateur and don’t want to go into high-end specifications, then a mid-capacity RAM kit is excellent for you. On the contrary, hardcore gamers would like to upsize their gaming-rig with the maximum possible capacity for a seamless performance.
Apart from the capacity of the RAM, factors such as the frequency, latency, and timings are also worthy of your attention. These factors, when coupled accordingly with the right capacity of RAM, work wonders and make your gaming experience unbeatable. You should go for RAM kits offering higher frequencies. The RAM kits which operate on lower voltages are an ideal choice to select. Most DDR4 RAM kits are likely to perform this way.
Powerful RAM kits are also being stylized with RGB lighting. This breaks the monotonous color scheme that you grew up watching and bring in a little style.However the price tags of these RAM kits are higher than those of the ordinary ones. DDR4 RAMs are more expensive than DDR3 RAMs. Furthermore, the heat spreader that most of the RAM kits feature these days should not be very tall. This might lead to obstruction of the installation process in systems with big cooling fans and space constraints.
Lastly, once you surpass all these factors, you need to look closely at your budget. There may be many RAM kits offering a lot of features at an affordable price. The choice between DDR4 and DDR3 is solely in the hands of your motherboard. If your motherboard is compatible with both of these RAM types, then we would recommend purchasing a DDR4 RAM. It might be a little overpriced but it will still go a long way with you.