Newer games coming out are utilizing more RAM and the demand and need for motherboards to perform additional tasks such as video creation and imaging is becoming standard. DDR3 memory could be your only option if you are attempting to add more memory to your already existing build that once had a DDR3 CPU combo to begin with. Other than that if you’re building a brand new computer, you would probably be best served with a DDR4 memory. But for now, let’s take a look at the best DDR3 kits currently out on the market.
Table of Contents
- Best Value Buy: Kingston HyperX Fury
- Best Overall DDR3: Corsair Vengeance
- Cheapest DDR3: Crucial Ballistix
- Fastest DDR3: Patriot Viper 3
- Honorable Mention: G.Skill Ripjaws
Best Value Buy: Kingston HyperX Fury
If $/GB is your main focus, the HyperX Fury is the most cost effective RAM. Given that there are such small and nearly unnoticeable differences between this RAM and other DDR3s performance wise, the determining factor being the price would make the most sense. This kit does come in snazzy color offerings like red, white, black and blue and in sizes from 4 to 16GB. With price ranges $78.00 to $136.00 on Amazon.com. this RAM is a hard one to pass up and an easy one to be happy with.
- Great $/GB
- Comes in red, blue, black and white
- Well liked and reviewed on Amazon
- Automatically overclocks to 1,886 MHz
- Tops out at 16GB
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Best Overall DDR3: Corsair Vengeance
The Corsair Vengeance is a solid choice for both gamers and non-gamers looking for a DDR3 memory kit. The kit comes in different colors as well like black, red, blue and gold and has a GB size range from 4-32. The Corsair Vengeance comes in both a standard and pro kit. The pro kit offers higher speeds than the standard but at a slightly higher price tag.
The one drawback, however, are the fairly high heat spreaders that could potentially block the CPU coolers. This would more likely be a problem with third-party coolers but if yours is stock then you should be alright. You can find the Corsair Vengeance ranging from 8GB to 32GB at 1,600MHz with respective price ranges of around $95.00 to $320.00 on Amazon.com.
- Great for overclocking
- Can go up to 32 GB
- Not as fast as the Kingston HyperX Fury
Cheapest DDR3 RAM: Crucial Ballistix
This particular RAM is the most competitively priced on this entire list. Though not aesthetically pleasing, being on a budget can be a huge incentive amongst potential system builders. This kit, with some tweaking and adjusting to the timings and overclock, can improve its performance and therefore mitigate the gap between initial price and performance. The specs for this kit are 4-32GB at 1600MHz but as said earlier, performance can be enhanced. Pricing at $50.00 to $350.00 with the latter price attributed to the dual rank module.
- Really cheap $/GB at $8.55
- Can get up to 2,400 MHz
- Can get up to 32 GB
- Comes in only 1 color
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Fastest DDR3 Out of the Box: Patriot Viper 3
The Patriot Viper 3 is the fastest DDR3 out of the box, with a speed of 2,133 MHz. The Viper 3 is also good if you’re on the hunt for a RAM that won’t put you in the poor house monetarily and can provide decent performance. Coming in the colors of black, blue and red the Viper 3 series is definitely worth the extra investment as an upgrade from the Patriot signature series line. Unfortunately, the fastest version of the Patriot Viper 3 only comes in two 4GB cards. The higher capacity Viper 3 will only up to speeds of 1,800 MHz out of the box. Pricing margins for this kit run the gamut of $55.00 for an 8GB unit to upwards of $350.00 for a 16GB one.
- Fastest out of the box DDR3 RAM speed
- $7.25 $/GB – one of the best
- May need to tinker on some machines to get promised speed
Honorable Mention: G.Skill Ripjaws
The G.Skill Ripjaws is another quality DDR3, but not particularly better than the DDR3 we’ve already discussed . It’s mostly that we feel it’s over priced but not particularly fast. The fastest version comes at 1,600 MHz and still costs over $100 for the 16GB. You can get faster speed for a cheaper price with the units above. Nonetheless, G.Skill is vouched for by just about any hardcore gamer.
- Quality product from G.Skill
- Multiple colors
- A bit overpriced compared to other DDR3 RAM
What to Know When Buying DDR3 RAM
If you’re building your gaming unit yourself, it’s important the processor has the quickest access to important data that it needs to carry out its tasks. Essentially, the more memory you have in your system, the quicker it will function and access the important data. As with most gaming hardware however, there are several nuanced questions you need to answer before investing in your RAM. When it comes to RAM its important to understand the differences between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM. It’s also important to know what your getting with higher speeds and to know what RAM your CPU is compatible with.
DDR3 vs DDR4
If you’re shopping for RAM, you are going to come across the terms DDR3 and DDR4 (and perhaps DDR2 if you have an older system). It is crucial that you determine which type of RAM your motherboard accepts, or else you won’t be able to install it. To understand the differences between DDR3 and DDR4, it helps to imagine the DDR4 as just the next step of evolution. The DDR4 transfers data faster than the R3 and does so at less power. DDR3s operate at 1.5V while R4s operate at 1.2V. For a single household computer, this really doesn’t matter – it’s only a savings of 15 Watts.
The main difference for the average gamer when it comes to DDR3 vs DDR4 is speed. DDR3 RAM cannot get past 2,400 MHz even with overclocking. In comparison, DDR4 RAM generally start at 2,400 MHz and go up to 3,200MHz. So if you are building a computer from scratch, and want to build the fastest computer you can, we would recommend DDR4 RAM. However, if your motherboard is incapable of going past 2,100 MHz, then you might as well save money and go with DDR3 RAM. Buying a DDR4 with a motherboard incapable of reaching speeds over 2,400 MHz is like buying a Ferrari you’re not allowed to drive.