Best RAM for Gaming

We have all experienced slow down while using our PCs, no matter how top of the line they already are. RAM is an important component to the user experience in gaming in that it helps to create an extremely seamless and continuous flow during gameplay. In more technical terms, RAM (Random Access Memory) works in close conjunction with your system’s CPU in that it stores temporary information and is the location where the game is actually loaded on a much faster cadence than the hard drive itself. In a nutshell, the more adaptive, fast and all-encompassing your RAM is, the better your gaming experience can be.

RAM Capacity Clock Speed Best For…
Corsair Vengeance

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16GB 3000MHz GB/$
G.Skill Trident Z RGB

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16GB 2400MHz Style
Kingston HyperX Predator

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128GB 3000MHz High Capacity
Kingston HyperX Fury

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16GB 2400MHz Budget
Corsair Dominator Platinum

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128GB 3200MHz Performance

 

Best Budget Buy: Corsair Vengeance LED

Buy it if: You’re a gamer looking for fast memory or someone who just wants to be able to open more tabs while you’re surfing the net

This would be best suited for those gamers looking for fast memory. The price can range anywhere from $150.00 for 16GB to $300.00 for 32GB which is somewhat pricey but I’m sure it would be worth every penny. The 4x8GB DDR4 3000MHz CAS 15 DRAM kit comes equipped with 32GB of memory. This memory kit does not need extra connectors or cables as it operates on its own system management bus.  Good thing is that these are Vengeance DDR4 DIMMs which equates to several high frequency options that are also low latency. This will provide more than enough choices to match what your budget is in comparison to what you specification needs might be as well.

Pros:

  • ~$10 GB/$
  • Amazon Sellers Choice
  • Affordable relative to higher end RAMs

Cons:

  • Only available up to 64GB

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Best for Style: G.Skill Trident Z RGB

With latency and spend variations like these, the G. Skill Trident Z RGB should suit the needs for just about any gamer regardless of their style. This DDR4 RAM is built with a latency rating between 14 and 19 and is clocked between 2,400MHz and 4,266MHz. A little extra added pizzazz is the full spectrum rainbow light bar that sits atop every memory stick that is completely customizable and intricate. The Trident is able side step and performance issues that can plague RAM with this type of lighting by adding a separate power cable. Outside of minimal communication issues to other RGB products this is still solid purchase for gamers. You can find this model and style RAM in the range of $175.00 to $185.00 for the 16GB capacity.

Pros:

  • RBG lighting
  • Separate power cable for lighting
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Worse GB/$ than the Corsair
  • Can’t buy larger than 16GB

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Best Budget Buy: Kingston HyperX Predator

The Kingston HyperX Predator is a DDR4 RAM that you can find in a range of GB from 8GB to upwards of 128GB with a price tag of $97.00 to $1450.00. This makes it the most expensive of the RAMs reviewed thus far but not without good reason. The Kingston HyperX Predator boasts Infrared Sync technology which requires no cables thus provided inhibition of the RAM but still retaining connectivity. It also comes with a heat spreader that helps to keep the unit

during usage. The Predator DDR4 has speeds that reach up to 4133MHz and latencies that are pretty low and stay in the range of CL12 –CL19. These specifications make this RAM versatile and perfect for if you are a gamer of course or if you are just interested in fasting loading times, higher frame rates or smoother streaming.
Pros:

  • Great GB/$ (~$11)
  • Compatible with most motherboards
  • Best price for over 100 GB of RAM
  • Incredibly fast
  • Can cool itself

Cons:

  • None
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Read: Best 240 Hz Monitors

Best Performing RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum

Finally, I’m covering what you could call the Mercedes-Benz of RAMs. The Corsair Dominator Platinum is the ultimate of high end RAMS. This RAM is bested by none when it comes to performing your most rigorous computing tasks. The Corsair Dominator Platinum comes equipped with chrome heat spreaders that allow for the RAM to alleviate any and all heat signatures that are bound to result from the output of its 4000MHz capability. It also provided latencies from CL15 to CL36. So just like with anything high end comes a slightly higher price tag. The Corsair Dominator Platinum will have a price tag of anywhere from $200.00 for a 16GB to $1700 for 128GB. If that is a price tag that you are capable of meeting, then this would definitely be the RAM you can’t pass up.

Pros:

  • Incredibly fast and low latency
  • Self-automated cooling
  • Best for gaming

Con:

  • Expensive
  • Not the best GB/$
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Read: The Best Graphics Card for Gaming

Honorable Mention: Kingston HyperX Fury

Closely related to the Kingston HyperX Predator is the Kingston HyperX Fury. Because of the Fury’s is equipped with an auto-overclock, it can actually detect components of your system that it then overclocks to the highest possible speeds. This enables it to optimize the performance of Intel’s most recent chipsets. The latencies are between CL14 and CL16 and it has speeds ranging from 2,133MHz to 2,666MHz. While not extremely competitive to its counterpart as far as speed and latency, the HyperX Fury can have a solid impact and is quit the bargain at a price in the neighborhood of $150.00 for an 8GB to $320.00 for a 16GB.

Pros:

  • Self-automating performance optimization
  • Lower memory models are a bargain price

Cons

  • Low availability for < 8GB RAM models
  • Not as fast for the price as the Hyper X Predator
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How to Buy RAM for Your PC

RAM is one of the most crucial pieces of your gaming rig. Having fast and low latency RAM is the difference between killing or getting killed in your favorite FPS. Generally it is recommended you have at least 8GB of RAM to run a gaming PC. The more you RAM you have though, the more seamless your gaming experience will be. Overall there are three main ingredients to consider when looking for a RAM in order to get the most bang for your buck and to find one that makes the most sense for your system and gaming needs:

Latency

Basically an internal stop watch that monitors and clocks each task tollgate. The lower, the better. All latencies possible are supported by every type of motherboards so there’s no such thing as going overboard with this component.

Frequency

This is the measure of how much data can be transferred at once to the stick. RAMs can run on various frequencies but is limited to matching or being slightly below that of what your system can handle, however, the higher the frequency the better the performance. Generally 3,000 MHZ is a great frequency, while around 2,500 is about average.

Capacity

Capacity is the amount of data that your RAM can support and likely the number you’re most familiar with. For most gaming experiences, a size of 8 GB or larger is needed. Again, the capacity of your RAM is limited to the capacity that your system supports.