People never think about the best RAM (random access memory) when it comes to gaming, but for most games having optimized RAM actually will increase your frame rates. This is especially true when it comes to massive RPG games or MMO’s that have to process a lot of data. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for DDR3 or DDR4 RAM, this list will have them both on any budget.
Below I have the best RAM I’ve found for gaming. First is the best DDR3 RAM and second is the best DDR4 RAM. Your motherboard is what determines what RAM type you use, so check what type of RAM your motherboard uses so you don’t get something that’s incompatible.
BEST DDR3 RAM FOR GAMING
Choosing the right amount and type of RAM when building your gaming computer is a crucial step towards achieving proper performance. Unlike the newer DDR4 modules, DDR3 is compatible with most systems and it can yield a fantastic amount of memory processing. You’ll need to take into account not only the cost but your memory requirements and compatibility with your motherboard when shopping for RAM. There are a lot of competitors on this field, and the choice essentially comes down to memory speed (in MHz) and capacity (in GB) versus the price when shopping for DDR3 modules. In this article, we’ll take a look at various DDR3 memory cores and determine which is the best overall choice for gaming.
Clocking in at a decent 1600MHz, the Corsair Vengeance is available in 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. It features a built-in aluminum heatsink for dedicated cooling that works well to keep it chill and running well. It’s configured out of the box to be compatible with most motherboards and can be safely overclocked. Priced at $31 for 4GB (1x4GB), $41 for 8GB (1x8GB) or $78 for 16GB (2x8GB), the Vengeance is a good solid entry-level RAM upgrade, and features a limited lifetime warranty. Corsair has a good track record with its products and performance satisfaction, and the Vengeance would make an excellent addition to any gamer’s system.
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series
- 16GB DDR3 PC3-19200 Dual channel kit 2x 8GB
- 2400MHz CL11 (11-13-13-31)
For those who find 1600MHz a little on the slow side, the G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series offers 2400MHz of speed for your gaming pleasure. While the price is steeper thanthe Corsair Vengeance, the Pro Series is available in 16GB and 32GB and offers serious RAM capability for the buck. Priced at $82 for the 16GB (2x8GB) and $170 for the 32GB (4x8GB), the Pro Series features the aluminum heatsink technology and XMP overclocking ability that have become synonymous with Corsair products. And they’re available in multiple colors to boot allowing you to match your motherboard’s scheme. A good, solid, mid-range gaming DDR3 memory unit that will have your computer singing.
- 8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 Dual channel kit 2x4GB
- 1600MHz CL9 (9-9-9-24)
Delivered from the production lines of GSkill, the Ripjaws DDR3 memory core lies somewhere between the Corsair Vengeance and the Pro Series in price. Coming in at 1600MHz, it’s not a real contest with the aforementioned Pro Series, but still compares reasonably well to the regular Vengeance line. Offered in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB configurations, it prices at $31 for the 4GB (2x2GB), $46 for the 8GB (2x4GB) and $85 for the 16GB (2x8GB). While out of the box it will likely show a speed in the range of 1300MHz, it’s safely overclocked to 1600MHz with an easy modification of the XMP settings. Although it’s a capable memory unit, this DDR3 offers negligible difference over the Vengeance with regards to performance and is priced higher at the 16GB level. A capable memory core it may be, but it offers less of a value proposition than the Vengeance.
Kingston Hyper X Fury
- Asymmetric heat spreader for stylish heat dissipation
- Compatible with Intel and AMD platforms
Kingston’s Hyper X Fury DDR3 memory core offers a plethora of features for the price. Available in a host of colors from black, blue, red and white, it’ll easily complement the color scheme of your computer and will provide a memory speed burst to match. Offering a unique heat spreader system to keep it running at the proper temperature, the Fury sets the standard for ease of installation as well as overclocking ability. It’s rated at 1866MHz in standard configuration, making it an excellent deal in comparison to the Corsair Vengeance. The Fury comes in 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB flavors, at a price that won’t make a huge dent in your wallet. It’s priced at a paltry $21 for 4GB (1x4GB), $38 for 8GB (2x4GB) or $69 for 16GB (2x8GB), and offers excellent value for the cost. So if you’re looking for an extra burst of speed for the price, the Kingston Hyper X Fury makes for an excellent buy.
Crucial Ballistix Tactical
- Designed for performance enthusiasts, gamers and power users
- Enhanced heat spreader
One of the few DDR3 memory cores designed primarily for gaming enthusiasts, the Crucial Ballistix Tactical series is a 1600MHz offering with a lot going for it. While lacking a color scheme choice (it comes in a bright yellow color), it may be nothing much to look at but has it where it counts when it comes to performance. It features a limited lifetime warranty which is a telling mark when it comes to performance and durability. Coming in at $27 for 4GB (1x4GB), $43 for 8GB (2x4GB), $70 for 16GB (2x8GB) or $140 for 32GB (4x8GB), it offers a range of options based on your memory needs. Unfortunately, it’s double the price of the Ripjaws memory at the 32GB level, making it not worth the extra cost as both units compare favorably.
Crucial Ballistix Sport
- Improved performance for gamers, enthusiasts and mainstream users
- Integrated Aluminum heat spreader
For the budget conscious, the Crucial Ballistix Sport stakes a claim in the low-end DDR3 module niche. Offering ease of installation and overclocking ability, the Ballistix Sport line boasts a legion of dedicated users. Much like the Tactical series, this DDR3 memory unit offers a limited lifetime warranty and supports XMP for advanced tinkering under the hood. While this line maxes out at 16GB, it’s an excellent option for those looking to upgrade their RAM at a lower cost. The Ballistix Sport comes in 4GB (1×4), 8GB (1×8) and 16GB (2×8) and is priced at $20, $54, and $125 respectively. Even though it lacks the performance of its sibling the Ballistix Tactical, the Sport line offers great memory capacity for the price. Additionally, it’s one of those memory cores that just works out of the box, with exceptional system recognizability from the get-go. Overall, it’s a great DDR3 setup considering the price.
Patriot Viper 3 Series: Black Mamba
The Black Mamba, part of the Patriot brand’s Viper 3 series, is a DDR3 stick that has a beautiful design that encases what is a very powerful stick of RAM.
Coming in packs of two at an affordable price around the $50 dollar mark, you will get two sticks of 8 GB DDR3 RAM. This memory will provide you with faster and smoother operation of your computer as well as helping to enhance graphical capabilities for many of today’s video games. This graphical capability is further enhanced with the capability of the Black Mamba to overclock your games using XMP 1.3, giving your games high and smooth FPS with no lag.
The Black Mamba is a DDR3 that will be able to fit into any build no matter the user’s chosen chip set. As long as the processor of your choice is compatible with DDR3 memory, both AMD and Intel builds will be able to run smoothly with the Black Mamba. That said, this product really shines when used in combination with Intel 6, 7, and 8, as well as AMD 9 and FM, helping to give your computer high-speed, smooth performance.
The Patriot Viper 3 Series Black Mamba is also a very simple piece of hardware to install, with simple plug and play capabilities that both those new to building computers and people that have been doing it for years can love. Finally, to top it all of is the heat distribution of the Mamba, which allows the hardware to stay cool and keeps your computer in perfect condition.
Timetec Hynix IC 8GB DDR3 RAM
- DDR3 1333MHz PC3-10600 240-Pin Unbuffered Non ECC 1.5V CL9 Dual Rank 2Rx8 based 512x8
- JEDEC standard 1.5V (1.425V ~ 1.575V) Power Supply
While not as pretty to look at as some of it’s contemporaries, the Timetec Hynix is a pretty good piece of hardware in it’s own right, providing those building their computer with plenty of to power their unit.
The Hynix is a solo 8 GB stick of DDR3 RAM that is designed to run on low a low 1.5 volt power supply. This is a good way to power your gaming build without shorting anything out or running up your electricity bill. While the Hynix is not compatible with every build that you find out there, there are plenty of brands that support the product including Intel, Acer, and MSI, among others.
Install of the Hynix is easy as it comes, with plug and play compatibility with a number of motherboards. This will allow you to quickly get the most out of your RAM, which will help to provide your computer with as smooth and fast of an experience as you can get without overclocking. Should the worst happen and you find the Hynix malfunctioning, the product comes with a lifetime warranty from the time of purchase, which allows you to easily replace the Hynix if need be.
Simple as they come, the Timetec Hynix comes with a price point in the $40 dollar range, which will allow you to build on a budget, and gives you a great DDR3 RAM stick for a low price point. While not as advanced as some other DDR3 can be, the Hynix will give most users exactly what they are looking for in a computer RAM.
Which DDR3 RAM is For You?
All of the featured DDR3 memory modules are excellent at what they do, and it’s difficult to pick a winner among them. Most of these entries fit the bill when it comes to price versus performance, although the cost will vary widely among the differing modules. If you’re looking for exceptional memory speed and to push DDR3 technology to the limit, then the Corsair Vengeance Pro’s 2400MHz is your choice. However, the price for that level of performance comes at a cost, and most seasoned gamers will do just fine by the 1600MHz -1866MHz range offered by the rest. Having said that, the Kingston Hyper X Fury offers that rare combination of speed for a respectable price. Clocking in at 1866MHz at a price less than most 1600MHz modules, the Fury is the clear leader in the gaming DDR3 field.
BEST DDR4 RAM FOR GAMING
DDR4 RAM is the far better version to go with in the memory world, if your motherboard can handle it.
Bringing higher capacity and faster speed with it. Building your gaming system with DDR4 memory means paving the way to creating your ultimate rig. Alas, a lot of factors go into choosing the right type of DDR4 memory, including clock speed, capacity, and price, to name but a few variables. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the popular options available on the market and determine which one can lay claim to being the best DDR4 RAM for gaming.
- Speeds start at 2133 MT/s and faster data rates are expected to be available as DDR4 technology...
- Increase bandwidth by up to 32%
The basic Crucial line of DDR4 RAM tends to be the exception to the rule when it comes to the price of bargain-basement RAM modules, and unfortunately, it shows in its performance. Offering a mere 2133MHz to 2400MHz of memory speed to the mix, this series is good only for those looking for reduced power usage when speed is not an issue. Indeed, the speed range is comparable to higher-end DDR3 modules, so the benefits are negligible. Still, it’s relatively cheap – starting at $18 for 4GB and topping out at $142 for 32GB (4x8GB), and appeals to those with strict budgetary issues. However, its lack of performance compared to other RAM sets pretty well negates the value of having DDR4 in the first place, so the prospective buyer should beware.
- Memory Type: DDR4
- PC Type: Desktop
It’s telling about the price range of DDR4 that the decent budget-level will still set you back a good amount. In this case, the PNY Anarchy series offers a suite of features for the price. With 2400MHz of memory processing speed and overclocking ability to a built-in heat spreader and available in a two color options, the PNY Anarchy delivers great value for the cost. What really sets this line apart from others is its lower power usage, operating with a 20% lower power consumption than comparable DDR3 modules. It’s probably one of the better low-end units on the market, despite the fact that there are faster RAM blocks available. For those of you who’re looking for RAM that’s going to take you to the next level, I’d check the Anarchy Series out.
Corsair Value Select 8 GB RAM
- 8GB (1x8GB) DDR3 2133MHz DIMM
- Compatibility : Intel 100 Series , Intel 200 Series , Intel 300 Series
Corsair is a brand that brings with it some of the best computer products that you can find, as is the case with their 8 GB DDR4 RAM offering, the Value Select. The name is appropriate as well, as the Value Select gives you all the great DDR4 performance without the DDR4 price, coming into around $64 dollars in price.
For what you pay, you get a 2133 MHz DIMM RAM that is designed with nearly every kind of computer user in mind. From gamers looking for the highest gaming frame rates to those that are looking to just get through the creation of a presentation for work, the Value Select was created to strike a balance that provides smooth operation in both the gaming and non gaming worlds of computer use. This design allows it to also be compatible with most motherboard models, allowing you to incorporate the Value Select in any build you could be designing.
While there is no overclocking capabilities to speak of with the Value Select, it does give users enough bang for their buck to give a smooth gaming experience. Should misfortune befall your Value Select RAM, the unit does come with a lifetime warranty that should cover any and all unforeseen circumstances.
It may not be the biggest dog in the fight, but it does have one hell of a bite. No matter if you are someone who is building a computer for gaming or business, the Corsair Value Select will be able to give you what you need.
- Amazing Performance with Great Power Efficiency.
- XPG Z1 features excellent cooling and stable data transfer due to Thermal Conductive Technology...
Another lower-speed offering on the market, ADATA’s XPG line sacrifices processing speed for overall performance. Clocking in at 2400MHz for the smaller end units and ranging upwards to 2800MHz, it can’t match others in the MHz department. However, the XPG does perform remarkably well despite these limitations. ADATA claims that they use the highest standards in manufacturing the 10-layered printed circuit boards, allowing for higher performance than comparable units. Its well-designed heat spreader is especially efficient, allowing for a mere power usage of only 1.2V, the lowest of any of the RAM sets profiled here. It’s also visually attractive, featuring a strikingly angled shape bathed in red. The XPG line starts at $95 for 8GB and tops out at a whopping $490 for 32GB. It’s a lot of money for less speed, but hardcore gamers swear by its incredible performance and durability. If you’re a serious gamer and want to stretch your DDR4 performance to the max, and you have the cash to burn, then the ADATA XPG series is worth the money.
Crucial Ballistix Sport (DDR4 Version)
- Designed for entry-level and mainstream users
- Integrated heat spreaders
While an upgrade on the basic Crucial line, the Ballistix Sport series still operates at a slightly lower level in comparison to other DDR4 offerings. The speed is good – 3000MHz with overclocking possible up to 3200MHz, but where this unit does shine is in its lower power signature than comparable RAM blocks. Like the G.Skill Trident Z, it uses only 1.35V of power, ideal for high-performance, energy-sucking systems. The price range starts at $24 for 4GB of RAM, and works its way upward from there – $40 for 8GB (1x8GB), $75 for 16GB (2x8GB) and $165 for 32GB (4x8GB). The cost is lower than other higher-end RAM, but this unit, unfortunately, isn’t quite up to those same performance specs. While it does offer better overall performance than it’s cheaper sibling the basic Crucial line, the Ballistix Sport series can easily be overlooked for better products.
G.Skill RipJaw DDR4
- Brand G.SKILL Series Ripjaws V Series Model F4-2400C15D-8GVR
- Capacity 8GB (2 x 4GB) Type 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM Speed DDR4 2400 (PC4-19200) Cas Latency 15...
G-Skill’s products always have a tendency to have a very unique look to them, and the same is true with the G-Skill Ripjaw, which sports a vibrant red outer shell that is sure to catch the eye of most computer builders right out of the box. While this shell looks great, it also does a hell of a job distributing heat and keeping the temp of you DDR4 low
This shell houses a 288-pin DDR4 2400 speed ram with 8 GB Memory, giving your computer’s performance the boost that you are looking for. From apps to videos and games, everything will run on your computer a little bit smoother.
The Ripjaw is compatible with most processors and motherboards that you will find, however, due to the size of the Ripjaw, some smaller boards may have some issue seating the DDR4 RAM comfortably. The positive is that if the Ripjaw fits into your gaming rig, you will be provided with some top of the line gaming experience, with low latency from the RAM and the ability to overclock into some of the smoothest gaming that you can likely find anywhere.
The Ripjaw uses low 1.2 volt power, which will help you to keep the power consumption of your computer low, which in turn can help you to prevent short circuiting and overheating. This combination of power and efficiency help to make the beast that is the G-Skill Ripjaw one of the best DDR4 RAMs that you can buy.
Corsair Dominator Platinum
- Using best of the best IC’s available leads to highly overclockable memory
- Patented technology pulls performance-robbing heat away from the modules and allows Dominator...
Ranging from 3000MHz to 3200MHz depending on the configuration, the Corsair Dominator Platinum series delivers excellent memory speed at a competitive price. Starting at $85 for 8GB (2x4GB), it ranges upward through 16GB (2x8GB) at $135 and 32GB (4x8GB) which will set you back $310. Pricier than G.Skill’s Trident Z, Corsair comes with the added benefit of Corsair’s higher name value. The Platinum series is truly designed with gamers and high-performance users in mind, specifically with its DHX cooling system capable of handling virtually any environment. While there is no color palette on offer, it does feature the ability to add a light bar kit to incorporate LED lighting into it. Looks, performance, durability and speed are all hallmarks of the Corsair line, and the Dominator Platinum DDR4 series is a worthy addition.
G.Skill Trident Z
- Trident Z is the latest high-performance DDR4 range from G.Skill, designed for gaming and...
- Optimized for the latest 6th Generation Intel Core Processors and Z170 chipsets
Offering a whopping 3200MHz out of the box with the ability to overclock up to 3733MHz, the G.Skill Trident Z series offers superior RAM performance. This product is perfect for serious gamers, giving you the opportunity to play with the big boys. The onboard heat spreader keeps the RAM blocks cool while operating at top speed, and it offers a great deal of power when used on a supporting CPU motherboard. It doesn’t come cheaply – $117 for 16GB and $250 for 32GB (in a 4x8GB configuration) – but it’s definitely worth the price for the serious gamer. The power configuration sucks up 1.35V of power, lower than comparable DDR3 RAM blocks, but higher than the low-end PNY Anarchy. All in all, the G.Skill Trident Z line will supercharge your system and let you play at the highest levels.
Viper Elite: Extreme Performance
- Viper Elite Series DDR4 Intended for Intel 100 series platforms
- Black Sides / Red Top
DDR4 RAM that is designed for gaming purposes don’t come much better than the Viper, a Patriot brand product. This is apparent right out of the box for this DDR4, as you will see a custom designed and beautiful plating on the product, which is designed to help keep the temperatures down low on your computer, helping to prevent overheating.
Using XMP 2.0 technology, the Viper can easily be overclocked, giving gamers the smooth, seamless gaming that they have been dreaming of. This is great when used with new, high end motherboards (which the Viper is compatible with), as it will give you a gaming experience that will make your friends jealous of you.
Going the extra mile, the folks at patriot hand test all the ICs used with the Viper. This helps to ensure that each unit is able to operate effectively off of it’s 1.5 volt currency. This in turn helps with the longevity of the Viper, meaning that you won’t be needing to replace this DDR4 RAM anytime soon. These products also come in packages of two, giving you two lanes for your memory and keeping your computer running fast.
We can not speak highly enough of the Patriot Viper, as it is one of the best all around DDR4 RAM that you are likely to find. Should you want something that is certain to work out of the box, can protect itself while in operation, and provide unparalleled gaming, look no further than the Patriot Viper.
What DDR4 RAM is for you?
While most of these DDR4 RAM blocks are worthy of serious attention, the G.Skill Trident Z stands out with its balance of price versus performance. It’s by no means the cheapest RAM on the block – remember it starts at $85 – but it embodies everything that a good DDR4 setup should have. While the power consumption and performance of the ADATA XPG should be positively noted, the Trident Z strikes an excellent mix of speed, power usage and efficiency. It’s an excellent choice for the dedicated gamer and is sure to make your system purr while handling any task you give it.
As you can see, there are different types of RAM for people on any budget, and whether you are looking for DDR3 or DDR4 RAM you have a plethora of options to choose from. For most people I’d recommend sticking with one of the budget gaming RAMs on this list, but for others who are truly trying to optimize performance, then you might want to consider getting a more expensive option.
If you have any questions about this post on the best RAM for gaming then please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll answer your question as soon as possible.