Electronics

Best RAM for Gaming 2018 (DDR3/DDR4)

In this (Updated) guide, we are going to take a look at The BEST gaming RAM DDR3 and DDR4 options that are available.

In a Nutshell:

Let’s dive in….

Best RAM for Gaming 2018

ItemCapacitySpeedType of Memory 
Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3333MHz C16 Memory Kit
(Editor's Choice)
32 GB3333 MHzDDR4 Check Price
SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 3000MHz (PC4 24000) Desktop Memory
(Editor's Choice)
16 GB3000 MHzDDR4 Check Price
Corsair Vengeance RGB LED 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000 (PC4-24000) C15 - Intel 100/200 Series PC Memory 16 GB3000 MHzDDR4 Check Price
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2400MHz C16 Desktop Memory Kit16 GBBuilt-in Head SupportDDR4 Check Price
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2666 MHz C16 Desktop Memory Kit32 GBBuilt-in Head and Lumbar SupportDDR4 Check Price
Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB Kit
(Editor's Choice)
8 GB1600 MHzDDR3 Check Price
SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Intel Z170/X99 Desktop Memory16 GB 2400 MHzDDR4 Check Price
Kingston HyperX FURY 16GB Kit (2x8GB)16 GB 1866 MHzDDR3 Check Price
Ballistix Tactical 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1866 MT/s (PC3-14900) UDIMM 240-Pin Memory16 GB 1866 MHzDDR3 Check Price
Ballistix Sport LT 4GB Single DDR4 2666 MT/s (PC4-21300) SR x8 DIMM 288-Pin Memory4 GB2666 MHzDDR4 Check Price

Other Awesome Guides:


1) Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3333MHz C16 Memory Kit

 

The Corsair Dominator Platinum Series is a memory kit that comes with four DIMMs of 8 GB DDR4 DRAM, which gives you a total of 32 GB to work with. It comes with a DHX cooling system that is going to be great for gaming, and there is even a monitoring system that can be used to make sure that your system is not overheating.

This RAM also has a built-in XMP 2.0 support that is designed to allow you to overclock with ease. In fact, when you turn your system on, the RAM will automatically adjust to the fastest speed that your system can handle. In addition, the lighting bar at the top of the RAM can be configured so that the LED display matched the lighting in your gaming rig.

A DIMM of this RAM is about 0.28 inches by 5.32 inches by 2.17 inches and contains 288 pins, so make sure that these DIMMs can fit into your gaming rig before you decide whether this is the RAM that is best for your system.

PROS

  • The top bar and the light pipe on this RAM can easily be customized and upgraded for your gaming needs.
  • The cooling technology on this unit’s great, and when it’s paired with a cooling fan, you’ll never experience overheating.

CONS

  • Some of the cooling heatsinks that are designed on this RAM can cause a clearance issue on some computers.

2) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 3000MHz (PC4 24000) Desktop Memory

 

The G.Skill TridentZ RGB Series is a set of two DDR4 DIMMs that are 8 GB a piece, which gives you a 16 GB total capacity. On first look, you will notice how colorful the RAM is externally, but upon further inspection, the DIMMS can also be upgraded using software that allows you to expand the coloration to a full rainbow spectrum that you can customize to match our gaming rig.

The heat spreaders on the unit are designed to be very thin so that they can dissipate the heat from your computer quickly and efficiently. Overclocking is also a possibility with this RAM; in fact, the TridentZ is specifically designed with a 10 layer PCB that can increase the stability and the performance of your entire system.

A DIMM of this RAM is about 0.67 inches by 5.2 inches by 1.7 inches, which makes it a little bit smaller than the RAM that we just looked at. However, you will still need to ensure that it fits nicely into your gaming rig.

PROS

  • The LED lighting on this RAM is perfectly customizable, which makes it great for gaming.
  • The heat dissipation of this RAM is very effective, which makes it great for overclocking.

CONS

  • The LED lighting of this RAM does not turn off when your computer goes into sleep mode.


3) Corsair Vengeance RGB LED 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000 (PC4-24000) C15 – Intel 100/200 Series PC Memory

 

This Corsair Ram is part of the Vengeance Series, and it is designed with stunning RGB that is designed to give you a wide range of color options that you can choose from to help customize your gaming rig. If you want control over the lighting effects and the ability to link this RAM to other Corsair products, then you are going to need to download a software package that will allow you that functionality and more.

The DDR4 is designed to function at a speed of 3000 MHz, which makes it one of the fastest options that are available to you. In fact, this RAM has even come really close to breaking the world record for overclocking. There are also redesigned heat spreaders and a 10 layer performance PCB that is designed to increase your signal so that your performance doesn’t suffer from overclocking.

When it comes to dimensions, this model is 1.81 inches by 5.35 inches by 0.3 inches, which means that this RAM will easily fit into most computers that you plan to game with.

PROS

  • The LED lighting that you can customize on this RAM is great if you want a cool lighting effect on your gaming rig.
  • These DIMMs are very easy to install; in fact, they literally just snap right into place.

CONS

  • These DIMMs are a bit on the tall side, which can be an issue in some systems.


4) Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2400MHz C16 Desktop Memory Kit

 

The next RAM that we are going to look at is also created from Corsair, and it is designed to give you a high level of memory that is ideal for overclocking. Starting with the size, you will notice that these two 8 GB DIMMs are designed with a standard shape that is 0.6 inches by 5.3 inches by 1.3 inches. When you place both DIMMs into your motherboard, you will have a full 16 GB available to you.

Since this RAM is designed to be used while you are overclocking your system, you can expect that it will be able to handle heat quite well. In fact, the aluminum heat spreader even pulls the excess heat away from the ICs so that you don’t have to limit how much you push your gaming rig.

To help with overclocking potential, there is an eight-layer PCB in the RAM as well as the ability to automatically adjust the speed if your computer begins to get too hot. This ensures that you always get the performance that you want when you need it the most.

PROS

  • The cooling system that is designed into this RAM is perfect for intense gaming sessions.
  • This RAM has a smaller form factor that allows it to easily fit into small, more compact cases.

CONS

  • This is not the cheapest RAM, but if you are looking for a good set of DIMMs, consider it as an option.


5) Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 DRAM 2666MHz C16 Desktop Memory Kit

 

Red is a nice color for fast RAM, and the Vengeance LPX RAM from Corsair really does provide a good amount of speed for your gaming rig. For those that want bleeding-edge speed, this RAM is fully overclockable so that you can optimize your setup for faster-paced, more demanding games like Overwatch or the Call of Duty series. Combine this versatility with its compatibility, and you’ve got a great RAM setup that provides a capacity of 32GB.

In addition to these design features, this memory has an excellently efficient heat spreader design that dissipates heat. This is part of the reason why its overclocking is so effective; even the extra heat provided by this modification is near-perfectly managed.

As a gamer, nothing can be more annoying than finding out that your RAM doesn’t precisely fit inside the confines of your case. Sometimes the vertical dimensions of RAM can cause issues with space, especially where processor and mobo fans are concerned. Fortunately, these DIMMs are designed with the understanding that gamers like micro ATX cases that may have a premium on physical space.

PROS

  • If red isn’t your thing, these Corsair RAM DIMMs come in multiple colors, which can help you accessorize with your rig.
  • Corsair used aluminum in the design of this RAM because this material dissipates heat with a high degree of efficiency.
  • This is one of the best gaming RAM DDR4 for overclocking because of its ability to be overclocked via software.

CONS

  • If you want to run the RAM at 3200 speed, you’ll have to overclock it. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck at 2400 similarly to normal RAM.


6) Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB Kit

 

The Kingston HyperX Fury is a set of two DDR3 DIMMs that are each 4 GB that is designed for gaming and overclocking your system. In fact, before you even adjust your bios after installation, you will notice an improvement in your speed and performance. If you have a great gaming rig, this RAM will even be able to automatically adjust your ability to overclock to 1600 MHz.

The heat spreader, which is designed to help keep things cool in your system, is designed with an asymmetrical design that creates a unique look that stands out from its competitors. This RAM is available in four different color options, and it even comes with a lifetime warranty so that you never need to be disappointed by that computer that you spent so much time building.

When it comes to size, a DIMM of this RAM is rather small with dimensions of 4.5 inches by 13 inches by 0.1 inches, so it should be able to fit into the majority of cases with ease.

PROS

  • This RAM has a low profile that makes it easy to install into any motherboard or gaming case.
  • The heat spreaders that are designed into this RAM work exceptionally well when it comes to cooling.

CONS

  • This RAM is not the largest option available, but if you need to double the DIMMS, you can easily do so.


7) G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Intel Z170/X99 Desktop Memory

 

As our second RAM from G.Skill on this list, you can expect another quality product from the Ripjaws V Series DIMMs. This is a dual-channel DDR4 memory stick that is designed with high-quality components to help take your gaming to another level. This set comes with two 8 GB DIMMs, so you will gain an additional 16 GB of memory if you are adding this RAM to your system.

At 2400 MHz, you will be able to get more speed out of this RAM so that you can improve your gaming, your videos, and the processing power of your computer. When tested, it worked well with a wide selection of motherboards, and it remained reliable, even when the RAM was being overclocked to a higher level of performance.

When it comes to size, this RAM should easily fit into any computer with a dimension of 0.55 inches by 5.4 inches by 0.17 inches. It does have a curved top, which may interfere with some fans, but it should fit with ease in most gaming rigs. In addition, this RAM is available in four different color options that you can choose from so that your RAM matches the rest of your gaming peripherals.

PROS

  • This RAM is quite easy to install, so you can easily purchase it without worrying about professional installation.
  • This RAM remains cool even when you are engaging in intense gaming sessions that require a lot of overclocking.

CONS

  • This RAM has a relatively high price point for 16 GB, but some gamers may consider it an investment.


8) Kingston HyperX FURY 16GB Kit (2x8GB)

 

One of the best features of this HyperX RAM is actually its warranty; it provides a lifetime warranty and free tech support. For anyone that has had a DIMM blow out, this is an amazing feature that adds a lot of value to the product. Outside of the excellent support, this is RAM that should work excellently for your gaming needs. It actually is automatically overclocked, which means that you won’t have to change a single setting in the Bios.

The heat dissipation on this RAM is very efficient so that you don’t suffer RAM overheating during periods of more demanding gaming. Once it’s plugged in, the bootup sequence is very fast an automatically accesses its rated speeds. Corsair has provided a wide array of color choices with this RAM, so feel free to accessorize it with the look of your rig; in fact, color choices range from pure white to jet black.

PROS

  • This is a very stable RAM, even when you overclock it to max speeds thanks to its excellent heat dissipation.
  • This RAM is very easy to install; simply plug it in and be ready to experience very fast functionality.
  • Having a lifetime warranty is an amazing feature. Despite that this is very stable RAM, calamity can still happen, and if it does, Kingston has support.

CONS

  • The heat spreader material can come off and cause a mess if the ambient temperature increases too much.


9) Ballistix Tactical 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1866 MT/s (PC3-14900) UDIMM 240-Pin Memory

 

Another overclocking-friendly memory option, this product from Ballistix is a DDR3 product that provides some excellent overall functionality for gaming. The first feature that makes this RAM good is its head spreading tech; if you’re planning on overclocking this RAM the enhanced heat spreader will keep the memory from having overheating issues as you game.

This RAM has a 240-pin configuration for DDR3-compatible motherboards. The DIMMs themselves are colored a vivid yellow, which really will make them standout in cases that have windows. Ballistix also has included a lifetime warranty with each purchase of the Tactical RAM, which is great when mishaps occur.

Overall, the Ballistix Tactical offers a very stable performance for anyone that is looking to run current generation games on their systems. Additionally, this RAM also has a fairly low-profile design that should fit in most rigs, even those that use a micro-ATX configuration.

PROS

  • This RAM is fairly easy to overclock; simply apply the settings in the Bios, and you’ll have access to a good amount of speed.
  • It’s fairly easy to install this RAM as it is plug-and-play. Additionally, it also has a sizing that makes it easily installable in crowded systems.
  • The Ballistix Tactical has 8-8-8-24 timing, which means that this ram is blisteringly fast for many modern games.

CONS

  • For some reason, this RAM will default back to 1333MHz if you let it. This means that you’ll have to re-overclock it from time to time.
  • Not everyone is going to value the yellow coloration on this RAM; it can definitely be an eyesore in some setups.


10) Ballistix Sport LT 4GB Single DDR4 2666 MT/s (PC4-21300) SR x8 DIMM 288-Pin Memory

 

 

For those that want to engage in fast-paced gaming, the Sport memory from Ballistix is a great option that can keep up with the action. It starts out at 2400 MT/s, is fully overclockable, and is capable of achieving timings of 18-18-18-38 with a voltage of 1.35V. In fact, it’s fairly easy achieving speeds of 3000MHz with the Sport, which means that you should be able to get maximum performance out of most modern games.

When it comes to responsiveness, the Sport LT definitely seems to come out ahead of the typical DDR4 memory kits, and it’s already speedy presets make this a very attractive memory for most competitive gamers. From an aesthetic point of view, the Sport looks, well, sporty. It has a red camouflage design on it and its configuration accommodates the 288-pin connectors found on DDR4-compliant motherboards.

While this product only provides 8GB of RAM to start, it comes in at a very reasonable price so that you can invest in more without breaking the bank. The heat spreader on this device is also very efficient; meaning that overclocking won’t cause problems with the RAM in the future.

PROS

  • The red camouflage design on this RAM really is a prime indicator of the sportiness and speed of the memory.
  • This RAM starts with a 2400 MT/s speed so that you may not feel the need to immediately overclock the RAM.
  • Ballistix really has done a good job with the heat dissipation system on this RAM; it’s very overclocking-friendly.

CONS

  • It’s important to be 100 percent sure that this RAM is compatible with your motherboard; this RAM isn’t supported by every manufacturer.

Best RAM for Gaming Buyer’s Guide

What are some popular games that require less RAM?

  • World of Warcraft (2 GB)
  • Hearthstone (2 GB)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2 GB)

What are some popular games that really take advantage of more RAM?

  • Overwatch (4 GB)
  • The Witcher 3 (6 GB)
  • Fallout 4 (8 GB)
  • Hitman (8 GB)
  • Destiny 2 (8 GB)

What is RAM?

Ram serves as your computer’s memory. While your processor is responsible for all of the computer’s computational abilities, and the hard drive is there for the storage of computer information, the RAM does something different that links the two computer components. RAM is where the computational process meets the stored information and determines how quickly the two aspects of computing work together.

What does RAM stand for?

RAM stands for “random access memory,” and it is a part of your computer that is required to store temporary files that you use for gaming. This data is stored in a random manner, and because it is a volatile form of storing information, it will not remain in your system’s memory when you power down your computer.

How much RAM should you have to modern gaming?

The amount of RAM that you need for modern gaming will vary a bit based on the actual game because each game has different requirements to optimize the game. That being said, most of the games from the last few years require you to have a minimum of 8 GB in your gaming system, but the recommended amount of RAM could even be a little bit higher. How to Geek has a list of a few popular games and their RAM requirements that may help you figure out how much memory is right for your gaming needs.

Is RAM easy to install?

RAM is pretty easy to install on any gaming computer, but before you begin, make sure that the system is turned off. Then, open the side of the computer case and line up the pins with correct area of the motherboard. Push the Ram into the motherboard until the clasps close; you should hear a clicking sound when the RAM is secure.

WikiHow has a more detailed guide that can help guide you through the process.

Can you upgrade your RAM yourself?

Yes, upgrading RAM is effectively the same as installing it. Just make sure that your computer can accommodate the number of gigabytes that you want to upgrade to and that you have enough slots to make the upgrade that you want. If you have all 4 GB DIMMs, then you can upgrade them to 8GB DIMMs in most systems with ease.

What is a DIMM of RAM?

A DIMM is a dual in-line memory module that is in effect a small circuit board that is located on your motherboard. The more DIMMs of RAM you have, the better the system will typically perform.

Is it better to have one large DIMM of RAM or smaller amounts?

It depends on the number of slots that are on your motherboard, but typically, if you can get larger DIMMs, you will want them because you will still be able to fill the same amount of slots. Remember, that multiple sticks of RAM can improve your gaming rig’s performance, so you won’t have as much as possible, but split it between DIMMs.

What’s the point of RGB RAM?

When most people look for RAM, they look at the numbers to improve their computer’s performance, but that is not the only thing that a gamer looks for when it comes to RAM. A lot of gaming cases are designed with clear windows that allow you to see directly into the computer, which is where RGB RAM comes into play. This type of RAM can give you a pulsating flash of color inside your gaming rig that draws the attention of onlookers and makes other gamers envious.

What is DDR3 RAM?

DDR3 stands for “double data rate type 3,” and it is a type of RAM that was first designed in 2007. If you have an older AMD, motherboard, your computer may still require DDR3 because this type of RAM is not forwards or backward compatible. This means that before you jump into making a purchase for DDR3 RAM, make sure that it is the type of RAM that your gaming rig requires.

What makes DDR4 RAM good for gaming?

DDR4 is the mainstream memory that many of the high-end gaming systems will require. It will greatly improve your latency during gameplay as well as increase your gaming experience in general. This type of RAM was released in 2014, so if you have a top-tier gaming system, your motherboard is going to require DDR4.

Can you use DDR3 RAM in the same slots as DDR4?

No, you cannot use both types of RAM on the same computer system. This is because a motherboard is designed to use a specific type of RAM, which means that the older DDR3 DIMMs cannot be used in newer systems and DDR4 DIMMs will not work in a Newer gaming rig. That being said, if you do put the RAM in a slot that it was not designed for, the performance of your computer is likely to suffer.

If you have a gaming laptop, can you upgrade your RAM?

Typically, RAM that is on a desktop computer is easy to upgrade, but the same is not true for a laptop. Some laptop manufacturers do lave slots for additional RAM so that you can upgrade in the future, but not all laptops have that option. If you have a gaming laptop, look at the specs and see if the RAM can be upgraded before making a purchase.

Why is it better to have RAM with higher capacity?

Higher capacity RAM gives you the ability to have more RAM overall, and the more RAM that you have installed in your gaming system, the better it will perform. That being said, a higher capacity means that fewer DIMMs will provide you with the same functionality and take up less space on your computer.

What are the pluses of upgrading your computer’s RAM?

RAM is designed to make your computer perform better, but here are some of the things that you will notice when you upgrade your computer’s RAM:

  • Your system’s overall speed will improve.
  • Your computer will start up and shut down more quickly.
  • Transferring data from one location to another on your computer will be quicker.
  • More memory means that you can have more programs open at the same time without slowing down the processing speed.
  • Browsing will be quicker.
  • The response time in games will be smoother.

What is DRAM?

This is dynamic random access data, and it refers to a type of RAM that is designed to store information or coding that your computer needs to function. This type of RAM needs to be jolted with an electrical charge to be refreshed, but this requirement also means that it will require a bit more energy than other types of RAM.

What is SRAM?

This is static random access memory that is designed to hold small bits of information in the background of your system as long as the unit is being powered. Typically, this type of RAM is more reliable and a bit faster than DRAM because the location of the data remains in a static location.

How does RAM frequency affect performance?

When you have a higher frequency, it takes less time to load and unload the data from the memory to the game that you are playing. That being said, it can also make the minimum framerates that you experience much higher overall. When you have a higher framerate, the chance of the graphics catching or slowing down greatly decreases, which gives you a better gaming experience.

Can you overclock RAM?

Yes, you can overclock the RAM that is on your computer, and it does not even take that much effort. First, make sure that the DIMMs are, all the same, then reboot your bios menu and go to a performance. You disable the preset profile by choosing a preset overclock option, save the information to your bios, and then run a stress test to make sure that the machine can handle the overclock speed that you set your gaming rig at.

Can you ruin your computer by overclocking RAM?

In most situations, your cooling system will be able to handle being overclocked without an issue, but if the stick of RAM is overclocked too much, then it can be damaged, which can cause errors to occur over time. This type of damage is not something that you really need to worry about because everything wears over time, but if you do overclock your system and the RAM overheats, then you could cause damage that is irreversible.

Are heatsinks important for RAM?

Typically, these tools that are designed to help keep your RAM cool are not needed for most computers, but when you get into hardcore gaming where you plan to overclock the RAM to improve the framerate and the gaming experience, a heatsink and some fans will keep the system from overheating.

What are the different sizes of RAM that are available today?

Today, most gaming computers will have at least 16 GB of RAM in the system, and the higher end models may even have up to 64 GB of RAM. There are still 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB DIMMs but unless they are used in combination, they are not sufficient enough for a gaming setup. For most games, you do not want to use anything less than four 4 GB DIMMs.

What are some popular brands of RAM?

When you are looking for RAM, there are several brands that are worth considering during your search. Some of the most popular brands include names like:

  • Corsair
  • G.Skill
  • Kingston
  • Hynix
  • Micron
  • Mushkin
  • Lenovo

Why are some DIMMs of RAM shaped differently?

Some DIMMs of RAM are designed a little bit larger than others because they are designed with a heat spreader that will keep your device cool when you overclock the RAM. In addition, if you have LEDs on the RAM, they will take up more space as well.

Can a motherboard have too little physical space for a DIMM of RAM?

Yes, it is possible for a motherboard to be unable to accommodate a DIMM of RAM. Typically, this is because the RAM is too large and it interferes with the location of a fan, but if you get RAM with a smaller form factor, that should not be an issue that you encounter.

Can a motherboard have RAM limitations?

Yes, most motherboards are designed with an upper limit for RAM. Premium and more modern motherboards will have a higher RAM capacity than other models.

Why is my operating system only displaying a limited amount of RAM?

Windows 7 through 10 has a limit of RAM that you can have in the system, so if you have a 32-bit operating system, all of the RAM above 4 GB will not show as available. A 64-bit version of Windows 7 is able to accommodate 192 GB of RAM, and a Windows 10 64 bit version can accommodate 2 TB.

What are some steps that can help you find the best possible RAM for gaming?

When you’re looking for some new RAM, here are some things to consider before you make a purchase:

  • Frequency – For gaming, frequency is important because it decides how much data is transferred in and out of the RAM per second.
  • Overclocking Ability – This will boost the frequency of the RAM to increase its speed.
  • Motherboard RAM Capacity – Every motherboard has an upper RAM limit; when you hit that limit, extra RAM is pointless.

What is dual-channel mode?

This enables two different sticks of RAM to work in tandem so that the data can be processed quicker.

Wrapping It Up

Having the best RAM is a great way to game at your top level. Your in-game response times will be faster, and you’ll experience less stuttering. All of the RAM in this guide is designed for bleeding-edge gaming, so if you’re a hardcore gamer, take a look at the featured products and review our buyers guide for the best gaming experience possible.

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