The RAM capacity is one of the top specs gamers need to spend money on when building, buying, or upgrading a new gaming PC. To support smooth gaming, you need the highest capacity RAM your budget allows.
But which RAM cards are the best for your needs? Which ones are actually good?
To sort the best RAM for gaming in crowded online markets, read below for some top suggestions and buying tips.
Top 5 Best RAM for Gaming – 2021
Arguably, the best RAM for gaming right now is the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB. The DDR4 RAM cards are available in 8GB capacity each.
These cards come with a huge promise:
Corsair says the Vengeance LPX 16GB is designed to for high-performance overclocking. It has special technology to manage overheating.
The heatspreader of these cards is made from aluminium. It allows faster heat dissipation. And there are 8 layers of it!
The cards even come with XMP 2.0 support. It’s specifically made for overclocking jobs.
The RAM cards are compatible with Intel series motherboards from 100 to 300. You can also use it with AMD 300 or 400 series products. The only downside is compatibility.
These cards are compatible with only specified motherboards. Performance can dip when used with common motherboards that might be incompatible.
It technically fits into a Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 3 motherboard. But the performance runs down to just 2133 MHz.
Other than the compatibility problems, these RAM cards are perfect for gamers. The price isn’t inflated and the cards last a long time.
- High capacity
- Excellent heat dissipation
- Designed for overclocking
- XMP 2.0 support
- Compatibility issues
Picky about memory? Then this Ballistix Sport RAM card kit might be what you need.
Why is it so good?
For starters, the RAM cards are highly affordable. The unfamiliar brand name may play a part in this regard.
The cards are DDR4, from the latest generation. You can expect faster responsiveness and speed as a result.
The icing on top:
You can overclock up to 3200 MHz. Gamers can really juice out the best performance with this.
You will be offered Intel XMP 2.0 tech with the RAM cards. It allows configuring the RAM cards easy.
Unfortunately, this RAM card doesn’t allow automatic overclocking. You need to configure it from BIOS.
Interestingly enough, this RAM card works near perfectly with the latest Ryzen systems. The performance is yet to be determined on the upcoming Core i9 chipsets.
The chipset is rather standard, apart from this. You won’t need to worry too much about purchasing the kit at once.
Don’t mix and match RAM cards. You will need a matching set to ensure high performance.
One more thing:
This RAM card is designed mainly for desktop motherboards. It’s largely incompatible with laptop motherboards.
- Affordable price for the latest gen RAM card
- Overclocking available
- XMP 2.0 tech included
- Works great with Ryzen systems
- Overclocking has to be configured from BIOS
This style set of RAM cards is 8GB each in capacity. Overall, this gives you 16GB of RAM with both cards.
The white RAM cards are easy to install. The plug-and-play functionality is available for both Intel and AMD motherboards.
And that’s not the only perk:
The RAM cards have asymmetric heat spreaders. It allows for efficient heat spreading during work.
It’s no surprise that these RAM cards offer automatic overclocking. The cards would go into overdrive without requiring any BIOS changes on your part.
These RAM cards are compatible with the following motherboards:
Intel chipsets H67, P67, Z68, Z77, Z87, and H6. AMD chipsets A75, A87, A88, A89, A78, and E35.
Here’s what gives you the best value for money:
The lifetime guarantee. Kingston offers a huge guarantee and free technical support for these cards.
Kingston offers these RAM cards in a kit. That means you can purchase both cards at once for a single price.
The cards are highly cost-effective as a result. The overall price is much lower compared to many other brands.
There’s a caveat though:
These RAM cards are DDR3. They’re older compared to the DDR4 RAM cards you can buy today.
You will not experience major performance issues with DDR3. Though the cards are slightly slower and less efficient compared to DDR4 cards.
Overclocking enthusiasts may be disappointed. The DDR3 RAM cards only support max clocking to 2,133 MHz.
- Automatic overclocking
- Excellent heat dissipation tech
- Supports both AMD and Intel systems
- Lifetime guarantee included
- Comes with free tech support
- Older generation RAM card
- Overclocking threshold is limited
The Dominator RAM cards are designed for extreme gaming enthusiasts. The 8GB sticks are available in packs of 2 for a total of 16GB capacity.
What makes these RAM sticks so special?
The Corsair Dominator is designed exclusively for Intel 100 Series motherboards. The cards are tested to be compatible across nearly all Intel 100 desktop motherboards.
You can overclock up to 3200 MHz on an Intel 100. The sticks can be used on a Ryzen motherboard too. But the max clocking speed would drop to 2400 MHz.
The sticks have an SPD speed of 2133MHz each. Latency is 15-15-15-36 for each card.
Each card has DHX cooling. You get a light bar for cool looks, which you can customize.
The cards are ready for overclocking thanks to XMP 2.0 support. You can go directly to automatic overclocking without troublesome BIOS changes.
There’s something else that makes these cards well worth the money:
The lifetime warranty. The purchase is one of the most reliable you can get from any brand.
These RAM cards are perfect for upgrading your desktop. Other than non-Intel compatibility issues, there are no major problems.
- Highly compatible with Intel 100 Series motherboards
- Lifetime warranty
- Automatic overcloking
- DHX cooling
- Not very compatible with non-Intel motherboards
The G.Skill TridentZ RGB Series RAM cards look great and perform well.
The DDR4 RAM cards can deliver performance up to 3200 MHz. Here are more particular specs:
The latency level is 16. Timing is 16-18-18-38. And the voltage consumed is 1.35V.
Overall, this RAM card set is well worth the money. You also get 16GB of capacity in a dual-card kit.
These RAM cards are optimized for Intel keyboards. Therefore, the product may not work with Ryzen chipsets.
Some users have claimed the cards work with Ryzen PCs as well. You shouldn’t have any trouble running the cards on MSI or ASUS systems.
One big hassle is configuring the card, especially for overclocking. There are several cumbersome steps to follow, including downloading a zip file and manually installing what you need.
One note of advice:
Update Your BIOS when installing these cards. Otherwise, they will not work properly.
These RAM cards look rad and perform as intended. Intel users would be particularly happy with the product.
- Latest gen RAM type
- Optimized for Intel
- Good capacity for good prices
- Requires manual configuration
- May not work with Ryzen 7
Things to Know When Buying RAM for Gaming
Not sure how fast or big the RAM capacity should be? Read below to learn about how to choose the best RAM cards for your computer:
Different Types of RAM for Gaming
There are many different types of RAM available for digital devices. Here is a list:
- Static RAM (SRAM)
- Dynamic RAM (DRAM)
- Synchronous Dynamic RAM (SDRAM)
- Single Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM (SDR SDRAM)
- Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM (DDR SDRAM)
- Graphics Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM (GDDR SDRAM)
- Flash Memory
Out of these, you would find SDRAM, and DDR SDRAM available in computers and video gaming consoles.
The difference between the types of RAM are highly technical and surpass the purpose of this article. The type of RAM you should be concerned about is this:
DDR. In just about any gaming computer, you would get a DDR type RAM with a number.
The RAM would be available as DDR3 or DDR4, which is the latest available for gaming computers. DDR stands for double data rate.
DDR RAM is available in generations, running from the unnumbered first to the latest fourth. A newer generation indicates that the RAM is faster and more energy efficient.
When you purchase a RAM card, ensure that it belongs to the latest DDR generation. Right now, we are still at the fourth.
The Main Features of RAM for Gaming
These are the main features about RAM cards gamers should be concerned about:
It refers to how big a storage a RAM card has. RAM capacity per card is available from 2GB to 32GB.
For gaming computers, the bigger the RAM capacity, the better it is. The recommended minimal RAM capacity for a 64-bit gaming computer is 8GB.
Ideally, you should have at least 16GB. 4GB is adequate for computing needs like web browsing, but not for gaming.
Configurations can go high as 32GB or even 128GB in special rigs. However, the bigger the RAM card is, the more expensive it would be.
Clock speeds refer to the CPU clocking that the RAM card supports. Some gamers are obsessed with clocking, and other, not so much.
Clocking is an in-built feature that depends on the type and generation of the RAM card. For example:
The recommended DDR4 RAM card for gaming supports CPU clock speeds ranging from 2,133 MHz to over 4,000 MHz. The range is limited with older generations.
Gamers don’t really need to worry too much about clock speeds on modern computers. It’s a fixed spec and you should be more concerned with the capacity.
You would notice a latency spec even with modern RAM cards. However, this spec ceased to be relevant a long time ago.
Latency indicates how long it takes the RAM card to receive a command from the CPU. The latency is higher as the capacity becomes greater.
You would definitely want a RAM card with lower latency. But:
The latency difference between the high and low performing RAM cards are largely negligible. The differences are in nanoseconds and don’t matter very much.
So you don’t need to be too concerned with this spec. However, it’s useful to know what it is.
Things to Look for When Buying RAM for Gaming
Buying a RAM card is not as difficult as you might think. Just keep the following in mind:
- The most important spec to concern yourself with is the capacity. The other features that mattered in the past have become negligible concerns as modern RAM technology has evolved.
- For gaming, the higher the RAM, the better. Don’t settle for less in this regard.
- It’s recommended to get the RAM capacity you need with dual or more cards. There’s no particular advantage with a single RAM except that it’s easier to replace. With dual cards, the computer can continue to run even if one RAM card gets shot.
- Buy DDR4 RAM cards as this is the latest generation currently available.
- Try to buy a RAM card with a warranty, if available.
- Make sure you purchase a RAM card that fits your motherboard.
The best RAM card for a gaming computer should have the highest capacity you can afford. If you are an overclocking enthusiast, you may want to focus on that as well.
The modern DDR4 RAM cards suggested above offer the best speeds and performance that modern RAM tech allows. With 16GB DDR4 cards, you will be able to play the latest games at the highest settings.
If you want more affordability, go for DDR3 RAM cards. The performance may suffer slightly, but not too much.
Get the best for your money with brands that offer lifetime guarantees and similar perks.
Keep in mind:
The RAM capacity is just as important to a gaming rig as the graphics unit or the processor. Without adequate RAM capacity, even the latest GPU or CPU won’t run games smoothly.
You should, therefore, invest in the right capacity of RAM for your computer. It might be expensive, but it’s totally worth it.