Best RAM for Gaming 2021 – Our Guide & Recommendations
Without the proper allocation of RAM, your gaming PC will not be able to perform to its full potential. Because of that, the RAM that you decide to implement into your build will play a huge importance in regards to how your system performs.
You don’t want to buy RAM that is either too slow or way too fast compared to what your system can handle. You also don’t want to underinvest in RAM and not allocate sufficient memory that your PC requires to handle all of your operations.
To help you find the best RAM for your gaming PC, after spending hours researching the market, we picked a handful of the best RAM for you to choose from.
During the research and selection process, we considered a number of aspects that we deemed as important when it comes to RAM. Those aspects include:
- Value for Money
- RAM Size
- DDR Generation
- System Compatibility
Whatever your specific needs may be, below, you will find a range of great products that we had the chance to review so that you can easily find the perfect RAM for your gaming rig.
Best Budget-Friendly RAM for Gaming
If you are just starting out as a PC gamer, or are building a very decent gaming PC on a budget, then the HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB 8GB RAM would be a very decent choice.
The price at the time of writing was $73.50.
Despite its relatively low price point, the Kingston HyperX Predator is easy to overclock, allowing PC builders to achieve a faster-than-normal speed out of each stick of RAM.
The heat spreader works in absolute synchronicity with the heatsink to provide great temperature control. With a lifetime warranty on each stick, even if something goes wrong with the RAM, Kingston will ensure you get a replacement.
This 8GB set comprises a single stick of 8GB DDR4 memory, so great for enhancing your gaming experience while also saving room for further expansion.
The RGB LEDs adds character to the memory, which would be of great help should you be building a light show inside your gaming case.
Best RAM for Gaming
Thanks to the CAS latency of 14, the TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB RAM kit leads the market in low-latency RAM, especially when it comes to ADM Ryzen gaming PCs.
The price at the time of writing was $324.00.
Visually speaking, this RAM is nothing short of impressive. In fact, I would go as far as saying that it is one of my personal favorites. This memory features a full mirror reflection design, which creates an incomparable RGB lighting effect.
If you are a big RGB enthusiast and want to sync up every component of your gaming PC to create a stunning light show, then it’s worth mentioning that this RAM is sync-compatible with 6 different software. They include the ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync, ASROCK-Polychrome Sync, TT RGB Plus, and Razer Chroma.
As far as performance goes, this 16 DDR4 RAM is made out of 2x Dual Chanel 3600MHz sticks with a data transfer bandwidth of 28,800 MB/s, which is one of the highest on the market.
The relatively low latency and unbuffered 288-pin module type further guarantee great memory performance pre or even post-overclocking.
Both RAM sticks also feature a high-performance aluminum alloy heat sink, which efficiently dissipates heat from each RAM stick to keep the overall temperature in your case to a minimum.
Now, one question remains. How good is the TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB compared to all other RAM in our selection?
In the table below, you can find a direct performance comparison of all relevant specifications.
|Specification||The Average RAM||TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem||Performance Difference|
|Data Transfer Bandwidth||25,233 MB/s||28,800 MB/s||+12.39%|
Gaming RAM Shopping Tips
Before you dive right in and pick any random RAM for your gaming PC, you need to familiarize yourself with some facts, which will both save you money and give you the best possible performance.
Aim For 16GB of RAM
While you can comfortably play video games with 8GB of RAM, we’d highly recommend you to go for 16GB. If you tend to play games and have your browser open in the background for chatting with your friends via Discord or listen to music on YouTube or Spotify, 16GB of RAM is recommended to avoid any potential bottlenecks, stutters, or lags.
For example, my gaming rig has 8GB, and when I have the browser open, sometimes my game stutters if the RAM is overloaded. Because of that, I am considering upgrading soon.
You Don’t Need High Clock Speed RAM if Your System Cannot Support It
If your system can only support speeds of up to 2,666MHz, there is no reason why you should spend more money on RAM that has a memory speed of 3,600MHz. You will not only spend more money for this faster RAM, but since your system cannot operate at such speed, you may even experience a lower than normal fallback speed as a result of the bottleneck.
Make sure that you check your motherboards’ specifications to check the memory speed that it supports. This way, you will know exactly what type of RAM you should be going for.
A Large Number of Video Games and Software Aren’t Really Impacted From Faster RAM
The number of software and video games that can largely benefit from faster RAM is very little. The biggest player when it comes to smoothly running video games is your processor (CPU), and your graphics card (GPU). Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but there isn’t much that you should worry about when it comes to the speed of your RAM.
Check Your CPU Heatsink Clearance
On some rare occasions, memory sticks (RAM) can also have compatibility issues regardless of the fact that they are tiny as compared to other parts within your gaming PC.
As an example, bulky CPU coolers can often hang over some DIMM slots, which can prevent your memory kit from fitting correctly into the RAM slots in your motherboard.
Check Motherboard DDR Generation RAM Compatibility
One of the most common issues that new PC gamers run into is that they didn’t check the compatibility of their motherboard and the RAM that they are looking to get.
For instance, you can’t fit a DDR3 memory stick in a motherboard that features DDR4 DIMM slots and vice versa.
How We Picked
Picking a handful of the best RAM in a market filled with competition is a challenging task. To really pick out the best of the best, we decided to consider a vast array of aspects that each RAM product individually possessed.
We considered the value for money, RAM size, DDR generation, and system compatibility of the different RAM products we came across before deciding whether or not to include them in this guide and review.
Below, you can read more about each one in more detail.
Value for Money
You don’t want to spend more money than you have to. To avoid unnecessary overspending, we conducted all of the due diligence for you by ensuring that every RAM in our final selection is worth every penny for the specifications and performance that it can provide to the table.
Since every gaming PC has a unique set of requirements, we have ensured to pick a range of the best RAM products in various sizes ranging from as little as 8 GB (suitable if you are building one of the best gaming PCs under 500 dollars), to as high as 32 GB for more powerful and advanced rigs.
Which one you go for solely depends on your requirements. Since the large majority of gamers should go for 16 GB, we’ve ensured that we have included a larger number of 16 GB RAM.
After concluding our community research, as well as taking into account personal knowledge and experience, we decided only to include DDR4 RAM as that really is the sweet spot for gamers.
We did have to make a small exception and include a single DDR3 RAM, but that was because it was truly a fantastic choice that we couldn’t really miss out on.
System Compatibility / Form Factor
RAM, like every other component of your PC, is only compatible with a number of different parts. This means that the one size fits all approach doesn’t work, and you should be very careful before you spend money on an incompatible with your system’s RAM.
One way to check whether the RAM you want to buy is compatible with your system is to use an online RAM compatibility checker tool.
Another method is to check the compatibility information of your motherboard when it comes to RAM. Make sure that the RAM slots are compatible with your Ram’s DDR generation.
For example, if you decide to go for our budget-friendly pick, the HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB 8GB RAM, you will need a motherboard with DDR4 DIMM slots.
Why You Can Trust This Review
We spent hours researching the RAM market to find the best products available to the public. Upon concluding our selection of the best 8 picks, we then thoroughly investigated and reviewed each item from our selection.
We want to point out that our review and selection process is completely unbiased and completed with one goal in mind; to provide you with the most transparent information and our personal opinion for each of the products that you will come across.
This way, you can shop for your RAM with complete and utmost confidence.
The Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO hosts one of the highest performance specifications in the market. One other awesome feature of this RAM is the fact that it is RGB-enabled, making it a suitable choice for RGB enthusiasts.
The price at the time of writing was $199.99.
The Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro is one of our absolute favorites. This 1.35 volt DDR4 RAM requires no extra wires or cables, allowing you to cleanly install it with the motherboard.
As far as compatibility goes, one thing to note is that this RAM is compatible with both Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards.
If you are a big fan of overclocking, this RAM would also be a suitable choice for you, thanks to the carefully screened ICs.
As we mentioned above, this RAM is RGB enabled. Thanks to the Corsair iCUE software, you can synchronize the lighting with other Corsair coolers, keyboards, fans, memory for a synced lighting show inside your gaming case.
Other Great RAM for Gaming
Didn’t quite find what you were looking for so far? Below, you can read more about 5 other great alternative choices for gaming RAM.
The TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta TUF Gaming Alliance is another fast gaming memory RAM that you should consider.
The price at the time of writing was $94.99.
From an aesthetical standpoint, this RAM from TEAMGROUP is nothing short of impressive. If you plan on making use of a gaming case with a tempered glass side panel, you should get this RGB-enabled RAM.
The RGB angle spreads at 120 degrees, and once fully synced in with the rest of your components, you can only imagine what addition this RAM will be to your gaming case.
As for performance, this low latency 16GB DDR4 RAM is compiled up of two 3200MHz memory sticks with a data transfer speed of 25600.
If you are big on maximizing the performance out of your RAM, this memory kit also supports XMP 2.0 one-click overclocking technology. Besides that, it is also QVL (Qualified Vendor List) approved by all popular motherboard manufacturers.
After reviewing the LEVEN RGB 16GB KIT, we came to the conclusion that this is an excellent RAM kit for budget builds. For example, if you are building the best gaming PC under 1000 dollars, this affordable yet highly performing RAM would be a great choice.
The price at the time of writing was $76.99.
Straight out of the box, this memory kit hosts a sleek design measuring just 6.18″ x 5.75″ x 0.67″ in size. The visible edge of the RAM sticks is RGB-enabled. Despite the great quality lighting, the RGB lights cannot be synced with the rest of your gaming setup.
In terms of performance, this 16GB DDR4 gaming RAM is made up of two 8GB 2666MHz memory sticks, which are optimized for trouble-free overclocking.
If you suspect that heat might be an issue within your gaming case, you should consider this RAM because of its aluminum heat spreader, which effectively dissipates the heat.
This RAM is also compatible with both Intel and AMD technologies and mainstream motherboards as long as they feature DDR4 DIMM slots.
If you don’t like the black design of this RAM kit, you can also find it in Red. Should you decide to make use of this product, you can take advantage of the lifetime guarantee.
If you are on a budget and are building an entry-level gaming PC, the HyperX Kingston FURY 16GB Kit would be a great place to start.
The price at the time of writing was $71.26.
From an aesthetical standpoint, this RAM isn’t really that impressive as compared to some other products in our final selection. On the flip side, if you are after pure simplicity, the design will hardly matter.
Performance-wise, this RAM kit is constructed of two 8GB DDR3 memory sticks with a clock speed of 1866MHz. Thus, if you are building a gaming PC for under 500 dollars, this RAM would be a great choice.
Besides, if you are no PC expert, this RAM kit would be quite suitable for you as installing this RAM is as easy as plugging it in. Of course, before you decide to buy it, ensure that your motherboard has compatible DDR3 DIMM slots.
Regardless of whether you are an Intel or AMD gamer, the HyperX FURY can be the right choice for you thanks to its wide compatibility. As far as exact compatibility goes, this RAM kit is compatible with H67, P67, Z68, Z77, Z87, and H61 Intel chipsets, as well as A75, A87, A88, A89, A78, and E35 AMD chipsets.
Should you wish to go for this DDR3 RAM kit, you can enjoy a lifetime warranty and free technical support should any issues arise.
The Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB is an absolute classic when it comes to RAM. This product is the perfect middle ground when it comes to price vs performance. Thus, if you are looking for an affordable solution to all your problems, go for the Vengeance LPX RAM by Corsair.
The price at the time of writing was $102.99.
This RAM by Corsair is a combination of two 8GB RAM sticks, each just 34mm in height. Their rather low-profile builds make them widely compatible with a range of builds, including most low-profile and small-form-factor builds.
So, whether you are building a large gaming PC in a full tower case or a smaller system in a mini-ITX case, rest assured that this RAM will go a long way with your build. Besides that, the Vengeance LPX is also optimized for wide compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards.
To ensure that your RAM consistently achieves the high clock speed that it promotes, it is designed with a solid aluminum heat spreader that efficiently dissipates heat from each module.
If you are a gaming enthusiast that really needs a large amount of RAM to allow your gaming PC to handle a number of memory-demanding tasks simultaneously, then the OLOy 32GB DDR4 RAM would be a great choice.
The price at the time of writing was $179.99.
If you are a big fan of overclocking, then this RAM might be the perfect choice for you thanks to the integrated XMP 2.0 automated overclocking technology.
One of the most notable aspects of this RAM is that it provides you with 32 GB of DDR4 RAM in a single stick, as compared to some of its closest competitors, which make up of two 16 GB or four 8 GB RAM sticks.
With a clock speed of 3600MHz and a latency of CL18, this RAM is capable of supporting a wide range of powerful gaming rigs.
Besides that, whether you plan to run an Intel or an AMD gaming rig, you’d be pleased to hear that this RAM is perfectly compatible with both as long as they feature DDR4 DIMM slots.
Should you decide to make this RAM part of your gaming setup, another awesome benefit that you can take advantage of is the lifetime warranty provided directly from the manufacturer. So, should you be having any issues, the manufacturers are happy to help you out, which we think is a very cool advantage of this RAM.
Picking the Best Gaming RAM for Your Needs
If you are having a difficult time deciding which RAM to go for, don’t worry. The whole point of our guides and reviews is to not only recommend you the best RAM currently available on the marketplace but also help you find the perfect one for you.
Thus, below, you will come across three highly relatable scenarios alongside the best recommendations for RAM. Hopefully, by the end, you will have found the most suitable type of RAM for your gaming PC.
Scenario 1: You have a fairly average gaming PC and aren’t looking to spend a whole lot of money on RAM, but would still like to purchase a decent product that will be worthwhile.
For this case, we would highly recommend you our budget-friendly pick, the HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB 8GB RAM.
Scenario 2: You plan on building one of the best gaming computers on the market and are after RAM that is nothing short of impressive. If money is no objection to you, then the TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB is a fantastic high-end choice.
Scenario 3: You want to have a flawless gaming experience while running a large number of memory-sensitive and demanding tasks such as open browser tabs, rendering software, and others.
For this case, we’d recommend you a 32 GB solution in the likes of the Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO. Keep in mind that 32 GB is very rarely going to be necessary so it might be a bit of an overkill.
Upon concluding our final selection, we knew that many great contenders for the top 8 would simply not get the attention that they truly deserve. Therefore, some of the RAM that we came across, that didn’t make our final selection includes the TEAMGROUP T-Force Vulcan TUF Gaming Alliance, HP V6 Gaming Memory, and v-Color Prism Pro RGB 16GB.
Some of the reasons why we didn’t include the RAM that we listed above range from their lack of compatibility with a number of motherboards or technologies and lack of value for money.
It is worth mentioning here that ideally if you are building a mid to high-end gaming PC, you should go for 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. While a single stick of 8 GB might do the job, 16 GB allows you to have a range of applications operating simultaneously without stressing your RAM, which can create bottlenecks further down the line of operation.