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The 10 Best RAM for Gaming in 2019

by Evelina Fairclough
The 10 Best RAM for Gaming

The 10 Best RAM for Gaming You’ll Ever Want to Have

We have long surpassed the day in age where gaming relies solely on your system’s RAM but that doesn’t mean RAM is completely irrelevant. You will hear many different sources say many different things about what RAM is necessary for smooth gaming on your system. What you need in RAM is largely dependent on how long you’re looking to use your gaming PC for and what you want to do with it. If you are going to be spending money on a costly gaming setup, you will no doubt want to get many years out of it which may seem difficult considering the speed that technology updates nowadays. Don’t worry though, just because your cell phone runs slowly after a few years it does not mean your gaming monitor will have the same fate, and we are going to tell you how and why.

If you are looking to use your gaming monitor for gaming alone, even when running the most RAM intensive games, you should select no less than 8GB of RAM. If you select a gaming PC that falls just short of 8GB of RAM don’t panic because it is often relatively simple to modify your device to have more. Even if you are looking for serious longevity from your PC 8GB is enough to ensure you can run new games for several years since we don’t expect games to need any more than 8GB of RAM to run well for a very long time. When picking a gaming PC, you will have a lot of factors to spend extra money on other than RAM so maybe maxing out RAM isn’t the best way to spend your left-over gaming budget. No matter what amount of RAM you choose to purchase we are here to help ensure that your system has enough capacity to smoothly run whatever program you want.

This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start  and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and need to know just the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!

Quick Comparison Table & Our Picks

Things to Consider in Choosing RAM

RAM Type

There are two types of RAM and their differences are in how they allow you to retrieve the data that is stored on them. The two types of RAM are SRAM and DRAM and they vary based on a variety of characteristics they possess. Static random-access memory allows you to retrieve data in ten nanoseconds, but its speed comes with higher costs and larger size. Dynamic random-access memory allows you to retrieve data in sixty nanoseconds but is more affordable and it constantly draws on the power supply. The type of RAM you decide upon is up to you, but the DDR version is dependent on your systems compatibility. DDR RAM is known as double data rate random access memory is RAM that is updated to have better speeds and decreased power consumption with each newer version. The type of DDR you purchase is dependent upon the age and compatibility of your computer. With each new DDR version more information can be processed, this boosts the performance of your RAM during gaming and reduces the depletion of the RAM overtime.

Latency

RAM latency is the delay in time it takes data to be transmitted between the RAM and the computer’s processor. When the computer processor attempts to access data that isn’t being stored already a lag occurs while it waits for the RAM to retrieve the data. Column Address Latency (CAS) latency can be expressed with a four-number series or by a CL number. CAS latency will have an effect on RAM speed with notable clock speed improvements occurring with a decrease in latency. The good news about latency is that it is far less important than it used to be to the performance of the RAM. The differences when it comes to latency is measured in nanoseconds which is almost indiscernible even when gaming. While latency is a semi-important factor when shopping around for RAM there are other facets that may be more important to the overall performance you should focus on. However, when you are shopping around for RAM you should opt for a lower CAS latency, but this may come at a cost.

Capacity

RAM capacity is the main factor that is important when you are shopping around for RAM. When you are purchasing RAM for a gaming system we typically say 8GB of RAM is plenty. 8GB is plenty for almost all gamers but if you are using your PC for more than just gaming you might want 16GB instead. If you’re using your gaming setup for RAM intensive tasks aside from gaming such as video editing or 3D rendering, then you may prefer 16GB of RAM to ensure adequate memory for the foreseeable future. Some places will call 4 GB of RAM the bare minimum for gaming, but we insist that 8GB should be your go to. With 8GB of RAM you will be able to run games that are CPU and RAM intensive without suffering from low frame rates and stuttering. At 4GB or 6GB of RAM there are a few issues that could occur when running certain games sometimes they won’t even open, but we will discuss that more later.

Clock Speed

Clock speed ties in to CAS latency but it is far more important of a factor when you are deciding on which RAM you will purchase. The clock speed can also be expressed in MHz which is the number of clock cycles per second. A higher frequency typically equates to higher performance, but latency can rise proportionally to increased clock speed which could have minor impacts on gaming. Clock speed matters but it is more difficult to pick out for your purposes than capacity would be since its less straightforward. Modern RAM with faster memory can be useful as a cache to access data faster lowering latency time. RAM capacity is always preferable to clock speed and should be the deciding factor but having ample storage and adequate clock speed will ensure better performance in the long run. Clock speed doesn’t have a monumental effect on gaming but if you are using your gaming PC for other memory intensive tasks then you will want to ensure you have a high clock speed that is compatible with your motherboard.

Overall Compatibility

You know what you want from your gaming PC and you may know what type of RAM will help you achieve that but, compatibility with your graphics card and motherboard is essential. Obviously if you are using a powerful graphics card you will need the best memory to keep those graphics stutter-free and smooth. The capacity of your RAM can improve the computer’s ability to multitask and access data more efficiently. While the majority of the time you will not see a crazy increase in frames per second from 8GB to 16GB it is certainly noticeable when trying to game with 4GB of RAM. However, it is important to remember that most of the time your system will have a capacity limit and a clock speed limit to the RAM. Selecting from DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 will depend on your system’s compatibility. Most of the newer computers will be compatible with DDR3 and DDR4 RAM which has lower power usage, better speeds, and the ability to provide the gamer a smoother performance. While many gamers want to “future-proof” their gaming PCs by adding more RAM to their builds to ensure memory for later, the golden rule is to ensure compatibility with the RAM and your motherboard before you buy.

The Best Gaming RAM for the Money

Hopefully you now know what you should be looking at when you are shopping around for RAM to better your gaming computer. If you have a preference to a certain capacity of RAM then keep in mind that capacity should be your first deciding factor before voltage, clock speed, and other factors. With that being said it is important to ensure that whatever RAM you decide to purchase is compatible with your gaming PC. What you need in storage is largely dependent on what you want to do with your gaming PC and if you are intending to multitask or edit videos then more memory is better. Try to not get carried away when purchasing RAM because there are many other important parts you will have to buy for your gaming build. We hope that our honest reviews are enough to provide you with the knowledge you need to find the right RAM for you. Even if the varieties of RAM we tried out aren’t the ones you purchase we hope that our detailed reviews can steer you in the right direction.

Our Pick - Corsair Dominator Platinum Series

Corsair Dominator Platinum Series
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FEATURES

The Corsair Dominator Platinum Series is a DDR4 memory system that is compatible with Intel 100 Series gaming setups. The Dominator Platinum automatically adjusts to the safest fast speed with its XMP 2.0 standard allowing for ultimate performance while maintaining data integrity. The Dominator Platinum is designed for overclocking with its XMP 2.0 technology for automatic overclocking. The Corsair Link active cooling system available for purchase separately is great at cooling the RAM to ensure maximum performance. This RAM and all Corsair products come with a lifetime limited warranty that allows you to have the best gaming experience with the knowledge that it is protected. The Dominator Platinum has a latency timing of 16-18-18-36 to ensure great speed communicating from the computer processor to the RAM. The DDR4 form factor allows for speedy performance while minimizing the voltage used.

PROS:

We found the heat sinks on the Corsair Dominator Platinum to be very efficient at keeping the RAM cool and functioning at a full 3200MHz. When we were testing out the overclocking capacity of this RAM we found it much easier to overclock the CPU slowly at first before working it up. While there is an additional unit for cooling available for purchase we found the Dominator Platinum to have an efficient enough cooling strategy that renders it unnecessary. Since this RAM boasts 16GB of memory we found it to be amazing for gaming and our extensive video editing tasks as well while still keeping its cool. Finally, the Corsair Dominator Platinum is an attractive RAM once installed stepping up the ambience of your build.

CONS:

The Corsair Dominator Platinum is a super-sleek part of your gaming build and it is almost impossible to find drawbacks for this RAM. When we unpackaged this RAM a few of us were taken aback by the large stature of this component. Before you make this purchase we advise that you ensure you have the space available to make this part of your gaming setup. While the dimensions are clearly listed in the description of this item we found it to be a tighter fit than expected even though we did measure out the available space in our build, so be warned. While the aesthetics of Corsair’s products can never be denied, and this RAM is unbelievably slick looking, the lights are unfortunately dim. Not to the point where you cannot see them but dimmer than you may be wanting if you are looking for a flashier build.

CONCLUSION:

We recommend the Corsair Dominator Platinum because of its unrivaled performance and superior style that we have come to expect from the Corsair products. Not only does the Dominator Platinum have fantastic capabilities when it comes to automatic overclocking, but it stays cool even when we pushed it to the extreme with games like Witcher 3 and video editing tasks that ask a lot from the RAM. The performance capabilities of this RAM are undoubtable, but the aesthetics are fantastic as well. The lighting and slick design make it a great addition to your gaming rig for style and performance you will without a doubt be happy to spend the extra money to increase your performance.

Mid-Range Top Seller - Kingston HyperX FURY

Kingston HyperX FURY

FEATURES:

The HyperX Fury is a DDR4 memory RAM that overclocks to a frequency of 2666MHz to boards that use Intel’s 100 Series and X99 technology. The DDR4 technology uses only 1.2V, allowing this RAM to consume much less power than DDR3 varieties. The lower power usage allows this RAM higher reliability and a lower overall temperature. The technology this RAM provides is fantastic for intel’s 2, 4, 6, and 8-core processors to run intense gaming, video editing, and video rendering processes. Fury’s asymmetrical heat spreader is stylish and efficient allowing your RAM to stay cool while under intense pressure. The HyperX Fury boasts stylish design in a variety of colors that will match your gaming rig and take up the style to a new level.

PROS:

One of the best parts of the Hyper X Fury is the top-tier performance you get for a mid-range price. This DDR4 RAM is far more competitive than others of its price range with its low energy expenditure and compact appearance. This RAM’s installation was far simpler than most other installs that we did during the process of testing different RAMs making the process simple enough for even a beginner. Though we were initially skeptical about a Kingston RAM since its not the most competitive brand we were pleasantly surprised by its capabilities. The Hyper X Fury is compatible with most major brands of motherboards but if you purchase it from Amazon like we did then you can enter your model number on the website to double check that the RAM matches the rest of your equipment.

CONS:

We bought the two 4GB capacity of the Hyper X Fury but when they arrived the one had a cosmetic blemish that made is slightly less beautiful but did not negatively impact the functionality. The packaging wasn’t the best we have seen since it left this component susceptible to damage, but we were lucky that nothing too bad occurred. The automatic overclocking feature was great, but we only reached a speed of 2400MHz which was short of the advertised 2666MHz but not an extreme shortfall. Unfortunately, we did have an issue where it froze when trying to install Windows 10, but the manufacturer talked us through troubleshooting that fixed the problem within a half hour. We do wish this RAM was a bit more stylish than it is since it looks much better in pictures. It is also important to note that you may want to take what you save on the price of this RAM and apply it towards an additional cooler since this system doesn’t have the best cooling.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, we loved the 8GB Hyper X Fury and are recommending it to anyone who is looking to include quality RAM in their gaming rig for under one-hundred dollars. If 8GB of RAM is not enough for your intended purposes it is available in larger RAM capacities. If you are looking to do some intense video editing you consider investing in higher capacity. Though we were a little skeptical since Kingston isn’t the most renowned brand, but this RAM did a phenomenal job at meeting our needs for speed with minimal latency time. If you want quality RAM without an outrageous price, then we think the Kingstone Hyper X Fury 8GB is the RAM for you.

Economy Top Seller – Viper 3 Series, Black Mamba

Viper 3 Series, Black Mamba

FEATURES:

The Patriot Viper 3 Series is a bargain priced DDR3 RAM that is the best performer of its price range. It has 8GB of capacity with dual 4GB channels compatible with Intel and other AMD processors. The Viper 3 Series has an advertised speed of 1600MHz for superior performance even when being put to the test. This custom designed RAM has a heat shield with nice cooling system for constant stability. The tall vented top allows you to use plug and play overclocking with Intel’s XMP profiles while keeping its temperature down. The Viper 3 comes with specific optimization for Intel 6,7, 8 and AMD 9 series processors. Not only will the Viper 3 series provide the ultimate performance on a conservative budget, but it comes with a lifetime warranty with amazing customer service.

PROS:

The Patriot Viper 3 Series DDR3 RAM was so simple to install into our motherboard. We opened our tower, popped the two channels in, plugged the tower back in and we were up and running again. We had no issues reaching the full 1600MHz clock speed that was advertised. This RAM works surprisingly well for the price and ran just as it should have. We love that the Patriot Viper 3 Series only operates at 1.5V even though it is a DDR3 style RAM. We used this RAM with an Intel 7 series processor and didn’t experience any compatibility issues. While we did read a few reports online of this RAM not being compatible to the systems that certain people have purchased it for we found that if you bought from Amazon like we did then you could enter the model number to ensure compatibility with your PC.

CONS:

The heat vents on the Patriot Viper 3 Series are large but seem to be more aesthetic than functional. When we were running our most RAM intensive games we felt the tower getting far hotter than it was with the other RAM we initially had installed. Once we installed an additional cooling unit the issues with the RAM being too hot disappeared. We did experience one instance before the installation of the cooler where it crashed, blue screen and everything. We figured our RAM was completely burnt up at that point but luckily that was not the case. Once we installed the additional cooler we didn’t experience another crash. The color we received was different from what we ordered, instead of the black member variety ours was green but it looked stylish anyway.

CONCLUSION:

Though there were a few issues that we experienced with the Patriot Viper 3 Series DDR3 RAM, its numerous positive assets far outweigh the few issues we had. The price of the Patriot Viper 3 is extremely competitive and great for anyone looking to get the best performance from their RAM while staying far below the hundred-dollar mark. If you buy this RAM, we highly recommend you purchase an additional cooler with any left-over space in your budget. Overall you will be hard pressed to find a RAM of this performance for such a fantastic deal and if you are okay with DDR3 then this is the perfect addition to your rig.

Other Great Recommendations

G. SKILL Trident Z RGB Series

G. SKILL Trident Z RGB Series

FEATURES:

The G. Skill Trident Z RGB Series is a 16GB capacity with DDR4 technology that is as functional as it is stylish. The DDR4 technology allows this powerful RAM to be energy efficient using only 1.35V. The G. Skill Trident Z boasts a clock speed of 3,200 MHz ensuring speedy responses even when RAM intense tasks are putting it to the test. Not only is the Trident Z powerful in its recall, but it features a heat spreader with quality components to keep the RAM cool even when it is working hard. The G. Skill Trident Z has downloadable software that allows you to customize the vibrant exposed light bar. With the RGB LED software you can modify the lighting to match any additional items in your gaming rig. The G. Skill Trident Z also brags about its seriously simple installation process.

PROS:

We agree with G. Skills assertions about easy install because adding this to our computer tower was super simple. Modifying the light bar was simple and it is vibrant enough to be seen with your gaming setup. We think the RAM sticks are taller than most, but we actually love the way they look because it showcases the lightbar, so it isn’t a drawback for us, but you will need to measure out the space for this RAM in your build. Even if other parts of you gaming rig have different software you will find it easy to coordinate the G. Skill RGB software with other lighting effects. You truly get what you pay for with this RAM we didn’t have to overclock it to experience great performance when gaming.

CONS:

While the software was able to synchronize the LEDs of the RAM well with other lighting software for our gaming mouse we did have a glitch two times with the G. Skill software. We had to uninstall it and reinstall it to properly control the lighting but after we did that we didn’t have an issue with that again. When we tested the clock speed we were hitting 2900MHz, which was plenty for video editing and gaming, but it was below the advertised clock speed of 3200MHz. Though we did mention in our “pros” that the large size showed off the fantastic light bar we do need to drive home the point that this RAM is larger, and you absolutely need to ensure adequate space within your build. We also recommend you install a cooling system because this component runs very hot since the built-in cooling system is not the most effective.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, we enjoyed the G. Skill Trident Z because it was easy for us to install within our build that had adequate space for these long RAM stacks. While the software had its glitches at times it was easy to ensure the LEDs matched up with the LEDs on our gaming mouse and keyboard even if they were all different types of software. You should definitely purchase an additional cooling system to keep these powerful RAM stacks cool to ensure they can perform to the max. If you’re looking for one of the flashiest and functional RAM’s money can buy, then the G. Skill Trident Z may be the right purchase for your gaming rig.

G. SKILL Ripjaws V Series

G. SKILL Ripjaws V Series

FEATURES:

The G. Skill Ripjaws V Series is a 16GB DDR4 RAM that features a 2400MHz maximum clock speed. This RAM includes dual 8 GB stacks that look great as part of your computer tower. The DDR4 technology allows this component to save energy using only 1.2V and has a multichannel aluminum heat spreader. The G. Skill Ripjaws V Series has a CAS latency of 15-15-15-35 which allows quick communication between the computer processor and the RAM. The G. Skill Ripjaws V Series is a compact but powerful RAM that measures only .55 x 5.4 x 0.17 inches inside giving you plenty of extra room within your gaming rig.

PROS:

With the G. Skill Ripjaws V Series we received two 8GB stacks that arrived in great condition that were simple to install into our computer tower. We immediately got to work putting this RAM to the test with Overwatch and Witcher 3, each time we received superior clock speed and didn’t encounter any latency issues. The G. Skill Ripjaws V Series looks modern with it’s sleek red design that allows you to install it into your gaming tower without sacrificing any style. If you are looking to purchase RAM that competes with our top picks for under two-hundred dollars, then the G. Skill Ripjaws V Series is a great choice.

CONS:

While the G. Skill Ripjaws V Series did perform well under pressure with our intense gaming tests it fell just short in the graphic design and video editing tests. When we wanted to work on a video editing project it took four minutes until the project actually finished opening. Once that file opened and we started modifying it we did have a few issues with brief freezing as we were working on the video. Rendering went surprisingly well but this isn’t the best RAM for video editing even though it has a large enough capacity for it. The heat spreader was relatively useless.

CONCLUSION

The G. Skill Ripjaws V Series is by far one of the best RAMs we checked out on this list, but it isn’t a dual-purpose piece of equipment. Without a doubt you will get a superior gaming experience and plenty of memory with this RAM, but you may prefer it if you want to stick to mostly gaming. While we do think that the G. Skill Ripjaws V Series can manage graphic design and video editing well we believe that ours had some type of internal malfunction that made it less than great for that process. While the heat spreader looks like it would be functional we found it to be pretty useless and we ended up installing an external cooler because of how hot this RAM made our tower get. G. Skill is one of the top brands for RAM and its no surprise that they have amazing customer service if you experience any issues, one of our other staff members got a replacement in four days when one of his G. Skill Ripjaws V Series stacks showed up dead on arrival due to excessive shipping trauma. If you are looking for a reliable RAM that looks cool and has great customer service, then the G. Skill Ripjaws V Series is the one for you.

Ballistix Sport LT

Ballistix Sport LT

FEATURES:

The Ballistix Sport LT uses DDR4 memory technology that reaches clock speeds of up to 2400MHz. It has a smooth responsiveness and faster speed than other DDR4 RAM. The Ballistix Sport LT is ideal for both novice and professional gamers and those expecting a lot out of their memory with its four-channel memory build to maximize data rates. This RAM has a stylish camo heat spreader to dissipate heat from this powerful equipment. This RAM boasts of its easy install with its plug and play technology and minimal bios configuration, the Intel XMP 2.0 profile helps you configure it easily and it is optimized for Intel X99 platforms. The better latency time allows you to run even the most difficult applications with ease and speed.

PROS: 

The Ballistix Sport LT comes in your choice of tree colors, red, white, and gray. The one we purchased for this review was the red one with the built-in camo heat dissipater. Another individual on our staff has the white variety but we think the red looked far cooler. We were getting consistent clock speed of 2295MHz which wasn’t that fat below the 2400MHz that is advertised. For being an 8 GB DDR4 RAM under one-hundred dollars the built-in heat spreader does a fantastic job of keeping itself cool even when we were testing it with Witcher 3 and basic graphic design. We found that the Ballistix Sport LT delivers superior performance without the need for overclocking, but if you choose to overclock it isn’t that hard to do so.

CONS:

While we mentioned that the Ballistix Sport LT keeps its cool during tests for gaming and design it is important to note that we were not able to fit an external cooler into our build since this RAM took up that space. For the red RAM we are currently reviewing we didn’t experience any longevity issues after eight weeks but our colleagues white one gave up after five weeks. He is waiting to get a replacement, but we do not believe there will be any extra issues. While it kept its cool during the tests we did experience increased lag when we were doing 4K video editing, but it was not too extreme.

CONCLUSION:

Overall the Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 8GB RAM is a great option if you are looking to purchase a gaming RAM that is colorful and useful for your gaming rig. With the 8GB storage capacity you can run even the most memory intense games without seeing a major decrease in performance. While the Ballistix Sport LT cannot guarantee future-proofing for your rig as much as a 16GB RAM could we found that 8GB is plenty and this RAM handled graphic design and intense gaming surprisingly well. Though the Ballistix Sport LT is cheaper than many of its competitors it has superior heat dissijHY6pation tactics, eliminating the need for an additional cooler to be installed. We highly recommend the Ballistix Sport LT to anyone looking for 8GB of DDR4 RAM that provides quality memory for gaming, design, and other tasks alike without costing a fortune.

Corsair Vengeance LPX

Corsair Vengeance LPX

FEATURES:

The Corsair Vengeance LPX is very similar to the Corsair Vengeance RGB LED RAM that we also tried out but since this RAM also delivered well and impressed us we felt it deserved to make our list as well. The Vengeance LPX is designed for quality overclocking with an aluminum heat spreader to ensure fast heat dissipation. The eight-layer PCB helps provide headroom for overclocking. The DDR4 technology is designed for Intel X99 and 100 Series motherboards offering greater bandwidth, higher frequency, and lower power consumptions than DDR3 models. Vengeance LPX 16GB memory has XMP 2.0 support for auto-overclocking that is safe and trouble free. You can purchase the Corsair Vengeance LPX in a variety of colors to best match your motherboard. This RAM is smaller than most making it ideal in towers where space is limited.

PROS:

The Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB is so much tinier than most of the other RAMs we tested out specifically for this purpose and we love it for people who need more room within their computer towers. You will need to adjust BIOS because the default is 2133MHz like many others, but you can achieve the advertised 3000MHz with tinkering and patience. If you are running Windows 10 then this RAM is fantastic, and we experienced quality performance from it while using photoshop and new memory-intense games. While it may not be as eye-catching with LEDs like some of the other memory stacks we tried out it is just as powerful. The aluminum heat-spreader does a great job at keeping the RAM cool even when you’re testing it with hours of intense tasks.

CONS:

We had issues getting this RAM to the advertised clock speed on one of our Ryzen motherboards. We tinkered with this for days on end, contacted Corsair and ASUS and have officially decided that this RAM is hit or miss with Ryzen, so buyer beware. While we had no issues on one Ryzen system attaining 3000MHz with no issues the other one we tried it out on left us at 2366MHz but nothing higher. One downside to this RAM is that while we were multitasking we had a major crash when we were transferring many files at a time. The last issue we had was the less than great packaging this RAM arrived in leaving it susceptible to shipping damage. While this didn’t cause us too many issues with function we did have a little cosmetic flaw in the corner of one of our sticks.

CONCLUSION:

Overall the Corsair Vengeance LPX is a phenomenal performer but you will need to be weary about the kind of motherboard you are going to be hooking it up to. The two 8GB stacks were more than enough for us to use Illustrator, video editing software, photoshop, and run intense games like Witcher 3. While we did run into issues with large file transfers and the less than great packaging leaving this device susceptible to crash and damage our experience with the Corsair Vengeance LPX was overwhelmingly positive. If you’re looking for future-proofing RAM that keeps its cool with many tasks and doesn’t have all the flashy lights then the Corsair Vengeance LPX may be the right one for you.

Viper Elite Series

Viper Elite Series

FEATURES:

The Viper Elite Series DDR4 8GB RAM has a stylish red top and black side design that boasts a clock speed of 2400MHz. This RAM is compatible with Intel 100 platforms and ensures minimal energy expenditures with its DDR4 technology. If you are using this RAM to upgrade from DDR3 you will notice a major difference with a massive increase in size. The Viper Elite has XMP 2.0 technology to ensure safe and easy overclocking for demanding computer environments. This memory stack has easy install to ensure you RAM setup is quick and painless giving you more time to enjoy your gaming. By making the Viper Elite part of your gaming rig you will enjoy superior style, and performance, all while being respectful of your budget.

PROS:

The XMP 2.0 technology allowing for automatic overclocking works great when you want to push clock speed safely during games. We highly recommend overclocking the system when playing memory intensive games like Overwatch because it gives a discernable increase in overall performance. While these are some of the cheapest memory stacks we have tried out they are surprisingly durable feeling and they do not look as affordable as they are. This RAM will allow you plenty of additional room for fans and other technology inside your computer tower.

CONS:

These stacks got super warm when we were gaming in regular mode and scary hot when we were overclocking. While the fans within our gaming tower did a good job at preventing burnout we fear that this RAM would completely be destroyed without them. We had a major crash when we were doing a fair amount of multitasking and we were almost convinced that we had completely destroyed them before our display returned. While it did hold up well when playing memory-intensive games multi-tasking is clearly not these stacks strong suit. The 8GB of storage is plenty for even the heftiest games and video editing but it is not sufficient if you are attempting to future-proof your rig for many years to come. The most pressing issue we had with the Viper Elite was in our first order one of the 4GB stacks was dead on arrival, we believe more protective packaging could better protect the sensitive RAM to avoid this issue again.

CONCLUSION:

All together when it comes to the Viper Elite it is surprisingly good quality for its price but probably not the best you can get with what you pay. The 8GB of storage capacity is plenty to run all games on their best settings currently but the way these stacks heat up is unnerving at best. You do receive the best performance out of them when you overclock but if your gaming rig doesn’t include some quality fans then this RAM isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a way to keep your RAM budget down but still get the best performance we highly recommend our economy pick over these stacks, however, they aren’t the worst. With an adequate cooling system and the right expectations, the Viper Elite Series will suit your gaming needs.

Kingston Technology HyperX Predator

Kingston Technology HyperX Predator

FEATURES:

The Kingston Technology Hyper X Predator features an effective aluminum heat spreader in sleek black aluminum that increases heat dissipation to ensure top-performance. The Hyper X DDR4 technology enhances Intel 6 and 8 generation core processors for faster video editing, gaming, and all other tasks you throw at it. The Hyper X is optimized for Intel 9 Series chipsets and X79 motherboards. This improves compatibility with i7 processors, X99 motherboards, and 100 series chipsets as well to provide you with the best performance. User modified profiles allow you to easily overclock to take advantage of lower latencies and better clock time. Using only 1.35V this RAM can conserve energy and decrease the amount of heat being put off even during intense processes.

PROS:

While Kingston isn’t the most competitive brand when it comes to RAM this is the second time their performance has truly surprised us when reviewing memory for your gaming rig. The installation of this 16 GB RAM was surprisingly simple even though the settings did need some modification before maximum clock speed could be maximized. The heat spreader is adept at ensuring adequate cooling staying below 31 degrees Celsius. The DDR4 technology keeps energy usage to a low 1.35 volts helping minimize the creation of heat while giving us fantastic performance free of increased latency times. The built-in XMP profiles are fantastic for safely overclocking this RAM giving us a clock speed of 3166MHz. Unlike one of the Corsair RAMs we tried we had no issues installing and using this RAM in two different Ryzen motherboards.

CONS:

While the Kingston Hyper X Predator does not create excessive heat and does a great job at cooling itself with its heat dissipater, but as far as manual overclocking goes you need to keep a careful eye on the temperature of the RAM if you aren’t using an XMP preset. When we were manually overclocking, we did experience a major crash when it overheated the blue screen, and all had us almost certain we killed the stack and our CPU. The time we were using it with an ASUS motherboard we kept getting a memory error message but with a little investigate work and tinkering we found that loosening the screws on the processor heatsink made that message go away.

CONCLUSION:

While the Kingston Technology Hyper X Predator is one of the more expensive competitors on our list it does deliver superior headroom to future proof your gaming setup for years to come. During the process of testing out the varieties of memory, Kingston rose as a tough competitor that can put out seriously powerful RAM. While install was easy much like all other RAM we tested out you will need to configure your settings before it is capable of operating with the full 3000MHz clock speed that is advertised. If you intend to edit videos, 3D render, photoshop, and of course game then the Kingston Technology Hyper X Predator is powerful enough for you to future proof your rig for years at a time.

Corsair Vengeance RGB LED

Corsair Vengeance RGB LED

FEATURES:

The Corsair Vengeance has an array of lighting configurations to supplement the style of your setup. With the style of the Corsair Vengeance comes the superior functionality of the heat spreaders to provide phenomenal cooling. Using the Corsair Link you can program lighting effects, monitor your memory and synchronize to your other Corsair products. This RAM offers superior overclocking potential with its 3000MHz clock speed and 16GB storage capacity. This RAM uses XMP 2.0 to automatically select the reliable settings for the best performance while maintaining stability. The Corsair Vengeance is optimized on the latest Intel 100 and 200 series motherboards.

PROS:

This RAM looks so unbelievably slick in our gaming tower, like all corsair products the lighting is nothing short of amazing. The Corsair Vengeance doesn’t sacrifice its abilities for its beauty, after setting this RAM up we had no issues getting a steady 3200MHz clock speed after a little tweaking. When overclocking this bad boy, we were running at a 3666MHz which was absolutely insane but did make us kind of nervous due to the increase in temperature. This RAM is simple to overclock and the plug and play feature made it easy for us to install quickly and start gaming. The 16GB capacity is adept at every task you throw at it, Overwatch, video editing, and graphic design were all handles brilliantly by this RAM with only minimal increases in temperature. The Corsair Vengeance was a tough competitor for our top pick.

CONS:

It was almost impossible to find any drawbacks with the 16GB Corsair Vengeance. One of our friends who was a critic of the Vengeance complained of memory issues and blue screen crashes, but we didn’t have anything that severe. What we did experience was increased latency after several hours of gaming. These stacks are far taller than we expected even though we measured out the dimensions for our tower, we actually had to remove one of our fans. Upon further examination we noticed that one of LED sections was slightly dimmer when compared to the other ones around it.

CONCLUSION:

We found that our Corsair Vengeance was one of the best RAMs that we tested out that didn’t land in our top spot. While sometimes we find that Corsair’s software is kind of spotty when it is working properly the lighting is spot on. We recommend you make use of the Corsair Link technology especially if you have other Corsair products in your gaming rig. This 16GB DDR4 RAM is excellent for anyone who is putting together their build that they will be using for many years of rigorous tasks that test your computer's memory. While we didn’t experience latency issues consistently we did notice a slight increase in response time (in nanoseconds) with consecutive hours of activity. We did love the reliable XMP 2.0 for overclocking made simple, we didn’t have to worry about pushing our system to the point of overheating, but we still had the best overclocking experience from it. If you are willing to spend some extra money on the Corsair Vengeance RGB LED 16 GB RAM, then you won’t be disappointed by the superior performance and future-proofing it gives your gaming rig.

Additional Must Have Items and Accessories for Gaming RAM

Corsair Crystal Series 570X RGB - Tempered Glass, Premium ATX Mid-Tower Case

Corsair Crystal Series 570X RGB - Tempered Glass, Premium ATX Mid-Tower Case

The Corsair Crystal Series Mid-Tower Case is a durable and scratch resistant tempered glass tower case that gives a sleek appearance and superior protection to all the important components of your gaming build. The four tempered glass panels are encased by durable steel and includes three SP120 RGB LED fans with a built-in controller. While this case has three built-in fans, you have the space for up to six case fans in the removable trays in the top and front chassis. Built into the case is the ability to store cables with organization thanks to Velcro cable straps. Moreover, the high-speed USB 3.0 is easily accessible. On the front panel, you can find the Corsair logo with LED backlit and PSU cover.

CONCLUSION:

If you want to show off any of the components inside your computer tower like we did then the Corsair Crystal Series Mid-Tower Case is the right tower for you. We found the setup of this computer tower super easy to setup, we didn’t need any tools whatsoever. The Corsair Tower is easy to keep clean maximizing the time we spent gaming. The cable management system is just what we wanted from out computer tower and is one of the best we have seen. The direct airflow pathways and the three built-in fans allow your CPU, GPU, and RAM to run cool to maintain the best performance your gaming rig can provide. While some people may require more room in their tower we found the Corsair Crystal Series Mid-Tower Case to be spacious enough for our needs and have aesthetics superior to the other tower cases we tried.

Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB

Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB

The Corsair LL Series 120mm Dual Light Loop RGB LED PWM Fan 3 Pack has sixteen independent LEDs in each fan with two light loops that are separated from each other. The Corsair’s LEDs are customizable through the software that’s included with the Corsair Lighting Node Pro allowing you to match the lighting of this set to your other products like gaming keyboards, lightbars, and monitor LEDs. The PWM control for the fan allows you to adjust the speed from 600 rpm up to 1,500 rpm to modify airflow and noise. The optimized 120mm fan blade is engineered to keep quiet even when you are seeking maximum cooling action. You will want to ensure that this pack is compatible with your motherboard since you need an open standard 4-pin fan connector.

CONCLUSION:

We must have missed this happy little surprise in the specs of this product, but we love the fact that the Corsair LL Series 120mm Dual Light Loop RGB LED PWM Fan 3 Pack has lights in the hub and the perimeter. If you aren’t a fan of creating your own custom lighting effects the software comes with a variety of presets that are sure to please, our personal favorite is the classic rainbow wave. These fans are pricey but worth every penny since they are seen but not heard, sure we can hear the airflow, but they are surprisingly silent. If the 120mm diameter isn’t enough for you, we have tested out the 140mm size as well and we give them five stars for beauty and function too. While one of us did have a hiccup with the software briefly the more comfortable you get with the customizations the more you will enjoy these fans.

CORSAIR CL-9011109-WW Lighting Node PRO

CORSAIR CL-9011109-WW Lighting Node PRO

The Corsair CL WW Lighting Node Pro has individual customizable lighting strips with software that helps you create unique effects. You can use the Node Pro to control and match the lighting of any other Corsair products you may have as part of your gaming rig. The Corsair Lighting Node Pro has a variety of mounting options to help simplify installation. Whether you make use of the adhesive tape backings or the built-in magnets your LED strips are sure to stay put right where you want them. The Corsair Lighting Node Pro can plug into whatever USB 2.0 header that is open on your motherboard. The Corsair Lighting Node Pro and the Link software allows you seamless control over the lighting straight from your desktop.

CONCLUSION:

If you are searching for a way to light up your gaming tower without flashy fans, then the Corsair CL WW Lighting Node Pro is for you. We have no preference for Corsair products over other varieties but Corsair nails so many of the components for your build especially if you are looking for a way to boost the lighting. We did experience a brief error with the software where we had to uninstall it then completely reinstall it but the product itself is immaculate. It was so simple for us to set these strips up within our tower and though the magnets are nice we preferred the adhesive backing on the lights. If you want to step up the lighting of your tower, monitor, or any other part of your rig while conserving space then the Corsair CL WW Lighting Node Pro is for you.

Intel 7th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor i7-7700K

Intel 7th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor i7-7700K

The Intel 7th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor i7-7700K is a fantastic core processor that is compatible with Intel 200/1001 series chipset. This Core Processor includes Intel HD Graphics 630 and Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology. The i7-7700K also uses Hyper-Threading technology and performs as one of the fastest CPUs currently on the market. If you intend to overclock this CPU using Windows 10 you can reach a stable and cool 5.1GHz without any issues. This CPU keeps its cool during CPU intense games, processing tasks, and design allowing it to function at its peak performance.

CONCLUSION:

Anyone who is working on their own build knows that the desktop’s core processor is of vital importance to the function and longevity of your setup. If you are moving from an i5 or i6 core processor you will notice a night and day difference when gaming even when playing games that are less CPU intensive. With any CPU you’ll notice a fair amount of heat with the i7-7700K CPU, but it is far less in comparison to other CPUs we have used in our build. This CPU is adept at overclocking, but you will need to keep an eye on the temperature to ensure other parts of your build, GPU and RAM, are also being cooled by your fans adequately. Overall, this is the best all- around performer for the many tasks you will use your desktop for and if you are upgrading from an older generation you are sure to see the increase in performance.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING LGA1151

ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING LGA1151

The ASUS ROG STRIX Gaming Motherboard is designed specifically for those who desire to use an 8th Generation Intel Core Processor to maximize speed and connectivity. This motherboard has Intel Optane Memory and Gigabit LAN compatibility. Using this motherboard will allow you 5-way optimization with FanXpert 4 to automatically customize overclocking profiles for your build providing the best performance and dynamic cooling. This gaming motherboard allows complete personalization with the exclusive Aura sync lighting, headers, and mounts. Two safer slots feature a patented molding process that has strong metal framing and a slot built for hefty GPUs. The eight-channel HD audio with headphone amplifiers give industry-leading quality. The ASUS ROD STRIX Gaming Motherboard has superior 802.11ac Wi-Fi that yields 867Mbps transfer speeds.

CONCLUSION:

While we were relatively skeptical about purchasing this motherboard due to the myriad of conflicting reviews online we found that it is a superior piece of gaming equipment designed for overclocking and gaming tasks. The only complaint we had about this motherboard was that one of pins was slightly bent probably from shipping and we straightened it ourselves and had no issues with it since. We were overclocking to 8700K at a stable 5.1GHz with ease the technology makes this process so simple anyone can figure it out. The board maintains a stage and cool temperature even when you are pushing all components to the extremes. If you are looking for a durable motherboard that will last long term, then the ASUS ROG STRIX Gaming Motherboard is perfect for you.

FAQs

What Happens When I Run Out of RAM? 

The physical memory of your computer is the RAM and it stores the data to be readily available for use. When you are multitasking, each task uses some of the RAM and as it fills up the physical memory the virtual memory also becomes full, slowing down your computer. If you are out of RAM some games won’t even open, this is a good indicator that you may need to upgrade the RAM to one of larger capacity. Typically, if you’re in the middle of a game when you run out of RAM it’ll crash, and only sometimes will your progress be saved. If your computer starts using virtual memory for gaming, it will severely decrease your gaming performance, you will see stuttering, motion artifacts, and lag. Since the gamer will not want to deal with running out of RAM it is recommended that your gaming system has no less than 8GB to ensure adequate space for your games. People who are looking to “future-proof” their gaming system will want at least 16GB of RAM to ensure adequate space throughout the years.

How Do I Upgrade the RAM on my Gaming Rig? 

To upgrade your PC, you will need to follow a few simple steps, but this is an easier upgrade to make compared to others. First you need to unplug your PC and open it to access the technology inside, if your RAM is in the computer tower tip it on the side. Wrist straps to decrease static electricity are available for purchase but touching metal surfaces can decrease static electricity as well before you start touching the delicate technology inside your computer. Push down on the clips holding the existing RAM and remove that piece once it pops up, ensure you do not cause damage to surrounding cords or equipment. Without touching the face of the new RAM open the latches and push the new module down into the socket, close the clamps and the new RAM is installed. Reassemble your device and turn it back on, watch carefully that your system is recognizing the RAM if it does you’re set and if it doesn’t repeat the installation process again until it is recognized.

How Do I Know If My RAM is Failing? 

If you are having issues with your PC there are a bunch of things that could be wrong with it, most of the time the RAM isn’t the first portion of your computer to go. If any previous trouble shooting has led you to suspect the RAM, then there are several occurrences you may be experiencing. If your Windows is freezing randomly, your computer is taking over two minutes to open the internet, or if the PC randomly restarts then it’s a pretty good indicator that your RAM is the problem. The Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool will have a column indicative of the status where any issues will be listed.

What is the Average Lifespan of My RAM? 

Our simple answer is yes, but let us give you some detail first. You will want a High Definition monitor for a high definition gaming console output, an older monitor will mesh better with a non-HD gaming console output. After checking the ports on both the gaming console and the monitor make sure you have the proper cable to hook the devices together. You may need an audio convertor or headphones to take advantage of audio while gaming if your monitor does not have speakers, for each specific case just know what your monitor offers and how you prefer to experience audio. Once you connect the proper cables and set the audio output you should be all set.

What is More Important to Focus My Gaming Budget On? GPU, CPU. Or RAM? 

In gaming the order of importance goes Graphics Card, Processor, then RAM. If you are a serious gamer you should not skimp on any facets of your build even if RAM is the last priority. The higher MHz and lower latency creates a better, faster RAM but some increases in clock speed will be undetectable. Typically, dual-channel RAM will be better than single channel for APUS thanks to the higher frequency. The good thing about upgrading your RAM after you’ve already completed your build is that it is relatively cheap to upgrade especially when you compare it to the cost of upgrading CPU and GPU. When upgrading your RAM, we have to remind you again that compatibility with your motherboard is the most important factor, no compatibility means no upgrade.

Key Findings and The Duel

Corsair Dominator Platinum Series vs Kingston Hyper X Fury

The Corsair Dominator Platinum Series is the gold (well platinum) standard in RAM. The 16 GB DDR4 technology allows the Dominator to be powerful while using only a conservative amount of energy. Since the Dominator is compatible with the XMP 2.0 standard supported by Intel it is able to adjust automatically to the fastest safe speed for automatic overclocking. The dominator platinum is aesthetic on its own but if you want to boost up the looks of your build purchasing the Corsair Link with the LED fan could be the ambience you are looking for.

The Kingston Hyper X Fury is an 8GB DDR4 RAM that will provide the best performance to the gamer for its price range. We were very skeptical of this product at first because Kingston isn’t the most competitive brand for RAM, but we were pleasantly surprised by its quality performance. The automatic overclocking feature of the Hyper X Fury is comparable to the Corsair Dominator Platinum and holds its own when placed side by side. This RAM was far easier to install than some of the others that we tried out, making it perfect for those who are working on their first build.

Overall, if we had the space and the extra budget to buy the 16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum we would buy it over the 8GB Kingston Hyper X Fury any day. While the Hyper X Fury is the best for its price range it did have a few more issues with not reaching the advertised clock time and external blemishes. The Corsair Dominator Platinum is also far more stylish than the Hyper X Fury, but they both offer great warranties that allow you to push your RAM to the limits without the fear of burnout. If you are shopping for the best of the best on a budget that’s unlimited then we think the Corsair Dominator Platinum is the RAM for you that’ll help future proof your PC for years to come.

Corsair Dominator Platinum Series vs Patriot Viper 3 Series

The Corsair Dominator Platinum Series is the best RAM that ensures the longevity of your gaming rig no matter what intensive tasks you throw at it. The 16GB storage capacity is more than enough to future proof your PC for years on end even when you play games that are taxing on the RAM and do tasks like video editing and rendering. The 3200MHz clock speed ensures flawless recall from the RAM without a major increase in latency. The aluminum heat spreader with DHX ensures that the power of this RAM has adequate heat dissipation to maintain maximum function.

The Patriot Viper 3 Series is an economically-priced 8GB RAM that provides the best performance to the gamer out of all other RAMs of its price range. This DDR3 RAM uses 1.5V which is conservative for a DDR3 system. We tested this RAM on Intel 6 and 7 series systems with great results. While the heat vents leave a little to be desired since the energy usage increases overall heat of this component it can be mitigated by the addition of an external cooling system. This installation of the patriot is simple and easy however we did have one incident of a crash, but we think this was an anomaly.

Overall the Corsair Dominator Platinum Series dominates all competitors in storage, cooling systems, clock speed, and minimal latency time. Unfortunately for the Patriot Viper 3 series it cannot compete with a RAM like the Dominator, but it yields great performance for its price range. While the Dominator is great for future proofing the Viper 3 cannot provide that additional comfort to the gamer. If we had a massive budget for RAM, then we would pick the Corsair over all others but if you are looking for great performance on a tight budget then the Patriot Viper 3 Series is the right RAM for you.


Verdict

Verdict

If it isn’t already apparent enough the Corsair Dominator Platinum Series is the best of the RAM systems that we tried out and we could rave about it all day. We picked it over all of the RAM we tested out, but it did have a few close competitors that also made our list. While it isn’t far better than all of the ones we tested out it is the best overall thanks to its slick aesthetics and great performance. We are not sure that the Corsair Dominator Platinum will remain the top pick for RAM for a long time, but it does have serious longevity for future proofing your PC with enough memory to play games and carryout RAM intensive tasks for the years to come. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your RAM slightly or install the best RAM money can buy into your new build, we are certain you’ve probably found one that interests you within the ones we’ve tested out. While we would always buy the Corsair Dominator budget allowing we guarantee if you spend the extra money on it you won’t be disappointed.

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2 comments

Howard Bamber March 31, 2018 - 10:45 pm

Good grief!! I’m NOT TROLLING but that article was hard work to get through. The RAM section repeated the same things over and over. Not being a PC builder I don’t know what the look of the RAM has to do with anything. It was like reading computer building porn. I couldn’t help rolling about laughing at the seriousness of the damn look and lights on the said RAM. That section could be 19% of the finished version and still mention everything. Even later on in the FAQ NO1 “what happens when I run out of RAM! Another lot of the same thing that was in the first part.
Then the fans. Good grief custom LEDS etc.
The most important thing the CPU hardly got a mention, compared to the RAM. I guess it is not pretty….
Then the case. All about looks. To me it looks like something a teen who has a job for the first time would buy glasses and gaudy.
Maybe I’m missing something but less is more in my book. I can imagine how annoying that rig would be with the disco lights on in a dark room..
I’d rather have a solid black metal block. No lights no fans with 5000 custom LESS etc
Geuss I’m getting old. I love computers but I do not want to have lights on the RAM fans and everywhere else.
The article could be 19% as long and to the point

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Lisa Hayden April 1, 2018 - 9:50 am

Hi Howard,

I couldn’t stop smiling at your comments. Have to agree to most of the points in terms of the look of the RAM But there is a bit of vanity in the gaming world I suppose (i’m not an exception either:-)), which most of normal PC users would struggle to comprehend with.

-Lisa

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