The best RAM for Gaming—let’s talk about it. We’re running through how much you need and 2019’s ultimate top ten list for PC gaming ram. Up your game here.

Zoom Out: Top 15 Best RAM for Gaming Comparison Table

These components are sorted by price ascending.

ImageRAMStick CapacityPopular Data RateCost
Ballistix Sport Series4GB or 8GBDDR3-1600MHz
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series4GB, 8GB or 16GBDDR3-1600MHz
Kingston HyperX FURY Series4GB or 8GBDDR3-1600MHz
ADATA XPG V1 Series4GB or 8GBDDR3-1600MHz
Corsair Vengeance Pro Series4GB or 8GBDDR3-2400MHz
Mushkin REDLINE Series8GB or 16GBDDR4-2666MHz
Ballistix Tactical Series4GB or 8GBDDR3-1600MHz
PNY Anarchy Series8GBDDR4-2400MHz
Patriot Viper Elite Series4GB or 8GBDDR4-2400MHz
G.Skill Trident Z Series4GB, 8GB or 16GBDDR4-3200MHz
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series4GB or 8GBDDR4-3200MHZ
Corsair Vengeance LPX Series4GB, 8GB or 16GBDDR4-3200MHz
Kingston Technology HyperX Predator Black Series4GB, 8GB or 16GBDDR4-3000MHz
G.Skill Trident Z RGB Series4GB, 8GB or 16GBDDR4-3200MHz
Corsair Dominator Platinum Series8GB or 16GBDDR4-3333MHz

General Thoughts on the Best Gaming RAM

Whether you’re building your first gaming rig or just upgrading, getting an extra edge on the competition can come down to the components you pick. But is RAM as important as say your processor or graphics card? How do choose the best RAM for Gaming? Let’s dispel any confusion here and now.

best ram for gaming

Like the level cap in MMO’s, your rig’s RAM will set a ceiling on how many task it can handle at once. Spending more on RAM doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a better outcome. Once you have enough RAM for your purposes, diminishing returns comes into play. The only time you need to go all out on RAM and get something like 32GB of RAM is if you’re a power user and have dozens of browser tabs open at once + tons of background programs running + playing a game at the same time. Remember quality of RAM is just as important if not more so, than quantity of RAM!

Part I of our gaming ram guide gives you some background information on how the component of RAM functions. Read part II of our guide on this page to get an idea of exactly how much RAM you really need for gaming. Part III lists the top things you should weigh before purchasing RAM for your next machine.

Gaming Ram Guide Part I: What is RAM? DDR?

RAM is the shortened name for “Random Access Memory.” It allows you to allows you to multitask on your computer when it comes to video games, entertainment, and your equipment’s capacity. This means that it is the thing PC gamers use to run multiple programs at a time. The RAM acts as a middle ground between the ultra fast CPU cache and the large, lummox, slow moving storage of your hard drive (or a bit faster lummox if you’ve got that SSD). RAM is not used as permanent storage, it is used to temporarily store working parts of the OS and data that is actively in use.

You don’t have to blow your entire equipment budget on RAM, since the most important information to pay attention is how much RAM you can get– not the speed. For most gamers, aiming for 8GB of RAM is a great place to start. So what does RAM do for Gaming? As we mentioned before, the amount of RAM that your computer has is directly related to what you can run at the same time. Having systems like Steam, your internet browser, music, and the game of your choice running at the same time might cause you some problems without sufficient RAM available.

DDR is shorthand for double data rate (the meaning is that two transfers happen per clock cycle). DDR3 RAM will not be compatible with a motherboard that only supports DDR2. Fortunately, each type has a different notch cut in the pins, meaning you can’t physically shove that puppy into the slot which prevents you from damaging it. DDR4 is the latest and greatest type of RAM and it provides the lowest operating voltage and highest transfer rate on the market right now. DDR5 is not expected in consumer applications until 2019-2020.

DDR Comparison Table

DDR Comparison Table

Another term you may come across when looking at RAM is Column Access Strobe Latency. Typically known as CAS Latency, this refers to the amount of time that passes between when an action is initiated and when it actually happens.

Gaming Ram Guide Part II: How Much RAM do You Really Need for Gaming?

Choppy performance is dreaded when it comes to gaming, as you need top performance to snag that mid-lane kill in Dota or take cover when you hear the alarming “It’s High Noon” in Overwatch. Fortunately, ‘lag’ caused by RAM is pretty easy to fix. As long as you have the required minimum listed by the game developers, you’ll be good to go. But the fact remains, if they list a required 8GB minimum and you’ve got 4GB, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Furthermore, to be in the safe zone, you may very well want more RAM then is listed as the minimum requirement. That’ll help keep all the background programs running smoothly while you’ve got your game going simultaneously.

It used to be the case that you could get away with 4GB of RAM but nowadays some games list 8GB of RAM (and it’s becoming more common) as the min. requirement. That’s right, you’ll probably want to be in the 12-16GB RAM range in your gaming PC. If you’re on a strict budget and get 4 or 8GB, you’ll want to be zapping and terminating programs left and right in that task manager so you can devote all your RAM resources to running your game.

In summary, given that RAM is a relatively low-cost investment (compared to GPUs and the like), it is worth to aim for at least 8GB of RAM to make sure that your gaming computer can handle your gaming system. 16GB is ideal if you can spare the cost and plan to do some heavy gaming. At the very least, we recommend no less than 4 GB even if you’re on a bootstrap budget. Furthermore, if you’re not sure how much you need exactly, it’s always better to aim a little higher.

Gaming Ram Guide Part III: How to Pick the Best RAM for Your Machine

Before you take a hard look at the Ultimate Top 10 list of the best RAM for gaming, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Budget

Knowing your budget (and sticking to it) is an important part of any decision we make. However, gamers may know this struggle better than most. Games aren’t always cheap these days, and waiting for sales isn’t the easiest process. When you’re building your own rig, the last thing you want to do is run out of cash. Regardless of your budget, it’s best to keep in mind that when it comes to RAM, you don’t really need to go all out and get the absolute best gaming memory. That’s probably a waste of cash money. Just purchase only what you need, and put the extra towards a better GPU or CPU.

Capacity

As a hardcore gamer, you probably already know what kind of programs you run. But predicting what kind of action you’ll be taking on within the next few months or year should also come into play. Like we mentioned earlier, 8GB of RAM is a sweet spot, but if you predict that you’ll be taking on more–and if you have the budget–perhaps you should consider 16GB of RAM or even more as an alternative. If you don’t think you’ll be adding much more, keep in mind that having more RAM will not speed up your function if you keep your level of tasks the same.

Platform

You don’t want to purchase some spiffy RAM and then find it does not even fit into your motherboard. A good rule of thumb to follow is purchasing either 1.5 volt DDR3-1600 or 1.2 volt DDR-2133 memory sticks with CAS 15 timings. The great thing about going that route is that Intel’s X99 and Skylake platforms universally support DDR4 modules; DDR3 modules are supported by a majority of motherboards. The big issue with recommending ultra fast memory kits is that they usually take some tinkering around (manual configuration of the motherboard’s firmware) to receive the full performance benefit. Furthermore, if this manual configuration is not completed, or completed incorrectly there’s a possibility you’ll even get dropped to lower performance levels than what a more basic RAM component would offer.

Zoom In: Our Top 15 List of the Best RAM for Gaming

Here are our top picks for the best RAM components currently on the market.

1. Crucial Ballistix Sport Series

crucial-ballistix-sport-8gb

  • RAM Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 1600 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240
  • Cas Latency: 9
  • Timing: 9-9-9-24
  • Voltage: 1.5
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB Sticks + Kits

Although this RAM kit isn’t the fastest, or the largest, memory kit, it hits the sweet spot of capacity and speed for the cost. It can be a great option for saving money without compromising the efficiency of your system.

2. G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series

g-skill-ripjaws-x-series-8gb

  • RAM Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 1600 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240
  • Cas Latency: 9
  • Timing: 9-9-9-24
  • Voltage: 1.5
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB Sticks + Kits

Boasting a full 5/5 stars with over 2,000 reviews, this RAM kit offers solid price and performance. Given that it is from G.SKILL, you can rest easy because they back their products with a lifetime warranty.

3. Kingston HyperX FURY Series

kingston-hyperx-fury-8gb

  • RAM Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 1600 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240
  • Cas Latency: 10
  • Timing: 10-10-10-30
  • Voltage: 1.35
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB Sticks + Kits

Although the cas latency runs high, this 8×1 kit can give you the ability to get a large amount of memory into your system. In addition to its high speeds, the Kingston HyperX FURY because the kit for an enthusiast.

4. ADATA XPG V1 Series

adata-xpg-8gb-gaming-ram

  • RAM Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 1600, 1866, or 2133 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240
  • Cas Latency: 9
  • Timing: 9-9-9-24
  • Voltage: 1.5
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB Sticks + Kits

This ADATA XPG RAM kit comes with a lifetime warranty for peace of mind. ADATA came out with a versatile line. This RAM is available in 1600, 1866, or 2133MHz speeds and 8 or 4 GB capacities.

5. Corsair Vengeance Pro Series

corsair-vengeance-pro-16gb-2x8gb-ddr3-2400mhz-pc3-19200-desktop-ram

  • RAM Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 1600 or 2400 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240
  • Cas Latency: 11
  • Timing: 11-13-13-31
  • Voltage: 1.65
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB Sticks + Kits

This memory kit boasts impressive capacity and speed, and if you go with 16 GB of space, it’ll be able to handle any number of multi-tasking jobs you throw at it. It’s the number one best seller for a reason, and the Corsair Vengeance will give you the fastest gaming experience RAM can provide.

6. Mushkin Enhanced Redline Series

Mushkin REDLINE Series – DDR4 DRAM

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 2,666 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 288
  • Cas Latency: 16
  • Timing: 16-17-17-36
  • Voltage: 1.2
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 16GB Sticks + Kits

Offering a competitive cas latency and good speeds, this RAM kit is worth a gander for any gamer. Just because it’s from a smaller, lesser known brand doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on your list.

7. Crucial Ballistix Tactical Series

crucial-ballistix-tactical-16gb

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 1600 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240, 288
  • Cas Latency: 8
  • Timing: 8-8-8-24
  • Voltage: 1.4
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB Sticks + Kits

If you want the capacity of a 16gb RAM kit, without paying a premium for increased speed, this kit can offer you the best of both worlds with a sufficient 1600 MHz.

8. PNY Anarchy Series

pny-anarchy-16gb

  • RAM Technology: DDR3, DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 1600 or 2400 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240, 288
  • Cas Latency: 15
  • Timing: 15-15-15-35
  • Voltage: 1.2
  • Purchase Options: 8GB Sticks + Kits

For those who care about function and aesthetics, this stylish blue and black kit will wow in appearance as well as performance. For those hardcore gamers that build their own gaming rig, the PNY Anarchy should be on the radar.

9. Patriot Viper Elite Series

patriot-viper-elite-16gb

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 2133 or 2666 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 288
  • Cas Latency: 15
  • Timing: 15-15-15-35
  • Voltage: 1.2
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB Sticks + Kits

Though this RAM kit has a premium price attached to it, the memory is about as fast as you can buy on the current market. Available in kits of two or individual sticks, you can select what you need for most builds.

10. G.SKILL Trident Z Series

g-skill-trident-z-16gb

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 2400, 3000, 3200, 3600, or 4133 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240, 288
  • Cas Latency: 16
  • Timing: 16-18-18-38
  • Voltage: 1.35
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB Sticks + Kits

This RAM kit offers a unique, futuristic look with high memory speed and great capacity! For a cool $850 dollars you can pick up a 4 pack of 16GB sticks for a whopping 64GB capacity ready to power the matrix.

11. G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series

G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 2 x 16GB

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 2400 or 3200 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 288 Pin
  • Cas Latency: 15
  • Timing: 15-15-15-35
  • Voltage: 1.2
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB Sticks + Kits

For Intel Z170/X99 chipsets, the Ripjaw V Series is blazingly fast and stylishly designed. With a Cas Latency 15 timing (15-15-15-35) and 2,400 minimum memory speed this is a solid option for the average user.

12. Corsair Vengeance LPX Series

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 2133, 2400, 2666, 2800, 3000, or 3200 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240, 288
  • Cas Latency: 15
  • Timing: 15-17-17-35
  • Voltage: 1.35
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB Sticks + Kits

This RAM is designed for overclocking. The heat spreader uses some of the most advanced technology available in gaming RAM. It is constructed with pure aluminum for rapid heat dissipation and the eight layer PCB lends a helping hand to keep things cool.

13. Kingston Technology HyperX Predator Black Series

Kingston Technology HyperX Predator Black

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 2400, 2666, 2933, 3000, 3200, 3333, or 3600 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240, 288
  • Cas Latency: 16
  • Timing: 16-18-18-38
  • Voltage: 1.35
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB Sticks + Kits

Like Corsair’s Vengeance LPX Series above, the HyperX Predator also employs an aluminum heat spreader for maximum heat management efficiency. You can easily switch between frequencies and timings by using XMP (Intel’s Extreme Memory Profiles) profiles.

14. G.SKILL Trident Z RGB Series

G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 2400, 3000, 3200, 3600, or 4133 MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240, 288
  • Cas Latency: 16
  • Timing: 16-18-18-38
  • Voltage: 1.35
  • Purchase Options: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB Sticks + Kits

If you’re looking at going wild instead of mild on your gaming rig lighting G.Skill offers the Trident Z series in RGB style. They offer a startling array of speed and capacity options so you can customize your RAM choice to exactly what your purposes call for.

15. Corsair Dominator Platinum Series

Corsair DOMINATOR PLATINUM

  • RAM Technology: DDR4 SDRAM
  • Memory Speed: 2400, 3200, 3333, 3600, 3733, or 4000MHz
  • Number of Pins: 240, 288
  • Cas Latency: 16
  • Timing: 16-18-18-36
  • Voltage: 1.35V
  • Purchase Options: 8GB, 16GB Sticks + Kits

A top choice for premium memory, this high end memory kit is from trusted brand Corsair.


High Ground Gaming knows that gaming is a huge part of our lives and that gaming is a hobby (or lifestyle) that requires some technical savvy. That’s why we create guides and reviews to make your life easier so that you can do less research and more gaming. Getting the best RAM for gaming can help reduce choppy performance, closing and opening times of games, and can help your PC run better under the load of many programs running simultaneously. For the hardcore gamers, eSports enthusiasts, and even casual gamers concerned about performance will benefit from checking out our best ram for gaming and other such guides. Optimize your experience.