Finding The Best DDR4 RAM For Gaming in 2020 & 2021: 8GB, 16GB & 32GB

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We took some time to round up and find the best DDR4 RAM sticks we could, steadily escalating in price, capacity, frequency, and performance while doing so. Our end result presented us with five high-quality RAM sticks that you’re welcome to pop into your new PC build or use to upgrade an old one. Furthermore, with the imminent release of DDR5 memory just around the corner, it's also worth taking a look at how current DDR4 matches up against it.

Before continuing, remember there are no bad choices here. We already filtered those out for you.

Instead, go with the RAM that suits your computing needs and falls within your budget. After we go over the individual products, we’ll tackle some popular RAM-related questions to help you decide which of these DDR4 RAM kits is right for you.

Anyway, with that in mind, let's take a look at our best RAM kits for gaming.

Check out all the latest Black Friday RAM deals here!

Best RAM For Gaming: First Look

Editor's Pick
Corsair Vengeance LPX

Corsair Vengeance LPX

The Best RAM For Gaming

Corsair's LPX RAM may not have the tightest timings or fastest speed on this list but it offers some of the best price to performance you can find for DDR4 RAM.

This 3600MHz RAM kit from Corsair is the perfect option for gamers, regardless if you bat for AMD or Intel. The timings may not be the tightest but CL16 is not to be sniffed at this speed, especially when you consider the value.

Performance Pick
TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB

TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB

The Best Performance RAM For Gaming

IT is rare not to see a wash of premium brands such as Corsair and G.Skill at the top but TEAMGROUP smashes our expectations with this incredible RAM kit.

TEAMGROUP comes to the table with this very impressive RGB kit of RAM. For those looking for raw performance with the added benefit of aRGB, the T-Force Xtreem kit is the way to go. Not only does this offer optimized speeds for gaming at 3600MHz but it does so with a CAS latency of 14.

Fast Clock Speed Pick
G.Skill Trident Z Royal

G.Skill Trident Z Royal

The Best Fast RAM For Gaming

G.Skill's TridentZ Royal RAM offers blistering speeds with one of the most unique designs we have ever seen in the RAM department.

We understand that the overall design of the TridentZ Royal RAM kit can be a bit hit and miss for many but at 4800MHz with reasonably tight timings, you are getting a premium product here but it does come at a premium price.

RGB Pick
G.Skill TridentZ RGB

G.Skill TridentZ RGB

The Best RGB RAM For Gaming

G.Skill enters calculations again but this time with their stunning TridentZ RGB RAM kit. This kit brings fast speeds, tight timings, and some of the most vibrant RGB lighting available.

The G.Skill TridentZ RGB RAM kit is one of the more well known on this list and that is largely down to its quality. This is a premium kit and features fast 3200MHz speeds with incredibly tight timings.

Budget Pick
Patriot Viper 4 Series

Patriot Viper 4 Series

The Best Budget RAM For Gaming

For the budget-minded gamer, fast speeds, tight timings, and flashy lighting may not always be a priority, enter the Patriot Viper Series.

We have included a very affordable 8GB budget kit here from Patriot. The Viper 4 series offers adequate speeds of 3000Mhz and will be enough if you are planning on creating a budget build. you may not be blown away by the specs but the price is superb.

How We Choose

All of the RAM kits on this list have been hand-selected for a reason. First and foremost, we conducted a search to discover which RAM kits gamers tend to prefer while trying to balance those with the highest reviews against those with the lowest price tags.

Reviews from various manufacturers were taken into account, as well as reviews from others in the PC gaming industry.

Next, we get our hands on as many of our recommendations as possible so we can see the build quality up close and test how easy they are to install.

How We Test

From CPUs to RAM kits, we like to get hands-on with all the hardware we recommend. Testing the products is a huge part of our overall selection process and it is a way we can be sure that a specific option is the best for the job.

Products must pass our testing which is largely a lot of gaming, with some other boring stuff but most if not every recommendation will have gone through a strict testing process.

With a RAM kit, especially the ones we list as the best for gaming, we need to assess build quality, performance, and finally, value.

This process enables us to provide you with an accurate take on how well individual RAM kits perform and, ultimately, if they are worth your hard-earned cash.

Things To Consider

Just like with any component or peripheral, there are always a few key factors to consider, whether you're a seasoned PC builder or a newbie. In this section, we are going to go over a few terms that you may need to know, discuss what the perfect RAM capacity will suit your needs, and what speed you should opt for in order to get the best gaming experience you can for your cash.

What Is RAM?

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RAM is short for Random Access Memory. It’s also “dynamic” memory, versus your HDD/SSD storage, which is considered “static” memory.

RAM is used to hold data in the short-term, by holding active applications and data where it can be quickly accessed, discarded and changed. In human terms, think of it as your short-term memory or what you have in mind right now.

With the increasing RAM demands of operating systems, games and applications, many people are starting to ask more questions about what exactly RAM is and what it does for them. We’re going to use the rest of the article to demystify any questions you may have about RAM to allow you to make an educated buying decision.

When it comes to gaming, RAM is usually used to hold the active levels/maps and help your CPU/GPU juggle all the calculations that are going on in-game. In the sections below, we’ll dive a bit deeper into how it affects performance.

Before we discuss more intricate topics related to RAM such as; how much, what speed, and what difference RAM makes to gaming, let's take a look at the best DDR4 RAM right now.

What Is The Best Amount Of RAM For Gaming?

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Honestly...it doesn’t actually matter that much for gaming in particular. Where it does start to matter, however, is when you look at what else you happen to be doing when you’re gaming. For serious gamers, we are going to show you how to pick the best RAM for gaming.

Here’s a helpful breakdown of what you can do at various RAM capacities.

  • 4 GB RAM - You can multitask or you can game. You can’t, however, do both at once. Some modern games may have a 6GB or higher RAM requirement, too, which can hurt your performance in those titles.
  • 8GB RAM - You can multitask and you can game. Doing both at once shouldn’t cause you any problems, especially if you aren’t running anything CPU/GPU-intensive in the background of your game. Most modern titles shouldn’t have RAM requirements higher than 6GB, too, so your RAM spec is greater than or equal to what’s expected from most games.
  • 16GB RAM - You can multitask and game, with much more intensity. You could, say, run a RAM-intensive game while also having a large number of browser tabs in the background, for instance.  16GB of RAM is really only recommended for people who use professional/productivity applications that require the extra RAM, like running Virtual Machines or advanced calculations. For the vast majority of users, 16GB of RAM offers no real benefits.
  • 32GB+ RAM - Literally only useful for servers and extreme scenarios. This will have absolutely no impact on your gaming experience and is considered a luxury.

Ultimately, there is no best amount of RAM for gaming.

There is, however, a most practical amount of RAM for gaming and that is having 8GB of RAM. For the foreseeable future, this will likely remain the case, but perhaps one day we’ll see games and applications that justify buying more RAM.

What Is The Best RAM Speed For Gaming?

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Now, it’s time to tackle another fun topic: RAM speed in gaming!

Many people invest in the fastest, greatest hardware to push maximum frames. But, does that actually result in better gaming performance or is it just an ego boost number?

First off, most DDR4-compatible motherboards and RAM will only be able to reach a maximum of around 4200MHz without serious performance issues. In fact, getting RAM to run at these high clocks requires BIOS tweaks which can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing. 

Out of the box, your average consumer RAM runs anywhere from 2400MHz to 3200MHz.

Secondly, most games and applications just don’t see much of a performance boost by boosting RAM frequency. Of course, it’s better to run 3000 DDR4 than 1333 DDR3, but as we’ve hit higher speeds we aren’t seeing corresponding differences in gaming performance.

Now, to be fair, some games may very well benefit from RAM speed increases. Unfortunately, these benefits are often marginal at best and usually not worth the extra money.

Ultimately, there is no best RAM speed for gaming. So, let’s talk about the final question: how much of a difference does RAM actually make?

Please note: we've just finished a variety of benchmark tests on RAM speed and published the results on our Youtube channel which you can find here.

The Best DDR4 RAM For Gaming

Product Details
Corsair Vengeance LPX

Corsair Vengeance LPX

  • capacity: 4GB - 16GB
  • frequency: DDR4 2400Mhz - 4000Mhz
  • cas latency: 16
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TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB

TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB

  • capacity: 16GB (2x8)
  • frequency: DDR4 3600MHz
  • cas latency: 14
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G.Skill Trident Z Royal

G.Skill Trident Z Royal

  • capacity: 16GB (2x8)
  • frequency: DDR4 4800MHz
  • cas latency: 18
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G.Skill TridentZ RGB

G.Skill TridentZ RGB

  • capacity: 16GB (2x8)
  • frequency: DDR4 3200MHz
  • cas latency: 14
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Patriot Viper 4 Series

Patriot Viper 4 Series

  • capacity: 8GB (2x4)
  • frequency: DDR4 3000MHz
  • cas latency: 16
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#1

Corsair Vengeance LPX

Corsair design their Vengeance LPX range with 2 goals in mind, solid performance and overclocking potential. They achieve this by equipping their LPX RAM with a heat spreader which is comprised of pure aluminum providing faster more efficient heat dissipation. Furthermore, the either-layer PCB helps manage temperatures and allows for excellent overclocking headroom.

The Vengeance range is also extremely versatile, it's been tested against all X99 motherboards for compatibility, not to mention the low profile heat spreader which makes their RAM much smaller than others in the list. It comes in a variety of different speeds and sizes ranging from 4GB of 2400MHz right up to 16GB of 4000MHz meaning you can find a RAM speed that is suitable for your needs. It also comes in a variety of colors to suit your exact RGB setup.

Touching on RGB briefly, the Vengeance series does have an RGB edition within its ranks. As you would expect with RGB, the price doesn't really reflect the improvements, however, if RGB is what you're into fear not, Corsair have you covered.

Right now Corsair's Vengeance LPX is one of the best selling RAM standards on the market and you can see why they have truly catered for everyone's needs.

#2

TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB

With a CAS latency of 14 and speeds of 3600Mhz, the TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem RAM kit is currently one of the best around. Not only does this offer some of the tightest timings at this speed but it does so with incredible aesthetics and value.

For gaming, there are fewer RAM kits that will enhance your experience as much as this one but because it comes with extra cost, it just misses out on our top spot. This kit features overclocking support from all your main motherboard manufacturers (Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte, MSI) and ships with a lifetime warranty. The RAM kit features ARGB, with full mirror light penetration, making any build sparkle.

This 2x8 16GB kit is ideal for any gaming PC but you can only take advantage of the tight timings on this model and the 3200Mhz kit, with the 4000Mhz option featuring a CAS latency of 18. The high performance is backed by an aluminum alloy heat sink, taking care of heat dissipation in an efficient manner.

For those that want the best performance with the added benefit of looking good too, there are fewer RAM kits out there that would be better for gaming, however, this extra performance comes with additional costs.

#3

G.Skill Trident Z Royal

Here we have one of the most premium RAM kit-series on the market, G.Skill's TridentZ Royal, that is literally bling-bling from end to end. While there are faster RAM kits out there, the CAS latency is also higher so we opted for this, with a balance of 4800MHz and CL18 timings, giving you all-round performance.

G.Skill's pushed the boat out with the design and for many, it can be hit and miss. That being said, if you are looking to add extra flare alongside blistering speed, the TridentZ Royal kit is a great place to start.

This may not be the best kit for gaming but it is a solid option in its own right, just make sure your bank balance can handle it.

#4

G.Skill TridentZ RGB

The G.Skill TridentZ RAM kit needs no introduction, it has fast become one of the most popular premium kits out there and for good reason to. This RGB series not only offers some of the best aesthetics in the RAM category but also features incredibly tight timings at a fairly fast speed. With a CAS latency of 14 and speed of 3200MHz, this kit is going to easily boost your gaming performance but it is worth noting that it narrowly misses out to the TEAMGROUP kit.

G.Skill specifies this is specifically engineered for Intel-based systems but we can assure you it would work well in any gaming PC. What they are referring to is the 3200MHz speed, which is considered the sweet spot for Intel CPUs. This kit comes with a unique looking heatsink that does a fantastic job of dealing with heat and combines with the vibrant RGB lighting to give you one of the most aesthetically pleasing RAM kits currently on the market.

The kit we recommend here is a 2x8 16GB model, giving you more than enough memory for gaming, without ever being bottlenecked. We consider 3200MHz to be a very good speed but we will always recommend you go for a 3600MHz option instead.

The aesthetics, performance, and build quality of G.Skill's TridentZ series is unrivaled by most, this is truly an exceptional RAM kit.

#5

Patriot Viper 4 Series

Patriot's Viper 4 Series falls under the lower end of the price spectrum in our list of best RAM for gaming. However, this doesn't take anything away from the performance power they provide with Patriot saying the Viper 4 has been engineered and designed for intense gaming and the most demanding computer environments. All sounds good to us. In benchmarks, the Viper was slightly slower than the standout brands but we're willing to let that slide considering the price is vastly cheaper.

The viper comes in a couple of different colors and does have an RGB iteration, be careful though as this adds a decent amount to your shopping bill total.

Ultimately the Viper caters to consumers looking to get affordable RAM which still operates at a fairly decent level. Just be aware that build quality and longevity have been comprised to accommodate the difference in price

Related RAM Pages

If you are looking for more specific information on RAM and the best of the best, check out our other guides below.

Final Word

There you have it, the best RAM for gaming but how much does RAM affect gaming? Well, once you meet a game’s RAM requirement, you’re fine but leaving a bit of headroom for more demanding games and applications is always a good idea.

That’s really all there is to it. We’re not going to lie to you and tell you that you need to buy 32 Gigs of DDR4-4000 RAM because that’s blatantly false. RAM capacity matters far more than RAM frequency when it comes to gaming (and general) computer performance, and even RAM capacity starts to see seriously diminishing returns past the 16GB point, at least for now.

The big lesson to take away here? Just buy what you need and what fits your budget. The recommendations we’ve dropped in this article could all be considered the best DDR4 RAM for gaming.

For a seriously good RAM kit that will never let you down or empty your wallet, Corsair's Vengeance LPX RAM kit is a fantastic option, with fast speeds, adequate timings for gamers, and reliability.

For incredible performance and aesthetics, we recommend the TEAMPGROUP T-Force Xtreem RAM kit. Not only does this feature ARGB lighting but it comes with fast 3600MHz speeds and incredible tight timings.

For a high-end premium pick, G.Skill's TridentZ Royal RAM kit is one of the best. This offers the fastest speeds on our list at 4800MHz with reasonable timings for that speed, just be ready for a premium price.

A high-quality RGB option comes in the form of the G.Skill TridentZ RGB RAM kit. This kit brings fast speeds and impressive timings, all wrapped in one of the nicest RGB designs on the market.

For the more budget-minded PC builders out there, the Patriot Viper 4 series RAM kit is a great affordable option to go for. This kit is 8GB but you can always double that if needed.

What’re you going with? Let us know down in the commenbts or over at the dayaxa.community

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If you are also going after a new gaming monitor or require some gaming peripherals for your new gaming PC then check out the links below for even more savings.

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