Memory, or RAM, is one of the components of a PC that tends to go a little overlooked — but it never should be, especially if you're a gamer. While most people know that a certain amount of RAM is needed for things to run smoothly, there is more to choosing the best gaming RAM than simply stacking it.
For a well-rounded gaming PC, the best RAM to buy in 2022 is the G.Skill TridentZ RGB. It balances price and performance, offering your desktop the boost that it needs to become a multitasking powerhouse without making a huge dent in your savings. If you'd like to learn about more options, check out our list of the best gaming RAM in 2022 below.
G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB 3,200MHz
Best gaming RAM
- Great balance of performance and price
- Easy to overclock
- Available in RGB and non-RGB versions
- Not the most powerful kit you can get
Why you should buy it: It offers great gaming performance at a reasonable price.
Who's it for: Gamers who would rather spend their budget on other components but still want a solid RAM kit.
What we thought of the G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB 3,200MHz:
G.Skill RAM has been included in our lineup of the best RAM kits for a long time now, so it's not a surprise to see it make a reappearance at the top of this list, too. This model is especially excellent for gamers due to its speed and balanced price that frees up room in your budget. Sure, this RAM won't give you the absolute best performance you can get out of a memory kit in 2022, but it will carry you through your games and multitasking needs without a hitch while keeping the price reasonable.
The TridentZ comes as a pair of 8GB modules, each with a base frequency of 3200MHz. This is a 288-pin kit with 16-18-18-38 timings and a voltage of 1.35V. These timings are tight, and if you want to boost the performance of this RAM once you install it, you can overclock it regardless of your platform. G.Skill works with both AMD and Intel.
For most gamers, this memory kit will more than suffice. If you commit yourself to DDR4, it makes for a great pick. However, if you don't mind spending more and you're in need of some serious multitasking, you may want to check out some of our other options below to take a peek at some speedier alternatives.
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5
Best DDR5 gaming RAM
- High frequency
- Future-proofing with DDR5 memory
- Top gaming performance
- It's pricey
Why you should buy it: It offers some of the best performance money can buy.
Who's it for: AAA gamers with little to no concern about the budget.
What we thought of the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5:
If raw power and pure performance are what you're after, then this Corsair kit is definitely something you'll want to take a good look at. Corsair Dominator brings you an upgrade to DDR5, future-proofing your PC, and it does so in style. With 32GB of dual-channel memory (2x 16GB) and an ultra-high frequency of 5,600MHz, there isn't much else you could ask for from a memory kit.
Corsair Dominator comes with custom Intel XMP 3.0 profiles and hits its 5,600MHz frequency when using XMP overclocking. In order to hit those numbers, you'll first have to enable XMP in your BIOS. Once you do, you can try to overclock this memory even further if you want to push it to the limit. XMP gives this kit excellent 36-36-36-76 timings while maintaining the advertised 5,600MHz frequency.
Keep in mind that Corsair is only optimized for Intel motherboards right now. This is because AMD is yet to release processors that support DDR5 memory. However, for those lucky Intel Alder Lake owners, it offers fantastic performance, built-in cooling solutions, and beautiful, customizable RGB that turns your rig into a work of art.
Until recently, getting your hands on Corsair's latest RAM flagship would have been next to impossible, but this product is now readily available if you're willing to pay the DDR5 premium. While expensive, Corsair has a lot to offer, so it's a good choice if you're building a monster gaming PC. However, if you're on a budget, there are options on our list that cost much less than the Corsair Dominator.
Patriot Viper Steel 16GB 4,400MHz
Best alternative to DDR5 RAM
- Super-speedy for DDR4 RAM
- Reasonably priced
- Cheaper replacement for DDR5
- Not compatible with every motherboard
Why you should buy it: It's a very fast DDR4 kit at a reasonable price.
Who's it for: Gaming enthusiasts who value performance but don't want to overpay.
What we thought of the Patriot Viper Steel:
We're back to DDR4 territory with the Patriot Viper Steel, but this RAM is good enough to make a solid substitute for DDR5 while saving you a pretty penny. While it certainly falls behind the Corsair Dominator DDR5, it costs around a third (or less) of the price and still offers high speeds and decent timings, plus a lot of overclocking potential.
At its base level, the Patriot Viper Steel is a mere 2,133MHz. However, if you pop into the BIOS and unlock its full potential, you're getting 4,400MHz — that's on the higher end of what DDR4 can offer. This particular kit has base timings of 15-15-15-36 and goes up to 19-19-19-39 when overclocked. The timings aren't particularly tight without overclocking, but you can tune them up and enjoy superb performance.
While this particular kit brings two sticks of 8GB each, you can browse through Patriot's entire selection of gaming RAM, some of which goes up to as much as 64GB. Of course, in these cases, the clock speeds are a bit lower. There's something in there for everyone, though, so be sure to check out this particular model and the rest of the selection if you want a good balance of high-end performance and not-so-high-end pricing.
TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan TUF Gaming Alliance DDR4
Best budget gaming RAM
- Super affordable
- Decent timings
- Suitable for many games
- You can get a better model for a little more money
Why you should buy it: It's a great alternative to more expensive RAM and fits neatly in budget-oriented builds.
Who's it for: Enthusiasts and casual users on a tighter budget.
What we thought about the TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan DDR4:
Building a PC is more expensive than ever in this day and age. Part of it is due to the ongoing chip shortage, part of it is due to various other reasons that none of us have any influence on. One way or another, getting a top-notch gaming PC is pricey, but there are ways to cut some corners and hit some savings without jeopardizing the way your future gaming beast is going to perform. Enter TeamGroup with its budget 16GB RAM kit.
I'm not here to lie to you and tell you that this is the best RAM you've ever seen, but it's definitely one of the best kits you'll see in this price range. Barely breaking the $50 mark, this TeamGroup product with a name far too long to repeat will help your PC fight its way through a wide array of games.
This is a set of two 8GB sticks, adding up to 16GB, and it can hit speeds of up to 3,000MHz. TeamGroup delivers one-click overclocking to make it easier to squeeze every last bit of power out of this kit. You can pair these with either an Intel or an AMD CPU and save a whole lot of money if you're not too bothered about getting the best of the best.
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB
Best premium DDR5 gaming RAM
- 32GB capacity is plenty for any gaming PC
- Subtle RGB design
- Unrivaled speed and timings
- It's really expensive
Why you should buy it: It provides you with a huge amount of RAM that runs at insane speeds.
Who's it for: Users who want the best they can get and aren't afraid to pay the premium price.
What we thought of the G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB:
We're in the big leagues now with this G.Skill Trident kit. Not only are you bringing your PC into the world of current-generation RAM with DDR5, but you're also doing so in a way that ensures your PC will never experience RAM-related bottlenecks.
G.Skill Trident delivers DDR5 RAM with a whopping 6,000MHz frequency and amazing 36-36-36-96 timings at 1.35V. Much like any DDR5 RAM right now, it's only suited for Intel Alder Lake processors. However, when AMD also starts supporting DDR5, this might change. Aside from raw performance figures, this memory kit provides top-notch cooling solutions that ensure it won't run too hot even when pushed to the limit.
This set of two DIMM 16GB RAM sticks is our recommendation for every demanding user, regardless of your use case. Whether you're mainly a gamer or you need a good kit for work with the occasional game thrown into the mix, G.Skill will help your prized PC breeze through all kinds of multitasking and resource-heavy workflows.
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB DDR4
Best 32GB DDR4 RAM
- Beautiful RGB design
- 32GB capacity
- Good value
- Requires four slots
Why you should buy it: It offers a lot of top-quality RAM for a reasonable price.
Who's it for: Gamers and professionals who want 32GB of RAM without paying for DDR5.
What we thought of the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB DDR4:
Corsair is known for making some of the best RAM kits out there, so it's no wonder we're back to serving you more recommendations from that brand. The Vengeance Pro RAM kit consists of four sticks of 8GB each, meaning you'll need to use four slots to achieve that 32GB capacity. You can safely buy this kit whether you're an Intel or AMD user, as it's compatible with DDR4 motherboards for both those manufacturers.
The first thing to notice is that these RAM kits look great. The RGB is somewhat understated, adjustable, and super easy on the eyes. You can buy the Corsair Vengeance Pro in black or white, meaning it'll fit your build's aesthetic regardless of the color scheme. However, most people don't buy RAM just for its design, so rest assured that Corsair has plenty to offer on the "sheer power" front, too.
This RAM kit comes with 3,600MHz speeds that can be overclocked far past that number — Corsair claims speeds of up to 4,600MHz may be possible under the right circumstances. Whether hitting that much with four DIMMs is realistic is hard to say, but there's certainly a lot to be said about how fast the Corsair Vengeance Pro is. It's a multitasking beast, it's versatile, it's huge, and it's beautiful. There's not much else to ask for from a memory kit.
Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4
Best entry-level gaming RAM
- It's extremely cheap
- Suitable for non-demanding gamers
- Great for casual use
- Only 4GB
Why you should buy it: You're strapped for cash and want to build a decent computer for 1080p gaming.
Who's it for: Non-demanding users who need to remain price-conscious.
What we thought of the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4:
This is our second recommendation for gamers on a budget, but unlike the TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan, this one is for those of us who need to think twice before splurging on a piece of computer hardware. Rest assured that it's entirely possible to build a good gaming PC while staying within a certain budget. This RAM kit, while not outstanding, will do the job in a budget build.
For this price — less than $20 — it's honestly pretty good. This is a DIMM RAM stick, meaning you can buy more than one and still come out with savings compared to some other models. Of course, this cheap price comes at the cost of power. Each RAM stick only offers 4GB capacity, meaning that for any kind of gaming, you'll have to get at least two.
As far as cheap RAM goes, Ballistix will do the job for non-demanding gamers. It offers speeds of 2,400MHz and support for Intel XMP 2.0 profiles that can let you indulge in some light overclocking. There are no bells and whistles here, just regular old RAM, but sometimes that just might be enough.
XPG DDR4 RGB 16GB
Best gaming RAM for aesthetic builds
- Gorgeous design
- Reasonable price
- Acceptable timings
- You pay more for the design than the performance
Why you should buy it: If you have a knack for aesthetic PC builds and want everything to look amazing.
Who's it for: Gamers who love RGB, all-white builds, or simply a touch of art in their PC components.
What we thought of the XPG DDR4 RGB 16GB:
This just might be the prettiest RAM we've ever seen. That alone is not much of a recommendation, but if you're looking to maximize the aesthetics of your build, you should think about this memory kit. It has an unusual shape, but it fits inside both AMD and Intel builds. The RGB theme is entirely customizable, so whether you want to go full-on sparkly and colorful or stick to a certain shade is up to you.
Aesthetics aside, this kit is more than decent. XPG (which is a sub-brand of A-Data) offers two sticks of 8GB each, running at 3,200MHz, with CL 16-16-20-20 timings. It does what it's supposed to do and will perform well enough to support most gaming and multitasking.
Keep in mind that for this type of performance, this kit is not the cheapest one out there. The fit might also come into question in less spacious cases. Make sure that you've got the room to support this fancy, beautiful, and also well-performing memory.
Frequently Asked Questions
DDR5 memory is still new, having launched in 2021 alongside Intel Alder Lake processors. In 2022, AMD will also start offering processors that support DDR5 technology, further moving on to this new stage of memory for gaming and other use cases. However, this doesn't mean that DDR4 memory is irrelevant now.
Will it become irrelevant one day? Yes, definitely. But as of right now, it's hard to make a clear verdict as to which is better, because the answer depends on what matters the most to you.
In terms of raw performance and capacity, DDR5 memory is much better than DDR4. DDR4 RAM offers lower speeds by default, and already now, DDR5 kits can offer double the speeds of DDR4. Eventually, we may see DDR5 RAM sticks on the market with frequencies exceeding 12,000MHz. DDR5 RAM also offers a lot higher capacities, reaching up to 64GB per stick, whereas DDR4 maxes out at 16GB.
Unfortunately, DDR5 memory is still very expensive compared to DDR4. Switching to it right now is an investment, though, and it will make your PC more future-proof because you will already have a motherboard that supports DDR5 RAM. For more on this topic, be sure to check out our full DDR5 versus DDR4 guide.
While the best RAM you can get is likely going to be DDR5, there are some very solid DDR4 options out there that will suit even a high-end gaming PC. In terms of capacity, 32GB is a very good number to aim for — this allows you to use your PC for all kinds of games as well as all manner of resource-intensive tasks. When building a gaming PC in 2022, you should have at the very least 16GB of RAM, preferably split into two sticks of 8GB each. If you can get more, that's even better.
If you're not sure how much RAM you need, check out our guide.
No, you will not be able to install DDR4 memory in a motherboard built to support DDR5. While the latest processors support both DDR4 and DDR5 technologies, when you choose the motherboard, you have to limit yourself to just one kind of RAM. That's why DDR5 may be worth buying if you want to future-proof your PC and have it last for a good few years, because a few years from now, DDR5 will surely have taken over to an extent.
With that said, there are some motherboards that let you install either DDR4 or DDR5 RAM, such as this recent Onda model. However, this particular board is limited to just one RAM stick, meaning you can't use both types of memory at once — and your performance will suffer.
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