Buying RAM in 2019 is a real treat compared to the years just gone, where prices were driven astronomically high by serious demand and supply that struggled to catch up. That’s quite different this year though. With plentiful stock and prices at near-historic lows, it’s a great time to upgrade your memory.
If you’re using a modern system from the past few years, you can stick just about any DDR4 kit in to your desktop PC (we can even teach you how) but picking the best RAM for your system can mean better performance, prettier lighting, or greater savings. These are our favorite RAM kits you can buy with a few options.
|Best RAM Overall|
|Best high-capacity RAM|
|Best RAM for gaming|
|Best RGB RAM|
|Best budget RAM|
Corsair Vengeance RGB LED 16GB 3,200MHz
Best RAM overall
Why you should buy it: Corsair’s Vengeance RGB is prettier than its LPX counterpart, but still has fantastic performance at a great price.
Who’s it for: Those who want a combination of style and substance from their memory.
What we thought of the Corsair Vengeance RGB 16GB 3,200MHz kit:
Corsair’s Vengeance RGB LED memory kits are a perfect middle ground between its more visually impressive Platinum line, and the more demure LPX range. Like those kits, it offers fantastic performance and there are a lot of options to pick. For us, the 16GB (2 x 8GB), 3,200MHz option is the sweet spot, delivering impressive bandwidth and reasonably tight timings for high-performance, low-latency memory that’s great for gaming and productivity tasks.
It’s priced competitively too, even in the newly affordable world of enhanced global memory supply. You don’t need to break the bank to upgrade to these, but there are also plenty of options where you can spend more if our particular choice isn’t what you’re after. If you want greater bandwidth for gaming (AMD Ryzen CPUs can particularly benefit from faster memory) then the Vengeance RGB range goes all the way up to 3,600MHz. Each kit supports XMP 2.0 profiles for easy overclocking, but you can usually push them further manually if you know what you’re doing.
They all support Corsair’s iCUE software as well, for detailed RGB control.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB 2,666MHz
Best high-capacity RAM
Why you should buy it: If you need masses of memory that doesn’t scrimp on quality, the Vengeance LPX kits are perfect.
Who’s it for: Those who need power and capacity over anything else.
What we thought of the Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB 2,666MHz kit:
Corsair’s Vengeance LPX range is the most understated of its Vengeance line, and it shows in its more competitive pricing. Ditching the LEDs of its fancier siblings, the LPX range offers the same high-performance, high-capacity of other Corsair memory kits, and there are a wide range of options. You can buy direct kits up to 192GB for several thousand dollars, but for that you’d need a monstrous CPU like Intel’s Xeon W-3175x.
Considering only a few people can afford such a system and even fewer have workloads that can leverage it, we opted for the 32GB LPX kit at a reasonable speed of 2,666MHz. Why this and not the 64GB option? Because that’s simply two of these, and for now at least, two of the smaller kits are cheaper than buying one of the larger ones.
G.Skill TridentZ 16GB 3,200MHz
Best RAM for gaming
Why you should buy it: It’s fast with decently tight timings and an attractive, if understated look at an excellent price.
Who’s it for: Gamers, or anyone who wants performance without the LED premium.
What we thought of the G<.Skill TridentZ 16GB 3,200MHz kit:
G.Skill makes some excellent memory products and its TridentZ line covers the whole gamut, from the beautiful, jewel encrusted Royal range, to the more streamlined gaming series. If you don’t need RGB lighting and your PC has the space to take them, the modules in the 16GB 3,200MHz kit are some of the best out there. They’re fast, with reasonably tight timings, and XMP 2.0 profiles support quick and easy overclocking on Intel and AMD systems.
If you want greater performance, the kits do get faster and the timings tighter if you shop around, but this particular kit offers stupendous value for money and leaves extra budget for buying other important components, like a great graphics card.
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 16GB 3,200MHZ
Best RGB RAM
Why you should buy it: These sticks use a unique lighting arrangement that help them stand head and shoulders above other RGB modules.
Who’s it for: Those who want complete control over their PC lighting and a unique look to their memory.
What we thought of the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 16GB 3,200MHz kit:
There are RGB LED RAM kits and then there are RGB LED RAM kits. Corsair’s Dominator Platinum RGB range is one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen, with unique lighting effects made possible by the combination of new LED technology and Corsair’s in-depth iCUE software package.
The Dominator Platinum modules use a new “Capellix” LED packaging system which allows for denser packing of LEDs together. This leads to brighter lighting without increasing power draw, which in turn allows for higher speed memory. We’ve opted for a mid-range 3,200MHz kit and 16GB, which is priced competitively while delivering great performance and that gorgeous LED lighting.
You could also considerif you like the crystalline look, but we’re partial to Corsair’s brand of RGB lighting.
Patriot Viper Elite 8GB 2,666MHz
Best budget RAM
Why you should buy it: This Viper Elite kit gives you entry-level DDR4 performance in a very affordable kit. The single stick leaves room for a cheap upgrade to 16GB in the future.
Who’s it for: Anyone on a tight budget.
What we thought of the Patriot Viper Elite 8GB 2,666MHz kit:
Although we’d typically suggest 16GB of memory for gamers, if you’re on a budget, 8GB is more than enough for most. Patriot’s Viper Elite 8GB stick isn’t the fastest kit in the world, with a bandwidth of 2,666MHz, but it is very affordable — in fact it’s priced identically to Patriot’s 2,400Mhz Viper kit, so why not enjoy an extra 10 percent of bandwidth for your money? At well under $50, there’s no reason you can’t add a second stick in the future to expand to 16GB of memory, or replace it with a slightly more expensive kit for improved performance and capacity.
Some users have reported being able to overclock it heavily too, with some reaching as high as 3,000 MHz without difficulty, so there may be some extra performance you can unlock with some tweaking.
Despite its low cost, this module still looks good, with a black PCB and an attractive silver heatspreader.
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