Whether being a newbie to the gaming world or simply upgrading a gaming system, the best RAM speed for gaming can improve a gaming experience by a great deal.
As such, it is important to know how to choose the Top-Rated RAM possible for a system.
Gaming is becoming important to an increasing number of people these days, whether it’s simply a hobby, whether it’s used for entertainment or it has a more technical role.
This guide will make every gamer’s life easier when choosing the best ram speed for gaming, whether for a newbie, a casual gamer or for a hardcore or gaming enthusiast.
5 of The Top Rated Gaming RAM Sticks For 2018
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Our research and geeky experience came up with this 5 great products to help you get to what you deserve
What Is Ram Memory?
One of the biggest questions regarding the modern computers and smart devices is what is RAM? There are a lot of explanations out there, but sadly, most of them are complicated or useless. For example, you get information such, RAM memory is Random Access Memory. This doesn’t tell us much. So, we will explain in normal words what RAM is.
RAM memory is Random Access Memory, but it can be better explained as a short-term memory. In essence, RAM acts like a hard drive. Once you open a software or two, they will be placed on the RAM. Because this memory has a much faster response than a hard drive, software is run smoother and much faster as well. Regardless of the purpose, all the data can be stored in RAM for a short period of time.
The limits exist and they are defined by the size of the memory. For example, 1GB of RAM can store one or a few software, which is almost useless nowadays. In addition, 1GB of RAM and 1GB of hard drive space are completely different things.
What does RAM do?
We have an interesting analogy regarding the RAM. Let’s think of it like on an office desk. You have all the files and tools on the desk itself, allowing you to access them within a matter of seconds. If there is no desk, you would have to keep the files in an archive and tools in drawers.
Now, you would need more time to access them, meaning that you would be slower in general. The same applies to the RAM and drives. Furthermore, drives have a rotating component, which also affects their speed and makes them very slow, for today’s requirements.
We mentioned that RAM is a short-term memory, while drives are not.
That’s why when you shut down a computer, you don’t lose the files stored on drive. On the other hand, you will lose all the data which is located in the RAM itself. This is mandatory and it occurs every single time you turn off a computer.
There is one way to bypass this. Computers can go into hibernation mode. It is used when you don’t plan to use a computer for a few hours, and you want to open or restore all the applications as soon as the computer is turned on.
Systems use a combination of the drive and a RAM memory to get this advantage. In essence, they will make a copy of the files and store them on the drive. Once you restart a computer, they will be transferred to the RAM, allowing you to restore all the processes you have done.
Now you know that RAM stores data which is used to run software, games, and applications on a computer. But, this also means that the size of those files varies. For example, games have larger or even massive files, therefore they need a lot of RAM memory to work properly.
Even more severe is when you use a computer for video editing or 3D rendering. This type of software requires extremely large amounts of RAM, so you must have more than 16GB in order to use a computer for the mentioned purposes. Anything below that will make a computer useless.back to menu ↑
How to see how much RAM is being used?
RAM memory is used every single time you turn on a computer, but not in the same amounts. For example, when you browse a web, only a small fraction of it will be used.
When you watch a movie, a bit larger amount is used. On the other side, when you play a game, more than 70% of memory is used. In some cases, even 90% or more is needed. That’s why you need plenty of it when using a computer for gaming.
There are a few things you should know more about. You can easily check the amount of RAM which is being used. The simplest way of them all is to use Task Manager. To use it, all you have to do is:
- Right click on the taskbar
- Click on task manager
- Choose the performance tab
- You will see the Physical Memory at the right, bottom corner
- The amount you see in percentage is the amount of memory used at that moment
There are a lot of other ways to check the memory. You can use software like Advanced System Care, CPUz and etc. to get the same data. An advantage of some software is that they allow you to remove unused filed from RAM, along with your computer to run smoother and faster instantly.back to menu ↑
How to tell what kind of RAM you have?
There are two ways to determine which type of RAM your computer has. The main difference is in between laptop and PC memory modules. They are very different, but we will explain this matter further below. Then, we have differences in the memory a computer uses, depending on the age, performances, class and etc.
The best way to determine which kind of RAM you have is to open a computer case, press two tabs on the RAM memory sides and remove one module. Check it for DDR label. You will probably see something like DDR4, DDR3 or even GDDR. This refers to the type of memory you have.
There are modules starting from DDR (DDR1) and reaching GDDR (DDR5). The higher the number, the newer the memory module is. It is faster and more sophisticated as well.
Another method is to use CPUz software which displays the operating frequency and the type of RAM. You will see it under the physical memory tab.back to menu ↑
What kind of RAM do I need?
If you have a laptop, you will need a RAM memory for it. If you have a PC, you will need another type, which is compatible. Basically, you will have to determine the type of RAM, which is something we have mentioned above. Not a single RAM is compatible with older or newer generation. For example, DDR4 can be paired only with DDR4 and that particular motherboard supports only this type of RAM.
So, once you have determined which type your computer as you will have to purchase a corresponding RAM module. In order to check do you need an upgrade, you will have to follow the steps below.
- Open Task manager (right click on taskbar)
- Choose the performance tab
- On the left, you have an Available label
- If the value is 25 or less, you need an upgrade
Upgrading is simple. All you have to do is to add a new RAM module or if all slots are occupied, to remove one and add a module with more memory. Keep in mind that if you are on a budget, 2 modules of 8GB are a bit better than a single one of 16GB. The speed is slightly increased, but not extremely.
Pay attention to the operating frequency of the RAM. Higher is better, but if you add just one module, it must match the operating frequency of other modules.back to menu ↑
Laptop RAM VS Desktop RAM
There are two main differences between these two memories. The first one is in the physical size. The RAM modules for PC are up to 4 inches long, while those for laptops are 2.5-3 inches long. The name is similar. PC RAM is known as DIMM, while laptop memory is called SO DIMM.
Another difference is the pins a module has. Those for PC have 100, 168, 184, 240 or more, while those for laptops have between 72 and 200 pins. Other than this, there are no major differences.
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How to buy the right laptop RAM?
Once you have determined the type of a memory your laptop has and you know that an upgrade is a must, the time is right to get a new module. Most laptops have 2 RAM slots. Usually, one of them is already occupied, meaning that you have one, available slot.
Although it cannot be generalized, chances are high that your laptop has DDR3 or DDR4 RAM. The frequencies you can get vary and go between 800 and 1600 for DDR3 and between 2133 and 3200 for DDR4. Higher is better.
]Don’t forget that frequencies must match the existing RAM module. It will be labeled correspondingly.
Now you can choose to purchase both modules, which is preferable. In most cases, you will be able to get two 8GB modules, meaning that your laptop will have 16GB, great for most users.
Once you know all of this, simply open the back cover of a laptop, replace or add RAM modules and you are done. Important: Check the maximum RAM size supported by your model.
RAM is more than just essential nowadays and you definitely want to have as much as possible of it. Regardless of the facts do you use a laptop or a PC, RAM memory is something that can make your machine more powerful and better to use. And yes, it allows you to play newer games.
How Important is RAM Speed for Gaming?
The speed at which a system’s RAM (Random Access Memory) performs can be dependent on various factors which often include the frequency, total number of channels, bandwidth, DDR or dual data rate, quantity, latency, and usually, the speed of the processor.
However, when it comes to “RAM speed,” it usually refers to the RAM’s frequency or the number of commands and tasks it can process per second. It is measured in megahertz or MHz. The higher the frequency of RAM, the faster and smoother the performance of the system (especially for gaming).
Lag is one of the things dreaded by all gamers. It decreases the efficiency of a gamer and might even cause one to lose a game or lose interest in it as a result.
Having the best gaming ram can significantly reduce lag and increase the speed of loading and ending games. More importantly, it helps a PC run a lot smoother and faster.
Essentially, having more RAM can be much better for gaming, as the memory modules can hold more temporary files and the transfer of files to and from memory occurs at a faster rate. This explains why faster RAM helps information to be transferred to the graphics card and processor faster than usual.
You might be also interested in looking into our 5 of the best wireless network adapter for having a better gaming performance throughout your home or office space. We have reviewed each of the network adapter’s and found out that a quality device is always important.back to menu ↑
How Much RAM is Enough for Gaming?
While it is crucial to take note that spending a lot of money on RAM doesn’t necessarily mean that it can achieve the best possible outcome, a PC’s RAM will serve as the benchmark on how many tasks the system can handle at once.
Generally, having an 8GB RAM with a 1600MHz frequency can often be enough to ensure that a PC can take on functioning as a gaming system seamlessly.
However, if you are looking for the ideal choice and don’t need to spare on the cost, going for an 8GB RAM can guarantee efficient gaming. However, if you are on a tight budget, one can still scrimp down to at least a 4GB RAM for gaming but should never go for less than that.
If one is simply not sure what would be the ideal RAM for a gaming system, it is also recommended to aim for as much as the budget allows. The amount of RAM that will be needed for gaming will also depend on the type of game a gamer usually plays, besides its system requirements.
The best way to find out how much RAM a system needs to run seamlessly is to identify the system requirements of the video game a gamer is usually playing. Considering a slightly higher RAM than required by the game, especially if it’s a new one, to experience better performance.back to menu ↑
3 Common Types of RAM
RAMs can come in two main forms, the DRAM or the “Dynamic Random Access Memory” and the SRAM or the “Static Random Access Memory.” There is also the highly popular DDR RAM or the “Double Data Rate Random Access Memory.” The primary differences of these types of RAM mainly lie on how they hold data, as well as the way they support the access times which involves how long a particular program in a computer locates certain required information and make it readily available.
DRAM is the most common type of RAM one can find. It also seems to be the cheapest of the bunch. However, it only supports access times at about 60 nanoseconds and will often need to have a system refreshed constantly. DRAM uses the capacitor to store temporary information which allows it a significantly reduced power consumption. It also features a large storage capacity since it only uses a small internal circuitry.
Compared to DRAM, SRAM proves to be much faster as it can support access times at approximately 10 nanoseconds which is rather small compared to the 60 nanoseconds of DRAM. However, while it is the much better in performance compared to DRAM, it is also highly expensive and can often be power consuming as it requires a constant power supply. Another downside is that SRAM usually has less storage capacity than DRAM as it has complex internal circuitry.
Another RAM type that is worth noting is the DDR RAM which has already had several variations come out over the years. The DDR1 is the oldest version and there are now also DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 versions that have followed.
Each version features a significant improvement when it comes to achieving a better and larger increase in the processing speed while also reducing power consumption. Choosing between the available DDR RAM versions will mainly depend on the RAM requirements of a computer system.
However, modern PCs and systems are usually already compatible with DDR4 RAM which is the most advanced of the versions in terms of speed and power efficiency. It can smoothen and enhance the desktop computer’s performance especially for newer systems, ensuring a better overall experience.back to menu ↑
How much is enough?
Most of you know that for games you need a RAM memory, a lot of it. But what it actually does? Think of it as on a completely different thing than your hard drive. It is permanent or long-term storage where all the installations and files are kept. Memory is a short-term storage where only the apps and software which have been opened will be placed.
As such, RAM memory allows you to access those files much quicker than when they are located on the hard drive. This makes the multitasking and general computer using much, much better. When it comes to gaming, RAM memory has the main role. It allows you to run the latest games and to boost the performances. However, it won’t affect the graphics capabilities of a computer, therefore you may need a better video card.
A few years back, 4GB of RAM was more than just sufficient. They allowed you to run the latest games, software and to multitask as and when you want. Nowadays, this is less than needed. First of all, a computer with 4GB of RAM is developed for web surfing, running average software and playing older games. If you need a computer for playing the latest games, more memory is mandatory.back to menu ↑
RAM and graphics card
Usually, laptops have integrated graphics cards. It means that a graphics card is implemented into a motherboard, so it cannot be removed, changed or improved. Others have a separate graphics card, which is a much better option.
In cases when a graphics card is integrated, it will use RAM memory as its own, literally reducing the RAM capacity a computer has to use. As such, these laptops are not great for gaming. For example, even if it has 4GB of RAM when a graphics card uses it, you will have at your disposal 2-3GB!
A much better alternative is laptops with separate graphics cards. They have a separate memory for graphics and they won’t compromise the RAM memory, allowing you to get the best of both worlds.
There is a third type as well. Laptops with two graphics cards. One is integrated, while another one is removable. They will automatically switch between the two graphics cards and allow you to get the best performances. If you are a gamer, laptops of this kind are highly desirable and recommended.
1. 8GB VS 16GB Ram
Obviously, 8GB of RAM is sufficient for some gamers. In essence, they can play some games and still get decent multitasking capabilities. For laptops, this amount of memory is far more desirable than for PC computers. There are differences in the hardware and the operating processes, meaning that 8GB for laptops is sufficient, but won’t be ideal for PC. With a laptop which has 8GB, you can play most of the newer games, surf the web and multitask. We can say that a laptop with 8GB is the minimum you must have in order to get decent and satisfactory performances.
PCs require 16GB, period. The hardware is different, they usually come with bigger screens and different requirements. All of this means that 16GB is a bare minimum for a PC. This amount of memory will allow you to play most games and to still get decent performances when using a computer for software.
Compared to 8GB, there are some differences, obviously. We cannot say that it is impressive, but it is more than just important. For example, under the same load, a 16GB memory will complete all the tasks in 290 seconds, while the same computer, with 8GB, will need 300 seconds. The differences are less severe in this case, but in a case of gaming, you can expect an improvement of 40%.
One, interesting fact to know is that RAM memory is closely related to the processor. In the lack of a better word, these two should be taken into consideration together. For example, a PC with an Intel i3 processor will work perfectly with 8GB. This isn’t a very fast processor nowadays, so even if you have 16GB, you won’t be able to use all of them. On the other side, we have a machine with an Intel i7 processor. When paired with 8GB, you will get decent performances. But, the same computer paired with 16GB will be more than just fast and capable of gaming.
Don’t forget that games are advancing as we speak. All of them have some things in common. Each one that appears now or in the near future will require a more powerful computer. So, a computer with 16GB is a much better investment than a unit with 8GB. It will stay useful and reliable for a longer period of time and allow you to play the latest games and those which will soon appear.
Interesting: An unwritten rule is that 8GB is sufficient for games and software which were launched 2-3 years ago.
2. 16GB VS 32GB Ram
Let’s assume that you are a hardcore gamer, so you want the ultimate performances all the time. Obviously, 4 or 8GB won’t be something interesting for you. Well, in those cases, you will either need 16 or 32GB of RAM. Yes, more is better, but do you actually need it.
At the moment, 16GB is a sweat range. This amount of memory is sufficient for most games and for most software, but it cannot provide the ultimate performances. So, in essence, 16GB is a decent choice.
If you have a computer with this amount of memory, you won’t have any issues using it for most applications. But, there are some limits. For example, if you are also in 3D rendering and video editing software, this amount of RAM may be a bad idea.
This software uses more RAM than any game available at the moment, therefore you will need an upgrade.
If we add a few tabs in web browsers and much, which are applications commonly used alongside video editing software a generic use, your computer may be unable to meet the demands.
Don’t forget that 16GB will still provide most of the advantages you need. Most users don’t actually need more than this amount, but there are limits we have mentioned earlier.
There is also a matter of computer itself. In general, older computers simply don’t deserve more 16GB. For example, you can still find affordable DDR2 memory modules, but they are overpowered and they won’t be very useful. So, if you have an old computer try to use it with 8 or 16GB, instead of improving it.
Now, 32GB of RAM. At the moment, this is one of the best and the most desirable amounts of RAM memory you can have. These computers are still, relatively affordable, but they are capable of running the latest games to the max and for 3D rendering software, video editing and etc. In simple words, you won’t need more memory and you won’t need it soon in the future.
Let’s repeat that this refers to the newer computers which come with fast processors and great graphics cards. In a case you have an old computer, investing in 32GB of RAM won’t be ideal.
Even those computers with the first generation of Intel i5 processors or equivalent won’t be ideal for upgrading. Soon, the processors will become obsolete so you will still end up with the obsolete and slow computer.
But, a computer with Intel i7 of the latest generation and 32GB of RAM will be more than just perfect. Let’s just say that there won’t be any limits. Playing any game you want and running any software you need is all possible. In addition, multitasking is more than just possible and you won’t have any limits here as well.
Don’t forget that RAM memory is good only when used, so think do you actually need 32GB. In most cases, you won’t need more than 16GB, so there is no need to make severe modifications to a computer. On the other hand, if you are an advanced gamer, 32GB is a must. Obviously, you don’t want to get a slow game response while playing an important match or when having a multiplayer, online battle. The last, but not least, DDR4 and GDDR RAM memories of 32GB are more than just recommended. Older version, not so much.
In the end, we must summarize all that we have said. 8GB is sufficient for average users. 16GB is a sweat range which is still more than just useful but isn’t great. 32GB is something more than just great at the moment and something that each gamer must have.
Also, if you are in 3D rendering and video editing software, 32GB is mandatory. 8GB is useless while 16GB is a bare minimum for those applications. A combination of fast processor and 32GB of RAM is definitely the alternative at the moment and the one in the near future.back to menu ↑
How To Check How Much RAM You Have?
RAM memory is one of the most important components of any computer, laptop, and even smartphone. For example, even the most powerful PC with an Intel i7 processor and 1GB of RAM will be slow and almost unusable.
On the other hand, the same PC with 16GB would be a gaming beast. So, RAM memory is truly important. Before anything else, you should be able to check how much of the RAM your computer has.
32 and 64-bit computer differences
First and foremost, a computer which uses a 32-bit Windows operating system can have up to 2GB of RAM. More than that won’t be supported! A 64-bit operating system requires more than 2GB of RAM.
This is important to know when you are installing a fresh copy of the operating system. Another way around isn’t even possible, or you will end up with the slow and unusable computer.back to menu ↑
Checking the RAM amount of your computer
There are several ways to check the amount of RAM a computer has. The first and the most obvious is to open the computer case and check the memory modules. Each one is labeled with the size of RAM memory, so you can calculate the overall size simply.
However, there are easier ways to get this fact.
System window method
This is another, simple method to check how much RAM you have. Basically, you will use your operating system to display the size of the RAM. All you have to do is to follow these steps.
- Right click on My Computer icon
- Click properties
- You will open the System window where you can see the size of RAM installed
You can also use the Win logo button and pause key to open the same window. In addition, you can type settings in the search menu and open system/about.
Using command prompt
This is another, a very simple method to reveal how much RAM your computer has. Basically, you will use a command prompt, a built-in software each Windows OS has.
- Open the command prompt by pressing Windows + R keys and typing cmd
- Now type: wmic MEMORYCHIP get BankLabel, DeviceLocator, Capacity, Speed
- Press enter
- The memory will be visible
This method is more than just appealing due to the fact it displays several, additional options which you may find useful. It looks complicated because the command prompt is a system tool, but actually, it is more than just simple.
Task Manager method
Using the task manager to check how much RAM your computer has one of the most popular methods, but it is developed for newer versions of the Windows operating system. This works great with the latest version of Windows 10 and the latest update they released.
- Open task manager by pressing right click on the taskbar
- Select task manager
- Click on the Performance tab
- Available and used RAM memory are visible
Keep in mind that this method isn’t available for some, older operating systems, as we have mentioned earlier.
Now you are ready to check how much RAM your computer has which allows you to determine which games you can play, which software is supported and do you need an upgrade or not. Don’t forget that nowadays, anything below 4GB of RAM is treated as too low!back to menu ↑
What kind of RAM do I have?
Almost all RAM modules look the same. They are green, with black elements on it and they fit on the motherboard. The main difference is between RAM modules for a PC and a laptop.
Those for laptops are smaller, although the design is the same. All of this means that determining which type of a RAM memory you have is a bit more complicated than checking how much of it your computer has.
You will have to open a computer case and remove one RAM module to get an idea which type is used. Basically, you will have to press the tabs on both sides of a module, pull it up and check the labeling on it. You will have to see something like DDR2, 3 or etc. This refers to the type of RAM your computer has.
You will have to know this fact before you start with upgrading the RAM because a computer supports only one type. Furthermore, the main difference between the RAM modules is in the speed they provide. Anyway, the types will be explained below.
- DRAM- This type of memory originated in the 90s. It can be found in old computers, which are not used nowadays. It is impossible to find this type of RAM in any computer used today.
- DDR- Also known as DDR1, this type features speeds of 100-200MHz. It appeared in 2000 and was a significant improvement.
- DDR2- This memory appeared in 2003, not a long time after the previous type. The speed was significantly improved up to 200-533MHz. It also used less energy than the previous type.
- DDR3- In 2007 we were able to see coming off the DDR3 type. The speed was up to 1,066MHz, which meant a severe improvement.
- DDR4- In 2014, DDR4 memory appeared to the market. The operating speed is between 800 and 2133 MHz, which means more than just better than DDR3. This is a common RAM memory to find today in laptops and computers.
- GDDR5- This type of RAM memory appeared in 2016 and it is actually based on DDR3. However, it operates up to 2.5GHz.
When it comes to improving the RAM memory size on a computer, it is necessary to match the operating speed of RAM modules. This is the best way to get the speed you will definitely need, especially if you play a lot of games.
A software is known as CPU-Z also offers you the possibility to determine the size and the type of RAM memory a computer has. Install the program, open the memory tab and you will see the operating frequency and the type of a memory (DDR3 or etc.).
In some situations, you can even see how many slots you have free. In addition, you can use the operating frequency of a RAM memory to determine its type, which can help you in choosing a new module for upgrading the memory.back to menu ↑
How many RAM slots do I have?
In most cases, a true power of a computer depends on the RAM memory. In order to have a lot of it, you need slots.
Slots are actually placed on the motherboard and they are used to insert memory modules. They are usually blue, gray or red, but this fact cannot be generalized. The slots are usually located somewhere in the middle of a motherboard, usually around a processor.
The number of slots depends on a motherboard itself. There are a lot of possibilities. Usually, you will get around 2-3 slots.
This means that a motherboard will be sufficient for 8GB of RAM. More sophisticated motherboards have 4 or even 8 slots. They are optimized for gaming, so these computers use high-end RAM memory modules or better said faster ones.
They can support up to 64GB of RAM, which allows you to play literally any game you want. Furthermore, those computers support the latest processors, something like Intel i7.
Keep in mind that a maximum amount of RAM memory a motherboard support isn’t determined by the slots, but with the design and the capabilities of a motherboard itself. The only way to check that out is to read the user manual or to check online for a specific motherboard.
Now you will want to check how many slots you do have. In order to do that, you will have to open the computer case. There are between 2 and 5 screws which must be undone and a cover will be removed. Once done, you will see the motherboard and the memory slots. In most cases, only one or two are occupied, meaning that you will have one or two free. They are great and mandatory when you need to increase the RAM memory.
It is also possible to have all the slots already occupied. If that occurs, you will have to replace a module itself. Simply remove the old one, which has a capacity of 1-2GB and inserts a new one, with a capacity of 4GB or more. Of course, as we have mentioned, ram sp you must check the user annual of the motherboard to determine the maximum capacity.
The unwritten rule is that motherboards for DDR4 and GDDR5 memory support offer a much higher maximum RAM amount supported. 64GB is not rare these days.
Now you are ready to inspect your computer and determine which type of RAM memory, how much and what is the maximum supported amount of it. All this means that you are ready to boost your computer to a completely new level and make gaming much better.
Tips on Buying the Best RAM for Your Gaming Needs
When looking a reliable RAM for gaming and wants to have a guarantee if a speedy and lag-free gaming experience on the system, one has to look for a RAM that consists of the optimum qualities possible.
Here are some tips to consider when buying a RAM for gaming.
- For optimum video gaming experience, choose a high capacity RAM which can be as much as 16GB or so much more. Even if it’s a little more than what is required in your current system, a gamer might plan on some memory-intensive gaming in the future and have a high capacity RAM will ensure your gaming experience will be as seamless as possible.
- Aside from a high capacity RAM, choose something that also comes with a high frequency which can be as much as 2,133MHz or so much more. However, do make sure to check the computer system or motherboard’s specification for RAM frequencies before buying one to ensure compatibility.
- For best performance, the lower the latency a particular RAM offer, it will be a whole lot better.
- A lot of voltage for a RAM is also worth taking into account when buying one. For a DDR4 RAM version, buy a RAM that is around 1.2 volts which is the ideal to ensure optimum power usage and heat reduction.
- For playing video games seamlessly, especially with current and latest game versions, consider getting a DDR4 version of RAM.
- Even the industry’s best gaming ram will not be as effective or usable if it’s not compatible with the system. Just because a particular RAM is from a well-known manufacturer or has some great features and specs to offer, it doesn’t ensure that it will work in the system. Be sure to check system compatibility before buying the RAM.
There is no need to settle for long wait times, glitches, and lags when gaming.
But, one doesn’t have to spend a fortune to buy the best of breed RAM to complete a system. One simply has to balance the frequency or speed, capacity, and the budget for a RAM that would best fit the needs and preference.
The key to finding a very good RAM for gaming is to tailor the search based on the needs to find the specific qualities and specs that are essential to increase the performance of the system.
Choosing Between DDR3 vs. DDR
If one is choosing a DDR version for your RAM, the commonly available choices are between a DDR3 and DDR4. What is the difference between the two?
DDR3 runs at 1.5 volts, a little higher compared to 1.2 volts for that of the DDR4. The 0.3 volts difference between the two might not seem much but when looked at closely, it plays a significant effect over time. It also affects the wear and tear capacity of the RAM.
When it comes to the frequency, there is also a huge difference between the two and is one of the deciding factors of which is better. DDR4 can run in a frequency starting from 2133 MHz and can significantly go much higher. On the other hand, DDR3 can only go as much as 2400 MHz. With its increase in frequency or speed, DDR4 proves to be able to process information at a faster rate which makes it much more useful when running memory-intensive programs and games.
Features and Specs to Consider When Choosing RAM
Here are the top 5 of the best RAM for gaming options out there, here are some things to keep in mind.
- RAM Type
Choosing the right RAM type or the right DDR version will depend mainly on the age of a computer system and its compatibility with each RAM option. It will be essential to check the system’s specifications and requirements before buying a new RAM to make sure.
- Platform and Overall Compatibility
While RAM can often be low-cost, it is still an investment and no one wants to buy something that is considered as one of the industry’s best and then finds out later that it can’t use it because it doesn’t fit to the motherboard. If what you want is an easy RAM upgrade, you can find something that is supported by the majority of motherboards or something that is fitted to the current motherboard being used.
It is also worth noting that sometimes, ultra-fast RAM for gaming requires some tinkering or manual configuration of the firmware of the motherboard. If this is the case for the preferred RAM, it is important that one knows DIY manual configuration since the RAM’s performance levels can significantly drop if the said configurations are not done correctly and completely.
Gamers who play regularly must be familiar with what programs are usually running and how much RAM they often require in order to run seamlessly. If running the same set of programs or the same level of tasks, then the current RAM can still be enough.
However, for both newbie gamers and hardcore gamers who plan on taking more action in the near future, it is essential to take into account and estimate how much will be taken on in the next month or year.
RAM can run in different frequencies and it defines the speed a task can be performed. The higher the frequency of the RAM is, the faster or better its performance will be. Depending on how high the RAM a PC or motherboard can support, one can go as high as it will enable a gamer, but, do make sure to check the motherboard first before buying RAM, as the supported frequency is usually listed on its physical surface.
Another specification to consider when buying the best gaming ram is its latency. Latency refers to the delay in transfer when referring to RAM responsiveness, in which the best RAM option should involve the latency.
- Clock Speed
When deciding on what RAM to buy, aside from the latency, it is necessary also to consider the clock speed. While it ties in with latency, it is also one of the most important factors to take into account. Clock speed or the clock cycles per second is measured in MHz. The clock speed matters, however, as it is often hard to pick out the right value for a particular purpose. Clock speed determines how many simultaneous operations can occur at once. So, the greater the speed, the better the overall performance.
The budget can often be one of the biggest struggles when it comes to setting up a gaming system. A PC’s RAM used for gaming systems don’t come cheap. Again, one doesn’t have to buy the fastest RAM that can be found in the market especially if a gamer doesn’t actually need that much for the type of games that are being played.
It will still mainly depend on how heavy the gaming tasks usually are and how much active a gamer wants to be in the near future.
Simply buy the kind of RAM appropriate for the gaming needs, and if the budget allows, buy something a little higher than necessary.back to menu ↑
How to Choose the Best RAM for Absolute Gaming Experience
Now that there is an understanding on the more technical aspect of how some certain specifications and features affect a RAM and the computer system’s performance, find out how to choose the best ddr4 ram for gaming that can ensure an optimal gaming experience.
Compared to simple word processing or web browsing, playing video games deals with a lot of information that a PC’s RAM has to process and store at a given time. Especially when using high-end gaming motherboards and graphics cards, a gamer might need a good RAM for the system.
While some video games and systems won’t require you to have the industry’s best ddr4 ram for gaming, for optimum gaming quality, one might want to consider the fastest and biggest RAM in addition to your premium processor and graphics card.
Here are two things to look for in a RAM to guarantee the absolute best video gaming experience possible.
- Fast Loading Time
If a system has a large RAM, it can get faster loading time as there is a huge space where it can store information and can process various tasks simultaneously. There won’t be a need to free up the memory of the hard drive constantly if there is a large RAM.
- Best Graphics and FPS (Frames per Second)
A high RAM speed means an increase in the speed of accessing data points that have to be sent to the graphics card and processor. It will guarantee that while a gamer is playing a game, there won’t be any random or constant cases of lag, slow down, or glitches.
The bottom line is, a gamer doesn’t always need to have the highest and fastest RAM. It will depend on the systems one runs on the PC. However, to sum it all up, if there is a high budget for buying a RAM, one should consider choosing the newest DDR4 with massive storage of 16GB, a solid option for multi-tasking and high-powered video games.
1. Ballistix Sport Series
These RAM Series are specially designed with speed, style, and sport that is fit for every performance enthusiast or simply anybody who wants to improve and get more out of their computer systems.
Compared to many standard RAMs in the market, this series is crafted to be able to deliver not only a faster speed but also lower latencies and an increase in bandwidth, all for achieving seamless but affordable performance.
These LT DDR4 SODIMMs accelerate your gaming laptop or small form factor system by packing more aggression into every memory slot. Achieve faster speeds and run demanding games and applications with ease.
Multitask at will with increased bandwidth. And strike first with better latencies, smoother integrated graphics, and reduced load times. Feed your processor with the resources it needs and devour the competition with Ballistix gaming memory.
- Improved performance for casual gamers, mainstream users, and enthusiasts
- Premium-quality RAM
- Features industry standard specs
- Features an integrated heat spreader made from aluminum
- Easy configuration with Intel XMP profiles specification
- Low and thin profile
- Average frequency or speed
- high latency
- unattractive design
- no color options
Features, Performance, and Capacity
When it comes to RAM replacement and upgrades for laptop systems, Crucial Ballistix is one of the popular go-to choices. One of the design considerations of this series is the efficient battery life, significantly reducing battery consumption in the long run.
However, it doesn’t scrimp when it comes to providing the RAM an excellent speed that is useful for multitasking. This RAM can offer a high-performance speed which is ideal for all types of gamers. This Series can offer speed or frequency at around 1,300 MHz to as much as 2,666 MHz with a CL16 latency.
This Ram model is also one of the easiest RAMs to install with its quick plug and play installation process. It also features XMP profiles that can give you much easier configuration than most.
One of the selling point this series is its additional feature, the integrated heat spreader which helps control the memory temperatures. With all these specifications, this RAM can deliver so much more than others in the market.
The DDR4 RAM versions for this Series, in particular, have a lot to offer. Depending on the model, you can get 4GB to 16GB module density with frequency or speed that starts from 2,400 MHz. It is also designed to be compatible with most desktop computers and gaming rigs as well as all-in-one systems and mini ITX motherboards that can support SODIMM modules.
This Series kit, at first glance, looks a little understated with a slimline heatsink panel designed for each side. It might look a little cheap with its minimalistic design, but that is not the case with its performance at all. The features and specs it offers are one of the best a gamer can find in the market. Its seamless and easy installation process is even a bonus.
2. SKILL Ripjaws X Series
G.SKILL has been on the market for quite a long time. It was first established in 1989 and has become one of the most respected brand names especially when it comes to manufacturing memory modules.
It also has one of the widest ranges of memory products for computers available with around 12 RAM series of desktop PCs alone.
With the longtime experience in computer memory manufacturing, G.SKILL brings a lot of excellent specs and features on their Ripjaws X series.
- With dual-channel capability
- Sleek and stylish design
- Features hollow teeth-like heat spreader for optimum cooling
- Not all color options are available in some configurations
Features, Performance, and Capacity
The Ripjaws X series features as much as 1,333 MHz in frequency up to a significant 2,400 MHz. No matter how much RAM you need for your computer system, this RAM series offers from 2GB up to as much as 32GB capacity configurations.
Ripjaws has been a classic for G. SKILL, but for the Ripjaws X series, it has brought so much more specs for every gamer especially when it comes to performance. For one, this RAM series is designed with an XMP profile along with a dual-channel capability. Whether you are using Intel or AMD systems, the Ripjaws X series can easily improve the performance when running various kinds of programs and games on your system.
All the DDR3 versions of the G.SKILL Ripjaws X series features the Intel XMP support, the latest standard that was developed exclusively for the Intel platforms. This feature allows PC enthusiasts to have a trouble-free and seamless overclocking experience to achieve a high to optimal performance for Intel systems while still retaining the stability of the system.
Another feature of the Ripjaws X series that is worth noting is its sleek and stylishly designed heat spreader which can help dissipate heat effectively. It increases the area upon which the cool air can pass while you are using the computer or the system.
The heat spreader fins which are designed to be hollow teeth-like are specially designed as such for optimum cooling efficiency, allowing to maximize the air flow. These fins are also made from aluminum which makes the design sturdy and strong.
What makes this series an excellent RAM replacement choice is its superior quality and optimal compatibility. It is specifically designed to fit most systems with dual-channel capability. It also offers an optimized capacity to complement well with AMD and Intel platforms.
One of its selling points is also its overlock ability and its world-class performance. In 2011, this memory series was even voted as the Best Memory Series by overlockers community.
Aside from that, the Ripjaws X series has also bagged other awards including a Customer Choice Award by Newegg and has been a frequent winner of the same award because of its best quality.
In terms of quality, G.SKILL offers it in a bunch for their Ripjaws X series. But aside from that, it also has several design options you can choose from. It has a total 40 mm high memory module which is available in black, red or blue aluminum medium profiles.
However, not all color variations are available for all latency and speed configurations. Still, overall, the G.SKILL Ripjaws X series is one of the most cutting-edge DDR3 versions in the market today.
3. Kingston HyperX FURY Series
This is one of the auto-overclocked RAM a gamer can find in the market that wouldn’t be so struggling on the wallet. This RAM series can offer you choices between DDR3 or smart DDR4 RAM.
Aside from the choices, it comes with a feature that auto-detects the system components to allow it to overclock to the possible highest speed which can help optimize the performance for all the latest Intel chipsets.
This also has some huge features to offer when it comes to latency and frequency. It can provide speed at least 2,133 MHz and as much as 2,666 MHz with latencies that ranges from CL14 up to CL16.
- Top-tier performance at an affordable price
- Compact appearance and design
- Low energy expenditure
- Simple to install
- Not the best packaging making the RAM susceptible to damage
- Actual overclocking speed is often less than the advertised 2,666 MHz
Features, Performance, and Capacity
The DDR4 versions of this series, in particular, are one of the top-notch choices for RAM in the market. It can overclock to a speed of as much as 2,666 MHz to certain motherboards that uses Intel’s X99 and 100 Series technology.
Since it only uses 1.2 volts, there is a significantly less power consumption than most which is great for a lot of reasons. Aside from saving on electricity and power, this particular DDR4 RAM also features higher reliability as well as a much lower overall temperature.
One of the selling points of this especially its DDR4 version is the unique technology that allows it to run intense gaming seamlessly for various Intel processors from 2, 4, 6 to its 8-core processors.
Aside from sheer performance, This series also has something to offer when it comes to good looks. It features a stylish design with its sleek asymmetrical heat spreader that allows the RAM to stay as cool as possible even when used under intense pressure.
The Kingstone HyperX Fury series also comes with a wide choice of colors, something that can match your entire system if that is your style.
What makes this series one of the best RAM choices is that it is compatible with most of the popular motherboards brand.
However, there are some cases that HyperX Fury RAM can come with a slight cosmetic blemish which makes it a little too pretty and stylish in pictures that it is in person.
Considering its features and specifications, This series is one of the best quality but still equally affordable RAM you can find in the market today. If you need a higher than an 8GB RAM for your system, this series also has several higher RAM capacities available you can choose from.
Kingston is one of the renowned brands when it comes to memories for a computer and systems. But aside from its popular name, This series brings so much more in terms of improving your performance.
4. Corsair Vengeance Pro Series
This is one of the best choices for RAM in the market especially because of its relatively high frequency.
However, this feature also comes with a slightly high price point.
The DDR4 kit for this series is especially ideal if you want to do your own overclocking to reach the highest potential.
Aside from performance, This also comes with visually aesthetic design and build.
However, it is also a little bulky on the side but is available in four stylish colors which are quite a nice save.
- High frequency or speed
- Features overclocking capabilities
- Offers a stylish design
- Uses high voltage
- Slightly lower capacity
- High-profile and bulky heatsink
Features, Performance, and Capacity
When it comes to PC components, Corsair is one of the popular manufacturer names. Their products range from power supplies, fans, USB storage, chassis, gaming peripherals, SSDs, cooling, and DRAM among others.
In the DRAM market, in particular, Corsair has been a long-time and long-standing player. But more than the brand and popular name, This features a sleek and stylish design that is also packed with top-notch specs. This RAM series is available in varied colors from blue, red, gold, and silver which can fit if you want to color code or design your gaming rig as such.
This memory module series is specifically designed for overclocking purposes on both the 3rd and 4th Intel core generation platforms. It is equipped with heat spreaders made from aluminum along with an accent clip still made from anodized aluminum that can offer better temperature management. It is what they call the “vengeance airflow.”
Compared to most RAMs you can find in the market, This doesn’t have a shy design, it looks rather aggressive and can be a cool addition to your gaming rig.
The 32GB DDR3 DRAM of This, in particular, offers some great specs. It has 32GB (4 x 8GB) capacity and features an 8GB capacity for memory storage. The 2800MHz memory clock speed is also impressive along with the DDR3 2400 RAM memory technology.
This particular RAM uses a 1.65 voltage which is a little bit high than most DDR3 versions.
The old Vengeance series is one of the popular and successful lines for Corsair, but it has brought out more for the latest Pro series. Its high quality can be seen from its product matrix, the features, and specifications that it can offer.
However, This can be a little expensive and won’t always be the go-to choice for gamers on a budget. Still, as high-quality RAM goes, this series is still among the best quality available.
5. Patriot Viper Elite Series
This is from Patriot is specially designed to complement well with the latest Intel platforms.
They come in various dual channel capacity configurations where you can choose between 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB with frequency ranging from 2,400 MHz up to as much as 3,200 MHz which is significantly higher than what other RAMs can offer.
It can also be offered in a 64GB quad channel kit which features a gray heat shield and can speed up to as much as 2,800 MHz.
- Fairly high frequency or speed
- Features a heat shield construction
- Dynamic coloration
- Budget-friendly upgrade
- Easy overclocking
- Thick and bulky build
- Uses a high voltage
- Compatible for only some systems
- Possible clearance issues especially with large CPU coolers
Features, Performance, and Capacity
At first glance, This looks like the typical memory chip except for the notable red and silver heat shield placed at the top part of each chip. In other configurations, you can get this heat shields in other color options of blue and grey. With the large viper logo on the surface, this RAM series features some aggressive cosmetics.
However, it’s not overbearing and tacky, it simply gives the design a little edge. The green PCB of other Patriot memory modules are now replaced with a black PCB which makes the total look so much better and well-suited with the heatsink design. This comes at a 43 mm height which makes it a little taller than most RAMs but can still fit in its place nicely.
One of the best features of this series is its ease of use especially when it comes to the installation process. Once you have unplugged your desktop, you can simply open the desktop case then remove your current memory module and insert the new RAM on it. Once done, you can now fire up your computer system and you’re good to go.
One of the awesome features and selling point of the Patriot, especially its DDR4 version, is it generally runs at only 1.2 volts which is slightly lower than what most RAMs are running on. This particular specification gives the module more clock speed while still maintaining its coolness.
In terms of compatibility, there are no major issues when using this series. Even its 4GB capacity modules can work and complement with 100 series Intel chipsets. It also features seamless compatibility with most x99 motherboards.
Stability is also another selling point of This as it can work with X99 and Z170 motherboards without any issues. Its 16-18-18 main memory timings might not be much and it is only your standard timing for gaming, it doesn’t change the fact that this series can pack a good performance that can surely leave gamers satisfied.
This is the latest DDR4 RAM version from Patriot which presents itself great in terms of design and the performance it can offer on PCs and gaming rigs. With this particular RAM series, you get an interesting and fresh but still cutting-edge design.
The availability of this memory module in various colors also makes it ideal for you if you want to match your gaming rig to a core.
This memory module series is designed to be sturdy and stable. The performance it can provide at an inexpensive kit makes it an ideal choice for gamers who don’t have a huge budget to splurge on expensive memory modules. This is simply a good option if you are looking for a good looking memory module that offers high-quality specs at an affordable price.
- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- 5 of the Best RAM Speed for Gaming - A (2018) Buying Guide
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