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

The Best RAM On The Market Whatever Your Needs

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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 can 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 the 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.

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!

Our Top Picks

01
Editor's Pick
Small But Powerful With Great Overclocking Ability
02
Performance Pick
Great Value RGB RAM With Great Timings
03
Fast Clock Speed Pick
Fast Premium RAM With A Glitzy Design

The Best RAM For Gaming: First Look

01
Editor's Pick
Small But Powerful With Great Overclocking Ability
Corsair Vengeance LPX

Corsair Vengeance LPX

0 /5
Editor's Rating

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.

02
Performance Pick
Great Value RGB RAM With Great Timings
TEAMGROUP T Force Xtreem ARGB 3600MHz CL14

TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB

0 /5
Editor's Rating

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.

03
Fast Clock Speed Pick
Fast Premium RAM With A Glitzy Design
G.Skill Trident Z Royal 16GB DDR4 4800MHz

G.Skill Trident Z Royal

0 /5
Editor's Rating

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.

04
RGB Pick
Great Timings And A Unique Heatsink With RGB
G.SKiLL TridentZ RGB 16GB 2x8GB

G.Skill TridentZ RGB

0 /5
Editor's Rating

G.Skill enters calculcations again but this time with their stunning TridentZ RGB RAM kit. This kit brings fast speeds, tight timing 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.

05
Budget Pick
Cheap, Small, And Punchy
Patriot Viper 4

Patriot Viper 4 Series

0 /5
Editor's Rating

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?

What Is RAM.

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?

What is best amount of RAM for gaming

In many cases, RAM doesn’t actually matter that much for just gaming if that’s literally all you’re doing at the time, as long as you have 8GB or above. Where it primarily matters, is when you look at what else you happen to be doing when you’re gaming, be it having a web browser open, playing music, recording footage, or running any other background program. Realistically though, most people do tend to have at least one program running outside their game.

Additionally, the increasing demands of modern games are pushing the required threshold higher. 6GB used to be the minimum but it is now 8GB, and we’d generally now advise that you get 16GB to future proof your machine and prevent any chances of bottlenecking your other components.

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

4GB RAM –  It’s rare to find a modern PC or laptop with only 4GB of RAM these days, but if you’ve still got an older piece of kit it may come with 4GB RAM. This is below the bare minimum for any modern game and you’re likely to struggle unless you stick to older, non-demanding games. Even web browsing could be an issue if you have several tabs open.

6GB RAM – For many titles, 6GB will be suitable for gaming and you will be able to perform day-to-day multitasking, you won’t, however, be able to do both at once. Additionally, although 6GB used to be the minimum for even the most demanding games, for many new titles you may see them require 8GB, so this is still below the minimum we’d recommend.

8GB RAM – You can multitask and you can game, but only just. Running anything CPU/GPU-intensive in the background of your game will still cause you problems. Most new titles have minimum RAM requirements of 8GB.

16GB RAM – You can multitask and game, with more intensity: you could, say, run a RAM-intensive game while also having a large number of browser tabs in the background, for instance, or comfortably run recording software or streaming programs. 16GB of RAM will also keep you future-proofed for a while when it comes to the needs of the latest games.

32GB RAM – This is really only recommended for people who use professional/productivity applications that require the extra RAM, like if you’re a serious streamer or audiovisual editor, or you run Virtual Machines or advanced calculations.

64GB+ RAM – At this time, this is literally only useful for servers and extreme workstation scenarios. This will have absolutely no impact on your gaming experience and is considered a luxury.

The most practical amount of RAM for gaming is therefore 16GB of RAM and this will likely be the case for the next few years.

What Is The Best RAM Speed For Gaming?

What is best RAM speed for gaming

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 In 2020 & 2021

01
Editor's Pick
02
Performance Pick
TEAMGROUP T Force Xtreem ARGB 3600MHz CL14

TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB

Capacity

16GB (2x8)

Frequency

DDR4 3600MHz

CAS Latency

14

03
Fast Clock Speed Pick
G.Skill Trident Z Royal 16GB DDR4 4800MHz

G.Skill Trident Z Royal

Capacity

16GB (2x8)

Frequency

DDR4 4800MHz

CAS Latency

18

04
RGB Pick
G.SKiLL TridentZ RGB 16GB 2x8GB

G.Skill TridentZ RGB

Capacity

16GB (2x8)

Frequency

DDR4 3200MHz

CAS Latency

14

05
Budget Pick
Patriot Viper 4

Patriot Viper 4 Series

Capacity

16GB

Frequency

DDR4 3400MHz - 3766MHz

CAS Latency

16

In-depth Review

01
Editor's Pick
Pros

Excellent over clocking capability

Smaller than other RAM

Powerful RAM

Cons

Can be considered expensive

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.

02
Performance Pick
TEAMGROUP T Force Xtreem ARGB 3600MHz CL14

TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGB

Capacity

16GB (2x8)

Frequency

DDR4 3600MHz

CAS Latency

14

Pros

Fast RAM with tight timings

RGB

Great value

3200MHz option also features CL14

Cons

Not the most vibrant RGB

Less desirable brand than Corsair and G.Skill

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 2×8 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.

03
Fast Clock Speed Pick
G.Skill Trident Z Royal 16GB DDR4 4800MHz

G.Skill Trident Z Royal

Capacity

16GB (2x8)

Frequency

DDR4 4800MHz

CAS Latency

18

Pros

Rapid 4800MHz

Incredible design

Reasonable CAS Latency for speed

Cons

Considered overkill for gaming

Expensive

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.

04
RGB Pick
G.SKiLL TridentZ RGB 16GB 2x8GB

G.Skill TridentZ RGB

Capacity

16GB (2x8)

Frequency

DDR4 3200MHz

CAS Latency

14

Pros

Excellent timings

Vibrant RGB

Unique heatsink design

Cons

Pricey

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 2×8 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.

05
Budget Pick
Patriot Viper 4

Patriot Viper 4 Series

Capacity

16GB

Frequency

DDR4 3400MHz - 3766MHz

CAS Latency

16

Pros

Great Performance

Small Profile

Relatively Inexpensive

Cons

Not as reliable as other brands

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

FAQs

Is DDR4 RAM good for gaming?

When you are looking to purchase RAM for gaming, the option you choose is an important one. When it comes to DDR4 RAM, this is certainly the best that is currently available.

It is the newest form of RAM, and is therefore the most future proof. When it comes to purchasing this RAM, you will not need to change or upgrade it for a good number of years.

While DDR3 RAM is still suitable to use for gaming, DDR4 RAM does take your gaming to the next level. Its minimum clock speeds are typically around 2133 MHz, which tends to be the very highest MHz DDR3 RAM can reach.

In addition to this, it self-refreshes which allows it to be more energy efficient as it consumes less power on the whole.

Although it is better, it does come at an increased cost, which is something that you will need to take into consideration. It also does not have an auto-refresh feature like the DDR3 RAM has, but it does have no limit when it comes to capacity.

Is 2400MHz RAM good for gaming?

The faster RAM that your PC has, the better your gaming performance will be. While RAM is not the most important aspect to consider, it is something that should not be ignored.

When looking at the RAM specifications, you should always look at the speed. While 2400 MHz may seem like a significant amount, it is slightly lower than the recommended amount needed for gaming.

Typically, if you want your games to run with no performance issues, you should be looking to purchase RAM that is above 3200 MHz. This is considered the optimum amount, though there is RAM available that is 4000 MHz.

However, you can still game using 2400 MHz successfully, but the performance will not be quite as good as it could be. This type of specification is better suited for an entry level PC, rather than for someone that is looking to take their gaming more seriously.

Is 32 GB RAM overkill for gaming?

For all intents and purposes, yes, 32 GB of RAM can be seen as overkill for gaming. However, this is down to the individuals thoughts on this. While 32 GB is not typically needed for gaming, this will allow your PC to be future proof.

In the future, as games become more demanding, it is likely that a higher amount of RAM may be needed. For gaming, 16 GB is typically the optimum amount. However, if you are also using your PC for other purposes, such as rendering larger files, then you may actually benefit from having 32 GB of RAM.

To summarize, while this is double the amount of RAM needed for gaming, if you do choose to purchase 32 GB, this will not negatively impact your gameplay in any way. It also allows for better future proofing.

Is 128 GB RAM overkill for gaming?

To follow on from the frequently asked question above, given that 32 GB is often seen as overkill for a gaming PC, 128 GB being significantly more than this is often seen as unnecessary too.

The only real reason why you would want to choose 128 GB of RAM over 32 GB or 16 GB, is if you are using your PC for more than just gaming. For example, if you are running particularly large games, and multiple other types of large software at the same time, a higher amount of GB is needed.

However, in the vast majority of cases, this is far more than enough RAM needed. While it will future proof your build significantly, and is useful if you are purchasing it with a prebuilt PC, if you are deciding on the amount of RAM to purchase, 32 GB or 16 GB are likely the better options for gaming.

Can RAM affect FPS?

While some people assume that RAM can have an effect on FPS, this is not actually the case. While RAM can help to improve the running of a game, it does not really have an impact on the FPS. You will need to look into upgrading your GPU if you are having FPS issues.

While a high amount of RAM can help to smooth out the game, it does have the potential to perhaps improve the FPS ever so slightly. However, this is not typically enough for the average person to notice. Only a GPU paired with a decent monitor can improve your FPS.

Is higher MHz RAM better?

When it comes to purchasing RAM, you should be aware of what the different specifications mean, and how they will impact your game play. The frequency RAM is measured in is MHz, and this will give you a better idea of how quickly it will perform.

In theory, the higher the MHz RAM, the better your overall performance will be. For gaming, the optimum amount of MHz needed is around 3200 MHz to 3600 MHz, though there are higher amounts available.

While there is an optimum amount needed for gaming, a higher MHz, does not always mean that you will have a better gaming performance. If the RAM is too high, this can actually have a negative impact on the performance as it can slow it or cause freezing. This is certainly prevalent if the RAM has been seriously overclocked.

Can I use 2400 and 3200 Ram together?

If you have a motherboard that is compatible with DDR4 then you will be able to use 2400 and 3200 RAM together. DDR4 is still relatively new. Given this, not all motherboards will be compatible. Newer motherboards are compatible, but older motherboards may not be.

It is worth noting that while you can use them both together, it is likely that your PC will only use the slower speed rather than the higher speed. The majority of people will tend to use one RAM rather than two, but it is possible to use both if you prefer.

Final Word

So there you have it. Although the big lesson when it comes to RAM is to just buy what you need and what fits your budget, for a seriously good RAM kit that will never let you down or empty your wallet we’d recommend Corsair’s Vengeance LPX RAM.

That being said, each of the recommendations we’ve dropped in this article could all be considered the best DDR4 RAM for gaming if they fit your needs.

Check out the recommended articles alongside this page for more pieces discussing RAM and other components, and leave a comment below if there’s anything specific, RAM-related or otherwise, that you’d like us to cover.

 

The Author Who Worked On This Article

at
WePC
Ben had always been a PC enthusiast long before he realized that there was a lack of online information about PC building. That’s what motivated him to start WePC in 2011 in order to help others build a computer of their dream.

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