Finding The Best DDR3 RAM For Gaming in 2021

Taking a look at the market's leading DDR3 offerings to see which is best for gaming

Finding The Best DDR3 Ram For Gaming

Need to upgrade an older build with the best DDR3 RAM out there? Look no further.

DDR3 RAM may have been phased out by its bigger brother, but we still have the best DDR3 RAM for gaming for those who are still running a machine that uses DDR3 technology in 2021.

Our Top Picks

Editor's Pick
The Best DDR3 RAM For Gaming
Runner Up
Best Kingston DDR3 RAM kit
Best G.Skill DDR3 RAM
Best budget DDR3 RAM Kit

The Best DDR3 RAM For Gaming: First Look

Editor's Pick
The Best DDR3 RAM For Gaming
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Editor's Rating

Corsair get the best DDR3 RAM for gaming with their impressive Vengeance Pro series. A well-balanced mix of aesthetics, performance, and value for money.

Corsair’s Vengeance Pro offers upto 32GB of capacity with 1600Mhz of internal clock sped. Pair that with a CAS Latency of 9 and a great price tag, and you have a very efficient RAM kit.

Runner Up
Best Kingston DDR3 RAM kit
0 /5
Editor's Rating

Kingston might not be the first name on everyone’s list when you’re asked about RAM. However, there DDR3 kit in this article really does hold its own.

With a higher clock speed and slightly higher CL timings than our top pick, Kingston HyperX Fury falls just short of our top spot.

Best G.Skill DDR3 RAM
Best budget DDR3 RAM Kit
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Editor's Rating

G.Skill are no strangers when it comes to providing the market with some of the best RAM modules the market has to offer. This, their Ares kit, ticks all the right boxes for someone on a low budget.

If you’re looking for a budget DDR3 RAM kit that still offers great performance, look no further – G.Skill have you covered.

Best Value DDR3 RAM
A cheaper alternative from Corsair
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Editor's Rating

Last but not least is the Corsair Vengeance LP – Corsair’s budget DDR3 option.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative from Corsair, why not take their Vengeance LP series for a spin. It offers good capacity, decent speeds, and solid build quality.

Finding The Best DDR3 RAM For Gaming

When searching for the best RAM for gaming, we decided to work at three popular budget levels and gradually escalate in RAM capacity, RAM frequency and price.

There are two likely scenarios where you’re shopping for DDR3 RAM: you’re either upgrading a system that was built before DDR4 became the standard, or you’re building a budget build that uses some older hardware.

As a gamer, you may be concerned that not having DDR4 RAM may hurt your gaming performance. We’ll dive into that and other RAM-related questions later, but worry not: DDR3 will serve you fine.

For now, take a look at our roundup of the best DDR3 RAM for gaming. We’ve rounded up the best of the best as far as gaming is concerned, and we think any of these RAM kits should serve you well.

The Best DDR3 RAM For Gaming

Editor's Pick
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Runner Up
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Best G.Skill DDR3 RAM
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Best Value DDR3 RAM
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In-depth Review

1.
Editor's Pick
The Best DDR3 RAM For Gaming
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Pros

Great for intensive multitasking, temporary game servers and other intensive tasks

Will handle high-end gaming and multitasking with no problem, if the rest of your hardware can keep up

Cons

Expensive, not worth the cost for most gamers

This Corsair Vengeance Pro-Kit offers some of the best capacity and performance you can get with DDR3 RAM. At 32GB capacity and a 1600MHz memory speed, this DDR3 RAM kit shouldn’t be phased by any of the competition in this list. This will handle pretty much any multitasking you throw at it, and it will do it fast. This does, however, come at a price.

2.
Runner Up
Best Kingston DDR3 RAM kit
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Pros

Fair pricing

Good enough for true multitasking- gaming and browsing at once in all but the most intensive situations

Great for games that utilize faster RAM

Cons

Not enough for intensive multitasking

For a faster 8GB RAM kit, look no further than the Kingston HyperX Fury Kit. This Kit comes in at a whopping 1866 MHz, a marked improvement over most DDR3 RAM kits. Your multitasking ability won’t change, but the speed of those applications (especially games optimized to take advantage of higher RAM speeds) will increase.

3.
Best G.Skill DDR3 RAM
Best budget DDR3 RAM Kit
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Pros

Reasonably cheap

Good enough for true multitasking- gaming and browsing at once in all but the most intensive situations

Cons

Not enough for intensive multitasking

Not super fast in games that rely on RAM speeds

This G.Skill Ares kit offers decent performance and the 8GB RAM capacity that most gamers are going to want. 8GB RAM is more than enough for all of the most demanding games, and because of that you’ll usually be able to multitask with a few applications in the background while using this RAM kit. Most users won’t need to buy better RAM than this, but if you need either higher capacity or higher RAM speeds, keep reading.

4.
Best Value DDR3 RAM
A cheaper alternative from Corsair
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Pros

Cheap

Good enough for games and basic PC usage, but not both at once

Cons

Not enough for high-level multitasking

The Corsair Vengeance LP is one of the cheapest DDR3 RAM kits on the market and offers decent performance over the bare minimum at a price of $30. This particular RAM kit is packing 4GB of RAM running at 1600 MHz, which will be good for basic gaming and multitasking. However, you won’t be able to do both at once…if you can afford more, buy two of these to run in dual-channel or grab our budget 8GB RAM kit below.

What is RAM?

RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is used to describe the “dynamic” memory used to juggle active tasks alongside the CPU. By contrast, an HDD or an SSD can be considered “static” memory, since it’s used for long-term data storage and is not constantly rewritten on-the-fly.

RAM is one of the most important specs in your PC since it determines how much multitasking your machine is capable of. It can also have an effect on high-end productivity applications, virtual machines, and other usage scenarios that go far beyond gaming.

Over time, applications and operating systems have demanded more and more RAM and the market has adjusted to accommodate. This leaves many consumers asking a lot of justified questions about RAM, especially from a practical standpoint.

Even with the rise of DDR4 and higher RAM speeds, a lot of people are left asking why. With the following sections, we hope to demystify these questions for you and help you make an educated buying decision.

What is the best amount of RAM for gaming?

The short answer? Whatever suits your needs.

The long answer? Have a breakdown:

  • 4GB RAM – Good enough for multitasking and good enough for gaming, but not good enough for both at the same time. Modern titles may even require more RAM, making this a budget option that’s slowly becoming less viable.
  • 8GB RAM – Also good enough for multitasking and gaming. In fact, it can usually do both just fine, unless something is particularly RAM-hungry.

8GB of RAM is more than enough for most gamers and consumers, especially since modern games cap out at around 6GB of RAM usage.

  • 16GB RAM -Great for multitasking and gaming, alongside more advanced applications, like VMWare. However, this amount of RAM is really only recommended for professionals and enthusiasts who will actually stress their system enough to utilize it, since it’s far above max usage of most.

It’s also usually about twice the price, because Math.

  • 32GB+ RAM – Totally and grossly unnecessary unless you’re running a server or another extreme scenario. No discernable benefits from a gaming perspective, either, so you really shouldn’t bother going this high. Even 16GB is pushing it.

At the end of the day, there is no best amount of RAM for gaming.

The most practical solution for most users will be to simply opt for 8GB, since it’s above the requirements of modern games and can reasonably support gaming alongside multitasking in the background.

Chances are, if you need 16GB RAM, you already know that you need it. Otherwise, start with 8GB if you can afford it.

What is the best RAM speed for gaming?

Short answer: there is no best RAM speed for gaming, because it makes little, if any difference.

Where it does make a difference, we’re talking maybe a few frames for an extra 30 to 60 dollars. This is money that could be better spent opting for a higher-end CPU or GPU, not squeezing a few more megahertz out of your RAM setup.

Now that we’re past that, it’s time to cover one final question.

How much of a difference does RAM really make in gaming performance?

Not a whole lot.

If you have too little RAM, it will make a huge difference in speed and stability of both your system and your games. If you have enough RAM, you won’t notice any problems.

If you have more than enough RAM, even a grossly higher amount…you will just continue not to notice any problems. Once you have the amount of RAM you need, there’s no real reason to go much higher.

The only time opting for max-speed, max-capacity RAM is when you’re using applications that can actually utilize that. And PC games do not fit that bill- not yet.

FAQs

Is DDR3 RAM good for gaming?

With the release of DDR4, it is understandable to wonder whether you need to upgrade your DRR3 RAM. While this may eventually be a sensible idea given that it is the more future proof of the two, this is not something you necessarily need to worry about at the moment.

DDR3 is still a fantastic option to choose for gaming, it is also far cheaper in comparison to the newer DDR4. The most important thing to remember when choosing DDR3 RAM is that it is a dual channel. If it is not dual channel the RAM will not be as good for gaming.

DDR3 is quick and responsive enough to work well for gaming. It is worth remembering that the maximum memory size for DDR3 is 16 GB. While this is the optimum amount needed for gaming, DDR3 RAM cannot be increased, whereas DDR4 does not have any limitations.

Over time, there is the potential that 16 GB of RAM may not be enough, especially if games begin to increase in their demand on the PC. Given this, over time DDR3 may not be the best option, but this is not guaranteed to happen.

If you are running large software or multiple different programs alongside gaming, you may benefit from a higher amount of GB. However, for gaming purposes DDR3 is still a great option.

Is DDR4 faster than DDR3?

When looking at the differences between DDR4 and DDR3, there is not a hugely significant difference. One of the main questions gamers tend to have is whether DDR4 is faster than DDR3.

While there is not a hugely significant difference, DDR4 is faster and better than DDR3. However, DDR3 is still a great option for gamers, and it is not always worth upgrading your PC, though DDR4 is more future proof.

When looking at the speed of the DDR4 RAM, it is typically around 2400 MHz, which is fantastic. The highest speeds of DDR3 typically are around 1600 MHz. Taking this into consideration DDR4 is faster. While professional gamers are likely to notice the increase in speeds, the vast majority of people are unlikely to.

Given this, while the DDR4 RAM is the faster and better option, it is not always necessary to upgrade your RAM.

While the speed of the RAM is important, there are other aspects that you will need to take into consideration, such as compatibility.

Although DDR4 RAM is better overall, it may not be compatible with the motherboard that you own. Given this, to upgrade to DDR4 RAM you would need to upgrade the motherboard too, which can become quite costly.

Can I replace DDR3 RAM with DDR4?

The answer to whether or not you can replace DDR3 RAM with DDR4 is not as simple as it may seem. While in some instances you can do this, in other instances, this is not possible.

When you are looking to replace DDR3, you will need to take into consideration that DDR4 is a newer form of RAM. Given this, as we have mentioned above, if you do not have a DDR4 compatible motherboard, you will not be able to replace DDR3 RAM.

However, if you have a compatible motherboard and the DDR4 has the same connection as the DDR3 RAM, this is possible.

It is worth noting that often DDR3 and DDR4 RAM will have slightly different connections. Given this, it may not be suitable to replace the DDR3. In general, you will not be able to connect DDR4 RAM into the same slot that your DDR3 RAM was using.

Final Word

Right now, the best thing to do is to buy RAM in accordance to your needs and budget. The best DDR3 RAM for gaming is really just what suits you.

For most people, one of our 8GB options should be fine. For people operating on a really thin budget, the 4GB option should do that.

For a scarce few of you out there, the 16GB option may actually be for you.

Whichever one you pick, let us know. We’re interested to find out what our community likes!