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One of the most important PC components to think deeply about when building your gaming rig is your RAM. The DDR4 memory is the modern standard now, and big companies like Corsair, G.Skill, Kingston, and others are at work in offering the most optimized RAM modules specifically for gaming and other memory-intensive tasks.
Best DDR4 RAM for Gaming [Budget to High-End]
RAM actually doesn’t have as major an effect as GPU and CPU on gaming performance, but it’s still an important part of your rig in overall performance and stability. You’ll notice faster loading times, more smoothness, and a slight increase in frame-rates by upgrading your RAM.
In this article, we’ll review our four favorite DDR4 RAM modules for gaming, covering their specs, performance, and everything in between.
Before you get started, we recommend that you read our Ultimate DDR4 RAM buyer’s guide. It discusses all the factors you should consider while buying a DDR4 RAM for gaming, thus helping you pick the right product for you.
Best Premium DDR4 RAM for Gaming
Corsair Dominator Platinum
The Corsair Dominator Platinum is Corsair’s most powerful DDR4 RAM. Built with a tall yet stylish heat spreader, this RAM comes in various clock speeds and has insane overclocking potential. It’s a great match for the most powerful gaming and content creating rigs.
If you have money to splash on crazy high-end DDR4 RAM and want the absolute best with the highest overclocking headroom, there’s only one product in that enthusiast niche, and that’s the Corsair Dominator Platinum 3200MHz.
- Clock Speed: 3200MHz
- Timing: 19-23-23-45
- Voltage: 35V
- DIMMs: 2x16GB
Corsair is hellbent on creating the best PC components out there, and they’re arguably the most respected manufacturers of DDR4 RAM. At the top of their high-end list of DDR4 RAM modules is the Corsair Dominator Platinum, arguably the best RAM you can buy as far as raw clock speeds and overclocking potential is concerned.
The Dominator Platinum has gone through many iterations the past few years, but much of the design principals and target audience have remained constant. It’s intended for the extreme enthusiasts looking to push the limits of what their memory can do. Available in a plethora of different clock speeds, configurations, and kits, the Dominator Platinum demands a hefty price tag, but the performance it gives is what enthusiasts dream of.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first before we start singing praises about this DDR4 RAM module. Firstly, it’s ridiculously expensive. You’ll have to spend well over $300 to get your hands on a high-speed kit in the 16GB configuration. Secondly, the timing isn’t great, with a Cas latency of 19. That hardly matters though because it’s just so highly overclockable and even performs incredibly fast out of the box.
Now, let’s start singing praises. The heat sink design is rather tall, but that’s intentional because of how overclockable they’ve made the Dominator Platinum. The design for an aesthetic standpoint is absolutely fabulous. It’s fancy, modern, and will blend in well with any kind of build. There’s no RGB goodness here, but Corsair adds in minimalistic white LED lights that shine bright like a diamond (sorry, couldn’t help it) to highlight the RAM’s presence on your motherboard.
Do note though that some users have had issues with the RAM with certain AMD chipset motherboards. The RAM works fine on these motherboards but may not run at the highest clock speeds. This is because Corsair isn’t using Samsung B-die here, which is what you’ll need for guaranteed performance up to its potential in any AMD Ryzen build.
For the enthusiast overclockers, Corsair also offers a dedicated acting cooling solution for the Dominator Platinum. This is the Dominator Airflow Fan, which comes with fancy RGB and great looks. However, you’ll have to buy a bigger kit if you want it included in the pack, or else you’ll have to spend a little extra on it as a separate purchase.
Best Overall DDR4 RAM
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro
The best just got better, introducing the upgraded version of Vengeance RGB Pro from Corsair, with individual LED customization with Corsair iCUE support. This is one of the best gaming RAMs introduced by Corsair and they claim it to be one of the fastest in the market.
With a price tag that is not so expensive, but also has the performance claimed to be the fastest, the Vengeance RGB Pro is the choice of the gamers today. Overclock it up to 4700 MHz for outclass performance and absolute beastly gaming experience.
- Clock Speed: 3000MHz
- Timing: 15-17-17-35
- Voltage: 1.35V
- DIMMs: 2x8GB
So Corsair is a big name in the computer hardware and paraphilia market, it has one of the best cooling technologies available for cooling solutions. The gaming casings which are optimized for great airflow along with its RGB fan, you get the ultimate RGB experience. But that is not all the RGB Corsair has to give you, the Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4 DRAM will complete your gaming rig while adding all those gigs of high performance memory to your system.
The Vengeance RGB Pro is truly a game-changer when it comes to high-end gaming RAMs, it can clock up to a whopping 4700+ MHz if you know how to pull that kind of power from it. It is compatible with almost all Intel and AMD DDR4 supporting boards, however, be sure to check compatibility for avoiding issues.
With a beautiful aluminum body for great heat spreading functionality along with a light cover that fully illustrates the LED lights in the RAM to maximize the RGB experience, Corsair really strikes back with a Vengeance (pun intended), to prove its place in the memory module market. With a tested latency of 15-17-17-35 and a voltage rating of 1.35V, this RAM can give you extreme speeds even cranking up the clock speed to max.
If you already are a fan of Corsair products, then this RAM is going to complete the experience for you. With iCUE support you can customize the lightings to your experiences, meaning if you feel like you want different pre-sets for different tasks, then Corsair has you covered on that. Not only that, you can sync the whole thing RGB experience to not make it look like a circus but give a more classy look. The fans, the cooler and the RAMs, can be synced along with other peripherals through iCUE support.
There is nothing bad you can say about this RAM other than that it still is not the most affordable piece of technology in the market, but can you really hate Corsair for charging you for this much performance? If you are a gamer, we believe you would not think that way if you truly know how good the specs on these sticks are.
The G.Skill Flare X has a tighter timing than the TridentZ RGB, but it comes at the same price despite lower clock speeds and no RGB. Still, the Flare X is a fantastic alternative if the TridentZ isn’t available or you can’t find it. Flare X has excellent compatibility across the board with Ryzen processors and AMD chipsets as well, so you won’t have to go searching for specific models either.
Best Midrange DDR4 RAM
For any Intel-based build, the Corsair Vengeance LPX is a tried and tested RAM module that performs fantastically. It’s the industry standard RAM for its design, stability, and overclocking, and we highly recommend it.
- Clock Speed: 3200MHz
- Timing: 16-18-18-36
- DIMMs: 2x8GB
So long as Corsair keeps releasing fantastic memory modules, they’ll have a place among any recommendation article on the internet. Corsair Vengeance LPX can be considered the manufacturer’s go to high-performance DDR4 RAM. There is an RGB version that costs significantly more, but we’re limiting ourselves to the basic one because it provides better value. Besides, you have the option to buy the Vengeance LPX in various colors to match the rest of your PC build, so there’s that.
So why is the Corsair Vengeance LPX considered so good? Well, it’s simply great and reliable. It overclocks as well as gaming DDR4 memory at this price point should, is very stable, and will perform at its rated specs in most builds. The design is minimalistic, and the heat spreader functions phenomenally. Corsair has specifically designed the heat spreader and multilayered PCB to withstand overclocking, so you know it’ll last even when you push it hard.
It does struggle to run at 3200MHz in certain Ryzen builds (particularly 1st generation Ryzen CPUs and associated AMD motherboard chipsets) though. This is because there’s no easy way to tell if the Corsair Vengeance LPX kit you bought is made from Samsung B-die or Hynix chips. The latter doesn’t work too well with first-generation Ryzen CPUs and offers mixed results with the 2nd generation ones.
If you’re team blue, however, this is simply a phenomenal RAM module to get. XMP support makes it simple to run it at 3200MHz, provided your motherboard supports that memory speed. Like most Corsair memory modules, however, the Vengeance LPX is a little tall, so you’ll have to be considerate of the clearance between it and any CPU air cooler you may be using.
Overall, it’s a great offering from Corsair and we highly recommend it for anyone looking for reliable and overclockable RAM at a decent price point. AMD users though will have to be careful as there’s no easy way to know which chip any given kit has.
The Patriot Viper Gaming RGB Series offers RGB goodness at a similar price to the Corsair Vengeance LPX, so there’s an age right there. It doesn’t overclock quite as well as the Vengeance LPX though because of the heat spreader and PCB design. It’s still a great choice if you want RGB lighting over the overclocking headroom.
Best Budget DDR4 RAM
Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB
The best thing about gaming rigs is the RGB aesthetic that not only enhances your work experience but how vivid your gaming and movie experiences can become. But when you can get your hands on performance along with that aesthetic that too at a very good budget, you definitely need your hands on that thing. And the Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000 MHz DDR4 DRAM is that thing.
With the increase in RGB technology in gaming systems, having a good set of memory sticks that too on a budget can be a blessing. Crucial Ballistix is that little blessing that can help you save some money to spend on other cool RGB stuff.
- Clock Speed: 3000MHz
- Timing: 16-18-18-35
- Voltage: 1.35V
- DIMMs: 8GB
Now everyone knows, how ridiculously expensive gaming systems are to build. With the new RGB components from various companies, the choices become ridiculously difficult. Not to mention the price tag on these systems is so heavy, that every dollar you save counts here. So a budget pick like Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 8GB DDR4-3000, is a really great choice to go with.
Crucial is not the best name out there when it comes to RAM, but it is not bad either, in fact, it is far from bad. It is a really good brand that has come up with some pretty decent memory sticks in the past. Of course, there are bigger names like the G-skill with its Trident or Corsair with vengeance, but Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB does not fall short of any of these big name brands.
With a base clock speed of 2600+ MHz (2666 MHz to be precise) and a boosted clock of 3000 MHz, this RGB RAM will support your gaming needs. The Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB is also power efficient at a 1.4V voltage rating. It has a latency of 16-18-18, also it is an unbuffered memory module.
The beautiful thing about the Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB is that the RGB can be modified, it has 16 RGB lights in 8 zones. The light cover is removable for you to get the most enhanced brightness from this gaming RAM. With ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and Gigabyte RGB fusion ready support, this RAM will work on almost all RGB supporting gaming boards. You do not have to worry too much about the compatibility when it comes to this RAM.
Speaking of compatibility, many components these days are confusing to choose from. If you own an AMD Ryzen CPU, you would want to look if the component you are installing can utilize and harness its full power. However, when you choose this RAM, you do not have to worry about Ryzen support. This memory module supports both Intel and AMD and does not need to be specifically set up for either.
It’s honestly a toss-up between the Ballistix Sport LT and the Patriot Viper 4. Both have very similar performance in both AMD and Intel-powered PCs, and both come at a similar price. We’ve only given the Patriot Viper 4 a slight edge for its more proven performance with first-generation Ryzen processors and because it’s a few dollars cheaper.
It’s worth noting that the performance difference between these products is minimal when it comes to gaming. So it won’t make sense to pick one product that could represent the “best overall” solution for gaming. The choice will largely depend on your own requirements and budget.