Updated: June 2018
When building a gaming PC, it can be a difficult choice when selecting which RAM kit to go with. Should you go for the cheapest? The fastest? It largely depends on your budget, your overclocking intentions, and what your CPU cooler allows. To help you decide here are a few popular RAM kits for those that are on a budget, and those who are building a rig powerful enough to cool a nuclear silo. It is crucial to remember that in order for your PC to fully utilize faster RAM, you need to ensure that both your motherboard and your CPU can fully take advantage of memory with higher clock speeds. Spending some extra money on 3200Mhz RAM is completely pointless if your motherboard only supports 2400Mhz. Also since DDR4 has been the standard for quite some time now that’s all we’re recommending these days.
Best 8GB RAM Kit – Crucial Ballistix Sport
When it comes to a gaming PC, 8GB of RAM is pretty much the minimum these days. While many gamers install 16GB to “future-proof” their rigs, if you’re on a tight budget, 8GB will allow you to play most games with no problems. Crucial’s Ballistix Sport LT kit offers 2400 MT/s, at a price lower than many 2133 kits, but it also needs only 1.2V of power, which is less than the typical 1.3V. This not only puts a little less strain on your PSU, but also may prolong the life of the RAM too. For the price, you really can’t go wrong with this reliable kit. If you’re looking to upgrade to 16GB, Crucial also offers the Ballistix Sport LT in a single 16G stick.
Best 16GB RAM Kit – G.Skill Ripjaws V Series
G.Skill is known for their quality, and their V Series RAM kits are the company’s value model, so you can save a bit of scratch without skimping on quality. They’re also not super-tall either, so your huge CPU cooler shouldn’t have any clearance issues. With this kit, You won’t have to worry about streaming while you game, and you will be ready for the future.
Extreme Performance – Patriot Viper 4 Series
If you’re an overclocker, why not spend a bit more, and opt for 16GB of Patriot power? Running at 3200MhZ out of the box, Patriot’s Viper 4 Series aren’t just great hardware, but great value too. The Viper 4 series feature XMP 2.0, which makes overclocking easy and safe.
Another Money-Saving Option – Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM
While Corsair’s Vengeance LPX modules are slightly slower than the Patriot Viper 4 at 3000Mhz, they’re cheaper, so they’re one of the most popular 16G RAM kits for good reason. Plus the sticks’ low profile form factor help with extra large CPU coolers too.
Pure Bragging Rights – Corsair Dominator Platinum 32GB RAM
So you have a bit of extra money, and you want to spend it on memory? How about 32GB of 3000Mhz RAM with a patented cooling system, white LEDs, and each module tested by hand at the factory? Corsair Dominator has a reputation for three things: quality, speed, and a hefty price tag. Still if you’re going all out on a future-resistant gaming rig, Corsair Dominator is the way to go. It will likely even outlast your rig, so you can use it in your next one!