Even if your computer is an absolute unit, you’ll eventually run into some kind of slow down. Thanks to memory hungry operating systems like macOS Mojave or Windows 10, having the enough fast RAM is more important to the best PCs than ever. If your PC is starting to slow down, it might be time to go out and pick up more of the best RAM.
But, before you head out and pick up a couple sticks of memory, keep in mind that there are so many different capacities, speeds and even sizes of RAM. If you’re not intimately familiar with the PC hardware scene, you might have a tough time looking for the best RAM.
Fortunately, we here at TechRadar are intimately familiar with the PC hardware scene, and have picked out the best RAM we’ve used over the last year or so. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy upgrade that’ll let you open more Chrome tabs, or if you’re trying to run the best PC games, you’ll need the best RAM you can get your hands on.
Best RAM: Corsair Vengeance LED
Corsair is one of the most trusted names when it comes to the best RAM on the market. Its Vengeance series, especially, has something for everyone with its LED DDR4 offerings. On top of giving PC builders that extra touch of vibrant lighting, this RAM has robust heat spreaders that maximise cooling for higher overclocking and maximum performance. Corsair’s Vengeance LED DDR4 series also features CL16 latency and whopping 3,466 MHz speeds, so it’s just as fast and responsive as it is aesthetic.
Best DDR4 RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB
At this point, everyone kind of knows about G. Skill and its Trident Z RGB series of RAM. This is some of the best RAM not just because it’s fast, but the top of every DIMM features a full-spectrum rainbow wave light bar that you can use to match your RGB lighting across your entire system. Trident Z RGB DDR4 RAM features CAS latencies between 14 and 19 which is awesome enough, but with speeds up to 4,266, it’s almost perfect. No matter your aesthetic, it’s hard to argue with the G. Skill TridentZ RGB as the best RGB RAM.
Best DDR3 RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator
Kingston’s high-performance HyperX has some of the best DDR3 RAM on the market and the Predator models is particularly tuned for and extreme-performance that’s further expandable with XMP profiles. The Predator DDR3 series achieves CL9 to CL11 latencies and speeds between 1866MHz to 2666MHz.
Best Budget RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury
This Kingston HyperX Fury is auto overclocked memory that won’t empty your wallet. This smart DDR3 or DDR4 RAM auto-detects system components to overclock to the highest speeds possible, optimizing performance for all of Intel’s latest chipsets. It comes with latencies between CL14 and CL16, and has speeds between 2,133 and 2,666MHz. While it’s inexpensive, it really can have a huge impact on the performance of your rig.
Best High-end RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB
If you want the best of the best, and you don’t care about pricing, Corsair’s Dominator Platinum memory has always been at the top of the list. However, in 2019, it’s been refreshed to include Corsair’s new Capellix RGB LEDs, leading to a much richer and more colorful design. It’s the same high-end RAM we know and love, with speeds up to 3,600 MHz, but the better RGB make the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB the best RAM around in 2019.
Best double capacity memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB DC
Sometimes, especially when you’re looking for the best gaming components, ‘go big or go home’ is the best advice. And, when you want more RAM than you’ll know what to do with, you’re going to want to go with the G.Skill Trident Z RGB DC memory. The DC stands for double capacity, as in, 32GB per stick. Now, this is definitely not the fastest memory in the world, right now it’s only available in up to 3,200 MHz, but if you need a lot of RAM without taking up too many DIMM slots (like if you have a big CPU cooler or a Mini-ITX board), you can’t go wrong with the G.Skill TridentZ RGB DC.
Best gaming RAM: Adata Spectrix D80
If you’re going for an all-out no-holds-barred build, and you want the flashiest hardware so that your desktop can illuminate your office, you’re going to want the Adata Spectrix D80. Not only is it available in frequencies up to 5,000MHz, but it’s liquid-cooled, which means you shouldn’t ever have to worry about it overheating on you. The Adata Spectrix D80 is going to be the best RAM for gaming in an RGB-lit cavern.
Best RGB RAM: HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB
HyperX has always been a huge name in desktop memory, and it’s not hard to see why. The DIMMs they release always feature the latest technologies without pushing the price higher than it really needs to be – and the HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB is yet another example. Not only is this ram fast, but it looks good, too – with Infrared Sync tech that promises to actually synchronize the lighting between DIMMs. And, with its stylish black heat spreaders, this is the best RAM if you want your gaming PC to reach max aesthetic.
Best Low-Profile RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX
Corsair’s Vengeance LPX RAM is made for users who want the maximum performance with minimum footprint. This low-profile RAM is essential for PC builds with massive CPU coolers. Despite being so low-profile, they still feature an eight-layer heat spreader to cool while overclocking. While its thin design doesn’t allow for LEDs, but you can get it in three colors: black, red or blue.
Best Mac RAM: G.Skill Mac RAM
Just like their dedication to laptop and desktop RAM, G.Skill has RAM upgrades for Macs, too. Adding more memory on the Apple Store is needlessly expensive, so going with a third-party kit can help you save a ton of money – assuming that your machine is one the last remaining MacBooks or iMacs that are still upgradable. These SO-DIMM have a CAS latency between 9 and 11 and have between 1,333MHz and 1,600MHz. The best bang for the buck seems to be the G.Skill DDR3-1333 for Mac.
Best Laptop RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport
Crucial is by far the best RAM for laptop systems. This manufacturer has designed its Crucial Ballistix Sport SODIMMs for efficient battery life while still delivering fast speeds for multi-tasking. It’s ideal for anyone wanting to speed up the best laptops, and this memory likely offers higher memory speed than anything coming stock in your laptop. Just make sure your laptop actually lets you upgrade the RAM – repairability is falling out of fashion these days.