Whether you are assembling a new PC or upgrading your old one, it must be capable of tackling today’s games. And its compatibility with current games heavily depends on the RAM kit. Until now, every modern system has DDR4 RAM on board. And most modern desktops in recent years have supported the baseline DDR4-2133 data rate. This is the easier part while choosing a RAM. What we call challenging is evaluating whether faster memory will affect your system. For instance, if you have an Intel system with high-end graphics cards, most programs won’t meaningfully respond to slower or faster system memory. Contrarily, some workloads like software and game will be more compatible with higher data rates. Such as file compression programs, including WinRAR and 7-Zip, scale very well with fast memory.
On the other hand, AMD’s Zen-powered processors gain more from high memory frequencies. As a result, the company utilizes “Infinity Fabric.” They are the internal bits that connect a number of logic blocks inside Ryzen CPUs. The Infinity Fabric aligns greatly with the speed of a memory bus.
The higher memory speed on Ryzen-and Threadripper-based platforms translates to advantages in real-world performance. It means higher frame rates while gaming at mainstream resolutions such as 1080p (1920 x 1080). It also results in a smoother performance at higher resolutions. However, the number of extra frames from faster RAM differs significantly from title to title. In simpler words, some games are more GPU-bound than others.
Lastly, memory speed counts greatly if you are gaming with integrated graphics, whether you are using an AMD or an Intel processor. Even in the best gaming CPUs, the built-in graphics engine doesn’t generally have a dedicated memory like discrete graphics cards. Therefore, the best RAM Kit for such systems is crucial if you are into mainstream gaming. Suppose you have to pay high rates for the playable frame rates through the fastest RAM. In that case, you are better off purchasing slower system memory with a discrete graphics card.
The best RAM is the fastest memory for gaming, running an AMD Ryzen processor, or in certain isolated situations with Intel chips. For example, suppose you aren’t concerned about getting the most performance from your hardware. In that case, DDR4-2133 should be compatible with all modern Intel and AMD platforms. DDR5-4800 is for Intel Alder Lake CPUs.
RAM Shopping Tips
- 16GB is the sweet spot for many users. However, programs keep getting bigger, requiring more memory over time. Whereas 4K and 1080p video formats are more common for such memory. Moreover, PC games are getting bigger, demanding more specs. In addition, websites are becoming more complex daily. While heavy prosumers and multitaskers may require 32GB to avoid slower virtual memory, 16GB is considered more affordable and sufficient for mainstream productivity tasks and gaming.
- On AMD-based motherboards, you may not achieve memory speeds presented as part of an XMP profile. XMP is an automatic memory overclocking system designed particularly for Intel motherboards. Some motherboard manufacturers offer BIOS settings to assist you in getting faster speeds on AMD motherboards. However, these settings are not available on all motherboards. Also, they don’t always work even when available.
- Suppose you want the fastest RAM speed on Intel platforms. In that case, you should get a K-series CPU because non-K-series Core i9, i7, and i5 processors have the same DDR4-2933 limits imposed by lesser Intel chipsets H470 and B460. Core i3 processors give a lower limit of DDR4-2666. On the other hand, most of the motherboards lack XMP. The ones with XMP will configure XMP memory more easily with enhanced timings. However, note that these rules have altered with Intel’s latest Rocket Lake platform. You can now get memory overclocking on motherboards with non-Z chipsets.
- Dual-rank is faster than single-rank memory. Also, tests show that dual-rank memory kits perform better than single-rank memory kits, regardless of Intel or AMD platform.
- Always purchase single memory kits of your desired capacity. Never combine two memory kits or modules, even if they are from the same product line or vendor. Mix and match may not always provide and best results. Sometimes manual tweaks are required to gain stability.
- For the best plug-n-play experience, pick a memory kit that aligns with the official memory frequency that your processor supports. It will help you avoid minimum to zero manual intervention. For instance, DDR4-3200 is the foundation for Intel’s 11th Generation Rocket Lake and AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors.
- If you have an 11th Generation Rocket Lake CPU, only the Core i9 processors will support DDR4-3200 on Gear 1. The rest of the Rocket Lake chips support DDR4-2933 on Gear 1 & DDR4-3200 on Gear 2.
Best Ram to buy in 2022
|G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 (2 x 16GB)||Model: F5-6000U3636E16GX2-TZ5RS
Capacity: 32GB (2 x 16GB)
Data Rate: DDR5-6000 (XMP)
Timings: 36-36-36-76 (2T)
Good OC potential
|Costs an arm and a leg|
|Samsung DDR5-4800 (2 x 16GB)||Model: M323R2GA3BB0-CQKOD
Capacity: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Data Rate: DDR5-4800
Timings: 40-39-39-76 (2T) Voltage: 1.10V
|Good DDR5-4800 performance
Huge OC potential
|Green PCB (for some)
Not available as a kit
Limited retailer availability
|TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB DDR4-3600 (2 x 8GB)||Model: TF10D416G3600HC14CDC01 Capacity: 16 GB (2 x 8GB) Data Rate: DDR4-3600 (XMP)
Timings: 14-15-15-35 (2T)
Cheapest kit in its category
|Patriot Viper Steel DDR4-4400 (2 x 8GB)||Model: PVS416G440C9K
Capacity: 16 GB (2 x 8GB)
Data Rate: DDR4-4400 (XMP)
Timings: 19-19-19-39 (2T)
|Superb 19-19-19-39 DDR4-4400 timings
Outperforms competing DDR4-4600 kits
|Pricier than the closest-performing RGB kit
Top XMP profiles require specially-selected motherboards.
|Patriot Viper RGB DDR4-3600 (2 x 8GB)||Model: PVR416G360C6K
Capacity: 16 GB (2 x 8GB)
Data Rate: DDR4-3600 (XMP)
Timings: 16-18-18-36 (2T)
|XMP timings at DDR4-3600
Excellent latency-tuning capacity
Compatible with motherboard RGB software
Patriot RGB software is free for download
|LED diffuser causes color merging/bleeding|