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Best RAM 2022: the top memory for your PC

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Corsair RAM on purple background
(Image credit: Future / Corsair)

It’s vital to choose the best RAM for your PC or laptop, as it’s what stores active data, apps, and tasks for easy access for the processor. When your computer slows down, it’s more than likely because you need more, better RAM.

Your RAM needs will vary based on what you tend to do on your computer. Everyone wants a lightning-fast computer, but some PCs and laptops will need the best RAM for gaming, meaning they’ll need RAM that can handle the unique challenges of PC gaming. If you want to make the switch to playing PC games or have a faster PC or laptop overall, you’ll want to upgrade your RAM.

Getting additional or better RAM is also more cost-effective than trying to update other parts of a PC or laptop. Make no mistake, it can still be an investment to upgrade to the best RAM, but it’s not nearly as expensive as having to upgrade your CPU or GPU. Better still, upgrading to the best RAM for gaming is still more cost-effective than replacing a whole gaming PC.

DDR5 is the most recent RAM to hit the market, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best. DDR4 is much more common to find and more compatible with most computers, while DDR5 is more expensive and might not work on all PCs or laptops. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what fits your RAM needs for the best RAM for your PC.

Whether you use your computer for work, gaming, video editing, or artistic endeavors, it needs to keep up with the speed at which you work. Our best RAM selection fits a variety of needs to make sure your PC runs as smoothly as possible while maintaining or upgrading memory capacity. Check out the RAM we’ve picked below, alongside our price comparison tool, to find the best RAM deals.

How much RAM do I need?

The minimum amount of RAM for PCs and laptops these days is 8GB, which will get you through general tasks, minimal graphic design and editing, and even casual PC gaming. However, if you do more intensive photo and video editing or want to play the latest releases, you’ll need the best RAM for gaming - at least a minimum of 16GB.

Increasing the amount of RAM in your PC or laptop will help keep your PC from lagging or experiencing slow performance issues. If you really want to increase the speed capacity of your computer, you might want to consider upgrading to 32GB. However, this is not a requirement because 16GB is more than capable of fulfilling your RAM needs for Windows 11 laptops and MacBooks Chromebooks, which use the lightweight Chrome OS operating system, can run on less RAM, so we’d recommend a minimum of 4GB for budget Chromebooks.

You also need to consider speed and performance when choosing the best RAM. As mentioned, DDR4 is the standard and runs at 1.2 V and 800MHz to 3,200MHz frequencies, meaning it delivers up to 50% more bandwidth and performance with a lower power consumption when compared to its predecessor, DDR3. Meanwhile, DDR5 offers even better performance, but it is more expensive due to how recent it is.

Corsair Vengeance LED at an angle against a white background

Corsair Vengeance LED is just as fast and responsive as it is aesthetic. (Image Credit: Corsair)

1. Corsair Vengeance LED

Best RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB)
Speed: 3200MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great overclocking performance
+
Vibrant LED

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
-
Need BIOS update to run at 3200MHz

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.

G.Skill Trident Z RGB showcasing their RGB lighting at an angle against a white background

It’s hard to argue with the G. Skill TridentZ RGB as the best RGB RAM. (Image Credit: G.Skill)

2. G.Skill Trident Z RGB

Best DDR4 RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16GB (2x8GB)
Speed: 3200MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent RGB lighting
+
Easy to overclock

Reasons to avoid

-
Feels a bit flimsy
-
Might be a bit too flashy for some

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.

Kingston HyperX Predator at an angle against a white background

Kingston HyperX Predator is particularly tuned for speed and extreme-performance. (Image Credit: Kingston)

3. Kingston HyperX Predator

Best DDR3 RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 8GB, 16GB
Speed: up to 4600MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Excellent overclocking potential

Reasons to avoid

-
RGB doesn't always work
-
Pricier than others

Kingston’s high-performance HyperX has some of the best DDR3 RAM on the market and the Predator models is particularly tuned for speed 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.

Two Kingston HyperX Fury RAM at an angle against a white background

Kingston HyperX Fury can have a huge impact on the performance of your rig. (Image Credit: Kingston)

4. Kingston HyperX Fury

Best budget RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
Speed: up to 3733MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable at lower speeds
+
Strong performance

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit slow
-
3733MHz speed is pricey

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. 

Two Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB at an angle against a white background

Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB is the best RAM around in 2019. (Image Credit: Corsair)

5. Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB

Best high-end RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB)
Speed: 3000MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Looks great

Reasons to avoid

-
Not compatible with Ryzen
-
Not high quality enough for the price

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 2020. 

HyperX Fury RGB 3733MHz from the front against a white background

With speeds of up to 3,733MHz and CL15–19 latencies, HyperX Fury RGB 3733MHz is simply fast. (Image credit: HyperX)

6. HyperX Fury RGB 3733MHz

Best high frequency RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 4GB to 32GB single modules, up to 128GB kit configurations
Speed: 3733MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great RGB
+
Fast

Reasons to avoid

-
Choppy RGB lighting
-
Gigabyte and MSI RGB support doesn't always work

The HyperX Fury RGB 3733MHz is not just pretty with its RGB design. With speeds from 2400MHz to 3,733MHz as well as CL15 to CL19 latencies, it’s just as fast as it is stunning, making it well-deserving of the best high frequency RAM accolade. What’s more is that it’s fitted with predefined Intel Extreme Memory Profiles for maximum performance as well as yperX’s patent-pending infrared sync technology. For an even more immersive gaming experience, you can daisy chain this RAM to sync with multiple other RGB devices. This is some of the best RAM to invest in right now.

G.Skill Trident Z RGB DC at an angle against a white background

If you need a lot of RAM without taking up too many DIMM slots, G.Skill Trident Z RGB DC is for you. (Image Credit: G.Skill)

7. G.Skill Trident Z RGB DC

Best double capacity memory

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 64GB (2x32GB)
Speed: 3200MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Twice the number of memory chips
+
Great build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Only compatible with select Z390 motherboards
-
RGB can be a hit or miss

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.

Adata Spectrix D80 at an angle against a white background

Adata Spectrix D80 is great for your all-out gaming rig. (Image Credit: Adata)

8. Adata Spectrix D80

Best gaming RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16GB (2x8GB), 32 (2x16GB)
Speed: up to 4,133MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great looks
+
Performs very well in four-DIMM configurations

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Mediocre two-DIMM performance

If you’re building an all-out gaming rig, you’ll want the flashiest hardware on offer – who doesn’t want a gaming rig that lights up the entire room? If this sounds appealing, the Adata Spectrix D80 is the RAM to go for. Not only is it available in frequencies up to 5,000MHz, but it’s also liquid cooled, meaning you don’t have to worry about it overheating. The Adata Spectrix D80 is going to be the best RAM for gaming in an RGB-lit cavern. 

Two G.Skill TridentZ Royal at an angle against a white background

The TridentZ Royal memory gets our vote as the best RGB RAM on the market. (Image credit: G.Skill )

9. G.Skill TridentZ Royal

Best RGB RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 32GB (4x8GB)
Speed: 3600MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great looking
+
Compatible with most boards

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit expensive
-
Not premium enough for the price

Finding RAM that fits in perfectly with your light up gaming rig is easy with G.Skill. In fact, its TridentZ Royal memory gets our vote as the best RGB RAM on the market right now, thanks to its unique crown jewel design. That means that it’s fitted with a crystalline light bar that basically scatters the eight customizable RGB colors for lighting that dazzles and sparkles. The RAM itself is polished with aluminum heatspreaders of gold or silver colors to keep the whole thing cool. Of course, it’s not all looks – the G.Skill TridentZ Royal also delivers great reliability and performance.

Two Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM from the front against a white background

Corsair Vengeance LPX is essential for PC builds with massive CPU coolers. (Image Credit: Corsair)

10. Corsair Vengeance LPX

Best low-profile RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB)
Speed: 3200MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Two cooling fans

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited overclockability
-
High percentage of defective units

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.  

G.Skill Mac RAM from the front against a white background

G.Skill Mac RAM has memory upgrades for Macs. (Image Credit: G.Skill)

11. G.Skill Mac RAM

Best Mac RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR3
Capacity: 4GB (2x2GB)
Speed: up to 1066MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable alternative
+
Best value

Reasons to avoid

-
May not be compatible with much older Macs
-
Slow for power users

 G.Skill isn’t just dedicated to laptop and desktop RAM, but it also has memory upgrades for Macs. You see, Apple charges inordinate amounts for RAM upgrades, so going with a third party kit can save a ton of money. Well, as long as your Mac is old enough to still have upgradeable RAM. These SO-DIMM kits have a CAS latency between 9 and 11 and feature speeds between 1,333MHz and 1,600MHz. The best bang for your buck seems to be the G.Skill DDR3-1,333 for Mac. 

Crucial Ballistix Sport from the front against a white background

Crucial Ballistix Sport boasts efficient battery life and delivers fast speeds for multi-tasking. (Image Credit: Crucial)

12. Crucial Ballistix Sport

Best laptop RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 32GB (2x16GB)
Speed: up to 3200 MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Low profile
+
Great value for gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't alway work with AMD Ryzen
-
Nothing extraordinary

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.

Silicon Power Zenith PowerX at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Silicon Power )

13. Silicon Power Zenith PowerX

Best mid-range RAM

Specifications

Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB)
Speed: 3200MHz

Reasons to buy

+
Low power consumption
+
Low profile for an RGB RAM

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks boring

If you want a low profile, low power consumption RAM with automatic overclocking prowess, Silicon’s Power Zenith PowerX is an excellent option. It boasts an aluminum build and a design that effectively manages and minimizes heat when working overtime. Considering its performance, that low profile for more compact setups is even more impressive. And, it’s just the ticket for modders and overclockers.

John (He/Him) is the US Computing Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 


Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.


You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn


Currently playing: EVE Online, Elden Ring.