Now that AMD has released its new AMD Ryzen 7000-series processors, along with its new AM5 platform for motherboard manufacturers, both AMD and Intel now support the latest DDR5 RAM, so we're seeing a lot more DDR5 RAM kits hit the shelves, offering faster access speeds but at generally higher prices.
John Loeffler, Computing Editor
The best RAM efficiently stores active data, apps, and tasks for easy access for the processor. It's vital to choose a top-quality RAM to keep your PC in speedy health, and if you've noticed your computer slow downs, it's more than likely you need to upgrade to a better and faster RAM.
Of course, your RAM needs might not be the same as everyone else, as it's based on your daily computer usage and demands. So, while it might seem like you should get the speediest and biggest capacity RAM available, doing so will cost you a lot, which isn't going to be the best value if all you do is tackle productivity tasks, stream movies, and jump on video calls.
On the other hand, some PCs and laptops will need the best RAM for gaming, meaning gamers will need RAM that can handle the unique challenges of PC gaming. If you want to make the switch to playing the best PC games or have a faster PC and 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, along with the best RAM deals we've found.
The best RAM 2023
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.
This is still DDR4 RAM though, so it's not as fast as the new DDR5 RAM modules that we're starting to see, but if you're on an older platform, this is definitely the best option for most people. We're in the process of retesting all of the RAM we have this month now that we have more DDR5 RAM to compare to, but we're confident that this RAM kit will stick around for a while yet.
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.
With better availability of new DDR5 RAM kits, we're in the process of retesting all of the RAM we have to better compare this kit to what's available to customers, but this RAM is likely to be with us for a good while longer.
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, 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 one of the best RAM kits. Unfortunately, this RAM will only work with Intel chips and isn't compatible with AMD Ryzen processors.
How well this will hold up against the new stock of DDR5 RAM currently making it to market remains to be seen, but we're retesting all of the RAM we have to compare it against the latest DDR5 kits, so we'll know soon enough.
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 HyperX’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.
With a high max frequency, we expect this RAM to survive our current RAM retesting now that we have a bunch of DDR5 kits to go through, but it will still be one of the best DDR4 RAM kits you can get right now.
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.
How well will it measure up against the new DDR5 RAM kits we're currently testing? We shall see, but with 32GB per stick, it might not really even matter.
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.
At the moment, there isn't any liquid-cooled DDR5 RAM on the market, but we're retesting this kit anyway against the best DDR5 RAM kits we have to see how it measures up, but something tells us the Adata Spectrix D80 will do just fine.
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.
We're retesting this kit as we speak to see how it measures up to the best DDR5 RAM currently hitting the market, so we'll see how it all shakes out in the end, but for low profile systems, you can't go wrong with this one.
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.
We're currently retesting this kit against the best DDR5 RAM we have to see how it stacks up, but for sheer looks it will remain forever in our hearts, no matter what.
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, you can get it in three colors: black, red or blue.
We're in the process of retesting this kit against the best DDR5 RAM has to offer, so we'll see if this slimmer kit can keep up with the more high-performance modules, but if space is tight in your build, there are few better than the Vengeance LPX.
How to choose the best RAM for you
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.