Even the best PCs will eventually experience some kind of slow down over time, especially as operating systems like Windows 10 and macOS Mojave become more and more demanding. If your computer is starting to drag its feet and show its age, you might want to go out and pick up the best RAM to give your PC a healthy speed boost.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you go out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, looking for the best RAM, is just how many different types of computer memory is actually out there. Anyone that isn’t extremely well versed in PC hardware is going to have a difficult time finding the best RAM for them. Which is kind of why we created this list of the best RAM in 2018.
Every memory kit on this list has been handpicked by the TechRadar editorial staff, so you can be confident that you’re getting the best RAM – no matter what you need. So, whether you’re looking for a quick and easy upgrade that’ll let you open more Chrome tabs, or even if you’re a gamer looking for the fastest RAM money can buy, you’ll find the best RAM right here on this list.
Best RAM: Corsair Vengeance LED
Some of the best overall RAM on the market comes from Corsair. Their Vengeance series has something for everyone with its LED DDR4 offerings topping our list. On top of giving PC builders that extra touch of vibrancy lighting brings, the Corsair Vengeance LED series’ built-in heat spreaders maximize cooling for higher overclocking and maximum performance. Corsair’s Vengeance LED DDR4 series offers CL16 latency and 3,466 MHz speeds and color coordinated computing.
Best DDR4 RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB
G.Skill and its Trident Z RGB series are known for their great performance and sick lighting. The top of every memory stick 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 comes with CAS latencies between 14 and 19 and speeds between 2,400MHz and 4,266MHz. No matter you style, the best RGB Ram is certainly the G.Skill Trident Z RGB.
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
Corsair Dominator Platinum is the RAM you need to look at if you need to perform a lot of high intensity tasks. The chrome heat spreaders not only allow for premium performance, but they also allow for maximum bling. Yeah, the massive heatsinks and fans may seem ridiculous, but if you’re running your RAM at 4,000MHz, things can get pretty heated, and fast. On the low end, Corsair also offers a low-latency C14 version of the Dominator Platinum operating at 2,400MHz.
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.