Best DDR4 RAM for gaming in 2022

Best DDR4 RAM for gaming in 2022

The best DDR4 RAM for gaming keeps your rig running fast. With low latency RAM, you can perform a ton of tasks on your PC without having to wait all day. It’s an incredibly affordable addition to your gaming PC and it’s easily felt if you haven’t upgraded in a while. With a little research, you can make sure the best RAM will work with your PC and you’ll be set.

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Most gamers will want either a 16GB or 32GB RAM kit inside their rig. Nowadays, you can get 16GB for relatively cheap, and it’s a good investment over 8GB of the stuff. If you wanted to save some cash, you could now make do with 8GB and upgrade down the line. 32GB and above is considered overkill because most games don’t have that high memory capacity. Unless you’re big on productivity tasks or just simply futureproofing, 16GB is the sweet spot. 

You want to look for DDR4 RAM that runs around 3,200MHz for Intel chips and 3,600MHz for AMD’s latest offerings. This should give your CPU enough bandwidth cushion to handle gaming and work-related tasks. Consider a newer Intel processor and the best DDR5 RAM (opens in new tab) if you want high speeds over anything else.

The good news is that there are plenty of affordable low-latency RAM kits out there right now, which is excellent for AMD Ryzen gaming PCs (opens in new tab). Want to optimize your PC and get the most out of your RAM? Our handy RAM speed for gaming deep-dive (opens in new tab) should be the first thing you read. We’ve tested a bunch of DDR4 RAM kits and picked out the best ones for gaming at various price points.

Best DDR4 RAM for gaming

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1. TEAM XTREEM ARGB 16GB DDR4-3600MHz C14

The best RAM for gaming

Specifications

Speed: 3600MHzTiming: 14-15-15-35CAS latency: 14Voltage: 1.35 VDIMMs: 2x 8GB

Reasons to buy

+Great for AMD Ryzen+Subtle RGB+Great price

Reasons to avoid

-Expected a little more from overclocking performance

The Team Xtreem ARGB RAM kit we’re got here for review isn’t your standard DDR4 RAM, it’s one of the very few 3,600MHz kits that come with a CAS latency of just 14. That puts it at the forefront of low-latency RAM favored by gaming PCs, especially AMD Ryzen rigs. As such, it takes the top spot as our pick for the best RAM for gaming.

Not all that long ago, a kit as well-rounded on both price and performance would’ve been a distant dream. However, a recent DRAM price crash and an increasing process maturity in DDR4 production mean kits such as this can often be had for around $100.

DDR4 memory really is maturing nicely. Just a couple of years ago, a decent DDR4-3200 kit was regarded as high-end, but as time ticks on, 3,200MHz is now the baseline for a decent gaming system. You could even argue that 3,600MHz is the current baseline for Ryzen 5000 and Intel 12th Gen systems, for decent performance without any significant price premium, with 4,000MHz and above the new sweet spot. 

That’s great news for anyone eyeing up AMD’s Ryzen CPUs, which favor a memory clock around the 3,600MHz mark—thus ensuring the Infinity Fabric clock is kept at a 1:1 ratio with your memory and your chip ticking over happily with minimal latency penalties. A kit such as the Team Xtreem is pretty much optimal.

So, how does it perform? As is always the case with high-performance memory, the benefits are application-specific. When compared to a common DDR4-3200 kit you do get the odd bump, though any benefit is hidden when you move to higher resolutions and graphical details. You will see the benefits if you want to extract every last frame with a high refresh rate monitor.

High-performance memory is really only desirable when paired with a similarly high spec system. That’s not to say a kit like this is a waste of money. If you’re going to drop $1000+ on a graphics card, why not splash an extra $50 or so on some quality RAM to minimize any potential bottlenecks? We think it’s a no-brainer, especially as this kit isn’t that expensive. 

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Each DIMM features diffused RGB lighting that creates a glow-in-the-dark effect. And while that doesn’t sound great on paper, it’s surprisingly smart in the flesh. Each DIMM has a covering that diffuses the lighting across most of the module and the result is a subtle and understated look. Team doesn’t have its own RGB control app, but the kit can be controlled simply using various motherboard manufacturers’ software suites. 

If you want to eke out all your CPU has to offer and ensure your system looks fresh in the process, the Team Xtreem ARGB kit is a great option. Its DDR4-3600 speed and 14-15-15 timings offer a great blend of decent speed and low latency, without the steep price often associated with top-tier memory kits. Throw in the modules’ appealing visual design and Team has a winner of a kit that deserves your consideration, particularly for AMD users.

Read our full Team Xtreem ARGB DDR4-3600 C14 gaming memory review (opens in new tab).

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(Image credit: Corsair)

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2. Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB DDR4-3200MHz

The best high-end RAM for gaming

Specifications

Speed: 3200MHzTiming: 16-18-18-36CAS Latency: 16Voltage: 1.35 VDIMMs: 2x 16GB

Reasons to buy

+Ultra-bright Capellix RGB LEDs+Dominator DHX heat-spreaders+Advanced iCUE software

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Reasons to avoid

-Module height may cause clearance issues

Corsair’s Dominator Platinum has been one of the best gaming RAM kits for quite some time now. Its sleek exterior, patented DHX cooling technology, and unrivaled performance has made it a formidable flagship over the years. First teased at CES, Corsair is now introducing the new Dominator Platinum RGB with the same best-in-class performance and RGB lighting using the company’s new Capellix LEDs.

The Dominator Platinum RGB takes the same best-in-class performance as the original, adds higher-clocked SKUs, and 12 individually addressable Capellix RGB LEDs. The new LEDs are brighter and more efficient than previous iterations and are only available from Corsair. Combined with Corsair’s iCUE software, the Dominator Platinum RGB has become the best RGB option out there and also the best high-end performance kit. 

At a quick glance, the new design may look similar to Corsair’s black Vengeance RGB series, but there are major differences in the lighting. The original Vengeance RGB features non-addressable LEDs, meaning the entire light bar could only be one color at a time. The newer Vengeance RGB Pro, on the other hand, features 10 individually addressable LEDs.

Like the rest of the RGB lineup, the Dominator Platinum RGB is controlled via Corsair’s iCUE software suite. If you have any other Corsair RGB products, you’ll be able to import and synchronize your lighting profiles across all devices. We had some issues mirroring our custom keyboard lighting profiles, but the 11 different predefined lighting link settings worked perfectly.

From a performance standpoint, the Dominator Platinum RGB lives up to its name. Each kit goes through a very tight screening process with hand-sorted memory chips to ensure maximum stability out of the box and generous overclocking headroom. This is a process Corsair has excelled at over the years, particularly with the Dominator series. The Dominator Platinum RGB is no exception. 

We received an 8x8GB test kit from Corsair for our quad-channel X299 bench and ran various tests using AIDA64, MaxxMEM, and games such as Metro Exodus and Apex Legends. Using the stock XMP settings at 3,600MHz, our kit performed right in line with the original Dominator Platinum and G.Skill’s TridentZ. In general, there was only a small margin of difference in performance up to 5 percent between competing kits, but overclocking was much more successful with the Dominator Platinum RGB.

We were able to achieve a stable 4,000MHz with ease while manually overclocking the kit. With a bit more tweaking and minor bumps in voltage, we saw upwards of 4,200MHz, something most competing kits have struggled with. This isn’t too surprising, considering Corsair’s plans to sell XMP-ready kits up to 4,800MHz. Even with higher voltages and under heavy load, the Dominator Platinum RGB never broke 60 degrees celsius.

The price doesn’t differ too much from the original non-RGB Dominator Platinum, but you’re still paying a hefty premium over some of the other kits mentioned in this guide. We still think it’s well worth every penny if you can afford it, whichever capacity kit you go for.

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Read our full Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB review (opens in new tab).

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(Image credit: G.Skill)

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(Image credit: G.Skill)

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3. G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB DDR4-3600MHz

The best RAM for gaming with an AMD motherboard

Specifications

Speed: 3600MHzTiming: 18-22-22-42CAS Latency: 18Voltage: 1.35 VDIMMs: 2x 16GB

Reasons to buy

+High speed and high capacity RGB kit+Optimized for AMD Ryzen builds

Reasons to avoid

-Modest clock speeds and timings

G.Skill’s Trident Z RGB RAM has been a mainstay of memory guide for years now, and it’s no surprise the company’s Trident Z Neo series has also earned a spot here. Like the original Trident Z RGB series, the Trident Z Neo comes equipped with brilliant RGB lighting done in a very tasteful manner. Each module has five individually addressable RGB LEDs that can light up any PC build beautifully. 

But the real sell for this memory kit is how it’s optimized for AMD Ryzen.

This set of Neo RAM from G.Skill runs at 3,600MHz, which puts it in the sweet spot for red team gaming PCs for low latency operation. As a result, this is definitely a more budget-friendly option for mid-range builds with some flair, especially if you can’t afford to stretch to the Corsair Dominator kits. 

Similar to the overall performance of your Ryzen PC build, the Trident Z Neo offers a fantastic bang for your buck. You can get a 32GB kit for under $150, which means you can also easily upgrade your machine to an (admittedly unnecessary) 64GB of high-speed DDR4 memory down the road. If you’re using your PC for more than gaming then perhaps that large pool of memory will come in handy, just don’t expect much out of it for gaming alone.

The Trident Z Neo comes in various speeds and configurations ranging from 2,600MHz all the way up to 4,000MHz. We recommend the 3,600MHz kit but you may find faster ones going for only a little more money.

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