Choosing The Best DDR4 Gaming RAM in 2018

Updated July 23rd, 2018 by Headshot Jacob Tuwiner

Congragulations! You’ve decided to build your own custom gaming PC.

Now you have to choose the best components for your build (within your budget, of course).

If you’re building a gaming computer on a budget, I have good news:

RAM prices are starting to come down in price once again – this means you can get at least 8GB of DDR4 RAM for a good deal!

Keep reading to learn more about the best DDR4 gaming RAM in 2018!

Best Gaming RAM

RAM Image Speed Buy
G.Skill Ripjaws V G Skill Ripjaws V 2x4GB RAM 2400MHz Best Price on Amazon
Corsair Dominator Platinum Corsair Dominator Platinum 3200MHz Best Price on Amazon
G.Skill TridentZ RGB g skill tridentz rgb 3200MHz Best Price on Amazon

What is RAM?

RAM is short for Random Access Memory, and happens to be one of the most important parts of a gaming PC.

If your RAM is too slow or you do not have enough, you’ll have a miserable experience.

RAM is a lightning fast form of computer memory which stores all of the information your PC needs, either right now or in the near future.

Your computer’s processor has a small cache of information which is where its most important information is stored. The information in a CPU’s cache is being used now.

The information that is slightly less important – but still important – is stored in your computer’s RAM.

All of the other information is stored in either an SSD or HDD, which are both slower than RAM.

RAM is like your short-term memory, whereas a mass storage drive is like long-term memory.

You can read more about RAM here.

RAM’s Impact on Gaming Performance

If you’re building a gaming PC in 2018, you’ll want at least 8GB of RAM. DDR3 is fine, but DDR4 is optimal, especially if you want to future proof your build.

As far as RAM speed goes, you can definitely get away with 2400MHz RAM, unless you’re building a $1,000+ gaming PC. In that case, you may want to bump up the frequency.

Most games will run well on 8GB of RAM, but having 16GB is ideal in 2018. More games are starting to recommend 12GB-16GB of RAM for the best performance. Additionally, some programs require a lot of RAM, such as Google Chrome.

RAM in motherboard

My computer only has 8GB of RAM – I have no issues gaming, but I usually decided to close Google Chrome before launching a game in order to achieve the best possible framerate.

The amount and speed of your RAM has a more significant impact on your PC’s performance if you have a Ryzen CPU. AMD’s Ryzen CPUs’ performance is heavily affected by RAM speed.

With that being said, I’d recommend at least 8GB of DDR4 2666MHz for a Ryzen CPU.

Moral of the story, if you’re building a budget gaming PC in 2018, buy at least 8GB of DDR4 memory.

G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 2400MHz RAM

G Skill Ripjaws V 2x4GB RAM

If you’re looking for a great mid-range RAM kit, G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 2400MHz RAM is your best bet. It’s fast, reliable – and best of all – it’s cheap.

Ripjaws V Series Kit are 288-pin RAM sticks that can be run in a dual-channel configuration for even faster speeds. You can purchase this RAM in five different colors, including Radiant Silver, Blazing Red, Gunmetal Gray, Steel Blue, and Classic Black.

The neweset generation of RAM from G.Skill is both faster and more affordable. It’s the perfect choice for budget builders, from a $400 budget to an $800 budget.

G.Skill is one of the best RAM manufacturers in the industry, especially when it comes to gaming. Their RAM often outperforms the competition at a lower price. The Ripjaws V series is no exception. The RAM overclocks well, too.

If you’re on a tight budget, 8GB of RAM will suffice.

On the other hand, if you have a bit of extra cash on hand, I’d recommend going for a 16GB kit. Although 8GB of RAM will get the job done, 16GB is ideal.

Many new games are starting to recommend 12GB to 16GB of RAM, not to mention the extra RAM also helps with multitasking.

For example, Google Chrome consumes a whole lot of RAM. I only have 8GB in my build, and I usually have to close my tabs on Google Chrome before launching a game in order to achieve optimal performance.

Corsair Dominator Platinum

Corsair Dominator Platinum

Corsair is often at the top of list for most people, as they consistently and reliably produce amazing products. Their Dominator Platinum series has remained largely popular, due to the incredibly performance of this RAM kit.

The Dominator Series features Corsair’s DHX cooling technology, which allows for stable temperatures when overclocked at high frequencies.

Overclocking is effortless with Intel’s Z270 motherboards. Simply change the frequency divider in the BIOS.

Although the kit is on the expensive side, the Corsair Dominator series is probably the best RAM on the market. If you’re interested in overclocking, or you want the best possible performance out of your new gaming rig, this is the RAM for you.

The RAM provides superb cooling, thanks to their heavy heatsink.

According to Think Computers:

When it comes to performance this kit is great! As a reminder this is the CMD16GX4M2B3200C16 kit which is a 16 GB (2x 8GB) kit that runs at 3200 MHz with timings of 16-18-18-36 at 1.35V. It performed great in all of our tests and currently sits as the best performing DDR4 memory kit we’ve tested to date! On top of that we were able to bring to kit up from its default speed of 3200 MHz all the way up to 3466 MHz without having to adjust timings or voltage! When it comes to DDR4 that is very impressive!

If you buy Corsair’s Dominator series RAM, you will not be disappointed.

G.Skill TridentZ RGB

g skill tridentz rgb

If you’re a fan of RGB lighting, this is the RAM kit for you. It defintely adds personality to your gaming PC, as long as your case has a side panel window.

G.Skill announced TridentZ RGB memory in December. Now, it is available in nearly every capacity, speed, and latency one could ask for.

The RAM utilizes RGB diodes that emit bright and playful color.

Of course, looks aren’t everything – this RAM passed all of my tests with flying colors. It’s clocked at 3200MHz, which is great for gaming. It also has good overclocking potential, thanks to its effective heatsink.

Be ready to pay extra for the fancy RGB lighting. Personally, I’d prefer standard RAM without flashy lights. It’ll get the job done just the same (if not better), and you’ll save some money. On the other hand, if you want to spice up your build with cool colors, this is the RAM for you.

How to Install RAM

In this video, you’ll learn how to install DDR3 memory. DDR4 memory installation works the same way!

Conclusion

RAM plays a crucial role in any computer, phone, or tablet. If you’re building a computer with gaming in mind, buy at least 8GB.

If you’re building an extreme budget $300 gaming PC (more on that here), you can get away with DDR3. however, you’re better off going with DDR4. First of all, the price isn’t much higher. Secondly, a lot of newer CPUs from both Intel and AMD are only compatible with DDR4 RAM.