The best RAM for 2022

More memory is rarely a bad thing. Although there’s a sweet spot when it comes to how much RAM you actually need, more memory will allow you to run demanding applications with ease, as well as make the desktop experience feel faster overall. The best RAM can give you all the extra capacity and speed you need and will spruce up your rig in the process.

Not all RAM kits are built equally, though. Differences in timings and speed can lead to better performance and stability, so it’s a good idea to choose a reputable kit instead of what’s cheapest. We have options for every build and purpose, from one of the fastest DDR5 kits on the market to a kit that won’t cost more than $50.

Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro LED 16GB 3,200MHz

Best value RAM in 2022

Why you should buy it: Corsair’s Vengeance RGB Pro is prettier than its LPX counterpart, but still has fantastic performance at a great price.

Who’s it for: Those who want a combination of style and substance from their memory.

What we thought of the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB 3,200MHz kit:

Corsair’s Vengeance RGB Pro LED memory kits are a perfect middle ground between its more visually impressive Platinum line and the more demure LPX range. Like those kits, this model offers fantastic performance, and there are a lot of options to pick from. For us, the 16GB (two times 8GB) 3,200MHz option is the sweet spot, delivering impressive bandwidth and reasonably tight timings for high-performance, low-latency memory that’s great for gaming and productivity tasks.

It’s priced competitively, but it’s still fast enough to suit most users, making it supremely cost-effective. You don’t need to break the bank to upgrade to these, but there are also plenty of options where you can spend more if our particular choice isn’t what you’re after. If you want greater bandwidth for gaming (AMD Ryzen CPUs can particularly benefit from faster memory), then the Vengeance RGB range goes all the way up to 3,600MHz. Each kit supports XMP 2.0 profiles for easy overclocking, but you can usually push them further manually if you know what you’re doing.

They all support Corsair’s iCUE software as well for detailed RGB control. The Corsair Vengeance Pro model updates the LEDs for smoother lighting, adds optimization for the latest motherboards, and — most notably — has a new aluminum heat spreader to help manage temperatures a little better inside your PC.

Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 5,600MHz

Best DDR5 RAM in 2022

Why you should buy it: It’s an insanely powerful RAM kit with next to no limitations in terms of performance.

Who’s it for: High-end users, gamers, and those who want the best they can get without massively overpaying.

What we thought of the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 5,600MHz:

DDR5 memory is still fairly new and hasn’t taken the market by storm just yet. The prices are high, the availability is spotty, and so far, it’s only supported by Intel Alder Lake processors. However, give it a couple of years and most of us will be looking at some of the best DDR5 kits, wishing to upgrade and get rid of the old DDR4 RAM. You could jump ahead of the curve and get yourself that intensely scaled-up performance now instead of waiting longer.

This iteration of the Corsair Dominator comes with 32GB of dual-channel memory, meaning two sticks of 16GB each. It hits 5,600MHz when overclocked through one of the easy-to-use XMP 3.0 profiles. Such a frequency puts it miles and miles above DDR4, granting you a whole new level of performance in gaming and in various multitasking operations. This kit also has really tight timings of 36-36-36-76, also achievable through XMP 3.0.

While this RAM may sound like gaming heaven (and it is), it’s not cheap. At all. However, it will outperform most of the other kits on this list, and certainly all of the DDR4 options. If you’re building a beastly computer, you might as well deck it out with some of the best RAM currently available — as long as your budget permits it.

Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB 2,666MHz

Best 32GB DDR4 RAM in 2022

Why you should buy it: If you need masses of memory that don’t scrimp on quality.

Who’s it for: Those who need power and capacity but don’t want to upgrade to DDR5 yet.

What we thought of the Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB 2,666MHz kit:

Corsair’s Vengeance LPX range is the most understated of its Vengeance line, and it shows in its more competitive pricing. Ditching the LEDs of its fancier siblings, the LPX range offers the same high-performance, high-capacity of other Corsair memory kits, and there is a wide range of options. You can buy direct kits up to 192GB for several thousand dollars, but for that, you’d need a monstrous CPU like Intel’s Xeon W-3175x.

Considering only a few people can afford such a system and even fewer have workloads that can leverage it, we opted for the Vengeance 32GB LPX kit at a reasonable speed of 2,666MHz. If you need more capacity, you can pick up a 64GB kit for a few dollars less than two 32GB kits.

Of course, these days, there is also the third option — switching to DDR5. New DDR5 memory offers higher speeds and larger capacity than this kit can provide. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find it priced as cheap as the Corsair Vengeance LPX. Treat this as your gateway to having lots and lots of RAM without needing to spend quite as much as you would on a better DDR5 kit.

G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB 3,200MHz

Best DDR4 RAM for gamers in 2022

Why you should buy it: It’s fast with decently tight timings and has an attractive, if understated, look at an excellent price.

Who’s it for: Gamers, or anyone who wants performance without the LED premium.

What we thought of the G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB 3,200MHz kit:

G.Skill makes some excellent memory products, and its TridentZ line covers the whole gamut, from the beautiful, jewel-encrusted Royal range to the more streamlined gaming series. If you don’t need RGB lighting and your PC has the space to take them, the modules in the 16GB 3,200MHz kit are some of the best out there. They’re fast with reasonably tight timings, and XMP 2.0 profiles support quick and easy overclocking on Intel and AMD systems. Aluminum heat spreaders round off a design that combines functionality and style.

If you want greater performance, the kits do get faster and the timings tighter if you shop around, but the G.Skill TridentZ RGB offers stupendous value for money and leaves extra budget for buying other important components, like a great graphics card. While the RGB LEDs look very good on this unit, you can choose a non-RGB version to lower the price a little.

Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 16GB 3,200MHz

Best RGB DDR4 RAM in 2022

Why you should buy it: These sticks use a unique lighting arrangement that helps them stand head and shoulders above other RGB modules.

Who’s it for: Those who want complete control over their PC lighting and a unique look to their memory.

What we thought of the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 16GB 3,200MHz kit:

There are RGB LED RAM kits and then there is this RGB LED RAM kit. Corsair’s Dominator Platinum RGB range is one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen, with unique lighting effects made possible by the combination of new LED technology and Corsair’s in-depth iCUE software package.

The Dominator Platinum modules use a new “Capellix” LED packaging system that allows for denser packing of LEDs together. This leads to brighter lighting without increasing power draw, which in turn allows for higher speed memory.

We’ve opted for a midrange 3,200MHz kit and 16GB, which is priced competitively while delivering great performance and that gorgeous LED lighting. You could also consider G.Skill’s TridentZ Royal line if you like the crystalline look, but we’re partial to Corsair’s brand of RGB lighting.

Patriot Viper Elite 8GB 3,200MHz

Best cheap RAM in 2022

Why you should buy it: This Viper Elite RAM gives you entry-level DDR4 performance in a very affordable kit. The single stick leaves room for a cheap upgrade to 16GB in the future.

Who’s it for: Anyone on a tight budget.

What we thought of the Patriot Viper Elite 8GB 3,200MHz kit: 

In our opinion, 16GB is the best size for a RAM stick. But 8GB is plenty for some people, especially if they’re looking for a lower-priced option. The Viper Elite stick will improve your RAM considerably, and it’s also affordable. For the ultra-low price tag, it comes with plenty of speed, rated at 3,200MHz. It’s even worth considering buying a second stick if you need more storage later.

You can get the most out of your Viper Elite stick by adjusting your RAM. Its base frequency is just 2,133MHz, so you’ll need to overclock it to hit the 3,200MHz that is promised.

The Patriot Viper Elite is streamlined and attractive. It features a smooth black PCB and silver heat spreader that will pair well with a transparent case.

G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB 6,000MHz

Best high-end DDR5 RAM in 2022

Why you should buy it: It’s one of the best RAM kits on the market right now.

Who’s it for: Enthusiasts more interested in performance than budgeting.

What we thought of the G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB 6,000MHz:

This is it — the pinnacle of RAM in 2022, or at least close to it. Anything above this and you’re entering “so expensive that it’s not even worth it” territory. This G.Skill RAM isn’t cheap, sure, but it’s worth its weight in gold where performance is concerned. If you have the need (or the wish) to have the best PC money can get you, this is a good memory kit to pick up.

You’re getting 32GB of ultra-fast DDR5 memory. Keep in mind, DDR5 means that you’ll need to pair this with a 12th-generation Intel CPU. However, if you’re an AMD enthusiast, wait it out a little longer for Zen 4 later this year, and you’ll be able to use DDR5 with your favorite processor. Until then, Intel users will certainly enjoy the near-insane frequency of 6,000MHz paired with ultra-tight timings of 36-36-36-96 at 1.35V.

Not every user is going to need the kind of power this RAM kit provides, but if you consider yourself to be a full-on enthusiast, go ahead and pick this one up. It’ll certainly future-proof your computer for the years to come.

Patriot Signature 8GB DDR3 1,600MHz

Best budget DDR3 RAM

Why you should buy it: If you’re on a very tight budget and you don’t need a powerful computer.

Who’s it for: Non-demanding users who do not need to do anything taxing on their PC.

What we thought of the Patriot Signature 8GB DDR3 1,600MHz:

Not all of us need to buy the best gaming PC that money can get. If all you need is some memory to make your computer run at all, you can settle for the outdated DDR3 RAM. It will still do the job in light office work, browsing the web, and other similar use cases.

This DDR3 RAM kit by Patriot comes with 8GB of dual-channel memory, meaning you can buy a second one if you should want to upgrade it one day. It only offers a frequency of 1,600MHz, highlighting that it has, indeed, fallen behind the current tech. Yes, it’s not the fastest, but it’s extremely cheap and it will help you put together a PC even if you’re on a tight budget.

Keep in mind that only older motherboards will support DD3 RAM these days, so make sure you check whether yours does before you buy this modest kit.

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