With the CORSAIR LINK software, you can monitor the RAM temperature, timing, frequency, and also program backlighting effects with just a couple clicks.
It is a big unit.
If you are a lucky owner of a top-grade PC and wish to have an equally top-grade performance boost in both standard and overlock modes, this 32GB kit is your best shot.
32GB Kit (2 x 16GB)
RGB lighting, Asus Aura Sync Ready, XMP 2.0 supporting, Anodized Aluminum heat spreader
The patented TridentZ heat spreader effectively dissipates the heat, resulting in cool temperatures without extreme spikes even when the load is intense.
RGB Control Software could use some more work on it.
Besides powerful tech specs like the 3200MHz speed that will please the most demanding customers, this G.Skill DDR4 memory also has a stylish design and nice backlighting.
16GB kit (2 x 8GB)
RGB lighting, Asus Aura Sync Ready, XMP 2.0 supporting, TridentZ™ heat spreader
The low-profile 1.22" plate takes minimum space which is a crucial parameter in some newer smaller computer cases.
Needs adjustment to reach the advertised 3000MHz speed.
Having undergone a variety of tests and cleared them all with flying colors, the Vengeance LPX is a great choice to build a powerful gaming system or workstation.
16GB kit (2 x 8GB)
XMP 2.0 supporting, Anodized Aluminum heat spreader
The choice of many not too tech-savvy beginners thanks to its XMP 2.0 compatibility and the automatic overclocking without any additional BIOS tweaking.
Basic speed is average.
The unit consists of two 4GB plates and will suit nicely for those upgrading their PCs with 2 modules of similar specs. The price is pleasing enough to be considered a major "pro" to buying this item.
8GB kit (2 x 4GB)
XMP 2.0 supporting, Aluminum heat spreader
These DDR4 memory modules have been tested by their manufacturer to work properly with the majority of current platforms, therefore, no problem should appear during installation or operation whatever your motherboard is.
Overclocking potential is rather low.
Attention to detail and the high quality of design have made this Ballistix Sport LT a good option for a variety of tasks, the model is actively used by gamers, streamers, and miners alike thanks to its long life and faultless operation.
16GB kit (2 x 8GB)
XMP 2.0 supporting, Aluminum heat spreader
Corsair VENGEANCE RGB
Wireless RGB Control
The most prominent feature in the Vengeance RGB series DDR4 RAM is not even its performance, though that also leaves very little to be desired, honestly. But what is quite interesting for many users, especially those looking for RAM upgrade for gaming, is the stunning looks and control over the LEDs used. It is true that LED-lighted RAM modules are not all that rare and to battle them, Corsair had to go some length. Which they did. Their patent is still pending, according to their official website, but the results are right here: the Vengeance RGB series needs no additional wires to control the lighting effects. Everything is done via the Corsair LINK, a proprietary technology that will allow you to program the colors and animations for your RGB RAM DDR4 memory as well as monitor its temperature, frequency, timings. It can also coordinate the RAM with other Corsair parts if you happen to have any.
Speaking of temperature monitoring, there is little need in it, most of the time: thanks to the anodized aluminum heat spreaders, the modules can work under quite a strain without overheating too much, so there is one less issue for you to constantly worry about and keep checking. Also, they look super cool.
For Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4 RAM, you have a plethora of options when it comes to capacity, design, and the kit itself; there are 2-stick kits, and 4-stick kits, and even 8- and 12-stick ones. Black and white ones. With a variety of frequencies available. An utterly customizable choice for just about any computer upgrade.
The 3000MHz C15 kit of 2 sticks, 16GB each (making it a 32GB kit), which we are reviewing right now, is able to handle some hardcore gaming even without overclocking. And the overclocking is possible and easy to do since the sticks are optimized for both AMD and Intel motherboards and are ready for overclocking right off the bat. With XMP 2.0 support, it is possible to overclock automatically without fear of overheating, and with the custom PCBs for each module, the process is exceptionally stable.
Corsair is a well-known brand and their products are famous for quality but this kit is not cheap by any means. It is gamer-oriented, though, mainly, and most of the price is for the stunning wire-free RGB color operation so if you have no taste for that there are options at more modest prices. If you do have the taste, though, and can give away some money on the Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4 memory, it does offer the stellar performance worthy of this sacrifice.
G.Skill TridentZ RGB
If Looking for Flashy RAM, Look No More
Here's to another RGB-lighted RAM. They are exceptionally popular today among hardcore gamers willing to pay extra for a flashy looking PC and, consequently, among manufacturers who want to get those gamers to be their clients. Well, this DDR4 memory does look up to par and even a bit over it.
The TridentZ is actually the name of the proprietary heat spreader design. These heat spreaders were created for better heat dissipation without sacrificing the cool looks: they have a very thin aluminum finish and neat fins that will feel at home in the most futuristic-looking PC. The G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4 RAM has exposed RGB LEDs on it, and they are of a quality unrivaled by absolute most of the competitors.
The LED bar colors are gradient-like, they flow from one to another smoothly and look absolutely stunning. The LEDs colors are bright and beautiful, set to a diffused rainbow pattern by default, and you can control them in two ways: (1) if you have an ASUS motherboard, these RAM modules are fully compatible with the ASUS Aura Sync; or, (2) if yours is a different motherboard, the G.Skill has their own software to handle the LEDs.
Do keep in mind, though, that the heatsink is 44mm high and can be in conflict with the CPU cooler so check this out beforehand. Other than that, this model is a hit of sales among RGB lovers thanks to its exclusive design and top-shelf performance.
Best System Memory Series of 2017
As for the actual RAM performance, this one is once again one of the best offers you can get. It provides 3200 MHz RAM speed, which is not yet the highest possible for a DDR4 but fairly close to it, certainly higher than any DDR3 kit and one of the fastest DDR4 RAM kits on our list. It is also the average maximum even a highly demanding user can actually need.
The capacity here is a bit more average, the kit comes with 16GB of RAM space divided into two sticks, 8GB each. For most games today, it is quite enough but you can get two kits if you need 32GB RAM of the DDR4 standard—the more the merrier, right? You'll have even better-looking set this way.
G.Skill takes pride in the quality of their products are they test those products vigorously on a variety of motherboards; you can always be certain that your DDR4 RAM is durable and reliable enough to go overclocking—the stick will handle this with ease thanks to the XMP 2.0 support.
For the most skeptic customers, G.Skill can boast a number of awards for this system, including an award from the European Hardware Association for the best system memory series in 2017.
Corsair VENGEANCE LPX
There are no bells and whistles on this DDR4 memory kit. No RGB lights, no unusual techs to boast. Instead, everything the RAM needs is high-quality, reliable, durable, and fast. That's where the manufacturer's money went and that's exactly what you are paying for.
The Corsair Vengeance LPX modules are among the smallest on the market, partially for the very reason that there are no RGB on them. The good thing about smaller DIMMs is that they allow more space for coolers, which is, for some users, is more important than looks. If you are one of these users, check out this model for this, if not anything else. Though there are more, of course, it wouldn't be on this list if the size was its only benefit.
The Vengeance LPX is one of the fastest DDR4 RAM models as well as one of the smallest, it is offered in a range of RAM speeds, from the minimum of 2166 MHz and all the way up to 3600 MHz. For the price, it is an exceptionally nice speed. We are reviewing the 3000 MHz option with the 16GB capacity here and it is a great module. With the same speed and latency as almost twice as expensive Corsair Vengeance RGB, we'd say it is a top bargain. Basically, the difference between them is minimal—RGB lighting and its supportive systems, and capacity. The latter can be chosen for both, too.
Tried and True
The Corsair Vengeance LPX is not the newest DDR4 memory on the market in general, nor is it in the company's list. It's been one of the first DDR4 models when they were issued to the general public. However, thinking it as outdated will be ultimately wrong. As far as innovations go, the LEDs are the only thing that's lacking in these sticks compared to the newer ones. At the same time, there is a big benefit in being designed earlier: this RAM has been tried and tested time after time on different platforms, Intel and AMD, and has proven to be one of the most reliable ones existing.
Thanks to the aluminum anodized heat spreader and the support for the XMP 2.0, the Vengeance LPX is capable of smooth and faultless overclocking so the 3000 MHz it offers will not be your ultimate top. The only complaint we've found is that tweaking the system needs some adjustment if you intend to use it to its utmost potential, which you probably do seeing that you are ready to pay for the fastest DDR4 RAM, this or any other. However, the adjustment is necessary for most systems and we believe that the facts this RAM is instantly validated by almost any PC and offers the speeds it does easily trump the possible inconvenience in needing to tweak it.
Kingston HyperX FURY
Budget Solution from Renowned Manufacturer
We are reviewing here a small 8GB DDR4 RAM kit as the tight-budget option but note that you can also purchase this model with the capacity of up to 64GB, though its price bites a bit.
Kingston products are known to be high-quality ones and this HyperX FURY is one more example of that. It is fairly small so if you're a fan of Kingston but had problems fitting their previous HyperX PREDATOR into the slot without hindering the cooling system, this RAM will be more up your alley. The heat spreader is anodized aluminum, the most used material for this kind of things. This and the XMP 2.0 support will ensure that the RAM does not overheat during the usual operation as well as during overclocking if you happen to wish to perform it.
Speaking of overclocking, there is a peculiar thing about the Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB RAM DDR4 that is not present in many other hi-end models. We are talking about automatic overclocking. That's right, with this kit, you have the choice to forego the precise BIOS adjustment and simply choose the XMP profile there and the RAM will do everything for you. Of course, this will not be as pinpoint as manual tweaking but if you are a beginner and this one is your first DDR4, an automatic option is a stress-relieving solution. If you are an experienced user, you can still make all the adjustments yourself, of course.
Cool Little Addition
Without overclocking, this DDR4 RAM offers 2400 MHz speed, slightly better than the basic RAM speed for a DDR4 standard. It is not slow by any means and it does get significantly faster with overclocking, some testers claim it to reach 3000 MHz without so much as a hiccup. A 3000 MHz DDR4 kit costs approximately two times as much as this one, three if it has RGB LEDs.
While the basic speed leaves something to be desired, the timings of this kit are quite nice, all things considered. At 15-15-15-35, it is just a couple of nanoseconds faster than the Corsair Vengeance family kits that work at 15-17-17-35. Granted, the two latter numbers are less important than the first (CAS latency) but still.
Finally, there is another major benefit to this DDR4 memory, and that is its power consumption. While all DDR4 models require less power than the DDR3 ones, they still differ among themselves. This kit operates at 1.2V which is slightly lower than the average for the class. It is not much but it does make the kit more stable and thus pushes it into our "most reliable" DDR4 RAM category.
Ballistix Sport LT
If you are looking for a budget option to upgrade your computer with a DDR4 RAM but an 8GB kit is not enough for you, here is your best bet.
The Ballistix Sport LT kit is a 16GB one, though, as with most models, there is a wide range to select from. It does not have RGB or any other LEDs but it still does look quite fancy thanks to the military-like pattern it sports over its heat spreaders as a finish and the cutouts at the top. The DIMMs of this model look aggressively attractive, just what you need for gaming. You can choose the kit in one of three colors to go with your computer's exterior and interior; the provided color solutions are red, gray, and white.
This DDR4 RAM 16GB kit has an average 2400 MHz of RAM speed and its overclocking ability is nothing to write home about—somewhere around 2666 MHz— but it is fairly decent for a DDR4 memory, sort of a middle terrain of the class's ability. The timings are not half bad, a bit slower than average but you will hardly notice the nanosecond difference as you work or play.
To counter the low-ish speed, the Ballistix Sport LT has a power consumption lower than the average. The said average is usually somewhere around 1.35V for most DDR4 kits but the select few work smoothly with the 1.2V and this model is one of them. Lower voltages stabilize the RAM operation, resulting in longer life and decrease in faultings.
Cheap but Reliable
The heat spreaders here are aluminum and dissipate excessive heat as well as spreaders on any of the top models on our list. And as the DIMMs are low-profile, they leave ample space for your computer's cooling systems, which, consequently, adds to the overall stability of the system. But that's not all.
One of the best things about this DDR4 memory kit is that it has been tested with most of the motherboard types in both Intel and AMD-based computers and it works flawlessly with any of them. It is a breeze to install and adjust, compatible with the XMP 2.0 for even more stability as well as automatic overclocking (however small it may be), and it is fast enough to compete with some slightly more expensive DDR4 RAMs, even if not with the top-shelf ones. And at a price it is sold, this is already sort of amazing.
It is not the cream of the crop model by any means, and it does not claim to be one, it is more like a solid middle-range offer for some upgrading performed on a tight budget. We will hardly recommend this for hardcore gaming or professional video editing but if we are talking some medium levels of both, this kit can handle it.
What Is a DDR4 RAM?
Double data rate fourth generation synchronous dynamic random-access memory. Sounds badass. Also, quite bewildering for someone who is not a pro in the computer hardware.
A DDR4 RAM is the latest memory standard and it offers way fewer limitations than its predecessor, the DDR3. For one, the DDR4 memory has a larger list of clocking speeds, i.e. the speeds at which the RAM reads and writes data. There are also better—lower—timings, less energy required, more options for the capacity, and much better overall performance of the system. All these parameters might be of little need for an office worker or a casual computer user, but if you are an avid gamer aiming to be a pro and you are about to upgrade your gaming PC with a new RAM, the DDR4 is what you should be looking at.
Before you go and buy the DDR4, we do recommend checking the compatibility, though. The standard is not backward compatible, which means you can not insert this stick into a slot designed for DD3 and expect it to work: it won't.
Besides the RAM, you might need some other parts for your gaming PC, like a dedicated gaming graphics card or a good sound card as well.
What Features to Compare
RAM Speed and Latency
The RAM speed is expressed in MHz or GHz and the higher speed you have in your RAM, the faster the commands are processed. The DDR4 has a variety of speeds available, the highest one today being the 4266MHz, twice as much as DDR3, and it seems this is still not the limit. At the same time, the difference between, say, 3000 MHz and 3200 MHz offered by two sticks, both of which are DDR4, won't be really noticeable for the naked eye so if you choose between two numbers this close and not too different in price, we'd recommend checking out the capacity and get the bigger one. This will make the processes faster thanks to the sheer amount of memory available.
Often accompanying the RAM speed, there are latency numbers a.k.a. the timings. These are the numbers written with dashes. They designate the time necessary for the memory to receive the command from the processor and to respond to it. When it comes to latency, the lower the better, though, in consumer-level RAM modules, they rarely differ more than a couple numbers and, furthermore, the difference is not something you will notice since we're talking nanoseconds here.
More comparisons. The average maximum amount of RAM memory for DDR3 is 128GB, generally, it is considered the top for this standard. The DDR4 memory is able to offer no less than 4 times this number, 512GB. Usually, this is the parameter that affects the price the most and a 512GB kit will most certainly cost an arm and a leg. More affordable and, therefore, more popular options would be between 16GB and 128GB. Why not buy a DDR3 of the same capacity, then, one might ask. They are cheaper, after all. Well, what you've saved on the stick cost, you will pay later in your electricity bills since DDR3 requires more power. DDR4 is more efficient and needs less power, it is a win-win.
Another thing to keep in mind about power is that lower power means a more stable system and less danger your RAM will fry itself during overclocking.
Finally, if you are on a really tight budget, an 8GB DDR4 RAM is as good as some bigger DDR3 offers and definitely better than DDR3 of the same capacity.
Overclocking means enhancing your RAM's speed to exceed its basic limit. Usually, this is done by gamers to achieve better performance in high-demanding games. The process can be automatic, semi-manual, or fully manual. If you do plan on overclocking, your RAM needs a good heat spreader to avoid damaging the stick since the process results in some considerable load. If you are a novice and need an automatic overclocking, on an Intel platform, the XMP support is necessary as well.
Gamers, especially those who build their computers from scratch, often care about looks and manufacturers know about it. From keyboards and mouses to inner parts, computer peripherals for gamers today look stunning. They often have vibrant backlighting, unusual but convenient shapes, and a variety of bells and whistles created solely for eye-pleasing purposes. It is not uncommon for gamers to have their computer cases open for better ventilation due to high loads and to have a free access to the insides for maintenance. Therefore, the looks of those insides now matter quite a lot. Lately, the backlighting for DDR4 RAM sticks is all the rage, for example. The sticks themselves also become smaller.