The 10 Best DDR4 RAM

Grab the best DDR4 RAM for laptops and desktops

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The Rundown
"Hand tested and screened for superior performance and quality."
Best Overall, Runner-Up:
G.SKILL Trident Z Neo 32GB at Amazon
"Powerful and feature-loaded in equal measure, G.Skill’s Trident Z Neo is the DDR4 RAM you can rely upon for all your computing needs."
"This piece of hardware works flawlessly with a huge assortment of components from both Intel and AMD."
"uilt from the ground up for high-end systems, it provides impressive performance and rock-solid stability in even the most demanding of usage scenarios."
Best for Gaming, Runner-Up:
Kingston HyperX Predator at Amazon
"It boasts a stylish black aluminum heat spreader that not only improves heat dissipation, but also complements the color-matched PCB (Printed Circuit Board) wonderfully, thereby lending the whole module a visually consistent look."
"The kit has a pure aluminum heat spreader for more efficient heat dissipation and consistent performance even under heavy load."
"An easy and affordable way to upgrade your machine."
"Great for folks who want to convert their work laptop to a gaming machine."
"Rigorous testing ensures that each memory stick will provide peak overclocking and performance."
Best For Mac Desktops:
Timetec Hynix IC SODIMM Kit at Amazon
"A simple and affordable way to upgrade your Mac to keep up with newer models."

Among the several different hardware components that make up a computer, the RAM (Random-Access Memory) is probably one of the most important. In the majority of cases, a PC’s overall performance is directly linked to the amount/type of RAM it has. So, whether you’re planning to upgrade your existing machine, or building a custom gaming system from scratch, it makes all the sense in the world to equip it with high-performance RAM.

Most computers (both desktops and laptops) these days use DDR4 RAM modules, which come with all sorts of fancy features, ranging from custom lighting panels to metal heatsinks. Consequently, selecting this vital piece of PC hardware can often prove to be a daunting task. This is why we’ve rounded up some of the best DDR4 RAM currently available in the market. These include feature-packed options such as Corsair’s Dominator Platinum RGB, as well as laptop-centric offerings like Crucial’s Ballistix. Read all about them, and take your pick!

Best Overall: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB

What We Like
  • Anodized aluminum heat spreader

  • Optimized for newest AMD and Intel motherboards

What We Don't Like
  • Large module size may cause issues with some coolers

When it comes to computing hardware, Corsair is a name that needs no introduction. The company makes a wide range of PC peripherals, and the Dominator Platinum RGB is undeniably the best DDR4 RAM you can buy. Built around a ten-layer custom PCB (Printed Circuit Board), it offers unmatched reliability and signal quality. Each RAM module features tightly-screened memory chips that are sorted by hand, resulting in faster response times even at high frequencies. Then there’s Corsair’s patented “Dual-Path DHX” cooling technology, which allows for better heat dissipation by cooling the memory using both the PCB and the external housing. Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB is available as “kits” (each kit being a pack having multiple modules) in a variety of capacities (e.g. 16GB, 128GB), with clock speeds going up to 4800MHz. The RAM also looks great, thanks to twelve individually-addressable “Capellix” RGB LEDs that line its top panel.

“Offering top-notch overclocking performance, extensive hardware compatibility, and much more in a smartly designed package, Corsair’s Dominator Platinum RGB is the best DDR4 RAM out there.” - Rajat Sharma

Best Overall, Runner-Up: G.SKILL Trident Z Neo 32GB

What We Like
  • Full compatibility with AMD platform builds

  • Swanky dual-tone construction

What We Don't Like
  • Unreliable RGB lighting controls

Powerful and feature-loaded in equal measure, G.Skill’s Trident Z Neo is the DDR4 RAM you can rely upon for all your computing needs. It’s crafted from a ten-layer custom PCB (Printed Circuit Board) and employs hand-screened memory ICs (Integrated Circuits), delivering incredible signal integrity and overclocking performance. The memory is engineered and optimized for AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series CPUs and X570 chipset motherboards, allowing any workstation having these hardware components to benefit from enhanced overall performance and increased reliability. G.Skill Trident Z Neo sports an award-winning design, highlighted by a dual-toned (brushed-aluminum black and powder-coated silver) heat spreader and a beveled top edge. The RAM is available in the form of “kits” having a wide range of capacities (e.g. 32GB, 256GB), and you also get clock speeds of up to 3800MHz. Among other noteworthy additions are customizable lighting, and a limited lifetime warranty.

Best Splurge: G.Skill Trident Z Royal

What We Like
  • Absolutely gorgeous design

  • Great overclocking potential

What We Don't Like
  • Extremely expensive

Take one look at the Trident Z Royal, and you’ll immediately know why it sits at the top of G.Skill’s desktop memory line-up. Aimed at those who don’t mind paying a premium for top-tier PC hardware, it works flawlessly with a huge assortment of components from both Intel and AMD. Each memory module uses a ten-layer custom PCB (Printed Circuit Board) and memory chips that are screened by hand, ensuring faster overclocking performance and remarkable signal integrity. That being said, what truly sets this DDR4 RAM apart is its stunning “crown jewel” design. It’s marked by a crystalline light bar that’s tailor-made to display the perfect amount of refracted RGB lighting, thus making for a unique visual experience. Then there’s the CNC-cut aluminum heat spreader, which is electroplated with a shiny layer of gold or silver. Available as “kits” in a number of capacities (e.g. 32GB, 64GB), the RAM features clock speeds of up to 4800MHz.

“With a striking crystalline light bar accentuating its truly distinctive “crown jewel” design even further, G.Skill’s Trident Z Royal is a DDR4 RAM that looks astounding even when your PC is turned off.” - Rajat Sharma

Best For Gaming: Patriot Viper Steel Series DDR4 16GB

What We Like
  • Amazing value for money

  • Hand-tested for increased stability

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat flimsy heat spreader

Bursting at the seams with cutting-edge goodness, Kingston's HyperX Predator is a must-have for any gaming setup. It boasts a stylish black aluminum heat spreader that not only improves heat dissipation, but also complements the color-matched PCB (Printed Circuit Board) wonderfully, thereby lending the whole module a visually consistent look. Each DDR4 RAM memory module also features a full-length RGB light bar, which can be conveniently customized (via Kingston's companion "NGENUITY" software program) with myriads of dynamic illumination effects. And with the patented "Infrared Sync" technology, these effects can be synchronized without needing any special cables. Kingston HyperX Predator is available in the form of "kits" having differing capacities (e.g. 32GB, 256GB), along with clock speeds of up to 4000MHz. Some other notable features include a limited lifetime warranty, and support for Intel's XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) technology for trouble-free overclocking.

Best for Gaming, Runner-Up: Kingston HyperX Predator

What We Like
  • Well-rounded performance

  • Easy synchronization of lighting effects

What We Don't Like
  • May not work at full speeds with AMD platform

Bursting at the seams with cutting-edge goodness, Kingston's HyperX Predator is a must-have for any gaming setup. It boasts a stylish black aluminum heat spreader that not only improves heat dissipation, but also complements the color-matched PCB (Printed Circuit Board) wonderfully, thereby lending the whole module a visually consistent look. Each DDR4 RAM memory module also features a full-length RGB light bar, which can be conveniently customized (via Kingston's companion "NGENUITY" software program) with myriads of dynamic illumination effects. And with the patented "Infrared Sync" technology, these effects can be synchronized without needing any special cables. Kingston HyperX Predator is available in the form of "kits" having differing capacities (e.g. 32GB, 256GB), along with clock speeds of up to 4000MHz. Some other notable features include a limited lifetime warranty, and support for Intel's XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) technology for trouble-free overclocking.

“Featuring an all-black design, synchronized illumination effects, and effortless overclocking, Kingston’s HyperX Predator is the DDR4 RAM your gaming rig deserves.” - Rajat Sharma

Best Budget: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB

What We Like
  • Affordable price

  • Low power consumption

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of DOA sticks

  • Uninspiring design

If you want to give your computer a performance boost without shelling out a fortune, Corsair’s Vengeance LPX is just what you need. Designed for high-performance overclocking, it sports a pure aluminum heat spreader that directs the heat into the system’s cooling path, thus enabling faster and more efficient cooling. The heat dissipation is further helped by an eight-layer custom PCB (Printed Circuit Board), while individually-screened memory ICs (Integrated Circuits) ensure that each DDR4 RAM module offers maximum quality and reliability. Corsair Vengeance LPX is available in “kits” of multiple capacities (e.g. 32GB, 64GB), with clock speeds of up to 5000MHz. It’s compatible with the majority of Intel and AMD motherboards, and has a low-profile design that makes it ideal for PC builds where internal space is limited. The RAM comes in several colors (e.g. Red, Black, and Blue), and is backed by a lifetime limited warranty.

Best Laptop: Crucial 16GB Kit

What We Like
  • Can be installed with minimal effort

  • Supports a wide range of laptops

What We Don't Like
  • Not the best in terms of reliability

Adding some extra memory is arguably the best way of increasing a laptop’s overall performance, and Crucial’s CT2K8G4SFS824A is perfect for that. Based on the compact SODIMM (Small Outline Dual-Inline Memory Module) form factor, it’s compatible with almost all modern notebook PCs. The DDR4 RAM offers increased bandwidth and consumes up to 40 percent less power, thereby extending your laptop’s battery life. And with a clock speed of 2400MHz, you get faster burst access and improved sequential data throughput. Crucial CT2K8G4SFS824A is available as 16GB “kit” (with two modules of 8GB each), and works great for everything from multitasking to gaming. It’s also extremely easy to install and doesn’t require any special tools (except for a screwdriver and the target machine’s user manual), so even beginner users can get things running in just a few minutes. The RAM comes with a CAS latency of CL17, and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

“Ridiculously easy to install yet packed with features, Crucial’s CT2K8G4SFS824A DDR4 RAM will boost your old laptop’s speed and performance in a matter of minutes.” - Rajat Sharma 

Runner-Up Best Laptop: Crucial Ballistix 3200 MHz DDR4 DRAM

What We Like
  • Good overclocking potential

  • Plug and play installation

What We Don't Like
  • XMP required in BIOS to achieve full speeds

The Crucial Ballistix Sport LT RAM kit is great for folks who want to convert their work laptop to a gaming machine. This RAM kit is optimized for Intel motherboards and offers XMP 2.0 support for custom settings and streamlined overclocking. The Ballistix Sport LT RAM works best with laptops that have integrated graphics, allowing for smoother frame rates and greater image detail without eating up a ton of power. 

With a 2666 MT/s frequence, this package will provide your laptop with enough memory bandwidth to handle all but the most demanding games and work applications. Just like its cousin above, the Ballistix Sport LT memory sticks are quick and easy to install without special tools or knowledge. The kit is available in sizes ranging from four to 32GB for a variety of memory customization options. Each stick also features a digital camo case to further customize your gaming or work laptop.

Best RGB: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro

What We Like
  • Compatible with both Intel and AMD

  • Hand screened for performance

  • Easy to install

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of DOA sticks

  • Reports of problems with iCUE software

RGB lighting is becoming more popular as a way to customize your rig, and internal components are jumping on the trend. The Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO RAM kit not only gives you a variety of memory options, but each stick features 10 LED lights that can be addressed individually via Corsair’s iCUE software for the ultimate custom light show. The RGB lighting is also compatible with MSI Mystic Light Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and ASUS Aura Sync software. 

The DDR4 memory kit is compatible with both Intel and AMD motherboards, and each stick is hand-screened for optimal performance. This rigorous testing process ensures that each memory stick will provide peak overclocking and performance. The kit comes in memory sizes ranging from 16 to 64GB, so whether you’re dominating Fortnite or rendering 3D animated scenes, your RAM will be up to the task. The kit is also easy to install with its plug-and-play motherboard integration.

Best For Mac Desktops: Timetec Hynix IC SODIMM Kit

What We Like
  • Specially designed for Apple desktops

  • Dependable customer service

What We Don't Like
  • Questionable long-term reliability

There’s no denying the fact that Apple’s macOS-running desktop computers are among the finest out there. However, with Timetec’s 78AP26NUS2R8-16GK2, you can enhance their performance even further. It’s built on the smaller SODIMM (Small Outline Dual-Inline Memory Module) form factor and boasts a CAS latency of CL19, so everything from program load times to multi-tasking is improved. That’s all well and good, but the best thing about this DDR4 RAM is that it’s designed specifically for Apple’s desktop PCs, namely the iMac (early 2019 and mid 2020 models) and the Mac mini (late 2018 variant). This essentially means that as long as you have one of these compatible systems, the chances of any compatibility issues arising are almost zero. Timetec 78AP26NUS2R8-16GK2 can be purchased as a 16GB “kit” (comprising two modules of 8GB each), and has a clock speed of 2666MHz.

Final Verdict

Even though all of the above-detailed DDR4 RAM modules are fantastic in their own right, our top vote goes to Corsair’s Dominator Platinum RGB. It combines best-in-class overclocking performance with high clock speeds, and its “Capellix” RGB LEDs make the whole package even better. If you’d rather have something that looks a little more svelte, we have no qualms recommending G.Skill’s Trident Z Neo. It works exceptionally well with AMD-based builds, and its signature “tri-fin” design is a sight to behold.

About Our Trusted Experts

A technology journalist with more than six years (and counting) of experience, Rajat Sharma has been opening up (and putting back) computers for a long time now. Before joining Lifewire a little over two years ago, he worked as a senior technology writer/editor with two of India’s largest media houses – The Times Group and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited.

What To Look For In DDR4 RAM

Capacity And Speed: These are easily the two most important parameters to be kept in mind when choosing DDR4 RAM. If we talk about capacity, options usually start from 8GB and go all the way up to 256GB. The ideal capacity depends on the kind of work you need to do on the target machine (e.g. casual multi-tasking, video rendering). Similarly, speed refers to the time it takes for the RAM to execute read/write requests. Memory with faster speeds is especially important in case of resource-intensive tasks like gaming.

Platform Compatibility: No matter which RAM you buy, it should be compatible with the general platform (and other associated hardware) that you intend to use it with. For this, it’s important to know the CPU and motherboard (chipset) your PC has. Most DDR4 RAM modules these days work with both Intel and AMD, the two dominant platforms out there.

Physical Dimensions: Even though DDR4 RAM modules have largely standardized dimensions, their overall size can be affected by additional components such as heat spreaders and RGB light bars. If a memory module is too big, it may even interfere with other system components such as CPU coolers. It’s also worth noting that the RAM used in laptops and the majority of Apple’s macOS-based desktops is based on the compact SODIMM (Small Outline Dual-Inline Memory Module) form factor, which has completely different dimensions.