The Best RAM of 2020

Keep your PC running smoothly with these RAM modules

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro at Amazon

"The Vengeance RGB Pro, which comes in white or black color schemes, is decked out with colorful and stylish RGB LED lighting."

Best for High Performance: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB at Amazon

"Going beyond its top-of-the-line capabilities, the Dominator Platinum RGB also happens to be one of the best-looking options around."

Best RGB Lighting: G.Skill Trident Z RGB at Amazon

"The Trident Z RGB gives a lot of people a lot of reasons to give it a look."

Best Low-Profile: Corsair Vengeance LPX at Amazon

"A popular DDR4 RAM choice because of all the benefits it offers to those who like to overclock."

Best Budget: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT at Amazon

"An affordable and reliable way to expand your PC memory."

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Patriot Viper Elite at Amazon

"Don't be fooled by its low price, Patriot's Viper Elite DDR4 RAM is one you can trust to dependably get the job done."

Best Splurge: G.Skill Trident Z Royal at Amazon

"You may think you've seen fancy-looking RAM, but you haven't seen true memory extravagance."

Best DDR3: Kingston HyperX Fury at Amazon

"The HyperX Fury still looks decently sleek, and you can get it in black, white, blue, or red to suit your setup."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro

Whether you're playing high-end games or multitasking or simply looking for smoother performance, expanding your PC's memory is a great way to give your system a boost. And for quality Random Access Memory (RAM) kits, Corsair is the brand to beat. Their Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4 SDRAM is an excellent bet for its price. It comes in a number of capacity configurations, but the 16GB kit (consisting of two 8GB modules) with the 3,200MHz speed and low CAS latency (or CL) of 14 will perform impressively for most users' purposes. It can be overclocked to run even faster, while its aluminum heat spreader helps keep it cool at the same time.

But just like many PC hardware upgrades, especially gaming-oriented ones, RAM options aren't designed purely for performance. Many modules come with all sorts of striking aesthetics to personalize your rig. The Vengeance RGB Pro, which comes in white or black color schemes, is decked out with colorful and stylish RGB LED lighting that's sure to catch the eye. The colors and effects are completely customizable, and Corsair's iCue software lets you synchronize your light display across modules and with other iCUE-supported RGB components.

Best for High Performance: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB

RAM doesn't need a lot of frills to do its job. But if you're looking for a truly high-end option for an overclocked system, the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB will make it worth the investment. With Corsair's excellent build quality and rigorous quality control, you can be assured you're getting some of the fastest, most advanced DDR4 RAM available. You can choose from kits made up of 8GB or 16GB modules and overclock speeds up to 4,800MHz. You can get low latency and tight timings, which indicate the minimal delays in the time it takes the memory to respond to commands and access data.

Going beyond its top-of-the-line capabilities, the Dominator Platinum RGB also happens to be one of the best-looking options around. While there are more standard styles of the RAM with the same performance, the RGB version includes 12 of Corsair's super-bright Capellix LEDs across the top, each one individually controllable and synchronizable through iCUE lighting software. iCUE can also give you real-time readings of the modules' speeds and temperatures.

Best RGB Lighting: G.Skill Trident Z RGB

To some, looks can be almost as important as performance in a custom gaming rig, and the G.Skill Trident Z RGB series gets major style points. Its exposed light bar at the top contains bright RGB LED lights that give off a vibrant yet pleasant glow. It shows off a full-spectrum rainbow wave by default, but it's fully customizable to any color combinations or effects you could want. It's also nice that you're not limited to G.Skill's own software in terms of customizing and syncing the lighting effects. You can use Asus Aura, for example, to coordinate with other RGB-equipped Asus hardware you might be using.

The LEDs pop against the dark color of the stylish brushed aluminum heat spreader, whose fin design is optimized for better heat transfer and helps the RAM reach impressively fast speeds. But even these performance-oriented considerations keep appearance in mind, allowing the modules to support a wider light diffuser and improved RGB effects. With this approach that emphasizes both performance and style, the Trident Z RGB gives a lot of people a lot of reasons to give it a look.

Best Low-Profile: Corsair Vengeance LPX

Corsair's Vengeance LPX is a popular DDR4 RAM choice because of all the benefits it offers to those who like to overclock and get the most out of their components. Even the size of the module can be an underestimated but important factor. Some CPU coolers won't fit if standard-height RAM sticks are installed beneath them, but the low-profile nature of the Vengeance LPX leaves enough clearance to put in just about any kind of cooling system above it. The modules themselves keep cool while overclocked, thanks to simple but effective aluminum heat spreaders that come in black, white, red, or blue colors.

Despite being low in profile, you can get high-capacity Vengeance LPX kits for a reasonable price, even going up to individual 32GB modules. This is important if you're looking to add a lot of memory but DIMM slots are scarce on your motherboard. Then you can use a single module to get 32GB of RAM, or two for 64GB, and so on.

Best Budget: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT

If you don't need RAM with custom RGB lighting or ultra-high-end materials, the Crucial Ballistix Sport LT offers an affordable and reliable way to expand your PC memory. You can get kits up to 64GB total and a speedy 3,200MHz, all without over-the-top price tags. If you want to push its limits, support for Intel XMP 2.0 memory profiles makes the Ballistix Sport LT simple to overclock. It also works well with AMD Ryzen processors, where faster RAM can make a more noticeable difference than with Intel CPUs.

Performance from the Ballistix Sport LT is more than enough for most gaming setups, and the low-profile build leaves room for larger CPU coolers. Plus, even without extra design flourishes or LEDs, you still get a touch of style from the modules' digital camo designs in red, white, or gray color schemes.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Patriot Viper Elite

Don't be fooled by its low price, Patriot's Viper Elite DDR4 RAM is one you can trust to dependably get the job done — and with quite a bit of speed behind it. You save money particularly if you can manage with a lower amount of RAM (like 8GB), but even with higher capacity kits, Viper Elite memory is still an enticing deal.

It doesn't come in frequencies over 2,800MHz, but it can be overclocked without much difficulty (with Intel XMP profiles or without) to 3,000MHz or even beyond. This is plenty fast for most purposes, especially for what you can expect in this range. A limited lifetime warranty also helps keep you covered in case you run into issues with the product.

Best Splurge: G.Skill Trident Z Royal

You may think you've seen fancy-looking RAM, but you haven't seen true memory extravagance until you've feasted your eyes on the Trident Z Royal from G.Skill. On top of the already elegant silver- or gold-colored polished aluminum body, each module is adorned with an RGB LED light bar featuring a crystallized texture, allowing it to shine and sparkle in ways no typical LEDs can. If you ever wanted to deck your RAM out in diamonds, this is as close as you can get. You can also sync the lighting with RGB systems from third parties like Asus and MSI for a coordinated, colorful effect.

Performance-wise, the Trident Z Royal delivers decent results, so with a 16GB dual-channel kit at 3,200MHz frequencies, for example, you're getting plenty of power to pair with premium visuals. You can probably get faster speeds from other RAM models at the same price point if that's your priority, but if bling is your thing, you can't really settle for anything other than the Royal treatment.

Best DDR3: Kingston HyperX Fury

DDR4 RAM may be the way to go for the fastest speeds today, but if you're using a motherboard that supports DDR3 modules, that's the route you'll have to stick with. Fortunately, you can still get excellent DDR3 performance out of products like Kingston's HyperX Fury.

It's available in up to 16GB (2 x 8GB) kits, and it overclocks automatically to 1866MHz if supported by your system. It runs at 1.35 volts, which is more power-efficient than the default DDR3 voltage of 1.5. While the design isn't anything groundbreaking, the HyperX Fury still looks decently sleek, and you can get it in black, white, blue, or red to suit your setup.