When it comes to building a gaming PC, the three components that will have the most significant impact on your gaming performance are your GPU, CPU, and RAM.
With that being said, you ought to make sure you buy a good RAM kit of sufficient size and speed to ensure optimal gaming performance. If your PC doesn’t have enough RAM, you’ll have trouble maintaining a steady framerate in-game.
Moreover, RAM speed has an impact on CPU performance, particularly on Ryzen CPUs. Having RAM that’s too slow – or not enough RAM in the first place – will make for a poor gaming experience, regardless of your system’s CPU or GPU.
That’s why we’ve created this guide. We’re going to be covering the best DDR3 RAM kits on the market in 2020.
How We Picked
We’ve made a collection of the best value DDR3 RAM offerings. These are all DIMM modules that are compatible with the PC3 12800 specification, and can massively improve your system performance when in ram limited scenarios.
We’ve picked out RAM modules that are from reputable manufacturers, and offer reliable performance.
How We Tested
We’ve compared the performance of different DDR3 RAM modules, and selected the options that represent the best value to be featured in this lineup. These are our recommended options for upgrading your system RAM, or for equipping a new build with DDR3 RAM.
Best DDR3 RAM for Gaming in 2021: Fast RAM for Cheap
Great cooling solution
Not the cheapest RAM
Latency might be overkill for some users
Heat spreader increases the physical size of the module
Corsair’s excellent Pro Series offers some of the best RAM performance in this category, with very high speeds and low latency.
With a robust anodized aluminum heat spreader, this ram will be able to maintain optimal thermal performance even under load, and it looks fairly stylish as a nice bonus. This is particularly useful for anyone who intends to overclock their RAM.
Corsair has a reputation for building some of the best and most reliable computer kit, and they offer a lifetime warranty on all their RAM modules.
No advanced cooling design
Not ideal for high-end gaming
This is a budget stick of RAM, and it’s priced accordingly. It’s not especially fast, with the highest latency in our lineup. It’s going to be adequate for gaming, but might be somewhat of a bottleneck for games with high RAM demands. Certainly, this would not be a good choice of RAM module if you’re interested in overclocking.
If you’re looking to equip your system with 8GB or 16GB of RAM on a strict budget, this is a decent option, but it won’t be able to match the performance of more premium RAM offerings.
Well designed heat spreader
Not the most impressive latency
There are cheaper alternatives
Erratic stock for different color variants
This is a good performing DDR3 RAM module, with an attractive and compact heat spreader.
This RAM’s latency is a bit high, but it’s still a fast RAM kit offered at an affordable price. It is pretty fast, affordable, and reliable, making it one of the best DDR3 RAM options on the market. It comes with a Lifetime Warranty from Kingston, for peace of mind.
Different colors are available, but stock for the different variations is somewhat erratic.
Heatsinks for optimal thermal performance
A little on the pricey side
Aesthetic won’t suit all users
Only comes in red
This RAM kit has more than 2,000 reviews with an average of 5 stars. It offers a good price to performance ratio and– since this kit is manufactured by G.SKILL– you can rest assured knowing it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.
It’s slightly pricier than some of the other options from this lineup, and doesn’t top the chart for performance, but it’s still a great option.
Things To Consider
Look at how many RAM slots your system has available, consider the current RAM modules you own, and if you may want to upgrade further in the future. Planning out how many RAM modules you can have in total and deciding on modules accordingly can save you from unnecessarily having to remove modules in the future to free up space for larger modules.
Which motherboard can I use these RAM modules with?
These RAM modules all use the PC3 12800 specification, so as long as that is supported by your motherboard, you’re good to go. With the options featuring a large heat spreader, you may want to check just how much space you have available if you’re using it in a small form factor PC, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of systems.
Do I need 8GB or 16GB?
It depends on how you intend to use your system. 8GB will be plenty for many different tasks, and certainly for older games, but newer games on higher settings will likely benefit from having access to an increased RAM pool.
The Corsair Vengeance Pro Series is our top pick for the best DDR3 RAM. It’s got excellent latency, fantastic cooling, and comes with a robust lifetime warranty. Corsair is one of the leading manufacturers of RAM modules, and it’s not hard to see why.