RAM has gotten faster and more important as computer technology has advanced. With DDR4 RAM, you have memory that is faster, more reliable, and more energy efficient than any of its predecessors. It is also great for future-proofing, as DDR4 technology is here to stay.
Whether you’re gaming, rendering, video editing, or running complex simulation software, powerful RAM is invaluable to make your tasks go faster and smoother.
Best DDR4 RAM Reviewed
DDR4 RAM is quite expensive right now, but that shouldn’t stop you from wanting the best components for your all-powerful desktop computer. There are lots of options out there to choose from, but we feel these 6 DDR4 RAM modules are the best you can find in the market right now.
We’ve factored in performance, overclocking potential, stability, and price when grading these bad boys. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but some suit certain types of applications better than others. There’s a buyer’s guide at the end of the reviews that should help clarify which one you might need, so be sure to check that out as well.
Our Top Pick
Corsair Vengeance LPX
Great Performance and Overclock Potential
The Corsair Vengeance LPX offers top performance among DDR4 RAM modules due to its incredible speeds. The RAM is easy to overclock as well and takes it well. It also comes with XMP 2.0 support for automatic overclocking.
The Corsair Vengeance has incredible stability and offers a fantastic balance between performance and price. It is the best overall DDR4 RAM available based on these two factors.
Kingston HyperX Fury
Great Performance at a Competitive Price
Kingston’s HyperX Fury DDR4 RAM offers great performance at an affordable price. It comes in several different mid-speed options, and thanks to its XMP 2.0 support it can boost them up to higher levels. The Hyper X Fury is stable and reliable memory ideal for gamers.
For gamers who want performance at a great price, the Kingston HyperX Fury is the perfect choice.
Corsair is well known for its incredible computer cooling systems, chassis, power supply units, and RAM technology. They’ve dominated the high-end RAM niche for a very long time, and their DDR4 memory iteration of the Vengeance series continues the trend.
The Vengeance LPX is one of the best DDR4 sticks out there. Its famous for its seamless overclocking ability. Every module is built from highly screened memory ICs to ensure the most stable overclocking possible.
You also get Intel XMP 2.0 support with the Vengeance. This allows the chip to automatically overclock itself without manual input. The Corsair DDR4 RAM works incredibly well for both video editing and gaming, and its overclocking capacity allows it to push out for the most intensive tasks out there.
The clock speeds of the Vengenace LPX start at 2400MHz and go all the way up to an insane 4600MHz, with each having a different price. You ca get the Vengeance DDR4 RAM in 4, 8, or 16GB individual cards, with dual channel and quad channel support up to a whopping 128GB for those who want that setup. The 128GB works great as a DIMM RAM kit.
- Incredible performance
- Excellent overclocking ability
- Different color variations
- Uninspiring design
Hand tested and validated for system compatibility, the Patriot Memory Viper 4 is a powerhouse DDR4 RAM that has quickly become one of the most popular choices for Ryzen PCs. Available from a clock speed of 3000Mhz that reached all the way to 3733MHz, the Viper 4 DDR4 RAM supports XMP 2.0 as well for no hassle overclocking.
The overclocking potential is huge and the RAM tends to remain highly stable even when pushed. The heat sink design is excellent and practical, and while not the most eye-capturing, it serves its purpose extremely well to keep the RAM cool.
Viper 4 is easy to install and boot and comes with innate compatibility with X99 motherboards. You can buy this RAM in 8GB or 16GB capacities.
- Great heat sink
- Excellent overclocking ability
- Great performance
- Strange pricing
Kingston has been around for a long time and know the memory storage business inside out. They released their HyperX series of RAMs that are dedicated to hardcore gamers and video editors.
The HyperX Fury Black DDR4 RAM is one of the best offerings from Kingston because of its fine blend of performance and price point. The clock speeds start at 2133MHz and also include 2400MHz and 2666MHz models. Thanks to XMP 2.0 support, latter speeds are easily achievable for the HyperX through automatic overclocking.
The build quality of this DDR4 RAM is excellent, in a simple and appealing design that is both modern yet reserved. The biggest appeal though is the cost effectiveness of this RAM, as it offers similar performance to many superior models without demanding such a price tag.
It’s not the fastest or most eye-catching RAM, but it is a safe bet for anyone looking for reasonably priced high-performance DDR4 memory, making it popular gaming RAM.
- Competitively priced
- Good design
- Reliable performance
- Limited color options
You may be on the fence about RGB lighting on RAM, but it’s hard to deny how sexy the G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 RAM looks.
G.Skill offers 5 individually addressable RGB LEDs in the trident for a customized look that even the skeptic will find hard not to appreciate. The frosted diffuser covering the lights gives a soft glow that looks beautiful in any PC build.
This eye-catching designed is matched with great performance. RGB RAM tends to be inferior in the overclocking department than non lit RAMs because of the extra power they require for the lighting. However, the Trident Z seems virtually unaffected by this. You can usually squeeze a few hundred MHz more than what you would with other RGB RAMs out there.
You can get the Trident Z in clock speed ranges from 2400 to 3600. This G.Skill DDR4 RAM comes in 8GB or 16GB capacity. The looks combined with the performance makes the Trident Z one of the best gaming RAM sets you can buy out there.
- Beautiful RGB implementation
- Good value
- Reliable performance
- No custom lighting profiles
Okay, let’s get the biggest negative out of the way first: yes, it has a ridiculously large heatsink that could potentially interfere with your CPU’s cooler.
That’s the Dominator Platinum’s most egregious characteristic, but apart form that it’s hard to criticize this piece of tech. This beast has some of the highest overclocking potential out of all the current models available. If you can’t get it to overclock beyond a certain limit, it can easily run at tighter CAS latency when the voltage is increased. All that is kept possible with the patented DHX cooling.
This is perhaps the best performing DDR4 memory RAM out there right now. It comes in clock speeds ranging from 2133MHz all the way to 4133MHz. You also get rudimentary LED lighting that doesn’t try to be too flashes but accentuates the RAM enough to make it pop out.
It commands a premium price point as well though. That is to be expected when the words “Dominator” and “Platinum” make up its name.
- Incredible performance
- Very efficient cooling system
- Sleek lighting
- Tall heat sink
The powerful Ripjaws by G.Skill are well known for their performance at a competitive price point.
This DDR4 RAM is on average $20 bucks cheaper than what you’d have to pay for competition, and the performance is just as good. The new series of the Ripjaws is faster and features a redesigned heatsink that doesn’t look as gawdy as its predecessor.
You get great benchmark performance from this DDR4 RAM by G.Skill right out of the box. They’re also very easy to overclock, particularly in Ryzen builds where they appear to shine the most. It has XMP compatibility for automatic overclocking without the need for user input.
You can get the G.Skill Ripjaws V in a 2x8GB configuration with various clock speeds ranging from 2400MHz all the way to 3200MHz.
- Competitive pricing
- Overclock very well
- Reliable performance
- Minor stability issues at higher speeds
The RAM clock speed determines how efficiently it works. You will notice that most RAMs are available in a different set of speeds, usually ranging from 2133MHz and going all the way up to 4000MHz. This is the clock speed and is what often determines how fast the RAM is.
For average use and even videogaming, the modern speed range of high quality RAM works in the same way. There is very little discernable performance difference between a 2400MHz RAM stick and a 3600MHz one in videogames or regular computing tasks.
However, when it comes to video editing, complex simulations, and other computer-intensive tasks, RAM speed can matter a lot. That’s where the speed as well as the overclocking capability of the RAM becomes so important.
You should always prioritize capacity over speed. Higher capacity RAM lets you run more complex tasks simultaneously which prevents the computer from slowing down. For videogaming and multitasking, you should have at least 8GB RAM. Ideally, you want 16GB RAM for future-proofing.
Overclocking is a common practice for CPU, GPUs, and RAM that increases the overall speed of the device by providing it with more power from the computer’s PSU. This practice lets you get extra from your gear without need for upgraded.
The downside of overclocking is that because of using more power, it generates more heat. It can also lead to unstable performance. The overclocking capability varies greatly from product to product.
If you are a gamer, overclocking wouldn’t be alien to you. However, overclocking RAM is unnecessary for videogames as they are better served with more capacity and faster GPUs/CPUs instead. Overclocking RAM becomes useful when done for computer-intensive tasks like video editing, rendering, and simulations.
DDR4 RAM makes overclocking easier because it innately runs on a lower voltage than DDR3 RAM. Additionally, many DDR4 RAM manufactures integrate XMP compatibility to allow for automatic, safe overclocking without user input provided the motherboard supports it.
The RAM CAS is the Column Access Strobe. In laymen’s term, this is known as latency and commonly further abbreviated to CL. Latency was a RAM variable that used to be extremely important once.
However, RAM has gotten so much faster that modern latency is measured in nanoseconds. The difference in the latency between RAM modules now is so small that it’s not something you should concern yourself with unless you’re looking to break speed records.
The biggest difference between DDR3 and DDR4 memory is that the new version is more power efficient. DDR4 runs at only 1.2 volts while DDR3 runs at 1.5 volts. This allows for more overclocking headroom to really push your DDR4 to operate at faster speeds without needing as much power as even an unclocked DDR3.
Additionally, capacity per stick has been increased from 8GB to 16GB, and the MT/s or mega-transactions per second has also increased, leading to overall faster performance in RAM intensive computing.
Why should I upgrade to DDR4 RAM right now?
DDR4 is very expensive right now, and that’s because it is in high demand. However, if you’re expecting this demand to decrease in a year or two, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Future Intel and AMD platforms will continue to utilize DDR4 which will only increase the demand as enthusiasts replace their outdated computers with newer ones.
Upgrading to DDR4 RAM right now may not be necessary if your DDR3 is functioning adequately, but if you’re planning to build a new computer it is best to install DDR4 RAM for future proofing.
Which computers use DDR4 right now?
All modern computers utilize the faster and more efficient DDR4 now. This includes some (but not all) Intel Skylake motherboards, 7th Generation Kaby Lake, 8th Generation Coffee Lake, Haswell-E and Broadwell-E platforms. For AMD, AMD’s Ryzen AM4 platform supports DDR4. Future platforms are expected to support DDR4 as well.
What does single-channel, dual-channel, and quad channel mean and what is it important?
Memory channels refer to the number of communication paths between the RAM and the CPU of your computer. The higher number of channels, the higher the bandwidth available for the two components to work together.
Dual channel requires two RAM modules of the exact same type. Quad-channel requires four or more.
Many companies offer multiple modules in a set because it is important for both the modules installed be synced. Any difference in the clock speed or timing will make the computer operate at the same speed as the lowest module.