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Best RAM 2023: the top memory for gaming
Don't underestimate the importance of the best RAM
While a lot has changed in the world of the best gaming PCs, picking the best RAM is still critically important. Some of the best PC games, like Returnal, require 32GB of RAM, and I’m not expecting the requirements to go down any time soon.
But it’s not as simple as just picking the right amount of RAM and plugging it in. These days, RAM comes in all kinds of speeds and form factors, which makes it incredibly versatile. Plus, many kits are optimized for either AMD or Nvidia processors, making the task of picking out the right memory even more complicated. It’s not like picking the best graphics card, where you decide which brand you like and call it good.
Luckily, I have a ton of experience building and reviewing PC hardware, so I can help guide you a little bit. I’ve gathered up some of the best RAM kits on the market, so no matter which brand of processor you go for, you’ll be able to find memory that doesn’t suck.
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How to pick the best RAM
Always pick a RAM kit with at least two sticks of RAM
Pick XMP-optimized RAM for Intel PCs
Pick AMD Optimized RAM for systems with a Ryzen processor
Around 5,000MHz is perfect for DDR5, around 3,000MHz for DDR4
You don’t need fancy coolers or RGB
16GB is a good starting point for gaming, 32GB is the ideal in 2023
1. Kingston Fury Beast DDR5
The best RAM for gaming
Capacity (per DIMM): 8GB, 16GB, 32GB | Speed: 4,800MT/s, 5,200MT/s, 5600MT/s, 6000MT/s | RGB: No | Low Profile: Yes
✅ Up to 6,000MT/s speed
✅ Low profile
❌ No RGB
Kingston Fury RAM has long been my go-to when it comes to reviewing PC hardware. In fact, I’d still be using it to this day if I had a DDR5 kit in my apartment – TechRadar has my old testing setup. It’s far from the flashiest RAM on the market but Kingston Fury RAM has never let me down.
This RAM is available in kits with two DIMMs (sticks of RAM), with per-DIMM capacities up to 32GB. That means you can easily get 64GB of RAM in your system by grabbing two 32GB kits. This RAM is optimized both for XMP and AMD EXPO as well, which means you shouldn’t have a problem hitting the advertised speed no matter which system you throw it in.
2. Corsair Dominator Platinum
Best RAM to show off
Capacity (per DIMM): 16GB, 32GB | Speed: 4,800MT/s, 5,200MT/s, 5600MT/s, 6000MT/s, 6200MT/s, 6400MT/s | RGB: Yes | Low Profile: No
Can get very fast
As much as you don’t need RGB to get the best RAM you can buy, these days, PC gaming is all about having as many bright and shiny components in your PC as possible. And, well, there’s no RAM that does that better than Corsair Dominator Platinum.
This RAM uses Corsair’s Capellix RGB technology to bring some of the brightest and most colorful RAM on the market right now. This RGB tech basically allows the Corsair Dominator DIMMs to have 12 separate colors at the same time. That’s not bad for a component as small as a stick of RAM.
However, because this is some of the most premium RAM on the market, it does come with a significant price tag. Corsair Dominator Platinum memory is for the PC builder that wants to show off their build to anyone that walks into their room. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
3. G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo
The best RAM for AMD users
✅ Optimized for AMD EXPO
✅ Fast and reliable
❌ Doesn’t work great on Intel systems
Capacity (per DIMM): 16GB, 32GB | Speed: 5600MT/s, 6000MT/s | RGB: Yes | Low Profile: No
I’ve been using G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo memory for all of my graphics cards testing at The Shortcut so far, starting with the Nvidia RTX 4080 and up to the recent Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti. Because I’ve done all of my GPU testing on an AMD test system to this point, this memory has been a godsend.
It is extremely stable at the advertised speed of 32GB and the EXPO preset means I can quickly enable it in the BIOS after making hardware changes and I’m good to go. So if you’re looking to build gaming PC with an AMD Ryzen processor, this could be exactly what you need for your build.
I use the non-RGB version of this memory, though there are RGB kits that are more widely available. The only difference between those kits and the ones in my testing system, though, are the flashy lights at the top of the DIMM. Luckily, those don’t have any impact on performance.
The only real issue with the TridentZ5 Neo memory is that it doesn’t work super well with Intel XMP. I’ve had nothing but trouble trying to get this RAM to work on my Intel system, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Why can you trust my RAM recommendations?
I’ve been writing about PC components for years, but even before I wrote about them I built PCs for myself and pretty much everyone I know. Every single kit of RAM in this guide has either been used by me, or a previous incarnation of the specific model has. And when I use a RAM kit, I don’t just stick it in for an hour and check if its stable at its advertised speed. I use it in my benchmarking rig, or throw it in a fresh PC build.
If the RAM quits after a week of operation, I’ll know it. And I’ll know whether or not it actually hits the speeds printed on the box.
Let me help you buy RAM
If you have any questions about RAM, or really anything PC gaming, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter. I’ll respond as soon as possible to help you find the right RAM for your build – whether you’re building an all-new gaming PC or just upgrading to a higher capacity.