Random access memory, or RAM, is like short-term memory for computers. When your computer starts running slow, you’re probably out of RAM. And the solution to getting that speed back? More RAM!
Let’s compare RAM to your memory.
When you start something and then stop only to start again later you have to recall what you were doing. RAM works the same way. When your computer starts a process, it stores some of that process in the RAM. When you resume the process, the computer looks through the RAM to pick up where it left off.
The type and capacity of your “memory” depends on the specific RAM in your computer. Newer RAM with a larger capacity allows the computer to store more “thoughts” and recall those “thoughts” faster.
Today, DDR3 is among the best “level” of RAM money can buy. So to help keep your computer in tiptop shape we’re breaking down the 10 best DDR3 RAM for gaming laptops & desktops.
The HyperX Predator RAM comes in sizes ranging from 8GB to 16GB, giving you plenty of room to expand your desktop or laptop. Machines equipped with multiple RAM spots can really fly with HyperX RAM.
Even without extra RAM slots, HyperX Predator RAM is among the fastest DDR3 RAM on the market. With CL9 to CL11 latency and speeds between 1866MHz to 2666MHz, you won’t lack any real-time speed.
Sticking with the Kingston HyperX line, the Fury is the Predator’s cousin, with similar speeds ranging between 2,133MHz and 2,666MHz (1866MHz DDR3), but shorter latencies between CL14 and CL16 (CL9-10 DDR3). It’s available in 4GB to 16GB varieties.
The HyperX Fury auto-detects your system components and overclocks to the highest speed possible on your hardware. For the price, it’s hard to find better DDR3 RAM.
Moving away from Kingston RAM, the G. Skills Ripjaws represents a budget option that doesn’t sacrifice speed for price. With a decent CL9 latency and low-power 1.5 voltage, the Ripjaws RAM is more than capable for nearly all desktops and laptops.
Look for this RAM on sale. It’s frequently discounted, and when the price drops it’s just about the best DDR3 RAM you’ll find at such a low price. Coupled with the 8GB size, the Ripjaws can make your computer fly for a low cost.
The Ripjaws X series represents the upgraded version of the plain Ripjaws line. The RAM offers a standard 1333MHz with CL9 and accelerates to 1866MHz CL10. Pushed to the limit and properly configured, it reaches 2133 MHz and CL9.
The overclocking represents the ability to easily upgrade your desktop or laptop, while the 16GB sizing ensures even a minor upgrade gives a real speed boost. Properly configured, the Ripjaws X matches up well with the Kingston HyperX line.
The Vengeance Pro has won more than a few tech awards, making it easy to recommend based on third-party merits alone. The 8GB size really flies when configured with XML. This RAM clocks in at 133MHz and CL9, but hits 2800MHz CL12 with the XML configured.
Some tests even put the Vengeance Pro at 2855 MHz with testing. When paired with the correct motherboard and other hardware, there’s no reason you can’t see the same performance. It’s pricey but does go on sale from time to time.
The Crucial Ballistix Tactical RAM isn’t on our list for overwhelming speed. That’s not to say it can’t perform. Its default speed hits 1333MHz at CL9, and with an XMP boost hits 1600 MHz at CL8. For any RAM, that’s impressive latency optimization.
The low voltage is the real reason the Ballistix Tactical makes our list. At just 1.35 volts, it’s hard to find other DDR3 RAM drawing less power.
For those using a Mac, you’ll know options are usually restricted. Fear not. We haven’t forgotten those of us living in the walled garden. G. Skill’s Mac-centric RAM is perfect for bumping up your Mac’s specs.
The speed clocks in between 1,333MHz and 1,600MHz, with latency times sitting between CL9 and CL11. All in all, it’s just as capable as the other RAM we’ve listed. And for Mac users, the upgrade is more than worth the price.
Patriots Viper Xtreme 4 Series takes its name from its 4GB configuration, though the RAM itself comes in a 16GB configuration. Speeds clock in around 1,600MHz with a CL9 latency, while lower latencies come with clock speeds around 1,333MHz.
XMP support is available, which means maximizing speeds and latency are as easy as a few configurations. Average specs keep the price down, but the speeds and latencies are more than enough for most users.
<h2>9. Transcend JetRAM
Transcend’s JetRAM was, at one point, one of the best RAM kits on the market. And while the latencies don’t hold up to some of today’s high-performance kits, they’re still a respectable CL11, with speeds around 1,866MHz. The real drawback is the lack of XMP support.
However, you’ll probably forget all of that once you see the price. JetRAM, thanks to the lack of features (though still respectable speeds), is extremely cheap.
Last on our list is another offering from G.Skill, the G.Skill Ares. It follows the trend of our last few offerings with decent speeds and latencies with the proper configuration. Baseline the RAM clocks in at 1600MHz with CL9 latency.
The price is right, and thanks to G.Skill’s frequent sales, you can easily find this RAM for extremely cheap.
Choosing the Right RAM for Your Computer
Now that we’ve covered the best DDR3 RAM on the market, we should touch on how to decide which RAM is best for your computer. Put simply, it depends on how you’re using the RAM.
Gamers, and graphic designers especially, will want super-fast, high capacity RAM, while those just browsing the web can opt for some of the cheaper kits. Likewise, coders might want faster RAM for compiling large amounts of code.
As for the laptop versus desktop aspect of the article, buying RAM is the same for both. Your needs won’t change depending on which type of machine you’re buying for. So all in all, think about your needs and get shopping.
Remember, you can never have too much RAM. Don’t hesitate to buy more RAM than you think you need.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Sam Zaman loves to write on technology & related stuff. Ecommerce, mobile and internet marketing equally drive her interest. Likes gardening and experimenting with new recipes. An avid reader and absolutely mad @bout donuts 🙂