Best Overall

G.Skill Trident Z 3200

G.Skill Trident Z

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Great high-bandwidth components with room for tweaks — and a price that won't destroy a gaming PC budget. Timings aren't too shabby and robust overclocking support means these will meet just about everybody's needs.

Bottom line: Perfect if you're after the best RAM can give you today for gaming and productivity.

One more thing: The cooling shrouds are rather on the large side and could hit other internals.

Why the G.Skill Trident Z 3200 is the best DDR4 RAM

The Trident Z by G.Skill is the best choice for consumers looking to invest in high-end RAM with a strong design and lightening fast performance to boot.

These RAM sticks are huge. The large heatsinks make it possible to push the memory beyond stock configuration to get more performance within an overclocked environment. Not only do they look gorgeous, thanks to the same minimalist design, but they have the muscle to power through tasks without fail. G.Skill is renowned for its performance RAM, and the Trident Z series is no different.

Unfortunately, there is a slight issue with the size of the heatsinks — they're big, so if your PC case is tightly packed they might not fit easily (or at all). Some CPU coolers may have issues sitting correctly with these modules installed, depending on motherboard RAM slot locations and formation.

At least you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for these sticks of memory. The 16GB kit (more than enough for most situations) comes in at around $130. This is fairly competitive when compared against competitor options. And if blinky bright LEDs aren't your thing, good news: there aren't any here.

Patriot

Patriot Viper 4

Patriot Viper DDR4 RAM

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Don't let the price fool you. While Patriot's Viper 4 family of modules aren't premium RAM, they're no slouches and some even have a little wiggle room for overclocking. We like the 3000MHz (PV48G300C6K) package that contains two 4GB sticks for a total of 8GB.

Bottom line: Should you require solid DDR4 RAM that's also affordable, the Viper 4 series are a great choice.

One more thing: Overclocking can be a bit fiddly and results aren't particularly worth the investment.

kingston

Kingston HyperX Fury

Kingston HyperX Fury

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With an attractive black design, Kingston has clearly invested time and resources into making sure its HyperX Fury line of memory modules will not only work flawlessly in systems, but will also look the part too.

Bottom line: Solid timings, great performance and overall brilliant package.

One more thing: Has a neat plug-n-play feature that sets clock speed to rated specification automatically.

Corsair

Corsair Vengeance LPX

Corsair Vengeance LPX

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Corsair's Vengeance LPX RAM are rated at a high 1.35v power draw, which could cause some concern if you're planning on multiple sticks and the heat they'll generate. Thankfully, additional cooling fans are available as optional extras. This potential issue only really affects overclockers who will push their system harder than most.

Bottom line: Ideal for those who wish to overclock their components, including RAM.

One more thing: Pure aluminum heat spreader helps keep things cool under load.

Crucial

Crucial Ballistix Elite

Crucial Ballistix Elite

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Like other options in our guide, Crucial's Ballistix Elite range of RAM offer high levels of performance for home users and gamers. Sporting an aggressive design and speedy features like support for Intel XMP 2.0, teaming up with Crucial for memory will unlock room for more fragging at better frame rates.

Bottom line: Built to last, you can't go wrong with installing Crucial memory in your machine.

One more thing: Utilizes on-board sensor for real-time temperature monitoring.

Conclusion

Purchasing RAM is a simple task for desktop machines. Match up respective specifications between the motherboard and RAM and you're good to go. That said, should you wish to go one step further and increase available performance, G.Skill's Trident z series will provide you the means to do just that.

Best Overall

G.Skill Trident Z 3200

G.Skill Trident Z

See at Newegg

Great high-bandwidth components with room for tweaks — and a price that won't destroy a gaming PC budget. Timings aren't too shabby and robust overcloking support means these will meet just about everybody's needs.

Bottom line: Perfect if you're after the best RAM can give you today for gaming and productivity.

One more thing: The cooling shrouds are rather on the large side and could hit other internals.