Best RAM for Intel Core i5-12600K in 2021

Intel 12th Gen Corei5 Chip
Intel 12th Gen Corei5 Chip (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Intel's new 12th Gen "Alder Lake" processor lineup includes the outstanding Core i5-12600K. It's a mid-range option that should appeal to just about anyone, including gamers who want stellar performance without overspending. Because these new CPUs offer DDR5 support alongside DDR4 support, the best RAM for the Core i5-12600K is going to be split across the two standards. And since the best DDR5 RAM is currently about as easy to find as the best graphics cards, your best bet might be to go with DDR4 for now until DDR5 becomes more common. Nevertheless, we've put together a collection of the best DDR4 and DDR5 RAM options for the i5-12600K.

Building around the Intel Core i5-12600K CPU

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Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake Core CPUs feature a new hybrid core design, which also comes along with a new LGA 1700 socket. That means your older motherboards will not work with the CPU, requiring a more substantial overhaul for anyone going the upgrade route. Whether you're building completely new or upgrading, be sure to check out the best motherboards for the Core i5-12600K.

Depending on the motherboard you choose, you'll need to use either DDR4 or DDR5 RAM. Because the latter RAM is so hard to find right now, DDR4 might be the smartest choice despite the disparity between performance. DDR4 RAM is also considerably cheaper, making it the best option for budget builds. Note that DDR4 and DDR5 RAM is not interchangeable, and a motherboard compatible with one will not be compatible with the other.

If you'd like to hold out and try to find DDR5 stock, we recommend checking out GEiL's Polaris RGB RAM once it's back in stock. It has RGB lighting, it's incredibly fast, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. For those looking to stick with DDR4 RAM and save some money, Corsair's Vengeance LPX is never a bad choice. It's fairly cheap, it performs well, and it's readily available.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.