There are a lot of different components that go into building a good gaming PC, but while you are focused on the CPU or the graphics card, you also need to give memory its due attention. If you get yourself a kick-ass processor for cheap, it is going to be completely wasted if you don’t have enough memory for it to carry out its processes. However, even an average processor can benefit from the enhanced efficiency of a decent amount of RAM.
Generally speaking, 4 GB of RAM is the absolute minimum you want for a gaming PC, but around 8 GB is still the standard. You can go higher, much higher, and the good news is that RAM is often cheap enough that you can go pretty high. However, usually you are wasting your money on anything over 16 GB unless you also intend to use your gaming rig for more intensive tasks like video editing.
While overall kits and individual sticks of RAM are pretty affordable, if you are looking for true budget, DDR3 is still the least expensive, but you can find some good deals on DDR4 if you want some more power for your dollar.
Budget DDR4 RAM for Gaming PCs
Typically if you are building a budget gaming, you probably aren’t getting a motherboard that supports DDR4. Most often budget boards are DDR3, but some budget board, specifically ones set up for overclocking, may utilize the power of DDR4.
Compared to some other budget DDR4 kits, the Corsair Vengeance LPX runs a little more expensive, but you are also paying for the reliability that comes with the Corsair brand. Not only do LPX kits range from 8 GB to 32 GB in size, but you can also get them in 2400MHz, 2666MHz, 2800MHz, 3000MHZ, and 3200MHz speeds with CAS latency of 14, 15, and 16. So while they are more expensive, you are also getting a wide array of choice, something that you don’t always get with other kits.
Kingston is no stranger to providing quality parts for budget builds, but unlike other budget RAM kits, the HyperX Fury allows you to go all the way up to 64 GB of RAM. While that is a bit overkill for gaming, it is nice to have the option if you need the extra RAM for other activities. While you also have a variety of MHz options as well, these kits do only come with a set CAS latency of 14, which is pretty good but does keep the price a little high.
In terms of best performance for the lowest price, the Balistix Sport is as low as you can go in the DDR4 market. While this RAM kit goes all the way up to 64 GB and starts as low as 4 GB, and you will also have a set CAS latency of 16 and a set speed of 2400MHz, neither of which are bad, but it lacks the customization of other RAM kits. However, this is likely just a way of keeping costs low.
Budget DDR3 RAM for Gaming PCS
While DDR4 is as affordable as DDR3 is these days, there are some motherboards that will still force your hand to use DDR3. In particular, AMD AM3+ motherboards still exclusively use DDR3 even on the newest models.
G.Skill has a wide array of DDR3 RAM kits, but even among high-end gaming PC builders, the Ripjaws kits have become the kits of choice. While they only have 1600 MHz speeds, it does have a awesome CAS latency of 9, which helps it give you performance above and beyond its price. As the kits also come in sizes between 4 GB and 32 GB, you can also get the size you need to fully fuel a gaming rig.
While the Patriot’s other DDR3 series, the Patriot Signature, is a little more affordable, The Patriot Viper 3 provides more options in terms of RAM kits with much better performance. While the kits only come in sizes from 4 GB to 16 GB, that is more than enough for a great gaming rig, even one made with other high end components. However, the CAS latency is a nice low 9 and the kits come with speeds of up to 2400MHz and as low as the standard 1600MHz to give you a variety of price per performance options.
Just like the DDR4 RAM kits, the Ballistix Sport is also the most budget-friendly, but still well-performing budget DDR3 RAM option. However, unlike their DDR4 kits, the options only go up to 32 GBs in size and have a 1600MHz speed. However, if you are building a budget gaming PC with a AM3+ MOBO, you can’t go wrong slapping in one or two of this kits in without busting your budget.
His 2 favorite fictional characters of all time are Ned and Tony.
Ken lives a life of anguish as his love for video games and all things geek is only surpassed by how horrible he is at playing them.
He has the hand/eye coordination of a 41 y/o man matched with a mind of an 18 y/o.
His cat's name is John Constantine.