The Best RAM For Your Money?

By that, I mean the RAM that offers unsurpassed reliability and performance at a price range.

Because you want the best bang for the buck, because you want the best RAM for your money and because you want the highest performance possible without sacrificing reliability, right?

Because saving 5$ or gaining 5% of performance ain’t worth it if your computer doesn’t work reliably.

If you have the time to do research… but who does in this busy world?

However, I do realize that not everyone has the time to read detailed RAM reviews nor does everyone can make sense of complex RAM specifications.

This is why I write this guide for you: To help you save your time, sanity and money by letting you know what is the best RAM for your money.

This is an Worldwide Guide!

Do you live in the USA?

Use Amazon, B&H and Newegg for your purchase.

Do you live outside of the USA?

No problem. Most parts can be purchased from B&H, who ships worldwide.

Prices for B&H and Newegg as of October 11th 2016. Put your mouse on Amazon links or click on them to see prices.

8 things to check for compatibility

I recommend checking your computer or motherboard documentation and specifications online to ensure compatibility. Need advise? Leave a comment at the end of the article.
dimm_vs_sodimm

  1. Type of memory: Does your computer support DDR3 or DDR4?
  2. Physical size: Smaller sticks, SO-DIMM, are found in laptops and most all-in-one PC as well as small desktops. Bigger sticks, DIMM, are commonly found in desktop PCs.
  3. How many memory slots? How many memory slots does your computer have? 1-8? How many are free?
  4. Capacity: In GB. How much memory does your PC support and how much do you want? 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB?
  5. Frequency: In MHz. Double-check your computer/motherboard specifications to see what’s supported.
  6. Dual-channel or quad-channel: Most computers support dual channel, where it can use two sticks of RAM at once to double bandwidth. So you want two or four RAM sticks for optimal performance. Some enthusiast computer support quad-channel, where it uses four sticks of RAM at once to quadruple bandwidth, which is not the same thing as supporting four sticks of RAM in dual-channel.
  7. 32 bit Operating System limit: If your PC runs a 32-bit Operating System, it is limited to a maximum of 4GB of total memory.
  8. Windows limits: Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows 7 Home Basic are limited to a maximum of 8GB. 16GB for Windows 7 Home Premium and Vista Home Premium. Windows 8 and 10 Home support 128GB of RAM. Pro and Enterprise versions have much higher limits.

Click on a category to jump to the recommendations:

DDR4

For a Laptop, all-in-one PC or small desktop: DDR4 SO-DIMM

For Desktop PCs: DDR4 DIMM

DDR3

Laptop, all-in-one PC and small desktops: DDR3 SO-DIMM

For Desktop PCs: DDR3 DIMM

DDR4

– For a Laptop, all-in-one PC or small desktop: SO-DIMM

Get SO-DIMM DDR4 2133MHz:

Get SO-DIMM DDR4 2400MHz:

Get SO-DIMM DDR4 2666MHz:

Get SO-DIMM DDR4 2800MHz:

Get SO-DIMM DDR4 3000MHz:

– For Desktop PCs: DIMM

Get DIMM DDR4 2133MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 2400MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 2666MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 2800MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 3000MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 3200MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 3333MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 3400MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 3466MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 3600MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 3733MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 3866MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 4000MHz:

Get DIMM DDR4 4133MHz:

4200MHz+?

As of October 11th 2016, only 8GB kit are available at frequencies of 4200MHz or higher and they are priced higher than 4133MHz 16GB kits!

The Best DDR3 RAM

– For a Laptop, all-in-one PC or small desktop: SO-DIMM

Get SO-DIMM DDR3 1333MHz:

Get SO-DIMM DDR3 1600MHz:

Get SO-DIMM DDR3 1866MHz:

Get SO-DIMM DDR3 2133MHz:

– For Desktop PCs: DIMM

Get DIMM DDR3 1600MHz:

Get DIMM DDR3 1866MHz:

Get DIMM DDR3 2133MHz:

Get DIMM DDR3 2400MHz:

DDR3 2600+MHz?

DDR3 with a frequency of 2600MHz or higher cost more than twice as much as DDR3 2400MHz, while only offering marginally better performance.

In other words, in my professional opinion, it’s just not worth spending your money on DDR3 with frequencies above 2400MHz.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article.

This is the first edition of the Best Computer Memory (RAM) For Your Money article. This means that there is certainly place for improvement.

Leave a comment with your questions and or suggestions!