7 Best Budget DDR4 PC Gaming Memory Kits 2017
What do you think?
Is higher speed Ram worth it right now?
DDR4 memory ranges in price from as low as $8 per GB to as much as $20 for high-performance overclocking kits. So, if you're building a gaming PC, what's the sweet spot between value and speed?
The truth is it depends. A game like GTA V shows no real difference between DDR4-2133MHz and DDR4-3733MHz. However, other games, and AMD's Ryzen 7 1700, do seem to show a performance boost for higher speeds.
If you're going with Kaby Lake system, keep in mind that unless you go with a Z170 or Z270 motherboard you'll be stuck at 2133MHz. If you don't care about that, you'll want to go with something reliable and cheap.
Other games, show a "jump" of sorts when moving from DDR4-2133 to DDR4 2400, DDR4-2666 to DDR4-2800, and DDR4 2800 to DDR4-3733. Yet, these jumps provide only marginal improvements in games. In most real world applications, there is no tangible improvement.
Ultimately, we'd say that DDR4-2666 tends to be the sweet spot in terms of the money you spend and the improvements you get for Intel and around 3000Mhz for AMD. Considering that many of the middle-of-the road kits, in terms of speed, are the same price as the 2133MHz kits, you'll want to go with the fastest you can find for your budget.
Best DDR4 Ram Kits for the Money 2017
Looking for value? These kits provide speed at a reasonable price.
G. Skill Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 Memory
Speed and quality for cheap. That's what you get with the G. Skill Ripjaws series. If you're willing to jump up to the 2x8GB kit rather than stick with 2x4, you'll get a better overall value per GB.
The module below costs around $100, has a Cas Latency of 15, has a bit of play for power users, and looks fantastic too. It's available in a variety of colors and has received various Editor's recommendation awards.
Overall, it's the cheapest kit at its speed that you'll find. Don't let that deter you, G. Skill is one of the most reliable brands around.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB 3000Mhz
Available in a wide variety of capacities and speeds, Corsair Vengeance's LPX kits are probably the most popular DDR4 on the market.
Within the series are so many models, it's often times difficult to know what to purchase. Personally, we like the 2x8GB model at 3000MHz. It's generally available for around $115 but falls to around $99 from time to time.
The design of it looks fantastic in your case with well-designed, albeit somewhat useless, heat spreaders. Colors include; red, white, blue, and black.
Overall you get good quality and high speeds for what you pay for the Corsair Vengeance LPX series and Ram that's meant to be overclocked. So, tweak away.
Patriot Viper 4 Series DDR4 RAM
Another really good option is this Viper 4 series ram from Patriot.
It's one of the best overclockers around. So, even if you're thinking about higher-end ram, you'll likely be able to achieve what you want with this.
All of this for just around $100? Sounds like a plan.
Fastest DDR4 Kit
No "for the money" option here. This kit is for those who care about speed above everything else.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 4266MHz
For those who have to have the best, there are specific kits designed for high-performance overclocking. Corsair Vengeance has an LPX model that delivers 4266MHz speeds. Sound good?
All you need to do is hand over $340 for the 2x4GB kit and you can show off to all your friends. Clearly the price to performance ratio isn't here on this one. However, with something like this, it's not about that.
G. Skill TridentZ
As an alternative to the model above, you should consider G. Skill's TridenZ series DDR4 4266. This 4x2GB kit costs a mere $300.
Top Budget 4x2GB DDR4 Kits
Rather spend the money elsewhere? These kits give excellent value for the budget builder.
2. Crucial Ballistix Sport
While I'd rather not have two Crucial models in a row it's hard to ignore value performance and the gives you just that. Legitreviews was recently able to get a stable 2666 with 12 CL with this particular model. Crucial Ballistix Sport
Considering this kit is often as cheap as the one above, it definitely should be on your watch list.
The Crucial Ballistix Sport series is available in a single 1x4 module and up to a maximum of 4x16GB kits. Speeds are DDR4-2400 for the Sport and Sport LT lines and DDR4-2666 at stock for Tactical and Elite versions. Various designs are also available for color coordinating with your case.
Crucial Model CT2K8G4DFD8213
Since most of you are power users it's hard to make the case for the more expensive ram here. Even the cheapest ram on this list, the Crucial CT2K8G4DFD8213 can easily be set at 2666 with 14-14-14-32-1T. From that point on most shouldn't be seeing the kind of performance improvement that justifies the price differential.
This is especially true when considering that you won't get a lot of improvement in frames going with something faster. If you want a heatsink for looks, consider purchasing a separate one or going with other value memory like the Crucial Ballistix Sport, G. Skill Ripjaws 4 Series, or Corsair LPX series that all give good value for what you spend. .
As I mentioned above this model has great overclocking potential and is solid ram overall.
Don't let the lack of heatsinks fool you, those won't do anything for you anyway.
Here you're paying for everything you need and nothing you don't. If they're on sale, the Crucial Ballistix Sport, shown below, is also very desirable in this price range.
Budget Vengeance LPX 4x2GB Options
Corsair's Vengeance LPX was already listed above. But, for this entry we're simply looking at 4x2GB configurations for budget based builds.
We were able to find a 4x2GB configuration of DDR4-2400MHz Corsair Vengeance LPX for around $55. This is very reasonable considering that even the cheapest kits come in at around $50. What's more is that you have plenty of options to choose from.
Want even more out of your ram? Overclock it. Vengeance LPX memory always has some room for additional tweaking.
Other DDR4 Series Kits Worth Mentioning
If it's in stock for a decent price I like G. Skill's Value series ram here as well
Ultimately the higher priced DDR4 kits really aren't worth the money unless you're on a team trying to break some record somewhere. For now, go with something cheap until you can upgrade to something even better for cheaper later on.
An alternate option would be to wait for the holiday season coming up to make your purchase. Rebates are generally available at that time that make ram 25 to 40% off consumer retail prices.
Have something you'd like to add? Please let us know in the comment section below.
DDR4 Learning Guide and More Information
DDR4 Current and Future Compatibility:
While DDR4 isn't compatible with previous generation Haswell or Broadwell CPUs it is compatible with Intel's sixth generation Skylake and seventh generation Kaby Lake processors. In addition, it's compatible with current Enthusiast X99 systems and will be compatible with AM4 systems in 2017.
What about for Dual GPU Setups?
There is a slight performance boost in minimum FPS for certain games. However, this performance boost is not for every game and is negated by other categories in which DDR3 still performs better.
If there's no performance boost, why go with DDR4 right now?
DDR4 makes sense to a lot of people simply because it's mandatory for use newer systems. In addition, it allows these systems to have a bit more longevity.
Why budget DDR4 is your best option:
With the ability to overclock DDR4 and set timings lower there is little to no real benefit with going with RAM that posts flashy stock speeds. Ideally, you'll find ram that's cheap that you can overclock to at least 2400 Mhz and 15 CL. If you want better ram, consider upgrading down the road when manufacturers have gotten some of the kinks worked out.
Gaming and Performance Benefits for DDR4 vs DDR3:
Yes MT/s is higher and power usage is lower; however, as of right now there are few performance gains made by switching to DDR4. As timing gets tighter and games and programs learn to take advantage of it, this is likely to change.
As DDR3 is a similar price to DDR4 in 2017, it's just the better overall bet unless you're upgrading an old system.
Related Tech and Gaming Information
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© 2015 Brandon Hart