All of the handpicked Best RAMs undergo vast research here at Tech4Gamers, after which we take into consideration our adroit analytics, combined with in-house reviewing and testing (if possible). We also compare real-world performance benchmarks under idle, typical, and taxing/gaming/overclocking workloads. Not to forget, we crossmatch comparative RAM performance to deduce the Best Overall RAMs.
- Budget: We always consider the price-to-performance ratio first. It is one of the most important factors to go over when testing RAM.
- Performance: We always benchmark the RAM we are testing. We use tools like SiSoftware Sandra Suite, Performance Test, CINEBENCH R23.2, SUPER PI, 3DMARK Benchmark, and more to test the performance of RAM.
- Thermal Efficiency and Power Consumption: Whenever we are reviewing a RAM, we always test its thermal efficiency and power consumption to determine how stable the RAM is during extreme loads.
- Overclocking Potential: Similarly, we also test the overclocking potential of the RAM we are reviewing. We tune up the voltage and see how much of a performance boost we can get via manual overclocking.
- Aesthetics and Build Quality: Many people prioritize the aesthetics of RAM. So, we analyze the physical design of the RAM we test and tell our readers about how the RAM looks. Furthermore, we also talk about the build quality and PCB structure of the RAM.
- Compatibility: Compatibility is an important factor to consider when testing RAM. It refers to both the physical compatibility and how well the RAM works with our test bench. We always talk about the RAM clearance during installation to tell our readers how much clearance they will get from that particular RAM.
- Manufacturer Support: Discussing the manufacturer’s support is important. We always factor in the after-sales support, warranty, and overall manufacturer reputation when testing different RAMs.
First and foremost, we consider the budget and price-to-performance ratio of the RAM we are reviewing. It is one of the most important factors to consider and can heavily influence the RAM’s ranking in our Best RAM guides.
We take the RAM’s pricing, compare it to other RAMs at a similar price point, and judge which RAM offers more value for their money. This way, the RAM we recommend is the best you can get in your budget.
Objectively speaking, performance can be classified as the most critical aspect of any RAM kit. CAS Latency (CL), clock speeds, RAM timings, and heatsinks can indicate how strong a RAM will perform. Generally, you should always prioritize RAMs with lower latencies (CL) since the lower this figure is, the faster your RAM will be. Furthermore, RAMs with higher clock speeds will always be preferred since the combination of a low CL, and faster clock speeds will translate to a positively reduced time taken for the RAM to transfer data between the CPU and itself, subsequently paving the way for drastically improved gaming performance
Moreover, it would be best if you always tried to choose a RAM kit bearing lower RAM Timings, which are in an XX-XX-XX-XX format. These timings are an alternative form of measuring a RAM module’s latency for conducting various operations.
As we don’t wish to confuse you by getting into the details here; simply put, lower RAM timings translate to reduced latencies, which, in turn, means that immeasurable data transfer operations may be conducted instantaneously between the CPU and RAM, which will instantly result in a significant performance boost in your PC’s general systematic responsiveness and real-world gaming performance as well as rendering or virtual machine workflows, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Thermal Efficiency and Power Consumption
Along with performance, the thermal efficiency of RAM is equally important. Simply put, thermally efficiency refers to how the RAM can deal with the heat it generates.
Without a proper thermal solution, the memory chips will overheat, and to compensate for that, they will reduce their performance, which refers to thermal throttling.
To avoid thermal throttling, manufacturers use heat spreaders made of different materials, most commonly aluminum. The heat spreader ensures that the heat is taken away from the memory chip and dissipated efficiently. So, in our testing, we always review the heat spreaders and tell our readers about them.
Not only that, but we also remove the heat spreaders to verify which memory chip the RAM is using.
In addition to thermal efficiency, power consumption is also an important feature to test. While the power consumption won’t really affect your electricity bill, it will definitely dictate the overclocking potential and overall stability of your RAM.
So, when reviewing RAM, we always test the stability of the memory chips and voice our opinions based on the power consumption. Apart from stability, power consumption also affects the overclocking potential of the RAM, which is another factor we test.
As mentioned, the overclocking potential of a RAM is heavily influenced by its power consumption and thermal efficiency. In our reviews, we always overclock the RAM we are testing to determine its overclocking potential.
For instance, in our review of the Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR5 6000MT/s CAS36, we overclocked the RAM to 6800MT/s while maintaining the timing latency at the input voltage of 1.45V. This means that the Vengeance RGB DDR5 offers good overclocking potential.
Aesthetics and Build Quality
Times have changed. Gone are the days of OEM-green/blue/black RAM modules. Manufacturers these days are snazzing up RAM kits with distinguishable design flairs, such as adding fake jewels on the top of RAMs to give off an exotic appearance. Vendors love to one-up competitors by offering their unique take on RGB lighting by including frosted diffusers (primarily white) on top of the RAMs or throughout the module for a relatively special translucent lighting effect.
In terms of build quality, RAM kits have come a long way in the past decade. Almost all manufacturers are now fully sealing RAM modules for improved longevity, thanks to increased dust and humidity resistance. Brands tend to differ, with some favoring premium construction while others fancy something more functional to keep the price low.
It’s no surprise that there are literally thousands of different RAM kits out there, some with the exact same specifications such as latency, speed, and type like DDR4 or DDR5, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be compatible with your processor.
Nevertheless, for your convenience, we’ve ensured that all of the Best RAMs spotlighted on our renowned lists have their CPU compatibility mentioned within the specifications subdivision.
In addition, all the RAM kits have been rigorously tested and researched for fully proven compatibility with the aforementioned CPUs. However, if you’re planning to buy an alternative RAM kit, we suggest double-checking your motherboard’s specifications with that of the RAM you’re looking to buy to make sure you get your desired frequencies and, of course, confirm that the RAM is compatible with your motherboard and CPU in the first place.
Also, it’s essential to crossmatch the height of your desired RAM modules with the height of your CPU cooler since RAM kits nowadays have tall heatsinks for advanced thermal dissipation. Nevertheless, these vast heat spreaders tend to interfere with the housing of your CPU cooler, which may cause potential compatibility issues. If you’re sporting a Mini-ITX or similarly small chassis, feel free to view our coveted catalog of the Best Low Profile CPU Coolers!
We make it a habit of closely scrutinizing each of the Best RAMs in terms of after-sales customer service care provided by each manufacturer, taking into account past track records and experiences. Not stopping here, we closely inspect every component of the RAM, from the DDR4 pins to the frosted RGB diffusers (if any), as well as the heat-spreaders, to get a better idea about the durability and longevity of the RAM module. Of course, we don’t let warranty periods go by unnoticed, as we actively encourage manufacturers to stand by their RAMs for an extended period of time, with some notable brands excelling in this department, going as far as to offer lifetime warranties!