While there isn’t a lot of focus on RAM, many folks don’t realize how complex and important it can be to have a smooth and silky day-to-day experience. For example, Windows 11 on its own consumes about 4GBs of RAM just sitting there, so having 8GB of RAM is really more like having 4GB of RAM. Luckily, if you’re building a new PC, there are a lot of great Black Friday deals on both DDR 4 and DDR5 RAM across various speeds and sizes, so you can pick something that perfectly fits your needs, budgets, and potentially your current build.
While DDR4 RAM is the older generation now, it’s still one of the most widely supported types of RAM, and you’ll often find better and more varied deals for these. There’s also the fact that most CPUs and motherboards support having several RAM sticks, so you can buy several smaller and cheaper sticks rather than a few larger ones.
- Corsair VENGEANCE LPX 16GB (2x8GB) 3200MHz CL16 —
- PNY XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB 16GB (2x8GB) 3600MHz —
- Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 16GB (2x8GB) 3200MHz CL16 —
- Corsair VENGEANCE LPX DDR4 RAM 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz CL16 —
- Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz CL16 —
- Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO SL DDR4 32GB (2x16GB) 3600MHz CL18 —
The latest standard in memory is DDR5 RAM, which is much faster than DDR4 overall and has a larger upper limit for individual stick size. Also, remember that it’s generally better to go for two sticks of RAM rather than one stick of DDR5 due to the way memory banks are arranged and in terms of optimization. This also generally holds true for DD4 but is more important for DDR5.
- Kingston Fury Beast 8GB DDR5 CL36 —
- Corsair Vengeance DDR5 RAM 16GB (2x8GB) 5200MHz CL40 —
- Teamgroup T-Create Classic 10L DDR5 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) 6000MHz (PC5-48000) CL48 —
- Crucial Pro RAM 32GB Kit (2x16GB) DDR5 —
- Corsair Vengeance DDR5 RAM 32GB (2x16GB) 6000MHz CL30 —
- Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR5 RAM 32GB (2x16GB) 6000MHz CL30 —
- Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB (2PK X 16GB) 6200MHz DDR5 C36 —
The first and foremost thing to consider is how much RAM you actually need. 8GB is certainly a minimum, but we’re quickly getting to a point where 16GB should be the norm for a generally smooth experience, especially if you game. You could go with 32GB if you game a lot, but RAM is rarely a bottleneck, and unless you’re a power user with dozens and dozens of apps and tabs open, it won’t be worth it. On the other hand, there are some applications where a lot of RAM can help, such as with programming, CAD, and video editing, all of which will do better the more RAM you have.
Beyond just the size, though, is also the specific speeds of each RAM, which is a much more complex topic because it involves not only the frequency but also the latency, so we suggest you check our guide on RAM speed for a more thorough breakdown. It’s also worth looking at our analysis between DDR5 vs. DDR4 RAM to see which one suits your needs better, especially since DDR5 is still relatively new and isn’t as optimized as DDR4.