Among the parts needed to build a PC, RAM memory is one of the most important. Acronym for random access memory, these components allow the processor to access data very quickly, without relying on system storage, which is significantly slower.
But how to choose the ideal kit for your machine? What do you need to know to select ideal memories for your use? Canaltech has gathered in this article the most important points to pay attention to when purchasing RAM, as well as some of the best kits on the market.
What you need to know when buying RAM memory
As we discussed in our article about the ideal amount of RAM in a PC gamer, in addition to capacity, it is important to note some other points that affect the performance of memories and, consequently, of the computer as a whole. Are they:
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Frequency: very briefly, it is the number of times stored data is read per second, usually measured in MHz. To facilitate your purchase, you can search for the maximum frequency supported by your computer’s processor and purchase memories that they operate from the factory at this value, avoiding changing settings later. Rank: also summarizing in a more superficial way, it refers to the numbers of “connections” that RAM can establish between memories and the CPU channel, and memory banks present in the module’s chips. For games, many tests indicate that the ideal configuration brings dual rank (2R) with a larger number of banks (x8). Unfortunately, it is not the practice of manufacturers to divulge rank details. Latency (CAS): the time taken to access the desired information, represented by the acronym CL accompanied by a number. The smaller the number, the better. Still, it is noteworthy that latency is usually higher in memories with higher frequencies, a point that ends up compensated precisely by the higher frequency. Model: It is important to always try to use identical memory modules in the computer — even if different brands or models work together, performance losses and other problems can happen.
With all of this in mind, check out some interesting options in varying price ranges to power up your machine.
TeamGroup T-Force XTREEM ARGB: high frequency with low latency
Positioned in the premium segment, TeamGroup’s T-Force XTREEM RGB stands out for its balance between high frequencies and low latencies. The 3200 MHz and 3600 MHz models deliver CL14, and there is guaranteed compatibility with Intel and AMD platforms, as well as support for XMP (eXtreme Memory Profile), automatic overclocking in which memories adapt frequency according to PC settings.
XTREEM ARGB has high performance, with high frequency and low latency (Image: Playback/TeamGroup)
Visually, TeamGroup adopts the so-called ARGB, a lighting system that uses “the principles of reflection and light penetration”, which, in practice, illuminates the heatsink completely with intensity. Without proprietary software, you can manage settings through third-party programs, including ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, and MSI Mystic Light Sync.
The price isn’t very inviting, but it’s understandable considering the modules’ specifications — the 16GB kit (2x 8GB) can be found at around R$1,000 to R$1,200.
G.Skill TridentZ RGB: high performance with reasonable price
Also in the premium range, we have the G.Skill TridentZ RGB, one of the most popular high performance models. The most common kit delivers high frequencies of 3600 MHz, but latencies are less optimized than those seen on XTREEM RGB, reaching CL19. XMP is supported for automatic speed adjustment, and G.Skill guarantees high manual overclocking capability.
TridentZ RGB has bold design and high performance (Image: Playback/G.Skill)
As the name suggests, TridentZ RGB offers a flashy look, with a black-tinted metal heatsink and the entire upper region covered by RGB lighting. Settings are made in third-party programs, including ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, and MSI Mystic Light Sync.
The robust specs come with a hefty price tag, with the 16GB kit (2x 8GB) costing around R$1,250
Kingston Fury Beast: high frequency with attractive price
With a low profile and sober design, without RGB lighting, the Kingston Fury Beast is a surprisingly attractive option considering the specs and the price. One of the most interesting kits features a clock rate of 3600 MHz with CL17 latency, bringing XMP support, compatibility with AMD and Intel systems and manual overclocking by a considerable margin.
The Kingston Fury Beast is surprisingly attractive for its balance of price and performance (Image: Playback/Kingston)
The model is very friendly for those who don’t want to have to deal with BIOS settings as it has Plug and Play technology, which will use the highest possible speed automatically, following the system’s capabilities.
The 16 GB kit (2x 8 GB) from Kingston Fury Beast can be found for prices ranging from R$700 to R$800.
Corsair Vengeance LPX: great low profile model
For those looking for more compact memories, essential for reduced size builds, or for those who prefer a more discreet look, Corsair Vengeance LPX delivers an excellent balance of looks, performance and price.
The Vengeance LPX features a low profile and discreet design without lighting, without leaving aside the customization with 4 color options (Image: Reproduction/Corsair)
The heatsink has no lighting and allows for a certain level of customization, as it is available in black, white, red and blue. In performance, one of the best Vengeance LPX kits has a frequency of 3200 MHz and CL16 latency, and there is a guarantee of high performance overclocking, as well as XMP support.
The 16 GB kit (2x 8 GB) from Corsair Vengeance can be found for prices around R$900.
Crucial Ballistix: Balanced Option at the Most Affordable Price
Another discreet option with good performance and even more affordable price is Crucial Ballistix. The memories are low profile and although there is RGB lighting, it is less flashy, and configurable through programs like ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0 and MSI Mystic Light Sync.
Crucial Ballistix delivers unobtrusive design and unopened RGB low-profile while still delivering solid performance for the price (Image: Playback/Crucial)
Other than that, there is still the possibility of customization with a considerable range of color options, including black, white and red. The 3200 MHz clocked version features CL16 latency, and XMP support is guaranteed with compatibility guaranteed for AMD and Intel systems. Tests also point to a high potential for manual overclocking.
Considering the package it delivers, the 16 GB kit (2x 8 GB) has a relatively friendly price, which is between R$600 and R$700.
TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB: solid performance and low cost
Among the low-cost options, the T-Force Delta RGB isn’t quite perfect, but it offers a very attractive package for the low price. The 3200 MHz version features CL16 latency, and there’s automatic overclocking with XMP, which includes guaranteed compatibility with AMD and Intel systems.
The T-Force Delta RGB has solid performance and relatively low price (Image: Playback/TeamGroup)
Visually, Delta RGB draws attention for its asymmetrical shape and, as the name indicates, for its RGB lighting, which covers the entire upper region of the module. As with other models equipped with the feature, setup and synchronization is managed by programs such as ASUS Aura Sync and Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0.
The 16GB kit (2x 8GB) from T-Force Delta RGB can be found with prices ranging from R$500 to R$600.
Kingston Fury Impact: One of the Best Choices for Laptops
Laptop users face a tricky scenario for RAM upgrades: modules are often expensive, and it’s hard to find a kit with good specs. Kingston is back on the list with Fury Impact, a high-cost model that delivers respectable performance and many of the features seen in desktop models.
Kingston Fury Impact is one of the best RAM choices for notebooks (Image: Playback/Kingston)
In one of the most balanced kits, the memories deliver a frequency of 3,200 MHz with CL16 latency and single rank, being endowed, however, with a high number of banks (1Rx8). There’s XMP around here, with compatibility for AMD and Intel systems, as well as Plug and Play technology, to deliver the highest frequencies supported by your notebook.
The 16GB kit (2x 8GB) from Fury Impact in these configurations is not easy to be found, and comes with a suggested retail price of R$1,100.
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