Choose RAM

The choice of RAM – How to choose RAM in 2017?

choosing ramWhich memory format should you choose DDR3 or DDR4? What manufacturer should you give preference to? What are the features of the budget and gaming memory cards? Does it make sense to build a system based on DDR4, or you can do format DDR3?

Find the answers to all important questions in this article. In the end you will be presented with the recommendations of memory models of 2017 model year, which are recognized by experts because of the best price and quality.


Table of Contents

  1. Amount of Random Access Memory
  2. RAM frequency
  3. DDR3 or DDR4?
  4. Reliable manufacturers
  5. Where should you stop?

Amount of Random Access Memory

Many beginners believe that the more RAM is, the better it will be. In practice, there is the concept of the optimum amount of RAM, an additional increase of which will not lead to significant changes in performance. Attach another foot to the chair, and it will stay. But its resistance will not change. Such an analogy applies to RAM. After filling all available slots with powerful cards, you’re most likely to use only a small part of this huge resource, much of which is just expensive ballast.

8modules ramThe function of RAM is to give the necessary data, temporarily stored on the media, online and as quickly as possible. Memory can’t be considered as a factor of the speed of the computer, as it, unlike the CPU does not execute compute, but only store data, and displays them. The system operates at the maximum of their capabilities until all the RAM will not be filled. If the memory is exhausted –hard drive will be activated for uploading, that slows down the PC.

The choice of optimal amount of memory depends on the number of applications you plan to run simultaneously. Windows with utilities, antivirus, and popular applications consumes about 2 GB of memory. So 2 GB of RAM is enough for a budget PC, but we recommend you to choose 4 GB as a minimum standard for a modern PC. A universal computer for everyday work, studies and entertainment will do with a memory of 4 GB, but it’s recommended to have 8GB for the future. For optimal gaming stations top strap it is 16 GB, although in most cases 8 GB is also sufficient. As for specialized PC designed to perform certain tasks, there is the optimal amount of RAM is determined individually. Some PC can manage 2 gigabytes, while others will have to choose “space” capacity of 64 gigabytes.


Also see: Matching graphics cards and CPUs, How to choose the best CPU, How to buy WiFi router and How to choose a monitor in 2017


The performance test suggests a powerful gaming PC will work well with RAM up to 8 GB, which is enough with the stock. However, a number of recent game releases in the system requirements specify 16 GB of RAM.

Some users in the calculation of the prospect install more than 16 GB of memory. It doesn’t make sense, since the growth requirements for the RAM from the creators of games and apps will apply to CPU and performance graphics card.

When choosing RAM, you need to consider that for 32-bit operating systems, the maximum volume is around 3.5 GB. If you want to use more memory you are recommended to install the 64-bit system.

RAM frequency

ram frequencyWhen buying one should be aware that the performance of your PC is affected by processor power and the amount of the graphics card. The “iron” is engaged in computational tasks. RAM frequency though, affects the performance of the processes, in practice, it increases the speed of your PC slightly. Often the performance gain for different programs does not exceed 10%, which is not so noticeable for the user. Fast RAM loses in reliability. That’s why in order to build a powerful PC in the first place it is  better to spend the money on the processor and graphics card, opting for the standard RAM boards.

As for the built-in integrated graphics card, in this case, the installation of fast RAM can give significant performance growth. However, it would be much smarter to get a discrete – even inexpensive video card that will noticeably surpass the performance of the scheme “integrated card + fast RAM”.

Dual channel memory scheme in which there are two Boards instead of one, but with smaller volume, has the advantages of speed equivalent to a nominal value. Performance increase in some applications may reach 20%. Dual-channel scheme recommended not only gamers, but ordinary users. The owners budget PC will be enough and single channel RAM. But you need to keep in mind that an integrated graphics card is not always enough to run complex applications, and modern games resources. And with single-channel connection scheme of memory the graphics capabilities of your computer are greatly reduced.

DDR3 or DDR4?

The DDR4 standard has several advantages compared to previous DDR3 format, such as:

  • Up to 40% speed with the same frequency parameters;
  • The increase of the speed of RAM up to 300%;
  • Increase of the speed of applications on 10-50%.

ddr4Unfortunately, the practice tests say that DDR3 and DDR4 are approximately the same. This is due to the fact that DDR4 has not been run, but soon will be improved. After the mass introduction of technologies in modern PC should expect a real performance boost.

Today the prices for both formats of RAM are almost equivalent. However, they have declined steadily.

You need to consider that the cost of motherboards that support DDR4 format, will be higher than the price of a similar Board with support for DDR3. Although DDR3 is found everywhere, it is not necessary to abandon the purchase of a PC or laptop with the standard DDR4. The most important thing is to buy the Board to update the BIOS and before installing the operating system.

Reliable manufacturers

Comparing statistics from a number of authoritative sources, we can conclude that the TOP 3 most reliable manufacturers of RAM looks like this:

  • Kingston
  • Crucial
  • Samsung

The products of these brands have a very low percentage of defects. They have a relatively reliable memory modules from manufacturers such as Hynix and Corsair. As for such popular brands like Patriot, OCZ and NCP, these modules often fail in the first 6 months of operation.

You need to consider that the overclocked memory modules are less reliable than mid-price segment, ceteris paribus. The point in buying expensive modules when the speed for the user is more important than reliability. But it is not necessary to save money when buying little known brands of modules. Even if such components are successful during the warranty period, there will be a high probability of failure during the first three years of operation. That’s why it makes more sense to overpay a little for the products of proven brands.

Do not forget about the risk of buying fakes. Such products still can be bought from unreliable suppliers.

Where should you stop?

The main advantage of DDR3 is the reliability and DDR4 – in efficiency. Thus performance in practice, these two standards are identical. What to choose?

If you are upgrading your current PC, there is no reason to switch from DDR3 to DDR4. But if you buy a new computer, it is better to buy a DDR4, picking the appropriate motherboard brand.

As for brands, it is better to give preference to Kingston, Samsung, Transcend, Crucial and Hynix.

As it has been said, the optimal volume for a budget PC would be 2-4 GB, for example:

Kingston Value RAM 4GB 1600MHz Kingston Technology ValueRAM 4GB 2133MHz
Kingston ValueRAM 1600GHz 4Gb (KVR16N11S8/4) Kingston ValueRAM 2133GHz 4Gb (KVR21N15S8/4)

For a universal computer it is enough to have 4-8 GB, for example:

Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3 Kingston HyperX FURY Black 4GB
Kingston HyperX Fury 1866GHz 2x4Gb (HX318C10FBK2/8) Kingston HyperX Fury 2133GHz 2x4Gb (HX421C14FBK2/8)

The needs of the gamers will fully satisfy the volume up to 16 GB, for example:

Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3 16Gb Kingston HyperX FURY Black DDR4 16Gb
Kingston HyperX Fury 1866GHz 2x8Gb (HX318C10FBK2/16) Kingston HyperX Fury 2666GHz 2x8Gb (HX426C15FBK2/16)

If the laptop has RAM 4 GB – it makes no sense to increase it, as such operating resource is more than enough for work and play.

When you purchase, keep in mind that for laptops there are 2 options modules DDR3 SO-DIMM with 1.35 V and 1.5 V:

Kingston-ValueRAM-1600GHz-4Gb-1-300x300 Kingston Technology 4GB 1600MHz DDR3L Kingston ValueRAM 2133GHz 4Gb
Kingston ValueRAM 1600GHz 4Gb (KVR16S11S8/4) Kingston ValueRAM 1600GHz 4Gb (KVR16LS11/4) Kingston ValueRAM 2133GHz 4Gb (KVR21S15S8/4)

Practice shows that installation of 32 GB of RAM in the current situation is irrational and a waste of time, as most modern games and apps can handle a PC with much less RAM. If you want to accelerate your PC then it is better to start acquiring a SSD drive and quality video card that will open new horizons of performance to your PC.

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