The com­put­er should not slow down in games, brows­er, pro­grams. The proces­sor (CPU) alone will not pro­vide per­for­mance. It is impor­tant to choose the right RAM for com­fort­able work and play. We fig­ured out which RAM to install and how to choose it in order to get the max­i­mum result.

The impor­tance of RAM in a PC can­not be under­es­ti­mat­ed. Pho­to: howtogeek.com

The main thing about the choice of RAM
What tasks does RAM per­form?
Dual chan­nel mode: how many sticks to buy
Radi­a­tors: when they are use­ful
XMP, QVL — nota­tion dif­fer­ence
Fre­quen­cy and tim­ings
Mem­o­ry for a bud­get PC
Mem­o­ry for work PC
Mem­o­ry for gam­ing PC
Gen­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions and con­clu­sions

The main thing about the choice of RAM

A per­son famil­iar with com­put­ers will sim­ply open the cat­a­log and select the desired strips. The rest are more dif­fi­cult. You can not get hung up on the search for spe­cif­ic mod­els. Today the goods are there, tomor­row they are not. A basic knowl­edge of RAM will help you choose the right RAM.

What tasks does RAM perform?

RAM process­es com­mands and data, par­tic­i­pates in the process of their exchange. This is stor­age, with­out which the proces­sor will not be able to per­form oper­a­tions. RAM is like a sur­geon’s assis­tant (CPU), who quick­ly picks up and gives out instru­ments, keeps many devices at the ready.

RAM and proces­sor work in tan­dem. More RAM — more stor­age options — faster exchange — bet­ter PC per­for­mance.

Dual channel mode: how many sticks to buy

On some moth­er­boards, dif­fer­ent col­ored slots will tell you how to enable dual chan­nel mode. Pho­to: wikipedia.org

There are at least 2 slots for RAM on moth­er­boards. If the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the board con­tain the phrase “Dual Chan­nel”, you can acti­vate the dual-chan­nel RAM mode. This will almost dou­ble the band­width (per­for­mance) of the RAM. Two 8GB sticks are bet­ter than one 16GB stick. Ide­al­ly, if these strips are iden­ti­cal.

On moth­er­boards with four slots, dual-chan­nel mode is usu­al­ly acti­vat­ed accord­ing to the scheme. RAM must be installed in the first and third or sec­ond and fourth slots. More details in the instruc­tions for the board.

Radiators: when they are useful

Radi­a­tors are beau­ti­ful, but not always appro­pri­ate. Pho­to: 3dnews.ru

A radi­a­tor is a “case” that is need­ed to cool the RAM sticks. Heatsinks built into the heatsink draw heat away from the chips to pre­vent them from over­heat­ing. Some mod­els are sup­ple­ment­ed with fans. Radi­a­tors are installed as a keep­sake at the fac­to­ry for future over­clock­ing, and some­times just for beau­ty — on ordi­nary bud­get mod­els. Radi­a­tors can also be pur­chased sep­a­rate­ly. They are installed on stan­dard strips with­out much dif­fi­cul­ty.

Exam­ple: The pop­u­lar Cor­sair Dom­i­na­tor Plat­inum mem­o­ry com­bines effi­cient heatsinks with RGB light­ing.

If the mem­o­ry is select­ed as stan­dard, for a work­ing PC with­out over­clock­ing, you can not pay for the strips with radi­a­tors. If the com­put­er is over­clocked, cool­ing will not hurt. Radi­a­tors pro­tect against over­heat­ing, which leads to PC freezes, reboots, unex­pect­ed appli­ca­tion fail­ures.

XMP and QVL: overclocked and standard memory

For enthu­si­asts, man­u­fac­tur­ers release mem­o­ry with an XMP pro­file. This is an addi­tion­al firmware, fac­to­ry over­clock­ing. I put the mem­o­ry in, made two mouse clicks — and got accel­er­at­ed work at high­er fre­quen­cies. But such strips require knowl­edge and skills: if prob­lems begin, every­thing will have to be con­fig­ured man­u­al­ly. In 90% of cas­es, you can deter­mine the pres­ence of an XMP pro­file by tim­ings. It is not sim­ple. It is eas­i­er to seek advice before buy­ing.

QVL mem­o­ry is an easy and reli­able choice. The abbre­vi­a­tion means a list of mod­els test­ed on a par­tic­u­lar RAM board. The QVL list can be down­loaded from the moth­er­board man­u­fac­tur­er’s web­site. Planks from the list are guar­an­teed to start and work. Oth­er mod­els are also avail­able for pur­chase. But tak­ing into account the para­me­ters (mem­o­ry type, fre­quen­cy).

Frequency and timings

The high­er the fre­quen­cy of the bar, the faster the data exchange oper­a­tions. For the DDR4 stan­dard, the oper­at­ing fre­quen­cy range is 2133–4133 MHz. Just buy RAM with a high fre­quen­cy and enjoy the speed will not work. First you need to find out the fre­quen­cy of the moth­er­board mem­o­ry bus. If it is 2666 MHz, the bars will not work above this val­ue. Even if they are from 4000 MHz. The sys­tem will auto­mat­i­cal­ly low­er the RAM fre­quen­cy to the max­i­mum allowed — 2666 MHz.

Tim­ings also affect speed, but in inverse pro­por­tion. The low­er the val­ue, the faster the mem­o­ry. The ide­al com­bi­na­tion is a bar with high fre­quen­cy and low tim­ings. The record­ing for­mat of tim­ings is a set of four dig­its (14–14–14–34, 16–16–16–36, etc.)

Memory for a budget PC

A sim­ple PC does not need expen­sive mem­o­ry. Pho­to: club.dns-shop.ru

The main thing in a com­put­er is bal­ance. Bud­get PCs are built with an empha­sis on sav­ings. Their pur­pose is to launch a brows­er and instant mes­sen­gers, play videos online, and cope with very old games.

The min­i­mum amount of mem­o­ry is 4 GB. Inex­pen­sive and reli­able mem­o­ry Ada­ta 2666 Mhz will not over­heat and give errors. In the future, you can buy anoth­er bar when you upgrade your PC. An alter­na­tive option for 8 GB is a set of two brack­ets (2 x 4 GB) Cor­sair 2133 Mhz to acti­vate the dual-chan­nel mode.

Memory for work PC

Heavy pro­grams require more mem­o­ry to run cor­rect­ly. Pho­to: cdn.originpc.com

On a work­ing PC, the range of tasks is wide: from sim­ple Word and Excel to Pho­to­shop, Adobe Audi­tion, After Effects, etc. It is rea­son­able to take RAM with an eye to run­ning more or less resource-inten­sive pro­grams.

The min­i­mum amount of mem­o­ry is 8 GB. Dual chan­nel mode is required imme­di­ate­ly. A set of 2 x 4 GB from Patri­ot with a fre­quen­cy of 2133 Mhz will be a good help for lit­tle mon­ey. For a PC with a Ryzen proces­sor, you can take a set with a mar­gin of mem­o­ry — Team Group T‑FORCE XTREEM ARGB 16 GB RAM (2 x 8 GB). The mod­el shows excel­lent per­for­mance in tests, oper­ates at a fre­quen­cy of 3600 MHz, sup­ports over­clock­ing and is 3–4 thou­sand rubles cheap­er than ana­logues. When upgrad­ing a work­ing PC to a gam­ing PC, you won’t have to change the bars.

Memory for gaming PC

In gam­ing appli­ca­tions, the role of RAM is deci­sive. Pho­to: www.pcgamer.com

Dur­ing the game, RAM has to process a lot of infor­ma­tion. The heav­i­est titles of 2021–2022 lit­er­al­ly clog RAM. For most games, 16 GB is enough. But tests show that this is not enough. Forza Hori­zon 5, Dying Light 2, Minecraft require more.

The min­i­mum amount is 16 GB. Rec­om­mend­ed (with a mar­gin) — 32 GB. As an inex­pen­sive RAM for a gam­ing PC — Cru­cial 3200 MHz 16 GB. A good option when the bud­get does not have enough mon­ey for 2 x 16 GB, but they will def­i­nite­ly appear soon.

The clas­sic solu­tion for gamers is DDR4 Patri­ot Mem­o­ry VIPER 4 BLACKOUT 4000MHz 2 x 8 GB. Fast mem­o­ry on pro­duc­tive Sam­sung chips. It works sta­bly at the declared fre­quen­cy.

Over­clock­ing mod­el — G.Skill Tri­dent Z Neo 3600 MHz. Mem­o­ry on select­ed Sam­sung chips with excel­lent poten­tial. Eas­i­ly over­clocked to 4000 Mhz with a volt­age of up to 1.6 V and the pos­si­bil­i­ty of low­er­ing the tim­ings to a min­i­mum.

Read also:

Com­put­er for games in 2022 — what to choose with a bud­get of 60,000 rubles

General recommendations and conclusions

Check­list before buy­ing:

  • How much mem­o­ry does the moth­er­board sup­port?
  • What is the max­i­mum bus fre­quen­cy?
  • What type of mem­o­ry is sup­port­ed (DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, DDR5)?
  • How many RAM slots are there on the board and is there dual chan­nel sup­port?
  • Are you plan­ning man­u­al or semi-auto­mat­ic over­clock­ing (XMP)?
  • Are there bars on the QVL list that you can buy?

Your Ide­al Mem­o­ry:

  • Suit­able for moth­er­board type.
  • Oper­ates at the max­i­mum fre­quen­cy allowed by the board.
  • Has low tim­ings.
  • In sys­tems for over­clock­ing — equipped with radi­a­tors.
  • Made in DIMM for­mat (for lap­tops — SO-DIMM).