Best DDR5 RAM for gaming in 2023

Sets of G.Skill, Corsair, and Kingston DDR5 memory modules
(Image credit: G.Skill, Corsair, Kingston)

If you're on the hunt for the best DDR5 RAM to pair with your shiny new Intel system, you've come to the right place. We've tested tons of DDR5 memory kits in the PC Gamer labs, and we've picked out the top kits for every budget so you can get the most bang for your buck. 

DDR5 is still pretty expensive compared to DDR4; it's nice to see a PC component trending downward in price instead of up. If price is a concern for your next build, we also have a guide to the best DDR4 RAM kits (opens in new tab), which will provide decent performance on a budget.

DDR5 speeds begin at 4800MHz and range up to 7200MHz, with higher speeds to come in the future. While 2x8GB kits are available, you can consider 2x16GB a more appropriate baseline for a gaming system. That 32GB level is a good amount that will serve you well for some time to come, especially when games like Forspoken are more demanding as far as system requirements (opens in new tab) are concerned. 

In general, spending big money on RAM isn't recommended unless you have a high-spec rig to use it with. As prices fall, you may find that dropping a few extra dollars is worth spending to look at DDR5-5600 rather than DDR5-4800. Some games and applications will respond to the extra speeds, while others won't gain much if anything at all.

Read on as we present a list of our favorite DDR5 memory kits. Our picks are based on our lab testing, with a dose of value for money and overclocking capability thrown in. Whatever your needs and budget, we've got a DDR5 kit to suit you.

Where are the best DDR5 for gaming deals?

In the US:

  • Amazon - Savings on PC gaming components (opens in new tab)
  • Walmart - Some good savings on RAM (opens in new tab)
  • Best Buy - Decent deals on Corsair DDR5 RAM (opens in new tab)
  • Staples - Discounts on memory for laptops and desktops (opens in new tab)

In the UK:

  • Amazon - Savings on PC DDR5 memory (opens in new tab)
  • Ebuyer - Great deals on PC gaming memory (opens in new tab)
  • Box - Big savings on Kingston and Corsair sticks of RAM (opens in new tab)
  • Argos - Decent prices on budget to high-end keyboards (opens in new tab)
The best DDR5 RAM for gaming

Specifications

Speed: 7200MHz
Timing: 34-45-45-115
CAS latency: 36
Voltage: 1.4 V
DIMMs: 2x 16GB

Reasons to buy

+
Strong performance in memory sensitive apps & games
+
Lovely design
+
Surprisingly affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Overkill for most users
-
Not plug and play in many motherboards

DDR5 has come a long way in the year or so since it was launched. It's now widely available, prices have dropped, and early BIOS niggles have been overcome. And then there’s the speed. When 12th Gen (opens in new tab)Alder Lake CPUs launched, DDR5-6400 was about the maximum speed you could get, but forget that: DDR5-8000 kits (opens in new tab) are now on the market. Not a bad improvement in just over one year!

You'd expect memory at this speed to cost a bundle, and at $299 / £319 / AU$519 it certainly carries a price premium, but actually, it's not that bad of a price. At the time of writing, a 6000MHz kit costs about $150, with 6400MHz kits starting at $190, so the price G.Skill is asking for 7200MHz isn't unreasonable. In fact, it's a downright bargain compared to the cost of premium DDR5 a year back (opens in new tab), where prices of $500 / £500 / AU$1,000 or higher were commonplace.

The G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5-7200 kit has 34-45-45-115 timings. It's nice to see CAS latencies staying relatively low as speeds increase, though secondary timings are certainly a lot higher than those you'll find on slower kits. The best DDR4 kits are still perfectly viable, but the early complaints around the high latency of DDR5 compared to DDR4 are quickly becoming moot.

It's actually quite good value for money when compared to the cost of the other components of a high-end gaming system.

This is a kit for those with high-end systems. However, at $299 / £319 / AU$519, it's actually quite good value for money when compared to the cost of the other components of a high-end gaming system. In that case, it's a no-brainer. But if your system is a little more worldly and you're just looking for something with a simple set and forget XMP setup, something in the DDR5-6000 range is much more appropriate in terms of price and performance.

But the hell with it; I love fast memory kits. It's actually available to buy, it will deliver some performance gains in more than a few gaming situations, it's a great tweakers' kit, it looks good, and it doesn't carry an exorbitant premium. If you buy this kit, you'll get several years of use out of it too.

Read our G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB 2x16 GB DDR5-7200 CL34 review

2. Crucial 2x32GB DDR5-4800 CL40

The best-value high capacity DDR5 kit

Specifications

Speed: 4800 MHz
Timing: 40-39-39-77
CAS Latency: 40
Voltage: 1.1 V
DIMMs: 2x 32GB

Reasons to buy

+
64 GB for not much more than a high speed 32 GB kit
+
Its performance can match 5200 MHz kits

Reasons to avoid

-
Bland and generic design

If you're after 64GB of DDR5, your options are limited. The Alder Lake memory controller struggles with high density configurations, which is why there are very few 2x32GB kits available. The Crucial DDR5-4800 2x32GB kit is as generic as it gets, but if you need a lot of RAM for whatever task you want to throw at it, it's a great choice.

During our testing, the Crucial kit threw up a few surprises, sometimes matching a 5200MHz kit thanks to its dual rank design. Add to that its low operating voltage and surprisingly good value for money, and it's a good solid kit for work or play. It's the kind of kit that will have a long life, too. In a few years from now, 64GB will still be more than useful.

The Crucial Ballistix name is no more and this bare PCB kit won't win any beauty contests or set speed records, but as a set and forget kit for an alt-tabbing gamer or workstation user, it's definitely worth a look.

3. Corsair Vengeance 32GB DDR5-4800MHz

The best DDR5 for a budget system

Specifications

Speed: 4800MHz
Timing: 40-40-40-77
CAS Latency: 40
Voltage: 1.1 V
DIMMs: 2x 16GB

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect for budget DDR5 builds
+
Easy to OC to 5200MHz or higher

Reasons to avoid

-
Modest clock speeds and timings

DDR5 memory is still expensive compared to DDR4, but that's changing week by week. The Corsair Vengeance DDR5-4800 kit isn't the fastest you'll come across but it's one of the best options for a budget DDR5 system right now.

At 4800MHz it's not a speed demon by any means, though if you're using it with something like an i5 processor and an older or mid range GPU, you'd be lucky to notice any difference outside of memory sensitive benchmarks. It's not that much of an overclocking kit but if you don't mind upping the voltage a bit, we've had it happily purring along at 5200MHz in testing, which adds a bit extra to its already excellent value.

It's a perfect set and forget kit. At just 1.1V, it runs cool. It's a great pairing for a B660 build and its low height means it's a lot easier to use with large air coolers compared to many kits on the market.

If you're on a tight budget and have decided to leave DDR4 behind, grabbing a kit like this instead of a higher speed kit and diverting the money to a better CPU or GPU will deliver really tangible benefits. 

The best RGB memory

Specifications

Speed: 5200MHz
Timing: 38-38-38-84
CAS Latency: 38
Voltage: 1.25V
DIMMs: 2x 16GB

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous looks
+
Good sweet spot for speed, timings and affordability

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited OC headroom

Corsair's Dominator kits have always had premium good looks, and I think its DDR5 kits still look great. The black aluminium heat spreaders feel very solid and heavy. Even the fonts on the sides add a touch of class, even if you'll never see them built inside your rig. If DDR5 needed any significant cooling, these heat spreaders would do a sterling job. It must be said that these modules are very tall, so you'll need to make sure your cooler won't be impeded.

The tops of the heatsinks feature something of a blocky Tetris-y RGB look. They can be controlled by Corsair's popular and easy to use, if somewhat resource intensive, iCue software. If you've got other Corsair components lighting up your PC, then you'll be right at home. A Corsair case, memory, cooler and keyboard/mouse combo can look great when its all synced up. Though I have to say, I am not personally a fan of RGB, but I will admit to a little bit of guilty pleasure having a play with a full set of synchonized RGB components.

The Corsair kit performs at a decent level across our benchmark suite regardless. The jump from the entry level 4800MHz kits to 5200MHz is just enough to make a difference in apps that thrive on higher bandwidth. Of course, it trails the faster kits as you would expect. 

Though I have to say, I am not personally a fan of RGB, but I will admit to a little bit of guilty pleasure having a play with a full set of synchonized RGB components.

We consider 5200MHz to be a good sweet spot DDR5 kit for a mainstream 12th Gen system. At 4800MHz it doesn't add enough over a 3200MHz or 3600MHz DDR4 kit. And, as is the case with all DDR5 right now, the Corsair kit is too expensive to make any sort of value case. Though, relative to other 5200MHz kits, at $360 (£350, $599 AUD) it's not all that bad. We know this pricing won’t remain that high long term as supply stabilizes. I mean, we’re not talking about GPUs here.

Fans of Corsair products and the iCue RGB system won't need to be convinced to buy this kit. It looks fantastic and, though it won't set speed records, this is the kind of kit that should have many years of life ahead of it. You'll want to go with something faster if you must have every last drop of performance for a high-end rig, but for mainstream DDR5 buyers, Corsair won't let you down. 

For me it's (mostly) worth the extra money over a 4800MHz kit, but you'll need to measure its value against what other brands and speeds are available at the time you buy... the market is just so volatile right now. Notably Corsair DDR5 certainly carries a premium that can significantly vary from market to market. If you go don't mind paying a bit extra over a bland kit, the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB kit will do the job, but it demands to be shown off in a windowed case.

Read our Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 memory review

5. Kingston Fury Beast 32GB DDR5-6000 C40

The best mid-range non-RGB RAM

Specifications

Speed: 6000MHz
Timing: 40-40-40-80
CAS Latency: 40
Voltage: 1.35V
DIMMs: 2x 16GB

Reasons to buy

+
High frequency
+
Relative value for money
+
Simple aesthetic

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited OC headroom

Kingston's Fury Beast kit eschews flashy RGB and huge heat sinks in favour of a design that's subtle and discrete. If your PC is sitting under a desk, out of sight and mind, do you really need a lot of bling?

The Fury Beast DDR5 memory modules have a black PCB with a low height aluminium heat spreader. It comes with SK Hynix ICs which means there should be some OC headroom on tap, however our sample wasn't all that capable, with a stable 6400MHz being a struggle when we were testing it. That's likely just our particular sample though.

The real strength of the Kingston Fury Beast kit is its value for money. At the time of writing it was one of the cheapest 2x16GB 6000MHz kits on the market. If you care about performance and less about bling, this is a DDR5 kit that's well worth a look.

The best high-frequency DDR5

Specifications

Speed: 6400MHz
Timing: 40-40-40-84
CAS Latency: 40
Voltage: 1.35V
DIMMs: 2x 16GB

Reasons to buy

+
Strong performance
+
Overclocking headroom
+
Lovely opaque RGB look

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Teamgroup Delta RGB kit has an unabashedly premium look, to go along with its high-end specification and performance. It's one of the fastest kits on the market, rated at DDR5-6400. It's a 2x16GB kit with 40-40-40-84 primary timings at 1.35 V and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Which all means it's the kind of kit you'll be able to use for many years to come.

Do note that it's a tall kit, however, so you'll need to make sure your cooler is compatible with its height and doesn't tower over the DIMM slots of your motherboard at all. The modules themselves feel well built and the heatspreader hefty, indicating there's good cooling potential. Some of the silk screening is a bit over the top perhaps, but since you’ll never see that after its installed

Entry level DDR5 isn't that impressive due to its high timings and resulting latency disadvantage. The Team kit almost completely overcomes that, and all but matches a DDR4-3600 C16 kit, though of course it features much greater bandwidth, which some applications clearly appreciate. We recently reviewed G.Skill’s Trident Z5 DDR5-6000 C36 kit (opens in new tab)and that's a good competitor for the Team kit, though it uses Samsung ICs vs. the Hynix modules of the Team kit.

Pair it with a Core i9 12900Kand GeForce RTX 3080and you'll have a very fast, if monstrously expensive (and rare!) system.

Price aside, the Team Delta RGB kit has impressed us. It's fast enough to overcome the latency disadvantages of DDR5 and, at 6400MHz, it delivers impressive performance in apps that love bandwidth. Importantly it beats out a DDR4-3600 C16 kit in gaming. Pair it with a Core i9 12900K (opens in new tab)and GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab)and you'll have a very fast, if monstrously expensive (and rare!) system.

We like its good looks, build quality, and it's got overclocking headroom on top of its already fast speeds. With a better CPU memory controller, or some carefree voltage application, we think it can hit 7000MHz, and potentially a lot more as the DDR5 ecosystem matures. But yes, there’s that pricing and availability hanging around it like a dark cloud. We think we'll have to reassess in six months at which time we expect the Team Delta DDR5-6400 kit to be a lot more compelling.

Read out full TeamGroup Delta RGB DDR5 review (opens in new tab).

7. Adata XPG Lancer 32GB DDR5-6000 C40

The best mid-range RGB DDR5

Specifications

Speed: 6000MHz
Timing: 40-40-40-76
CAS Latency: 40
Voltage: 1.35V
DIMMs: 2x 16GB

Reasons to buy

+
A great value RGB 6000MHz kit
+
Overclocking headroom
+
Vibrant RGB look

Reasons to avoid

-
DDR5 is still expensive compared to DDR4

Adata might not have the brand name recognition of a Corsair or G.Skill, but the company has been flying under the radar for several years. It offers some very good memory kits, usually at attractive prices. The XPG Lancer DDR5-6000 RGB kit is a perfect example. At 6000MHz, its a fast kit, and at the time of writing, it's typically cheaper than competing 6000MHz kits and hardly any more than a good 5200MHz kit.

The kit features tall heat spreaders with attractive RGB lighting that covers the length of the module. It's somewhat subtle – if that's possible with RGB – compared to some kits that feature overly bright rave laser style LEDs. Under the hood, our kit came with SK Hynix IC's which are the favoured IC for high speed kits right now. That means it should have overclocking headroom.

We were able to run the kit at 6400MHz and drop the CAS latency to 32, albeit with some additional voltage. That elevates its performance to levels that compete against the very best DDR5 kits. It's an easy recommendation for someone looking for a good value kit that's fast, has some OC headroom and looks great. 

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Does DDR5 RAM make a difference for gaming?

The answer depends on what speeds and latencies we're talking about. Games tend to be sensitive to latency, where lower is better. This means a good low latency DDR4 kit is still a perfectly viable gaming option. However, the real world performance differences are small, and non-existent in GPU limited scenarios which is usually the case unless you're chasing very high frames per second.

If you have a good DDR4 kit, lets say a 2x16GB DDR4-3200 C14 kit or better, there's little reason to spend the money to upgrade to DDR5 for gaming.

The higher bandwidth of DDR5 is beneficial in other areas though, particularly in creative type applications. DDR5 uses less power, 32GB is generally the baseline and a DDR5 system is better for future proofing. As time goes on, we can expect faster and lower latency kits.

Will DDR5 work on a DDR4 motherboard?

No, it won't. Even though both types have 288 pins, DDR4 and DDR5 memory is electrically incompatible. The two types have a different notch position, to prevent anyone from inserting a DDR5 module into a DDR4 motherboard, or vice versa.

How much RAM do I need?

We recommend a minimum of 16GB for most serious gaming PCs (it's what we use in our high-end PC build (opens in new tab)), but as 32GB DDR5 kits are so widely available, 32GB has become the new baseline for a DDR5 system. With 32GB you'll have more than enough for for pretty much every task you can throw at your system. You'll easily be able to enjoy gaming, multitasking, creative or intensive apps and frequent alt-tabbing. And you'll be all set for a few years to come, too.

How fast should RAM be for a gaming PC?

Firstly, you should use a dual channel kit wherever possible. That goes for both DDR4 and DDR5 systems. That will ensure you're getting the most out of the best CPUs for gaming (opens in new tab). For an Intel DDR5 system, a good kit around the 5200MHz range will be fine, while for a high end system you'll want something a little faster at 6000MHz or even 6400MHz if you really want to get every last drop of performance.

Do I need RGB LEDs on my memory DIMMs?

No. Absolutely not. But RGB can make your machine look that little bit cooler, and we all know PCs need to run cool. 

Jargon buster - RAM terminology

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DIMMs - Dual In-Line Memory Module, the physical circuit board that holds the RAM chips that plugs into the slots on your motherboard. 

ECC Memory - Error-correcting Code Memory, RAM capable of automatically detecting and correcting errors on the fly, generally used in highly sensitive applications, like scientific data collection or banking. Typically only used and supported on servers and workstations, most desktop boards can run it as non-ECC.

Frequency - The effective speed at which the memory operates, measured in MHz.

CL/CAS Latency - Column Access Strobe Latency, the delay between the memory controller requesting data from the RAM and the available data; the first number listed in a kit's timings.

SO-DIMM - More compact DIMM slots typically deployed in laptops, although these can turn up on tiny machines as well.

Timings - The measure in several memory clock cycles an operation requested by the memory controller will take for the RAM to complete. Lower is generally better.

XMP - eXtreme Memory Profile, instructions for the BIOS that tell it what frequency, timings, and voltage to access RAM at, a shortcut for overclocking without tinkering with each setting individually. Officially for Intel platforms, many AMD boards readily support reading XMP data (though it may go by another name like A-XMP or DOHC).

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.