With the release of AMD Ryzen processors, the RAM market has changed forever. Due to the fact that even the most basic AMD computer motherboards can work with fast high-ranking memory, prices have gradually gone down. And a couple of years after the release of the first generation of Ryzen, the difference between classic slow RAM with a regular printed circuit board and “sports” kits with body kits was finally erased.
This is logical, because if the price of kits with a frequency of 2666 MHz and 3200 MHz is almost the same, then why take something worse? Given the price dynamics in this article, we have collected the TOP-5 best 16gb ddr4 ram for overclocking and gaming with adequate price tags, a minimum frequency of 3600 MHz, and RGB backlight. The selection includes both single 16 GB sticks and paired sets of 8 GB.
Best 16GB DDR4 RAM For Overclocking And Gaming PC
Crucial Ballistix RGB DDR4
A couple of years ago, the American manufacturer Crucial broke into the memory market with their budget and not-so-budget SSDs and RAM. In fact, “burst” is not a very correct term, rather it was a return to basics since one of the largest manufacturers of Micron memory microchips stands behind Crucial. Therefore, one of the main selling points of the Ballistix series has become a complete production cycle with high-quality control.
Our test kit includes a single 16 GB Ballistix stick with a red aluminum heatsink that serves as additional cooling for the chips and the memory controller. A translucent light guide is fixed at the end, through which RGB elements are translucent. Thanks to the use of e-die chips, the memory proved to be worthy in operation and wound up at the declared 3600 MHz, immediately picking up its factory XMP profile. Given Ballistix’s past successful overclocking experience and low stock latencies, we hoped that our version would be able to hit the 4200 MHz mark. However, the system was acting up, so it was decided to go down to 4000 MHz. On the test system with Intel, the problem was solved instantly, on the motherboard with AMD, I had to tinker a little with the values of the CAS profile and voltage.
Perhaps the main charm of the test sample is the price. A single stick with a capacity of 16 GB will cost 10 – 15% cheaper than most popular overclocker kits with the same volume and the same frequency of 3600 MHz. It is especially profitable if you assemble a system with a serious amount of RAM and buy 2, 3 or 4 bars at once to work in multi-channel mode. But in the role of a single memory module, this is no longer such an interesting option, since the dual-channel mode gives a small but sure increase in performance in modern games and resource-intensive applications.
Kingston Fury Beast RGB DDR4 2x8Gb
Giant Hewlett-Packard bought the rights to the HyperX brand. After that, Kingston had to rush around and rebrand. Now all SSDs, RAM sticks, flash drives, headsets, and mice for gamers will be released under the new Kingston Fury sign. And the Fury and Predator series will be renamed Beast and Renegade. The Fury Beast 2x8GB kit that came to us for tests will try to prove that the sign change did not affect anything and we have the good old Fury memory.
To maintain continuity, Kingston designers did not change anything at all in the appearance of the old woman: the same textured black plates for cooling, the same backlit combs, the same high radiator. Only the logo is new. Because of this, it seems that you are not meeting a new person, but meeting an old friend who has had a nose job. The impression of deja vu only intensifies during the tests. Inside the same memory chips with support for XMP 2.0, CAS CL17, and a nominal frequency of 3600 MHz. On the Intel platform, all this stuff turned out to be overclocked to 4000 MHz with a slight increase in voltage. On the stand with the AMD motherboard, the memory started acting up at around 3800 MHz, so it was decided to return to the standard 3733 MHz and not tempt fate. Moreover, it will not affect the overall performance in any way.
Realizing that many would prefer the well-known Fury memory to the new product, Kingston marketers decided to slightly reduce prices at the start, which is why the difference for identical Fury and Fury Beast kits in some stores reaches 10 – 15%. Given that we are talking about virtually identical memory, for many this will be a small but pleasant reason to save a little. At one time, the first Fury models paved the way for success in the same way – they were inexpensive, they accelerated well and at the same time they were rarely capricious.
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 2x8Gb
Value for money, design, addressable illumination with 12 effects, overclocking potential.
The Dominator series includes an elite RAM from Corsair, which back in 2019 managed to conquer a frequency of 4266 MHz with a CL19 latency. It was created with an eye on overclocking enthusiasts and owners of expensive HEDT systems, flagship gaming PCs or workstations for which a couple of extra hundred dollars in RAM is not an obstacle on the way to reference power.
Given the specifics of such products, we rarely recommend them for purchase. But in this case, we came across a pair of bars with a nominal frequency of 3600 MHz, which cost a little more than competing RAM. Judging by the Thaiphoon Burner data, the test modules use e-die chips from Micron Technology with the correct encoding of XMP profiles. In the overclocking tests of the Corsair Dominator, a frequency of 4000 MHz was obeyed, but for this we had to tinker a little with the primary and secondary timings, as well as increase the voltage from 1.35 to 1.45 V. In some cases, we had to reduce delays only by increasing VDimm. This is a problem with many e-die RAMs that don’t like 3800 MHz very much.
Test strips look good not only in terms of characteristics, but also visually. A massive monochromatic heatsink that runs through a comb of neat LEDs looks great both in photographs and in life. The Dominator Platinum versions with a white heatsink look especially cool, which will elegantly fit into a white case with a viewing window in the spirit of Be quiet Pure Base 500DX or Fractal Design Define 7 . As for the lighting, it is synchronized with other elements of the system using Corsair iCUE software and supports 12 effects. The only negative is that the radiator height is as much as 52 mm, so if you plan to mount a serious cooling system, then it is better to take a roomier case.
Gigabyte AORUS RGB 2x8Gb
The Aorus series quickly gained the attention of enthusiasts and owners of powerful gaming computers. At one time, under the flags of Aorus, one of the first SSDs on the market that worked on a bus on the PCI-E 4.0 bus came out , and one of the first gaming monitors with a refresh rate of 360 Hz. The problem is that with RAM there is already much room for maneuver – DDR5 has not yet reached our edges, and from DDR4 the only thing left is to squeeze out additional megahertz, and even play with backlight. Therefore, in the case of Aorus RAM, Gigabyte offers the buyer a very tempting ratio between price, speed, cooling quality and backlight brightness. At the same time, an important advantage of Aorus RAM is a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
Moving on to evaluating the work of Gigabyte AORUS RGB, two things should be noted. Firstly, different revisions of the same memory can use memory chips from Hynix or Samsung, which significantly affect the behavior of the RAM during overclocking. Secondly, you need to take into account the test platform. The DDR4 SDRAM controller in AMD Ryzen processors, like Prometheus, brought really fast RAM to the masses. The problem is that the same memory can behave completely differently on Intel and AMD platforms, so everything that is said on the topic of overclocking should be divided in two. For example, some of our colleagues criticized the overclocking of Gigabyte AORUS and refused to write it to the elite ranks of memory for overclocking. But there tests were carried out on a PC with an AMD motherboard and Samsung memory chips.
We got a couple of 8 GB sticks for testing, which behaved more favorably. According to Thaiphoon Burner, it uses memory chips that are tuned out of the box to operate at 3600 MHz. Timings 19-19-19-43 with a voltage of 1.4 V are recorded in the default XMP profile, as well as increase the voltage to 1.45V.
G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4 2x8Gb
Trident RAM, which is produced by the Taiwanese from G.Skill, has won its place in the top 10 most popular overclocker RAM in the last couple of years. And for this, they had to really try, because now you can’t surprise anyone with just a fast DDR4 bar. In fact, the success of Trident memory stands on three pillars – selective memory chips, adequate pricing, and a strong emphasis on appearance. For example, this is perhaps the only RAM on the market with a design in the style of jewelry.
As for our Trident Z Neo test unit, it looks stylish without being overly flashy. The metal radiator is visually divided into two halves – one is painted gray, the second is black. At the top, the radiator is united by an asymmetric comb, which is pierced by a wide strip with LEDs. The main task of the designers was to make the RAM look nice in a case with an open stand, and the design of the heatsink did not draw attention from the spectacular RGB backlight.
Now about the memory itself. We got a set of two sticks with a volume of 8 GB each and latency of CL16 for tests. Operating frequencies are in the region of 3600 MHz, by the standards of the end of 2021, this can be said to be the optimal overclocker memory, which immediately starts up at high speed, but at the same time leaves the user room for maneuver. As tests have shown, G. Skillz products are not in vain respected by overclocking fans. By increasing the timings to 17-18-18-39, as well as increasing the input voltage, the kit took a frequency of 4200 MHz. Moreover, this result was repeated on the AMD platform, under which this memory is sharpened, and on a test PC with a motherboard and an Intel processor.