Choosing the right RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory, for your new computer sounds like a really simple process right? Well, not exactly. There are more things to take into consideration than just the total RAM. In this article, I will explain what you should look for in RAM, discuss some of the best RAM and budget RAM for Twitch streaming, and answer some frequently asked questions.
What You Should Look For in RAM
Here are several key features to look for when purchasing RAM for your PC build:
1. Total RAM
Simply put, the more multitasking you do, the more RAM you will need. If you’re just using the internet browser to check your emails, you will need less RAM than someone who is using their PC to game, stream, play music, and use discord simultaneously. For the former, 8 GB of RAM will suffice. For the latter, 16 GB of RAM will be needed. You can also go up to 32 GB of RAM, but that is usually only needed for extreme multitasking or high-resolution video editing.
2. Frequency and CAS Latency
Most people overlook this feature by only looking at total RAM. However, the frequency can also increase performance. A good rule of thumb is purchasing RAM with at least 3000 MHz of frequency. Some motherboards have a minimum recommended amount of frequency for the RAM that will be paired with it. If the frequency is too low, it can cause performance issues or even damage your components. As for the CAS latency, the lower the number, the faster the RAM is.
3. DDR Generation
The RAM you choose to purchase has to be compatible with the motherboard you pair it with. For example, RAM that is DDR4 has to be paired with a DDR4 motherboard. As such, if you use DDR3 RAM on a DDR4 motherboard, it will not work.
4. Form Factor
There are two different types of form factors. The first is the DIMM form factor, which is compatible with desktop computers. The second is the SO-DIMM form factor, which is compatible with laptops. Therefore, you need to purchase RAM with DIMM form factor when building a desktop computer.
5. Multi-Channel Memory
It’s important that you match memory sticks with others you already have in order to optimize performance. For example, if you have 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance 3200 MHz RAM (2x8GB), you should ideally purchase the exact same product and format if you want to upgrade to 32 GB of RAM.
3 Best RAM for Streaming
1. Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro SL 32GB
This is arguably one of the best RAM that money can buy. The Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro SL comes with 32GB of RAM in a 4x8GB configuration and is DDR4. This means that it will use up all four DIMM slots on your motherboard, provide RGB lighting, and will look amazing. It features a memory speed of 3600MHz with a CAS latency of 18. This is ideal for extremely heavy multitasking, including video editing, gaming, and streaming.
2. Corsair Dominator Platinum Series 16GB
The Corsair brand really shines when it comes to making computer components such as RAM. This RAM comes in a DDR4, 2x8GB configuration. It provides beautiful RGB lighting, a frequency of 3600MHz, and a CAS latency of 18. This RAM will easily provide you with the multitasking power to game, stream, and use apps such as discord simultaneously.
3. HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB 16GB
HyperX is one of Corsair’s main competitors. Although this RAM is 16GB, it is enough for gaming and streaming as of 2021. It comes in a DDR4 and 2x8GB configuration. This means that it will use up to 2 DIMM slots on your motherboard, allowing for future upgrades. This RAM features a frequency of 3200MHz with a CAS latency of 16, as well as RGB lighting.
3 Best Budget RAM for Streaming
1. Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
The Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB is a great alternative to the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro SL 32GB. It is less than half the price and still has all the features you need for streaming. It comes in a DDR4, 2x8GB configuration, and features a frequency of 3200MHz and a CAS latency of 16. It is also smaller than the RGB Pro version so it will work in most builds. The one caveat is that it doesn’t come with RGB lighting.
2. G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB
The G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB comes in a DDR4, 2x8GB configuration. If you care about RGB lighting, this RAM will have you covered despite its cheaper price. It also has all the specs required to stream, including a frequency of 3200MHz and a CAS latency of 16. It has one caveat as well, given that it is specifically designed for Intel systems, although AMD systems are very popular right now.
3. Patriot Viper Steel DDR4 16GB
The Patriot Viper Steel comes in a DDR4, 2x8GB configuration. While this RAM is the same price as the G.Skill TridentZ RGB, it does not feature RGB lighting. However, similar to the other budget RAMs indicated above, this RAM has the necessary specs to shine while streaming. It features a frequency of 3000MHz and a CAS latency of 15. It can also be overclocked to achieve faster speeds.