Are you looking to build your own gaming PC anytime soon? If so, one of the components that you need to take into account is RAM or Random Access Memory.
Today, I am going to be talking about the best RAM kits for your Intel and AMD PCs in 2020.
Before You Buy
Just like gaming processors, there are plenty of different RAM kits available on the market and you might not know how to get the best one for you.
If you are a complete novice or if you want to learn more about how to buy RAM, here are some useful tips:
1.What Processor Are You Going to Use?
Are you building an Intel PC or do you want to go the AMD route? This is an important thing to consider because there are certain RAM kits that are tailor-made for one platform than the other.
2.16GB Should Be Enough
If you are just building your PC primarily for gaming, 16GB should be enough for most users. It is only when you do some hardcore rendering or professional workloads where you need more system memory to work with.
3.Consider an Intel ‘K’ Chip if You Want the Fastest RAM
It is a known fact that Intel processors trump AMD CPUs (at least at the time of writing) when it comes to raw gaming performance. But, if you want to buy a RAM kit with fast memory speeds, be sure to buy an overclockable chip, otherwise, you are not getting the most out of your RAM.
4.XMP is Mostly Built for Intel
Extreme Memory Profile or more commonly known as XMP used to be an Intel implementation where you just enable the said profile in your motherboard’s BIOS to get faster memory speeds right off the bat.
You see, when you look at a certain RAM kit, you will find things like ‘DDR4-3200’ or ‘DDR4-3600’, for example, and these are the rated max speeds that are supported by XMP. Enabling the XMP profile in the BIOS should enable the RAM sticks to run at that speed.
This is great if you are running an Intel CPU, but if you are running an AMD processor, you will find that not all RAM kits can run at XMP speeds.
You may have to invest in a RAM kit that was specifically designed for an AMD chip, otherwise, you will have to tinker with the memory speeds just for your PC to boot up.
5.Do You Need RGB?
Are you the type of person that wants to look at their system from time to time and just appreciate it for what it can do or do you just want a system that works without ever having to think about aesthetics?
Most of the RAM kits available on the market come with RGB lighting but they cost a bit more than those that do not have such. This is more about how much you are willing to spend, so do keep this in mind if you are buying your computer’s RAM.
Best RAM Kits
1.Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200
Corsair is an amazing company that not only creates some amazing power supplies but they also create some system memory as well.
The Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200 is a 16GB DDR4 RAM kit with rated speeds of 3200 available via XMP.
This is one of the most popular RAM kits available simply because of how consistently it performs and its aesthetics are definitely something to behold.
At the top of the sticks, you will find its RGB lighting which can be controlled using the company’s own software.
You can choose between black or white DIMMs so it should definitely fit your setup whether you are looking to build an all-black or all-white PC.
2.TForce EXTREEM ARGB 3600
As mentioned earlier, XMP was originally made for the Intel platform, so enabling the profile on AMD motherboards may or may not work. If you want one that works on a Ryzen system, then the TForce EXTREEM ARGB is an excellent choice.
I would go on to say that this is one of the best RAM kits available for gaming because of its low memory timings of 14-15-15-35. You need not concern yourself with learning about this one, but I can assure you that it is one of the best in terms of sheer performance.
Because this is a DDR4-3600 kit, this means that enabling its A-XMP is ideal for AMD Ryzen CPUs mainly because of its infinity fabric ratio of 1:1.
Without getting overly technical, this just means that you are getting the best performance possible without suffering any latency penalties as a result of a higher infinity fabric clock.
This is one of the chunkier RAM kits out there, so if you are going to invest in a high-end air cooler, you may run into some clearance issues.
3.Patriot Viper Steel DDR4-4400
If you want the fastest RAM kit available that works right out of the box, the Patriot Viper Steel DDR4-4400 is for you.
As you can tell by its product code, this thing has an XMP profile that can run the DIMMs at 4400 MHz which is pretty insane.
While you can technically have this working on an AMD system, you might run into performance and compatibility issues simply because of the blazing-fast memory speed.
However, if you put this inside an Intel gaming PC that is equipped with the Intel Core i9-10900K, you can brace for impact because this thing will let your PC’s gaming performance fly.
I am surprised that the company was able to put its memory timings a bit tight considering that it is running at memory speeds higher than 4000MHz.
If you are running a high-end Intel system, this is very easy to recommend. The only downside is that it doesn’t have any RGB lighting, but this wouldn’t be a problem if all you want is raw performance.
4.Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 3200
Most people would buy a 3200MHz RAM kit as it is compatible with most systems out there. If you are looking for a kit that you can rely on that also looks amazing, the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB is definitely a solid option.
It has addressable RGBs at the top of the sticks that you can control using the company’s iCUE software. The best part is that each of the different sections can be assigned a different color, so you can really set your desired color scheme.
The Dominator Platinum is also a RAM kit that I find to look gorgeous as its RGB illumination is one of the brightest I’ve ever seen.
If you value aesthetics a lot, be sure to check the Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB out.
5.G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB DDR4-3600
If 16GB of memory is still not enough for your needs, then you will need to bump it up a bit to 32GB. The G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB RAM kit is one that I would recommend, especially if you are running an AMD Ryzen system.
This used to cost more than $200 but because of the recent drop in prices for both solid-state drives and system memory, you can now get it for just $150 which is amazingly good value.
G.Skill is a renowned brand when it comes to RAM kits and the Trident Z Neo, in particular, is tailor-made for AMD Ryzen systems. That means that you just have to enable its XMP profile in the BIOS and run your system normally.
And, because this has rated speeds of 3600MHz, that means that you can get the best possible performance out of your AMD system just by enabling one simple profile.
Do not worry, these things have RGB illumination as well and the best part is that you can control them using your motherboard’s RGB software, so you do not have to install G.Skills proprietary program just to do the same thing.
6.Patriot Viper RGB DDR4-3600
If you are into overclocking and you want some RAM sticks that look good as well, then I can wholeheartedly recommend the Patriot Viper RGB DDR4-3600.
These sticks use Micron’s Rev. E memory which is known for its amazing overclocking capability for a relatively low price.
True enough, these sticks run at 3600MHz with CAS latency of 16-18-18-36 if you enable its XMP profile (which is already a testament of its overclocking prowess).
Most users are able to set it to 3800 MHz or even 4000 MHz with little to no issues, but your mileage may vary.
All I am saying is that if you have that overclocking itch and you want a RAM kit that you can tinker to your heart’s content, the Patriot Viper RGB DDR4-3600 is one of the best that I can recommend.
7.G.Skill Trident Z Royal 16GB DDR4-3600
While most people are okay with buying the cheapest RAM they can find on the market, there are some people that truly value how their overall computer looks. And, if you want the most captivating RGB RAM out there, look no further than the G.Skill Trident Z Royal 16GB DDR4-3600.
The sticks themselves have a shiny exterior but what would really capture your sight is its crystal-patterned RGB strip at the top.
Once you power up your system, the RAM sticks will light up and because of its crystal-like appearance, they are truly something to watch out for.
Of course, this level of performance and aesthetics don’t come cheap, but if you have the money, go for this kit for sure.
Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review- The Company’s Best Mouse Goes Wireless
Among all of Razer’s peripherals, it is the Razer Deathadder that consistently ranks among one of the best gaming mice on the market for so many years.
Much of it has to do with its design and ergonomics as the mouse is quite comfortable and it suits all grip styles.
The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just improves upon the original formula by making the mouse a bit more lightweight and it is completely wireless now.
Read my review of this thing to find out if I recommend this one or not.
From a design standpoint, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro is actually quite similar to the past versions, albeit there are some notable (and welcome) differences.
For one, you now have two DPI profile buttons situated just below the scroll wheel. These two buttons can cycle through the different DPI settings that you’ve configured using the Razer Synapse software (though you can set it to do other commands if you wish).
Second, both the thumb and the ring finger/pinky areas of the mouse now have rubberized textures which can really help gamers with sweaty hands grip the peripheral device better compared to the previous versions.
Lastly, I feel that the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro now has a more textured coating overall which adds to the better feel while you are wielding the mouse.
You also have some RGB lighting on the scroll wheel, as well as the infamous tri-headed Razer logo in the palm area of the device.
On the underside, you will find a switch that allows you to change to different modes depending on what you want to use.
This mouse can be utilized on your tablet, for example, as it now has a Bluetooth connectivity mode just for that.
You can also choose to use this thing with its wireless dongle (which is recommended for maximum performance) and you can even use this completely wired if you want to charge and play games at the same time.
Speaking of charging, while there is an included braided cable that you can insert into the device to charge this thing, it doesn’t come with the wireless charging dock that you can find in the Razer Viper Ultimate. That means that if you want the dock, you will need to be spending more on that as it is sold separately.
If you ask me, I suggest that you get the charging dock as it provides a seamless and convenient way of topping the device up, especially when it is not in use.
Mouse Sensor and Buttons
According to the company, the Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the second version of the company’s optical switches. That means that it is also rated to last up to 70 million clicks, albeit it provides a better feel on every button press.
To be honest, I didn’t really feel any difference between the first version of the optical switches and this one, but I guess you just have to take the company’s word for it.
As for the mouse sensor, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the Focus+ sensor that has a maximum DPI of 20,000. The absurd DPI support is mainly for marketing purposes, but the main takeaway here is that the mouse remains fairly consistent from an accuracy standpoint.
Among all of Razer’s new gaming mice, the Deathadder V2 Pro should be in line with the Razer Viper Ultimate, at least, in terms of gaming performance.
Before I begin, let me just say that I have fairly large hands which means that my natural grip style is palm-grip. And, as a palm-grip user, I really love the ergonomics of the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro because it just feels so natural to hold.
This mouse has a grip width of 61.7mm, a height of 42.7mm, and a weight of 88 grams (when used completely wireless). For a wireless gaming mouse, that is pretty impressive.
When you are using the wireless 2.4GHz USB dongle or if you use the company’s included Speedflex cable, the Deathadder V2 Pro performed admirably well in all of the games that I play.
I can now confidently say that people can safely transition to using a wireless gaming peripheral as they are now in-line with their wired counterparts in terms of accuracy and overall performance.
I do have to say that there is a bit of a delay when using this thing on Bluetooth connection, but this is only evident when using it on a mobile device and not on the PC. This is to be expected, especially if you are still using a phone or tablet that uses a Bluetooth 4.2 connection.
Razer said that the Deathadder V2 Pro can last up to 120 hours on wireless mode, but that is only true if you are not enabling its Chroma lighting feature.
When you use the 2.4GHz mode alongside all of this mouse’s RGB goodness, you should be able to get roughly 75 hours of continuous use.
The good thing is that when you are using the charging dock, a 10-minute charge would allow you to use this mouse for 12 hours even with Chroma lighting enabled. That is seriously impressive.
What’s more, you can use this mouse completely wired using the Speedflex cable that is included in the box and you will not see any drop in performance whatsoever. It takes a bit more time to charge the device when using the cable though, but the fact that you can still use it when it is plugged in just means that it is pretty convenient no matter what charging method you want to use.
The era where people are afraid to use wireless gaming mice is over and the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just proves that it can go head-to-head with wired gaming mice in the market.
There are some notable improvements on this mouse. The textured finish, the optical buttons, and the mouse sensor are great, and I love the fact that the company was able to make this device lighter even though it is a wireless peripheral.
This just reinforces the notion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fit it; just improve upon the original formula and you should have a winning product.
Although I would have loved it if the company had included the charging dock in the package, I guess doing so would jack up the price of this thing considerably.The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro costs $129.99 and for the price, it is actually pretty good for a highly competitive wireless gaming mouse. Do keep in mind that the charging dock is sold separately, but I would still recommend that you get one since it is also compatible with the company’s other wireless gaming mice as well.
Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review- Configured to Win
Dell’s subsidiary gaming division, Alienware, is at it again. This time, the company has released the new Alienware Aurora R11 and you can configure it to come equipped with the latest Intel processors along with an Nvidia graphics card of your choosing.
In this article, I will go over everything that you need to know about this gaming PC and find out why you can win with this thing if you configure it properly.
First and foremost, the Alienware Aurora R11 is fully configurable which means that you are in complete control of what chassis you want to use, as well as the components that are going to be installed inside of it.
In my testing, I went with a mid-range model that costs a little over $1,400 and I went with the Intel Core i7-10700F and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 graphics card. As you can tell, it is a modest system but it is actually quite competent enough to handle all games with considerable frame rate values.
As you can expect from a product that comes from Alienware, the Aurora R11 has two different design options that you can choose. You can either go with the Dark of the Moon model (as tested) which is a chassis with an all-black aesthetic and the Lunar Light edition which is predominantly white with a black front panel.
Both of the said PC cases have a blue halo light that is reminiscent of old space movies, so you could definitely say that this is ‘Alienware’.
I am happy that you get a wealth of USB ports both at the front and at the back I/O panel which means that there is plenty of room for you to plug in all of your USB peripherals.
There is also an option for you to get one with WiFi connectivity. If you want the cheapest option, you can go with a Dell WiFi AC adapter but if you want to future-proof this device, you can go with the Killer WiFi AX adapter instead. The latter should be considered if you have a WiFi 6 router at home for better data throughput.
Although this thing comes with a Z490 motherboard, the only thing that you can overclock here is the graphics card. You could, however, buy the more expensive Intel chip but you will have to spend quite a bit of money just to get the higher model.
The chassis is quite big in height but I love the fact that it doesn’t take too much space on the desk.
My particular configuration doesn’t come with an overclockable processor which means that in most cases, its performance is a little bit subpar when it comes to multi-core workloads.
That being said, this thing is still no slouch as I’ve scored 33,335 on Geekbench on the multi-core tests and about 4,401 on the single-core benchmark which is still respectable in most instances.
I’ve also tested its mettle using PCMark 10 and it scored a little under 7,000 so you could say that this thing indeed has gaming prowess.
Speaking of games, this configuration can easily go more than 100 frames per second in most titles, while some of the most challenging ones would limit you to just 45-55 fps.
While playing Destiny 2, I was able to get more than 144 frames per second in most areas, while the frame rates dip a little bit when I am stationed in the tower.
I’ve also played Control which is one of the more demanding titles on the PC, and I was still able to get roughly 45-50 fps in max settings which is quite admirable.
Since MOBA games are quite popular, I tested this thing on League of Legends and Dota 2 as well. It’s good to know that this thing can output more than 144 frames per second even in heavy clashes.
So really, even with a modest configuration such as mine, I was still able to play games at really good frame rates across the board.
The Alienware Aurora R11 that I have comes with Windows 10 Home already pre-installed. Because this is a gaming PC from Alienware, the Alienware Command Center also comes pre-installed as well.
The said program can be used to look at the PC’s components at a glance while also changing its performance modes as well.
I find it to be fairly intuitive and I can really see the difference between performance modes. If you want the best of both worlds (meaning, acoustics and performance), setting it to balanced mode should suffice.
However, I find that the balanced mode doesn’t ramp the system’s fans good enough to maintain lower temperatures, so you may want to try out the performance mode while you are playing games.
- CPU: Intel Core i7-10700F
- GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060
- RAM: 16GB DDR4-2933
- Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD (Boot), 1TB 7200RPM HDD (Storage)
- Chassis: Dark Side of the Moon
- Weight: 39.2 lbs
- Dimensions: 17 x 8.8 x 18.9 Inches
- Operating System/Software: Windows 10 Home, Alienware Command Center
- Ports: [Front] 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (1 port with PowerShare), 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen1, headphone/line out port, microphone/line in port; [Back] 6x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.2 Gen1, Coaxial S/PDIF port, Optical S/PDIF port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), USB 3.2 Gen 2, Side L/R surround port, Microphone port, Front L/R surround line-out port, Line-in port, Rear L/R surround port, Network port
Despite my modest configuration, the Alienware Aurora R11 that I had was an able performer- both in productivity tasks and gaming. The Alienware command center provides a good overview of the system’s components and you can set its performance modes based on what you feel is apt for the moment.
Although it usually comes with crapware, you should blame Microsoft Windows for this and not the company. The good thing is that there are programs that can ‘decrapify’ a common Windows installation, so there’s that.
I love that the chassis doesn’t take up too much desk space, though if you are going to place this inside drawer, you may have to be wary about its height because it is definitely higher than the others.
If you have plenty of money, you can configure it ‘balls to the wall’ with the latest and greatest products from Intel and Nvidia, though keep in mind that because this model was released in 2020, you cannot expect the new Nvidia 3000 graphics cards to be present when you are purchasing this thing.
In summary, the Alienware Aurora R11 is a pretty good gaming machine- both in aesthetics and performance.
Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review- The $75 ‘G Pro’ Lite
The Logitech G Pro is highly praised by the gaming community, especially those that are playing first-person shooters. It is lightweight and it is wireless which is something that was unprecedented before its release.
There is only one issue: That mouse was expensive. Fortunately, you can get the Logitech G305 Lightspeed for a much cheaper price.
Read further to find out why I think the G305 is what I would consider as the ‘G Pro’ lite.
The Logitech G305 Lightspeed looks quite similar to the Logitech G Pro mentioned above. At first glance, you might think that this peripheral is an ambidextrous mouse, but that is actually not the case.
You see, while it has an ambidextrous design, the side buttons are actually located only on the left side of the peripheral. This is an odd choice considering that this can be construed as a mouse that can also be used left-handed, but this is something that you need to know if you are a left-handed gamer.
Its dimensions are 4.59 x 2.45 x 1.50 inches and it weighs 98 grams with the AA battery on. That’s right, you will need a single AA battery for this thing to operate, but the good thing is that a single AA battery can last up to three months with consistent use.
Much of the power-saving features come from the company’s own HERO sensor which doesn’t require a lot of battery to operate while still providing you with a competitive performance in games. More on this later.
This mouse is a bit on the smaller side and is perfectly suited for people who use the fingertip or claw grip styles. This could also work for a hybrid claw/finger grip style as well.
Because of its smaller dimensions, it should go without saying that people with larger hands might have a hard time grasping this mouse, so I wouldn’t recommend this for people that have bigger hands than others.
Despite its much cheaper price, I am glad that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed still feels premium. It is predominantly made with plastic and it has a matte finish so that it won’t easily get out of your grasps when you are playing even with sweaty hands.
On the underside, you will find four mouse feet for easier glide and you can also find the on/off switch as well. I love the fact that you can tell if it is turned on or off based on the color that you see depending on the switch’s orientation.
If you see the switch’s color turn blue, that means that the mouse is turned on. If it is on orange, then the peripheral is turned off.
I should also mention that there is no RGB lighting on this mouse at all and that is okay considering that you are running this thing with non-rechargeable batteries.
The Logitech G305 Lightspeed doesn’t have rechargeable batteries, but you might wonder why there is an included cable in the box. Well, that actually acts as an extender for the wireless USB dongle. This is used for better wireless coverage to ensure that the peripheral’s performance remains consistent across the board.
As mentioned earlier, the Logitech G305 Lightspeed comes equipped with the company’s HERO sensor which is derived from the popular Pixart 3366 sensor. For the people who are familiar with the latter, you know that this thing can perform admirably even in competitive situations.
The good thing about Logitech’s implementation is that the HERO sensor eats so little energy that a single AA battery can last up to 3-4 months with consistent use. That is truly impressive since you do not have to worry about losing battery life while you are using it.
The HERO sensor here is a cut-down version of what you can see in Logitech’s other gaming mice as it can only reach a maximum of 12,000 DPI (compared to the 16,000 DPI in others). This is still okay because, in more practical uses, I don’t think that people would go as high as that number anyway.
I am blown away by how smooth the mouse glides on my mouse mat. The sensor provides consistent performance and I am glad that this thing won’t spin out in games.
I’ve tried this in FPS games like Valorant and I’ve had no problems with aiming at all. This experience is coming from a person who uses a gaming mouse using a palm grip by the way. My aim would have been better if I used the fingertip or claw grip styles.
I’ve also tested this on some MOBA games as well and I never experienced any dropouts or performance issues at all.
This mouse has 6 programmable buttons and if you want to configure them, you will need to download the company’s G Hub software.
You can download and use it for free and is available for both Windows and Mac. I love the aesthetic of the software as it is intuitive to use and the menus are easy to understand.
I am just surprised by one thing, however. You see, the button that is directly below the scroll wheel is supposed to be the DPI switch button which means that pressing it would cycle through the different DPI profiles that you’ve set in the G Hub software. Or at least, that is how it should work in theory.
However, even though you can change the DPI to whatever value you want so long as it is within its range (up to 12,000), you cannot set more than one DPI setting which virtually renders the DPI cycle button useless, at least, in this regard.
You could set the button to do an entirely different thing like you can set it to a particular key on the keyboard so every time you press on the button, it does that. But, it is just interesting to me that its original purpose is not actually implemented in reality.
Normally, a wireless gaming mouse would typically cost more than $100 because of the use of wireless technology, along with the usual goodies that you can find in such a device. But, I am pleased that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed costs $75.
For its price, you are getting a very competitive gaming mouse that can last a couple of months using just a single AA battery. Of course, this changes depending on the battery that is used (brand and capacity), but for the most part, it should remain fairly consistent in terms of battery life.
The HERO sensor has also given me an amazing experience. I never would have thought that a wireless mouse can provide a similar experience to that of its wired counterparts.
All in all, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Logitech G305 Lightspeed unless of course if you are a palm-grip user.
Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review- The Company’s Best Mouse Goes Wireless
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Review- A Great Business Laptop Under $1,000
Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review- Configured to Win
Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review- The $75 ‘G Pro’ Lite
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