Does RAM Brand Matter?

Mehak Sohail | Last Updated On January 19th, 2022

Building a PC from scratch is one of the best activities a gamer can do, besides playing video games on it. However, before anybody starts building, they have to start shopping.

Shopping for PC parts used to be a fun activity back in the day, all the shops were fully stocked with your favorite GPUs, CPUs, and RAM sticks. Unfortunately, those days are gone and currently, we are living in a modern depression-era gamer’s edition because of the GPU shortage.

Most would-be gamers have already given up on building a gaming PC and others are trying to scrounge up enough bottle caps to afford a decent GTX 1650.

So with all this GPU shortage going around, many gamers are finding it difficult to afford a good set of RAM sticks. For many newbies, the most obvious thing would be to skimp out on the RAM and get a couple of generic sticks.

So, this begs the question, is it worth it to spend an extra wad of cash on those Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO when you can get two sticks of generic RAM sticks at almost half the price and does RAM brand matter?

Actually, yes! Good brands do matter over “generic” cheaper ones, and you should always try to buy RAM from a reputable brand. However, the brand is not everything, and there can be differences between two well-known brands as well.

So, with this in mind, let’s move forward and cover some important topics such as:

  • What specs should I look for when buying RAM?
    • Memory Size
    • DDR Generation
    • Effective Frequency
  • Does RAM Brand Matter in the long run?

With that being said, let’s get into it.

What specs should I look for when buying RAM?

Getting a pair of generic RAM sticks might be the easy way out. All you need, for gaming, is a couple of 8 GB sticks, (or a pair of 4 GB sticks, if you’re that desperate) but other than the memory size, do you actually know what you’re getting into? Probably not.

So, if you’ve got no idea how to shop for a good set of RAM sticks, don’t worry, because this guide will set you straight. We’ll talk about three of the most important specs to look for, along with several other conditions.

Memory Size: The most obvious thing to look out for is memory size. We all know that you need a minimum of 8 gigs or 16 gigs of RAM to run a certain game or software. Like most things in PC building, (and life, in general) bigger is better. Therefore, the more RAM you have, the more Chrome tabs you can keep. However, before you go filling out those DIMM slots on your motherboard, make sure to buy a set from a reputable manufacturer, à la a brand that’s “legit.”

By the way, if you are looking for a good set of RAM sticks for your Core i7 8700K, click here

DDR generation: Another more obvious specification is the DDR type. Most modern motherboards use DDR4, and soon, we will have the chance to see DDR5. One thing to note is that, unlike PCIe versions, DDR4 slots are not compatible with lower generations such as DDR3.

The purpose of DDR generation is to measure how many transfers it can complete during the rising edge and falling edge of one clock cycle. So if you have a RAM stick with a base speed of 1600 MHz, the DDR4 technology helps double the overall frequency to 3200 MHz.

Frequency: Speaking of 3200 MHz, the other spec that you need to consider is the effective frequency of the RAM stick. As was the case with memory size, bigger is better. So, if you have RAM sticks with a higher frequency, the better your PC.

However, make sure that your motherboard supports these faster memories as these higher frequencies can provide significant performance boosts, but only if the motherboard and CPU can handle it.

One thing to note here is that AMD’s Ryzen CPUs, specifically the APUs are better than Intel’s when it comes to performance scaling with RAM frequency.

Click here if you are looking for a good set of RAM sticks for an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X.

These are three of the most important aspects you need to keep an eye out for whenever you are shopping for RAM. So when it comes to comparing RAM sticks of different (high-quality) brands, you can always count on these specs to help you get a better idea.

Along with that, there’s CAS latency, memory bandwidth, memory channels, and ECC. We’ll talk about these advanced specifications in another post.

Last but not least, there are several other important features you need to look for, ones that are only provided by well-known manufacturers. These features are:

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Size of the RAM sticks (if you want to add heatsinks or water blocks)
  • Aesthetics (RGB and the overall shape)

Does RAM Brand Matter in the long run?

Computer RAM memory.

If your requirements are gaming and having a cool-looking PC, then you would need a good set of RAM sticks. If you are a beginner with a tight budget, a cheap pair of 8 GB RAM sticks will help you get started with your gaming journey. However, will these generic RAM sticks be sustainable in the long run, and will the brand of RAM matter?

To answer that question: Buying a pair of RAM sticks from a reputable brand will always work in your favor. However, the specs and overall aesthetics are what actually matter, especially if you are hoping to keep using these RAM sticks on a long-term basis.

Conclusion

Shopping for RAM sticks (or any other PC part) can be tricky when you’ve got a ton of brands out there. Some manufacturers have tried so hard to make their RAMs look cooler while others just don’t care (they are just fine with the green exposed PCB). Unfortunately, if you’re in a bit of a pickle trying to figure out the more reliable brands, look for ones such as HyperX, Kingston, Corsair, or Crucial, they won’t let you down.

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