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Desktops & Components

Best Memory (RAM)

Memory is memory, right? Nothing to get TOO excited about. Well, considering that RAM is the component that fundamentally determines how fast and agile your apps and games 'feel', I'd say that your choice of memory is pretty seriously important. If the performance of your laptop or desktop computer is bogged down by slower, lower-capacity, generic memory sticks -- or if you're building a new PC and want the best possible DDR3 to put you at the cutting-edge -- these memory cards and multi-channel kits on the following lists are your best bet.

G.Skill 2GB PC2-6400 DDR2 DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit

G-SKILL is the name most associated with gamers and overclockers, and even the name itself has that sort of elite, gaming feel to it that you'd probably also think means overpriced and meant for a very exclusive audience. Despite the G-SKILL brand name though, the Taiwanese manufacturer knows that its product cater to many audiences beyond gamers, and the G-SKILL 2GB 800 MHZ DDR2 Memory is a perfect example of what meets the best in value for the masses. With 2GB in two sticks, it certainly is not a lot of memory, but this memory is really cheap, and really reliable. If you're going to throw this into a computer you don't hope to touch for a long time under the hood, then G-SKILL has you covered.

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB 800MHZ DDR2 Memory

CORSAIR is one of the leading names in memory for everything from flash drives to RAM, and in the case of value, they offer plenty of it in the DDR2 division. While CORSAIR is more known for its high-end and high-priced DDR3 memory, much of its DDR2 memory is more reasonable than you'd expect, and comes with not only the promise of a lifetime guarantee like most memory manufacturers, but the assurance of the CORSAIR name along with it. In the case of the CORSAIR XMS2, this memory is not only decent for the DDR2 standard with a 800 MHZ clock speed, but also performance-oriented thanks to the included heat resistance casing situated around the memory. This makes the CORSAIR XMS2 a good choice for those looking for value.

ADATA 2GB 800 MHZ DDR2 Memory

ADATA is one of the newer flash memory makers on the market, a Chinese firm that came along back in 2001. In the 12 years since being unveiled, ADATA has grown immensely to be one of the leaders among DRAM and hold more than 7 percent of the world market share. The 2GB, 800MHZ DDR2 memory by ADATA follows the company's principles of high value and low costs. There isn't much more than ca be said about the ADATA 2GB 800 MHZ DDR2 Memory beyond that, but between the fair speed, modest capacity, and excellent price, value is truly a worthy way to describe this ADATA desktop memory.

Wintec AMPO 2GB 800 MHZ DDR2 Memory

Wintec AMPO 2GB 800 MHZ DDR2 Memory

Wintec is not a name you'll hear often among memory makers, mostly because their business is focused more on the production of products made directly for manufacturers, as opposed to releasing products to consumers at large. Still, the California-based memory-maker is still a fairly good option for some low-priced memory considerations, including their 2GB DDR2 Memory. In the case of the Wintec AMPO series, the memory is at a price, and meets the needs of whatever your system may encounter in the day-to-day activities you'll endure. It certainly isn't high-end and high-priced, but Wintec's AMPO 2GB memory is a good choice in terms of value for investing in your budget PC.

Kingston ValueRAM 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 DIMM Memory Kit

With value right in its name, Kingston's ValueRAM line sure leaves little to be imagined in features, but makes up for it in the price, and reliability behind the Kingston name. Kingston is one of the largest flash memory manufacturers out there, and among the many thousands of products they make their ValueRAM series of DDR2 memory is a great choice in value for those who need low-cost memory and don't mind a slightly slower DDR2 clock speed. The 667 MHZ speed is a little bit slower than 800 MHZ, but the price and Kingston name help make up for this small speed difference. As a result, Kingston's ValueRAM is really cheap, and serves as a good option for those who want a truly budget computer with low-cost, but still modest memory.

G.SKILL 4GB DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) F2-8500CL5D-4GBPI-B

For DDR2 memory, the cream of the proverbial crop is definitely a far-cry from the modern DDR3 standard, but that doesn't mean there is no DDR2 memory meant for performance. The G-SKILL PI series serves at the best the DDR2 realm can offer those who want higher end performance but either have no interest in DDR3 memory or just cannot use it with their generation of hardware. At a 1066MHZ clock speed, this memory is the fastest you can get at DDR2 and also maxes out your capacity limits at 4GB. The integrated design maximizes cooling, helping to keep your performance PC cool no matter what you may tackle with it.

Kingston HyperX 2GB DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) KHX8500D2/2G

Kingston is one of the biggest memory makers in the world, and this makes their 1066MHZ DDR2 memory some of the best to buy. With decades of experience in flash memory, Kingston is certain a great choice among those who want a leading brand in memory alongside the fastest clock speeds DDR2 memory can offer. With a 4GB capacity in two chips, the Kingston HyperX has the maximum DDR2 Memory capacity money can buy today without spending a small fortune. HyperX is Kingston's top performance brand among everything from flash drives to desktop memory and it stands here as one of the best in the realm of DDR2 memory.

Crucial 4GB 1066MHZ DDR2 Memory CT2KIT25664AA1067

Crucial is the consumer-focused memory brand behind Micron Technologies, which has been pumping out memory for nearly 35 years. While more modest in size compared to other memory giants, Crucial can still pump out some impressive, fairly priced memory for all needs and tastes, including the DDR2 space. Crucial's 4GB DDR2 memory can clock up to 1066MHZ, allowing motherboards designed with DDR2 memory to reach maximum possible speeds. While the memory looks a little naked in design compared to other chips, this is from Crucial trying to keep design costs low while sacrificing thermal resistance as a result. Still, a really good fan or cooling system will easily compensate this loss. These factors help contribute as to why this piece of Crucial memory is a good investment.

Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Performance 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit

We're not sure why CORSAIR doesn't make 1066MHZ memory anymore for DDR2 devices, though our guess would be the top memory maker has already moved on to DDR3 for the most part. Regardless, one thing CORSAIR perhaps wins out on compared to any other memory maker in the business is their longstanding reputation as not only a top memory maker, but also one with quality as a top priority. As a result, even if it isn't the fastest DDR2 memory out there, CORSAIR's 4GB 800MHZ DDR2 memory is still a fantastic set of chips for your PC. Depending on your budget and clock speed interests, CORSAIR promises performance for all and offers some of the best 800MHZ DDR2 memory out there.

Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 2GB 800MHZ DDR2 Memory

Mushkin is a rather new memory firm that arrived in the mid-nineties with an interesting hybrid of high-performance, but lower priced hardware with respect to competitors. The Colorado-based company has since produced millions of memory products, including RAM like its Enhanced Silverline series. This set of RAM is just 2GB, but in turn is also much cheaper than 4GB variants, but doesn't compromise the Mushkin Enhanced promise of optimal performance for your PC that desires DDR2 memory. This memory is not only cheaper than competitors, but it also guarantees optimal performance. This makes the Mushkin Enhanced Silverline series a good choice among gamers and performance players that need decent DDR2 memory.

Team Xtreem 8GB 2400 MHZ Memory

Team Xtreem 8GB 2400 MHZ Memory

Value comes in many shapes and sizes, and when it comes to getting the very best in value, the Team Xtreem 8GB 2400 MHZ Memory can't be beaten. In terms of speed, this memory is clocking in a wicked 2400MHZ meaning you can handle with it the very best of performance scenarios for work or play. With 8 gigabytes in two chips, you can go up to 16 GB on a standard motherboard and with this memory even eight is plenty to handle most everyday tasks and challenges. Best of all though, the "bank for your buck" value comes into play and you will pay a fraction for this memory what you'd pay for most 2133 MHZ memory, let alone 2400 MHZ. Between speed, memory capacity, and the price, Team Xtreem may not be a leading brand, but it wins for all these reasons and more

G-SKILL Ripjaws X-Series 16GB 2133 MHZ Memory

G-SKILL is a leading name among performance-hungry memory users - especially those in gaming circles - and their Ripjaws X-Series with 16GB of memory in two chips is an especially good deal given the amount of memory you're getting, the higher-end clock speed, and guarantees of the G-SKILL name. The Ripjaws series is famous for being in thousands of gaming rigs, and their X Series within the Ripjaws line brings even that renowned performance up a few more notches. With a 2133 MHZ clock speed, this memory is designed for higher-end motherboards and the high-performance situations they endure, ranging from gaming on the latest titles to producing music, videos, and more. Best of all, the price is great and the reviews are excellent, making this memory an awesome choice.

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600 MHZ Memory

Vengeance may be a word with a lot of weight to it, but it's the CORSAIR name that turns a weighty word into a powerful piece of hardware with high quality standards and a renowned reputation. CORSAIR has been a leader in memory for many years, and their Vengeance series clocked in at 1600 MHZ is no different - except that it's finally becoming a rather value-oriented piece of hardware. While some people want slightly higher clock speeds for (at times) marginal performance changes, the 1600 MHZ clock speed is becoming a sort of sweet spot in price and performance, allowing the capacity of RAM capable for your PC to increase without costing you too much in a price increase. the stats on this CORSAIR Vengeance memory, coupled with top reviews, make this an excellent choice for all sorts of PC builds

Kingston HyperX 16GB 1600 MHZ Memory

Another big-name and leader in memory production is Kingston, and in the case of their products the HyperX is a wonderful line of memory that is designed to be high-performance capable but not necessarily out of your budget range either. In the case of the HyperX series, the 16GB capacity memory at 1600 MHZ is a perfect option for those who want a low-cost piece of memory that meets more than the minimum in performance needs, but doesn't necessarily jump into overkill either. If you want a lot of memory but don't worry too much about clock speeds, 1600 MHZ is a fine speed for the everyday and occasional high-performance scenario, and the price the Kingston HyperX comes in at can't be beat. It's a great deal, has great features, and comes in at a great price.

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 1600 MHZ Low-Profile Memory

Low-Profile memory is a relatively new innovation among circles of technophiles and performance-hungry PC users. As our desktops go from the once standard ATX motherboard size to Micro ATX and now even Micro ITX, the need for smaller but equally powerful motherboards is quickly becoming a reality. To serve even the need of high-performance computing in such a small form-factor is memory like the Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 1600 MHZ Low-Profile Memory. This memory, though shorter in stature to its competitors, is no joke and carries with it a powerful computing punch. With a standard 1600 MHZ clock speed for tasks of all shapes and sizes, but the small size you need for smaller PC builds where real estate is precious, the Crucial Ballistix Low-Profile memory is a wonderful option, and not too shabby in price either.

Corsair Vengeance 16GB PC3-12800 1600Mhz DDR3 DIMM Memory Kit (4GBX4)

Without a doubt, CORSAIR has been a leader in memory of all shapes and sizes for a number of years. Recently, their Vengeance series of gaming-oriented memory for desktops and laptops has been a highlight namely for its cool looks, high clock speeds, and gaming-oriented design for maximum performance. While it lacks the sweet looking heatsink seen on its desktop cousin, the Vengeance for laptop memory is still a fine choice, offering a standard 1600 MHZ clock speed, 16GB of memory on two chips, and a design meant to handle higher temperatures and demands of a gaming laptop. This makes it a best bet for laptops whether you need your memory for gaming or anything in between.

Kingston HyperX 8GB DDR3 1866 MHZ Memory

For most, going to 1866 MHZ may be worth more trouble than it's worth. But if you know your way around a BIOS, and your laptop's motherboard has the necessary compatibility (whether it be native or overclock-compatible,) then there's no reason to go for the extra speed for a slight edge in performance. If you're looking to make the jump to 1866 MHZ, then the Kingston HyperX is the name in RAM you want for your laptop. The 8GB memory in two 4GB chips offers not only one of the fastest native clock speeds available to laptops for their memory, but also included heat resistance to help with handling the extra heat laptops generate. All in all, the HyperX is a fairly reasonable price compared to most laptop memory at this speed, which makes it a great choice if you know you really want 1866 MHZ

CORSAIR ValueSelect 16GB DDR3 Memory

CORSAIR is already a well known memory provider, and it's Vengeance brand is a top-notch marker in quality and performance for gaming, production, and just about any hardcore PC task you may encounter. However, Vengeance comes at a price, and if you're willing to pay for CORSAIR or 16GB of memory, but not necessarily shell out a fair amount more for Vengeance, then you may want to consider CORSAIR's ValueSelect. ValueSelect offers the same high-capacity, high-speed memory as Vengeance, but for about $20 to $30 cheaper. It's still the same CORSAIR name, and while the memory may be a bit less superb than Vengeance, it's a lot cheaper and still a formidable option for laptop upgrades and those who still want the leading names in memory.

Team Group 8GB DDR3 1600MHz SO-DIMM Memory Kit

The Team name, with respect to memory, is not one that's not associated as strongly with quality much like CORSAIR or Kingston. However, with some of the lowest prices out there for 8GB of laptop memory, if you're looking to stick to a budget but not sacrifice clock speed or capacity then you may want to give Team a try. With pretty strong ratings from customers, Team's 8GB of RAM in two 4GB chips looks like a very viable option if you want to spend just $50 for a lot of high-speed RAM for your laptop. While it lacks aesthetics like heat resistance, it has a lifetime warranty and still remains a good choice for those who want to boost the speed of their laptop without spending too much.

G-SKILL 16GB DDR3 1333MHZ Memory

While most people will opt for the fast 1600 or even faster 1866 MHZ clock speed for their laptop's memory, it's not completely out of the ordinary to go for the slightly slower 1333 MHZ memory speed to exchange a bit of speed for a lot in price. Shaving $20 to $30 in price, the G-SKILL 16GB DDR3 memory gives you the same 16GB capacity you'd want for top-notch gaming or production on your laptop in exchange for a slightly slower 1333 MHZ clock speed. G-SKILL is already a well-known brand of components name among gamers, and the same quality and design put into their Desktop-level hardware is also found in their laptop products such as this memory. All in all if you are budget-conscious but want the full 16GB memory experience, then G-SKILL may have the right chip for you.

Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB DDR3 1866 MHZ Desktop Memory

Domination is a fitting name for this series of RAM, which by the very way it looks, it's got something special going on. This 2400 MHZ native memory can actually be bumped up to a whopping 2600 MHZ clock speed if your motherboard can handle it, and that's just the start for CORSAIR's Domination Platinum series of memory. With top bar and piping that can be customized to maximize your cooling needs for your memory, a top-notch design, and the CORSAIR name backed by its lifetime warranty, there is little that can be said about this memory aside from it being perhaps the very best that money can buy for your desktop. In two 8 GB chips, the potential for even 32GB of memory is possible with this series, and it stands to be the very best for your next build - if you can afford it.

Kingston HyperX 16GB 2400 MHZ Memory

Kingston HyperX 16GB 2400 MHZ Memory

Kingston's HyperX series is some of the very best that the massive memory company has to offer, and the HyperX 16GB, 2400MHZ Desktop memory is not only a pinnacle for the company in performance, but impressive in that it offers more than just RAM when you buy it. While it's common for video card sellers to bundle the latest and greatest games with their new cards, it looks like Kingston is mimicking their ways by offering the latest Resident Evil: Revelations when you buy these four sticks of 4GB memory, each clocked at 2400 MHZ. While Resident Evil is just icing on the memory cake, the reality here is that this memory is extremely fast, built for the very best motherboards, backed by a lifetime warranty, and a perfect fit for a gamer or high-performance rig of your choice.

Team Xtreem 8GB 2400 MHZ Memory

Team Xtreem 8GB 2400 MHZ Memory

Value comes in many shapes and sizes, and when it comes to getting the very best in value, the Team Xtreem 8GB 2400 MHZ Memory can't be beaten. In terms of speed, this memory is clocking in a wicked 2400MHZ meaning you can handle with it the very best of performance scenarios for work or play. With 8 gigabytes in two chips, you can go up to 16 GB on a standard motherboard and with this memory even eight is plenty to handle most everyday tasks and challenges. Best of all though, the "bank for your buck" value comes into play and you will pay a fraction for this memory what you'd pay for most 2133 MHZ memory, let alone 2400 MHZ. Between speed, memory capacity, and the price, Team Xtreem may not be a leading brand, but it wins for all these reasons and more

G-SKILL Ripjaws X-Series 16GB 2133 MHZ Memory

G-SKILL is a leading name among performance-hungry memory users - especially those in gaming circles - and their Ripjaws X-Series with 16GB of memory in two chips is an especially good deal given the amount of memory you're getting, the higher-end clock speed, and guarantees of the G-SKILL name. The Ripjaws series is famous for being in thousands of gaming rigs, and their X Series within the Ripjaws line brings even that renowned performance up a few more notches. With a 2133 MHZ clock speed, this memory is designed for higher-end motherboards and the high-performance situations they endure, ranging from gaming on the latest titles to producing music, videos, and more. Best of all, the price is great and the reviews are excellent, making this memory an awesome choice.

Patriot Intel Extreme Master Limited Edition 8GB 2133 MHZ Memory

If you're running any one of the latest generation Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processors, it never hurts to get RAM that's been designed exclusively for your CPU. In this case, Patriot, an already well-known memory brand, becomes a no-brainer with their Intel Extreme Master Limited Edition memory. With Viper 3 heat shielding, 8GB of memory at 2133 MHZ in 2 4GB chips, and a design that has been formed around the latest generation of Intel Processors, this memory is perfect for those who want a gaming or high-performance experience and rely on Intel processors to get the job done. Backed by a lifetime warranty too, this limited edition memory will be sure to last for whatever tasks you throw at it.

Josh Sherman
An all-around tech expert from the NYC area, Josh has played with computer devices & hardware since he was in diapers. Having built his own computers from scratch, written on tech & hardware for top sites like DigitalTrends & MakeUseOf, and extensive knowledge of all things PC, Mac, and computer related, Josh is a true expert of the world of computers, hardware, peripherals, and more.
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