The Crucial 16GB DDR3 DDR3L 204-Pin Memory is our best RAM card and it definitely works for most MacBook Pros. It has a latency of CL11. Moreover, this kit has 8 gigabytes on each card with a total of 16 gigabytes. Adding to that, this memory RAM set is for DDR3 and DDR3L motherboards. With this RAM card, you can easily increase the performance of your system overall. It can operate up to 1,600 MT/s of speed. Take note that this is a non-ECC and unbuffered RAM card. It is definitely an ideal memory card for Mac systems.
Our step-up pick is the HyperX FURY Black 16GB Desktop Memory and it is super ideal for overclocking systems and reaching the true potential of your gaming or 3D editing rig. A unique feature of this RAM card is that it can automatically overclock up to 2,666 MHz. It is also highly compatible with most of Intel’s X99 and 100 series. What’s more, the FURY heat spreader is asymmetrical which makes it unique from most RAM cards. This is a DDR4 type RAM card which also a 16 GB memory in total each with 8 GB of size. Furthermore, it has a plug and play functionality that makes it easy to install and it has a matching PCF with a black heat spreader color and a low profile design. Also, it has a memory clock speed of 2133 MHz.
The budget pick is the Crucial 8GB Single DDR3L 204-Pin Memory and this one has a total size of 8 GB of RAM. It is an ideal RAM card for notebooks and laptops and it also works for the MacBook Pro and most laptops. The RAM card has a very low voltage draw of only 1.35 volts and it also has a speed of 1,600 MT/s. Moreover, this is a DDR3 / DDR3L RAM card that is easy to install. The RAM card can also be a dual voltage RAM card which can also run at 1.5 volts of power.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Best Desktop RAM Card
- Best DDR4 RAM Card
- Best DDR3 RAM Card
- Best DDR2 RAM Card
- Ideal RAM Card for Router Upgrades
- Best DDR RAM Card
- Best RDRAM RAM Card
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
RAM cards or memory cards are installed on your main board or motherboard to function as the Random Access Memory part of your computer system. A RAM card is like an accomplice of your internal and main processor on the motherboard – it helps your system to run smoothly. A bigger set of RAM cards will allow you great video editing and gaming experience due to the fact that it gives you a lot of temporary memory storage that will also reduce the stress on your physical and virtual drive. The RAM card is a truly important thing to consider when it comes to any computer system.
RAM cards can go from DDR (not Dance Dance Revolution though) to DDR4 types. The higher the number, the more advanced the technology and the more great features it has such as a faster and more energy efficient performance. DDR RAM cards range from DDR, DDR2, and DDR3 to DDR4. There are other types of RAM cards too, such as RDRAM, which is mainly used for servers and other purposes due to being unique from the DDR SDRAM types of RAM cards.
Random Access Memory is important in any computer system for its programs to function properly. Without a good RAM, you may not be able to play most 3D based games such as Skyrim and Half Life 2 and perform CPU heavy filters on Adobe Photoshop.
The built-in memory cards of a desktop or a laptop can be too low for your standards, especially if you want to perform rigorous, CPU eating application task such as video editing and gaming. For example, most desktop computers come with only 1 GB to 2 GB of RAM and much older PC only have 256 to 512 MB of RAM, which is of course, inconvenient for today’s software. This is why if you want to upgrade your PC, consider the type of RAM card it can accept and the size you want to add to it.
Desktops are particularly easier to upgrade than laptops due to the many available slots it has on its motherboard and the usually larger size limit and capacity of the motherboard itself on RAM amount.
Here’s a tip: you do not have to necessarily buy two RAM cards at the same time if you think one of your system’s RAM cards still works and is of good size (e.g. 4 GB). You can actually combine two RAM cards of different sizes and they just add up to become your computer’s memory capacity. For example, if your laptop has two 2 GB RAM cards and you only have a limited budget, you can just purchase one 4 GB RAM card and replace one of them so you get a total of 6 GB of RAM, which is enough for you to run Sony Vegas Pro, Adobe Photoshop, emulators for the Sony Playstation, Playstation 2 and PSP with rigorous 3D graphics, digital audio workstations such as FL Studio, photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop and many other great RAM eater programs.
Remember that upgrading RAM cards, along with upgrading the processor, can take its toll on your system. The faster your processor operates, the more heat it generates, and this is also why you should purchase a RAM card that works like a charm in helping to keep the system cool even with the help of your cooling fan or regular CPU fan.
How We Picked
Size of each RAM card – this refers to the size of the RAM card or memory card, usually in gigabytes (GB). Typically, most RAM cards have 8 GB of memory or lower.
Ease of use – the RAM card must be easy to install on any intended unit. The RAM card must have a good form and design as well so that it can easily fit onto any motherboard. However, this still depends on the type of RAM card.
Type of RAM card – know if the RAM card is a DDR, DDR2, DDR3 or DDR4 type. If you purchased a new unit, chances are you will have to buy a DDR4 or DDR3 RAM card set. Older units, however, still require and use DDR and DDR2 type RAM cards. Still, some models of the DDR3 also feature low power consumption, indicated by an L on its name (e.g. DDR3L).
Number of pins – this is dictated by the type of module that the RAM card is, and ranges from 100 to 200 pins or more. Most RAM cards are DIMM types and some are SIMM cards.
ECC and unbuffered – some and most RAM cards also unbuffered and are ECC or non-ECC and this can also affect the performance and the ease of use of the RAM card.
Column Address or CL – consider the column address or CL rating and make sure it is lower so that it performs better than your old RAM card or some other cards.
Memory speed – the memory speed should also be considered such that it will either match or exceed your PC’s bus speed.
Crucial 16GB DDR3 DDR3L 204-Pin Memory
Our best RAM card is the Crucial 16GB DDR3 DDR3L 204-Pin Memory and this memory RAM set is for DDR3 and DDR3L motherboards. It is also a highly ideal memory card for Mac systems. As for the number of pins, this memory card has 204 pins. As for the size of the RAM cards, this kit has 8 gigabytes on each card with a total of 16 gigabytes. Because it is eco-friendly, each module is free from halogen and lead so you give less impact to the environment.
Relatively very easy to install, you can easily increase the performance of your system overall with this RAM card set. As a matter of fact, both of these RAM cards are Apple Certified and available in ECC, RDIMM and SODIMM. As for the speed of the RAM card, it can operate up to 1,600 MT/s of speed.
As for the standards, this is a non-ECC and unbuffered RAM card. When it comes to its unique feature, the dual voltage feature allows it to be operated at 1.35 volts or 1.5 volts. This RAM card consumes 10 percent less energy so it is efficient on power. The Crucial DDR3L 204-Pin Memory also has a latency of CL11 and it effectively works for most MacBook Pros.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
Even as the top pick, the Crucial 16GB DDR3 DDR3L 204-Pin Memory has some few shortcomings but nonetheless do not affect the quality of the RAM card. For example, the RAM card can be too fast for the Mac Mini 2010 model which can cause a few shortcomings on running.
HyperX FURY Black 16GB Desktop Memory
For our step-up pick, we chose the HyperX FURY Black 16GB Desktop Memory as a best RAM card to consider for a higher budget. It also a 16 GB memory in total each with 8 GB of size like our top pick but do know that this is a DDR4 type RAM card. As for the typical use, it is greatly ideal for desktop computers and expanding them. And what’s more, this is a non-ECC DIMM memory card.
Conveniently easy to use, it has a plug and play functionality that makes it easy to install. As for the gamers out there, this RAM card by HyperX is very ideal for overclocking systems and reaching the true potential of your gaming or 3D editing rig. Moreover it is also highly reliable RAM card that has been 100 percent factory tested. When it comes to the design, it also has a matching PCF with a black heat spreader color and a low profile design. Adding to that, the FURY heat spreader is asymmetrical which makes it unique from most RAM cards.
What’s great about the HyperX FURY Memory is the very fact that it does not need BIOS adjustments for overclocking. Adding to that, it is also highly compatible with a vast variety of motherboards. And what’s more, it has a memory clock speed of 2133 MHz As for the typical usage of this RAM card – it greatly supports video editing, AI processing, gaming, 3D rendering and the like. And what’s more, it stays cool and only runs at 1.2 volts so it is energy efficient and cost efficient. Overclocking is easy with this RAM card as it can automatically overclock up to 2,666 MHz. What’s more, it has significantly lower power consumption than DDR3 type RAM cards. It is also highly compatible with most of Intel’s X99 and 100 series and is thoroughly backed by a lifetime warranty.
Crucial 8GB Single DDR3L 204-Pin Memory
For our budget pick on the best RAM card, we chose the Crucial 8GB Single DDR3L 204-Pin Memory and this one has a total size of 8 GB of RAM. As for the number of pins, this memory has standard 240 pins. When it comes to the speed of the RAM card, it has a speed of 1,600 MT/s. Highly efficient when it comes down to power consumption, it has a very low voltage draw of only 1.35 volts. Moreover, to further save up on energy costs, it can also be a dual voltage RAM card which can also run at 1.5 volts of power.
As a RAM card, this is a DDR3 / DDR3L RAM card that is easy to install. And what’s more, it can significantly increase and boost your system performance. The RAM card also has a latency of CL11 and is an ideal RAM card for notebooks and laptops. The Crucial 8GB Memory also works for the MacBook Pro and most laptops and is backed by a limited warranty of 3 years.
Best Desktop RAM Card
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB DDR3 RAM
Our best RAM card for desktop computers is the Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB DDR3 RAM which has a total combined size of 16 GB at 8 GB each memory card. When it comes to speed, the RAM card has a memory clock speed of 2,400 MHz. For the module type, its format is DIMM and it has 240 pins in total. Moreover, it has a tested latency of 11-13-13-31.
For added convenience when it comes to cooling capabilities, the heat spreader is made of anodized aluminum. As for power, the RAM card has a voltage of 1.65 V so it is a power saving RAM card. This is a DDR3 RAM card in which the accent clip is also made from anodized aluminum to give better temperature management.
Highly ideal for desktops, the Corsair Vengeance Pro RAM has a sleek design. As for the unique feature, it runs on Intel XMP 1.3 that makes it ideal for overclocking and gaming. Moreover, when it comes to the design and durability as well as quality, the RAM card has 8 layers of PCB and memory ICs that have been highly screened.
Overclocking is a breeze due to the cooling ability of the heat spreader. The Corsair DDR3 RAM is great for 4th generation Intel Core platforms such as the Intel i7 and is also backed by a lifetime warranty for your added convenience.
Best DDR4 RAM Card
Ballistix Sport LT 16GB DDR4 RAM
Our best RAM card that is a DDR4 type RAM card is the Ballistix Sport LT 16GB DDR4 RAM which has a total of 16 GB of size at 8 GB each for its size. As for the speed, it has a starting speed of 2,400 MT/s. Take note that this memory has 4 channels of architecture so your data rates are enhanced and maximized. It is also proven to be ideally faster than most DDR4 memory cards. Adding to that, it is also a highly responsive RAM card.
As for the durability and the convenient design, it has a heat spreader with a digital camo design and it helps to regulate the temperature of your RAM card. It is also available in red, white and gray colors for gaming rig design needs. As for the module of the RAM card, it has a total of 288 pins and this is a DIMM type (UDIMM) RAM card that is unbuffered.
This RAM card also has Intel XMP 2.0 profiles for its module design and is also very easy to configure the BIOS with this RAM card. Highly great for multitasking, the Ballistix Sport RAM is very compatible with most motherboards such as the Z170. All in all, it keeps your system cool without sacrificing performance in the long run.
Best DDR3 RAM Card
Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3 240-Pin Memory
For our best RAM card that is a DDR3 type, we chose the Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3 240-Pin Memory and this is a UDIMM type RAM card that has 4 GB on each RAM card, totaling to 8 GB all in all for the size. As for the number of pins, it has 240 pins. As for the CL rating, this non-ECC RAM card is a CL9 rated RAM card. As for power consumption, the RAM card has voltage of 1.5 volts which is pretty average for most RAM cards of today.
This RAM card also has a latency of 9-9-9-24. For friendliness towards new beginners and users, it is also conveniently easily to configure the BIOS and it has industry standards so it is of the best quality. This is also an unbuffered RAM card and it can run up to 4 channels. Moreover, this DDR3 type RAM has a speed of 1,600 MT per second or 1,600 MHz. For added durability and management, the Ballistix Sport DDR3 Memory has an aluminum heat spreader for the best temperature management. All in all, it is a great RAM card for general purpose systems or gaming.
Best DDR2 RAM Card
Samsung Original 2.0GB DDR2 Memory Module
The Samsung Original 2.0GB DDR2 Memory Module has a total of 200 pins and is our best DDR2 RAM card. As for the module, this memory module is a SODIMM type of RAM card. Moreover, as for the size, this DDR2 RAM card has a total of 2 GB or 2,048 MB. Conveniently, it runs at a speed of 800 MHz and is an ideal RAM card for laptops. As for the CL rating, this RAM card is also a CL-6. As a matter of fact, most people use for iMacs or other laptops.
Ideal RAM Card for Router Upgrades
Keystron 512MB ASA5505 Router Memory Upgrade
The Keystron 512MB ASA5505 Router Memory Upgrade is our ideal RAM card for upgrading any router. As a matter of fact, this is a DDR type DIMM RAM card when it comes to the module. It works effectively great for upgrading the Cisco ASA5505 router. As for the size, it has a total of 512 MB of RAM and it has a total of 184 pins for its module. And what’s more, it can also be used on older machines as a supplementary upgrade, as long as it accepts DDR type RAM cards.
Best DDR RAM Card
Komputerbay 2GB DDR 184-Pin Desktop Memory
The Komputerbay 2GB DDR 184-Pin Desktop Memory is our ideal DDR RAM card and each RAM card has a size of 1 GB which totals to 2 GB all in all. It is a great DDR type DIMM memory card and it has a total of 184 pins each. It runs at a speed of 400 MHz.
As for the CL rating, this is a CL 3.0 RAM card that is meant for desktops and it has a low density of 64 x 8. This is an unbuffered RAM card and it is a non-ECC and non-parity. It runs from 2.5 to 2.6 volts and is backed by a lifetime warranty. Most people use it as an ideal RAM card replacement for Dell laptops and similar products.
Best RDRAM RAM Card
Arch Memory 1GB PC800-40 RDRAM Memory
The Arch Memory 1GB PC800-40 RDRAM Memory is an ideal RAM card for the Dell Dimension series and this is a unique RDRAM type RAM card. It has a total of 2 memory cards at 512 MB each, totaling to 1 GB all in all and because it is an ECC RAM card, it is only ideal for servers.
It was pretty tough when choosing the best RAM card out there, but nonetheless, it all came down to the size and the capacity of each RAM card and whether it is a set of two or not. Most RAM cards are the same and only size splits them apart from the rest.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
If you are highly and deeply interested with RAM cards then here are a few questions with answers that you need to know for added information.
Q: What is a RAM card and what does it do?
A: According to Wikipedia , a RAM card or Random Access Memory card or device is a device that acts like a temporary memory storage. Think of it as a part of your brain that temporarily stores thoughts that are ready to be said or done.
There are many RAM types, such as DRAM (DDR SDRAM) as well as SRAM but the DDR ram is the most common one. RAM cards can be used on desktops or laptops to upgrade and speed up the RAM or memory of your system. RAM cards are must-have expansions if you want your games and video editing to be flawless. A lot of programs and applications require a ton of RAM on your system and this is why you must upgrade your RAM with the corresponding RAM cards.
RAM cards are inserted on the slots of your motherboard, usually in 2 to 4 slots. Laptops usually have 2 slots while desktop computers and newer motherboards usually have 4. RAM cards have the ability to help you overclock your system or go beyond the standard clock speed of your processor.
Q: Why should I increase my RAM? What are the benefits?
A: According to Make Use Of , you can perform multitasking in one go and also, you can process audio and videos much better with bigger RAM. In fact, games will have less lag when you upgrade your RAM.
As an example, a 4 GB RAM will do just fine for office use but if you want to do video editing, making music, gaming and others, especially anything that involves 3D graphics and processing, you should go for an 8 GB RAM or higher. However, since the slots that you have are around 2 to 4, you don’t always have to put in the same RAM card size in both slots – you can do one 4 GB and one 2 GB to have 6 GB all in all. Moreover, some of the most rigorous programs that require a ton of RAM include video editors, digital audio workstations, 3D online games, photo editors and the like.
Adding to that, you would also lessen the use of your internal virtual memory so that your disk space and CPU usage will also get lesser. Always remember to know what type of DDR or RAM your motherboard accepts as you cannot mix two DDR types even with the same size.
Q: What are some of the things to consider when choosing the best RAM card?
A: According to PC World , consider the memory speed so that it matches or even exceeds the bus speed of the front side of your PC. An SDRAM that has PC100 is significantly faster than one with PC66. Consider the type of RAM that your motherboard accepts. The most common ones are the DDR SDRAM and the rare ones are the RDRAM. DDR SDRAMs can be from DDR to DDR4 so you have to choose carefully and know your motherboard’s type. DDR4 is the newest of the DDR SDRAM types and is significantly faster than most of them when it comes to memory storage and reaction time.
Consider if your RAM is ECC or supports error-correcting code or not. The CL or column address strobe refers to how fast the module can be. A CL2 rating is much better than a CL3. RAM modules also differ from each other, as some are DIMM, SIMM or RIMM so know this as well. Last but not the least you should always know the total memory storage capacity of each card, since RAM cards usually come in two, or if not, simply consider the capacity of the card. RAM cards are usually in pairs.
Q: How do you upgrade your computer’s memory or RAM?
A: According to Laptop Mag , first, you need to know if your computer is in dire need of RAM and this is indicated by the task manager’s status on your RAM. You can also check it out on your computer info, alongside the processor’s clock speed. You can also feel it when you play games or do video editing, as most of these activities require a ton of RAM.
Shop for a much higher RAM card and simply open your desktop or laptop’s memory bank after you’ve turned off the PC or Mac and take out the old memory to replace with the new one. If your memory card slot still has one open slot, you can use that slot for the new RAM card; otherwise, you can just replace a RAM card with a lower size. All that is left to do is to test your computer and see if it appears on your system status. Take note that despite the exact size of a RAM card (or even your disk space for that matter), it will not always be exact due to the fact that some of it is used by your system for other important purposes.
Wrapping It Up
To wrap it up, the Crucial 16GB DDR3 DDR3L 204-Pin Memory is our best RAM card that will act as a great upgrade opportunity for your computer.