If you're tight on space, pick from our list of the best low profile RAM configurations.
Low-profile memory isn’t a thing anymore. Sure, there’s the DDR4 VLP (Very Low Profile) specification that sets the height of the module at 18.75mm (0.738in). However, VLP DDR4 modules are usually reserved for servers and other industrial uses. Most RAM sticks used in consumer-grade PCs are much taller.
This is why our best low-profile RAM list had to have an upper height limit, and we’ve decided to set it at 37mm. You can read the explanation for why we picked this particular height at the end of this list. Below you’ll find the best value low-profile RAM kits, best budget kits, best low-profile RGB RAM, and more.
Before we begin, we’d like to recommend a couple of articles that anyone interested in low-profile RAM should find interesting. First of all, check out our list of the best Mini-iTX cases. Next, you should check the best air coolers for Ryzen CPUs article. It contains a number of air coolers that can only work with low-profile RAM modules. Last but not least, our RAM vs CPU guide contains a lot of useful info anyone in the market for a new PC or just faster RAM modules should read. Now, without further adieu, let’s show you the best low-profile RAM kits you can get right now. Do note that all modules shown below should be compatible with XMP.
1. Corsair Vengeance LPX: Best value low profile DDR4 RAM
Corsair struck gold when the company decided to offer high-performance memory that’s only 31mm tall after installation. This is short enough for the memory to be compatible with every single air and AIO liquid cooler out there. You can even use the Vengeance LPX with the Alpenfohn Black Ridge, a fantastic low-profile CPU cooler with a RAM clearance of only 33mm.
The memory is available in four colors and a variety of capacities and frequencies. The best of all is that the Vengeance LPX is a relatively affordable memory with pretty solid primary timings. In other words, getting something like the 16GB 3600 CL18 kit will give you about 99 percent of the performance of faster kits for much less cash.
The design is pretty solid, with ridged, low-profile heat spreaders and without any RGB. Overall, this is the best low-profile memory for most people since the modules are compatible with every CPU cooler out there, the memory itself can be pretty fast (depending on the individual kit specs), and the modules look nice despite their ultra-short height.
T-Force memory modules are known for their lavish designs with tons of RGB and modules looking like they’ll spread their wings and fly as soon as your case fans reach their max RPM. But the Vulcan Z series features a down-to-earth design that still looks stunning, has zero RGB, and has a height of only 32mm.
You can choose between three heat spreader colors (gray, red, and yellow camo), with the capacity ranging from 16GB to 64GB. Frequencies range from 3000MHz to 3600MHz. Primary latencies aren’t wild, but despite this, modules are solid overclockers.
That said, it seems that this series doesn’t include kits with Samsung B-Die chips. Despite this slight downside, if you want the best-looking low-profile RAM that’s also surprisingly affordable, the T-Force Vulcan Z series is the best choice on the market.
3. HyperX Fury Black: Best value high capacity low-profile RAM kit
HyperX Fury memory height is set at 34.1mm, and while it isn’t the shortest RAM on the market, it’s short enough for us to include it on this list. We like the HyperX Fury because it’s available worldwide.
So in case you don’t live in a large market country, chances are the HyperX Fury will be the easiest to find out of all memory kits found here. The memory is available in capacities ranging from 16GB to 128GB. Compared to other kits on this list, the 128GB kit is very affordable.
Fury isn’t the fastest memory around, it has average latencies, and it isn’t great at overclocking. However, it’s a great choice if you need lots of it or if you need low-profile DDR4 memory and you can’t find any other kit featured here.
G.Skill is probably the most popular memory manufacturer globally, but their low-profile DDR4 memory support is practically non-existent. Almost all of their memory modules are at least 40mm tall, too tall to find a place on this list.
The only two series with modules shorter than 40mm are Fortis and Aegis. And since Fortis memory is impossible to find, we’ve decided to include the Aegis as the best low-profile memory made by G.Skill.
Now, this is an older product targeted toward the budget market. In other words, don’t expect crazy fast performance or great overclocking potential. But, with the module height of only 31.2mm, this is a pretty solid pick for SFF builds.
Or for setups with powerful air coolers that have less than ideal RAM clearance. Better yet, thanks to its competitive price, the G.Skill Aegis memory is an excellent choice if you need an affordable low-profile DDR4 RAM that works at 2666MHz, 3000MHz, or 3200Mhz.
5. Crucial Ballistix Sport LT: Best low profile dual rank RAM
The Crucial Ballistix Sport LT memory is another relatively affordable pick, but this one comes with a handy feature. You see, if you click on the listing link, it’s clearly labeled which kits are single and which are dual rank (marked as SR and DR, respectively).
And, if you haven’t heard, dual-rank memory brings noticeable performance improvements compared to single rank memory. Combine dual-channel and dual-rank memory, and you’ll get the best possible performance at a specific frequency and primary latencies. If you want to learn more about memory channels, read our single-channel vs dual-channel vs quad-channel memory guide.
The thing is, it’s tough to find which memory kits are single and which are dual-rank before buying RAM without spending hours online looking at tech forums. And even then, you might not get the answers you’re looking for.
In other words, it’s pretty hard to find RAM kits with precise rank labeling. Do note that you can easily see if your memory is dual rank or not by downloading CPU-Z and installing it, opening the SPD tab, and selecting any populated slot.
Anyway, back to the Ballistix Sport LT. This is a budget memory available in capacities ranging from 4GB to 64GB and with frequencies ranging from 2400MHz to 3200MHz. Primary timings are also only average.
But, again, getting a dual-rank kit will net you performance in line with single rank kits running at the same frequency and tighter timings. Not too shabby. And despite its budget origins, the 3200Mhz kit has decent overclocking potential.
Don’t forget that Hynix owns Crucial, meaning all modules only have Hynix memory chips. No Samsung B-Die here. With a height of only 32.5mm, slightly rugged but still attractive heat spreaders, affordable price, and clear rank labeling, the Crucial Ballistix Sport LT has a guaranteed place on our list of the best low-profile RAM.
Corsair held the title of the shortest DDR4 RGB memory until Gigabyte came and released the first RGB memory that’s shorter than 40mm. The Aorus RGB memory is only 39mm tall, and while it isn’t technically short enough to make the cut, we had to include it here. It’s not every day you see RGB memory shorter than 40mm.
Best of all, you can get a dual-module kit with two dummy modules included, allowing you to populate all four DIMM slots and get the ultimate RGB party. This four-sticks-with-two-dummy-sticks pack is pricier than a standard kit but still way cheaper than getting four memory kits.
Anyway, the performance is pretty good; the chips used are Samsung B-Die, timings are fine, and this is the only sub-40mm RGB RAM you can get at the moment. The price is relatively high, but if you want the best low-profile DDR4 RGB memory, this is the only choice on the market.
Now, if you want ultra-short DDR4 memory modules, you’re limited to the very-low-profile DDR4 sticks that top out at just 18.75mm. That’s pretty short and compatible with any SFF build.
You can even use this memory in a NAS build placed inside a rackmount server case or combine VLP memory with a low-profile graphics card inside an HTPC. The price’s a bit high for an 8GB 2400MHz module, but even with a higher selling price, the Kingston VLP ValueRAM is a pretty good choice if you need VLP DDR4 RAM.
8. Patriot Memory Signature: Best low profile DDR3 RAM
Last but not least, we have the best low-profile DDR4 memory pick. If you’re planning to build a cheap server, a NAS, or have an older system you want to transfer into a portable case and use as an HTPC or something else, check out this Patriot DDR3 kit.
Its height is only 30mm, and the price of the 16GB kit is rather affordable, especially since DDR3 memory is harder to find and nowadays has pretty high prices.
Why we chose to limit low-profile RAM height to 37mm
Regular, consumer-grade DDR4 memory module height is set at 30.75mm. This is the base height for DDR4 modules, with almost every RGB model and most non-RGB models significantly surpassing the base height.
That said, we decided only to include 37mm or shorter RAM on this list since both the Noctua NH-D15 and DeepCool Assassin III, some of the most powerful CPU air coolers around, both have RAM clearance set at 32mm. Yes, 37mm is taller than the max clearance of those two heatsinks, but hear us out.
The thing is, you can raise the front fan on both coolers to increase RAM clearance, but since most PC cases don’t support coolers taller than 170mm (the height of both coolers when you raise the fan by 5mm), we thought that 37mm is the best value to use as an upper cutoff.
Further, one of the most popular low-profile coolers around, the Noctua NH-l12S, has a RAM clearance of 35mm in low profile mode. A bit shorter but tall enough to be compatible with almost every single RAM module featured on the list.
A few words of advice when buying memory
First of all, when you’re buying RAM, be sure to get a two or four-stick kit so that you can use the memory in dual-channel mode. This provides a noticeable boost to performance, both in gaming and productivity workloads.
Next, the sweet spot for DDR4 memory is about 3200-3600 MT/s. If you don’t have the cash, get a DDR4-3200 module. If you can spend a bit more, buy a DDR4-3600 kit.
Thirdly, when it comes to memory, 16GB is still a sweet spot for gaming, although you can get 32 gigs if you can afford it. Finally, note that every memory manufacturer sans Crucial (owned by Micron, so it only uses Micron memory chips) uses different memory chips on different modules.
This is important since Samsung B-die memory chips are considered the best memory chips for overclocking. In other words, if you plan on running the memory higher than its recommended frequency, make sure you get modules populated with Samsung B-die chips.