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). But, VLP DDR4 modules are usually reserved for servers and other industrial uses. 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. Let’s explain why.
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.
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 okay 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 shown below. Before we start, a couple of words of advice.
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 frequency is about 3200-3600MHz. If you don’t have the cash, get a DDR4-3200 module. If you can spend a bit more, buy a DDR4-3600 kit. Finally, when it comes to memory, 16GB is still a sweet spot for gaming, although you can get 32 gigs if you can afford it. 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 low profile DDR4 RAM for most people
Corsair struck gold when the company decided to offer high-performance memory only 31mm in height 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 at an attractive price.
Design is pretty solid, with ridged, low-profile heat spreaders and without any RGB. Overall, this is the best choice for most people since the memory is compatible with every CPU cooler out there, it can be pretty fast (depending on the individual kit specs), and it looks nice. Note that every memory manufacturer sans Crucial (owned by Micron, so it only uses Micron memory chips) uses different memory chips on different modules.
2. TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan Z: Best low profile DDR4 RAM with best design
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 nice-looking low-profile RAM that’s surprisingly affordable, the T-Force Vulcan Z series is the best choice on the market.
3. HyperX Fury Black: Best affordable LP RAM with high capacity
HyperX Fury memory height is set at 34.1mm and isn’t the shortest RAM on the market, but it’s short enough to include it on this list. We like the HyperX Fury because it’s available worldwide, so if 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, this is an affordable memory if you need 128GB of it. Fury isn’t the fastest memory around, it has average latencies, and it isn’t great at overclocking. But 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.
Now, this is an older product targeted towards 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, the memory price is somewhat competitive, so if you need an affordable low-profile DDR4 RAM that works at 2666MHz, 3000MHz, or 3200Mhz, the G.Skill Aegis memory is an excellent choice.
5. Crucial Ballistix Sport LT: Best low profile DDR4 for users who want dual rank memory
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 performance possible at a specific frequency and primary latencies.
The thing is, it’s tough to find which memory kits are single and which are dual-rank before you buy the memory 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 one’s pricier than a standard kit but still way cheaper than getting four memory kits. Pretty original feature. 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. The price is relatively high, but if you want low-profile DDR4 RGB memory, this is the best choice on the market.
Now, if you want ultra-low height DDR4 memory, you’re limited to the very low profile DDR4 modules 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 GPU inside an HTPC. The price’s a bit high for an 8GB 2400MHz module, but this is a pretty good choice if you need VLP DDR4 RAM. If you want something faster, check out this Crucial 16GB VLP DDR4 stick running at 2666MHz. Do note that the Crucial model is ECC RAM, which should work fine with Ryzen CPUs.
8. Patriot Memory Signature: Best low profile DDR3 RAM
Last but not least, we have a single DDR3 choice. If you’re planning to build a cheap server, a NAS, or have an older system where you want to transfer into a portable case and use it 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.