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The Core i9-10900K from Intel still is one of the best gaming processors at the moment. If you need excellent gaming performance and you don’t care about better productivity performance found in Ryzen CPUs, the 10900K is one of the fastest CPUs on the market. But this beast of a gaming CPU needs quality RAM to reach its limits. But what memory is the best choice for the 10900K?
It all depends on what you’re needs are. If you just want stable memory that won’t limit your CPU and GPU performance, any decent 3200 MT/s DDR4 memory should do it. If you plan on diving into overclock waters, you probably want expensive and fast memory with tight timings. We’ve covered both of those use cases and more in our list of the best RAM for i9-10900K. Our picks range from the aforementioned relatively fast and stable but also affordable memory to ultra-expensive memory sticks that are cherry-picked and sold at ludicrous prices.
Now, before we start, let’s share a couple of articles 10900K owners might find interesting. First of all, we have the best motherboards for i9-10900K guide along with a list of the best graphics cards for i9-10900K. You can also check out our guide for the best CPU coolers for i9-10900K.
1. Kingston Fury Renegade: Best 10900K RAM for extreme overclocking
This memory kit is tested at 4800 MT/s, which means it should work without issues at 4800 MT/s with default latencies out of the box. All you have to do is turn on the XMP option.
This is blazing fast speed, and considering that primary timings are set at 19-23-23 @ 1.35V, you’re looking at a fast memory for users who want to overclock their 10900K CPU. Remember that the fastest memory kits around usually don’t include 32GB of memory, so you probably won’t be able to get a 32GB kit that runs at this frequency.
2. Corsair Vengeance LPX: Best low-profile RAM kit for Core i9-10900K
This is a perfect choice for users who just want a relatively fast 32GB RAM kit they can combine with one of the massive air CPU coolers that have tight RAM clearance.
Your performance won’t suffer, and while it’s possible to gain extra performance from faster kits, that uptick isn’t worth the price. Unless you want to squeeze a couple of extra frames or have a serious OC rig that can drive the 10900K over 5GHz, this 3200 MT/s CL16 kit is a great choice.
The linked Amazon listing also contains 16GB kits if you don’t need 32GB of memory for your rig. Now, if you need a low-profile RAM kit for your 10900K, but this one doesn’t tick all boxes, you can find more recommendations in our list of the best low-profile RAM kits.
3. G.Skill TridentZ RGB Series: Best RGB RAM for i9-10900K
If you want the best RGB memory for the 10900K on the market, check out the TridentZ kits from G.Skill. These modules look amazing, and they also feature excellent RGB lighting. They are compatible with all major RGB lighting software from a plethora of manufacturers, so you should be fine with running this RAM on any motherboard.
We’ve linked the 32GB 3200 MT/s kit that offers excellent 14-14-14-34 timings at 1.35V. These are tight timings, and you should push this memory to 3600 or 3800 MT/s.
Just set timings at something like 16-16-16-32, and you should see a noticeable performance uptick. The best thing of all is that this memory isn’t that much more expensive than regular kits while offering excellent overclocking potential.
4. Patriot Viper Steel Series: Best value RAM for 10900K
This Patriot 16GB memory kit is amazing, and it is our pick for the best value RAM for the Core i9-10900K CPU. It’s relatively affordable, runs at 4400 MT/s, and features excellent 19-19-19-39 [email protected] MT/s. If you need extra performance from RAM but don’t have a lot of money to spend on memory, this is the memory kit to get.
The downside of this kit is that it only packs 16GB of memory. While this is enough for hassle-free gaming, it could be too little for users who play MS Flight Simulator, heavily modded titles such as Cities Skylines, or those who use their PC for 4K video editing. In any case, when looking at the price to performance ratio, this memory kit is the winner.
5. Patriot Viper Steel Series: Best budget 32GB RAM kit for i9-10900K
Patriot and its Viper Steel series strike again. This time they took the award for the best budget 32GB RAM kit for the 10900K. This 32GB kit features 16-18-18-36 primary timings, and runs at 3200 MT/s.
These aren’t the tightest timings you can find on a 3200 MT/s memory kit, but the affordable price justifies looser latencies. Now, in real-life usage, looser timings shouldn’t affect the gaming performance of your CPU and GPU.
Sure, you can get more performance out of a faster memory or the same speed memory but with tighter timings, but those kits cost lots more. For the money, this is an amazing pick, and every budget-oriented 10900K owner should consider getting this memory kit.
6. Patriot Viper Steel Series: Best budget 16GB RAM kit for most users
If you need the best budget 16GB memory kit for the Core i9-10900K, check out this Patriot Viper Steel kit. It offers excellent performance with fast speed and solid primary timings. The memory features primary timings of 16-18-18-36, which is pretty good for a budget memory kit.
Best of all, this is one of the cheapest 16GB kits you can find on the market that runs at 3200 MT/s. If you’re okay with 16GB of memory, you don’t have to look any further; this is the perfect memory for your needs.
7. Corsair Vengeance LPX: Best 64GB RAM kit for i9-10900K
If you need 64GB of RAM, you probably use your PC for more than just gaming. In that case, this kit is the best 64GB memory for the 10900K. The Corsair LPX memory is relatively fast while not being that much pricier than other 64GB memory kits.
3200 MT/s speed is just right for playing demanding titles and is perfect for video editing and other work-related use cases. The cherry on the top is the fact that this is low-profile memory, which you can combine with most air heatsinks with tight RAM clearance.
RAM vs CPU performance
Now, before we finish this piece, a word or two about just how much RAM affects overall performance. We’ve covered this in our in-depth RAM vs CPU guide, so go and read that piece if you want to know all the details. Another handy article you should read if you want to get in the know is our single–channel vs dual–channel vs quad–channel memory guide.
For those who just want the gist of it – Intel CPUs are indeed affected by the speed and timings of RAM sticks but not that much. If your budget is limited and you happen to own a 10900K-based system or plan to build one, it’s better to invest in other parts.
A powerful AIO cooling system, with which you can reach 5GHz on your 10900K CPU, would bring bigger performance improvements than a super expensive RAM kit. The same can be said about a better GPU. But, if you already have top-of-the-line components and your budget isn’t limited, then yes, ultra-expensive RAM can give you both an uptick in performance and more overclocking headroom.
Next, while 16GB of memory is still enough for cozy gaming, if you own or plan to get the 10900K, you probably also plan on getting 32GB of RAM. High-end gaming systems can see improvements from having 32GB of memory, especially when running titles such as the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator, grand strategies, or heavily modded games.
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