We’ve demonstrated in our Rocket Lake RAM Speed Analysis article that RAM speeds can make a big difference to potential performance on Rocket Lake CPUs. Even in gaming, when you’re CPU limited there are quite a few FPS up for grabs if you specify a faster memory kit and ensure XMP is enabled. If you’re pushing the boundaries of performance then you can gain even more by selecting fast RAM and manually tuning timings for minimum latencies. It’s important that you balance performance with cost so that you can get the most from your 11900K, whether you want a set-and-forget XMP profile, or have the time and skill to get the most from overclockable RAM on this platform. Whilst B560 and H570 motherboards now allow RAM overclocking and higher RAM speeds, we’d recommend that anyone considering a build with Intel’s new flagship step up to the Z590 platform for maximum flexibility. In this guide we’ll run through our recommendations for the best RAM for the i9-11900K.
Best RAM for Intel Core i9-11900K – Our Recommendations
Best 16GB Gaming RAM Kit for i9-11900K
Crucial Ballistix RGB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 – BL2K8G36C16U4BL
This kit from Crucial uses Micron E-Die modules to achieve its 3600MHz speed and 16-18-18-38 timings. Whilst it’s not the fastest RAM available, it hits the sweet spot of performance gains from RAM latency reduction and a good value price point, as well as guaranteed stability without manual tweaking. E-Die is known to have good overclocking potential so there is scope to further reduce timings if you want to dig into manual settings though. The memory controller can be set to ‘Gear 1’ mode with this RAM, keeping the memory controller clock at a fast but unstressed 1800MHz for improved performance. The kit has RGB and a clean black aesthetic that will match most motherboards. It’s also in common supply meaning you’ll be able to obtain matched DIMMS without too much difficulty if you do decide to upgrade capacity in future. If you just want to get gaming and know you’re not denting the potential performance of your CPU with slow RAM, this is the go-to kit.
Best 32GB Gaming RAM Kit for i9-11900K
G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 – B01MSBS0UT
Balancing looks with gaming performance, and also being mindful of the effect of four DIMMs on the memory controller, we recommend this 3200Mhz 4x8GB Kit from G.Skill if you want a great looking and high performing 32GB memory kit for gaming. The increased bandwidth of four DIMMs slightly offsets the latency increase from a move to 3200MHz RAM, and you can experiment with Gear 1 vs Gear 2 mode to see which gives most performance in your set up – the difference is likely to be minimal. This is a great looking RAM kit with RGB, and 4 full DIMM slots is undoubtedly the best looking RAM configuration meaning you’ll have a build with the go to match the show but at an affordable price. Whilst higher speeds are available, there is minimal performance increase and the much higher cost isn’t justified.
Best 32GB Productivity RAM Kit for i9-11900K
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 – B0171GQR0C
Where RAM capacity matters most, this 2x16GB kit is a cost effective way to get 32GB and allow for upgrades should your needs expand in future. For guaranteed compatibility, G.Skill have a handy ‘reverse’ QVL where you can check with your motherboard choice that everything will work. A browse through this list confirms this kits compatibility with the vast bulk of Z590 Motherboard options. This memory will ensure ample RAM space for complex tasks like 4K video editing, photo manipulation, creative design work and CAD.
Best 64GB Power User RAM Kit for i9-11900K
Patriot Viper 4 Blackout 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 – B08662S4NK
If you undertake memory intensive tasks like complex code compilation or very high bitrate video editing, you may benefit from 64GB RAM. This 2x32GB kit from Patriot gives you the benefit of fast speeds, whilst keeping 2 RAM slots free for future upgrades and managing costs. 3200MHz speeds means that Gear 1 mode is possible, and stability is guaranteed. The timings are an acceptably tight 16-18-18-36 and the simple black aesthetic will blend into most builds well. If you’d prefer a 4 stick kit then the G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 is available at just $20 more, $359 (B0171GQNH4)
Best 16GB Overclocking RAM Kit for i9-11900K
Patriot Viper Steel 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-4400 CL19 – B07KXLFDL6
We’ve come to know and love this RAM kit, the Patriot Viper Steel -over the 9 months we’ve used it to experiment with overclocking on different CPUs and motherboards. It uses Samsung B-Die IC’s which are legendary for their flexibility and resilience to overclocking, even running elevated voltages with ease to secure that last ounce of performance. Whilst it’s not the ultimate fastest specification, it represents phenomenal value in the overclocking space at around $150, with more specialist and exclusive kits costing three times as much. The pair of 8Gb Matched DIMMs make the most stable overclocking configuration, placing lower load on the memory controller. If you want to dig under the hood to find out what makes an i9-11900K really tick, this memory kit is a great starting point to help you get to grips with ram Overclocking. Higher speed enthusiast kits are available, but tend to be three to four times as costly making this kit an excellent choice by comparison.