For the longest time, Ryzen has dominated as the top of the list for single-thread performance. But with the release of the Intel Core i9-11900k, they have officially overtaken the top of this list. These 14 nm Rocket Lake processors are Intel’s fastest available, boasting speeds of 5.3 GHz. With this power at your disposal, you need RAM that can handle it.
In the rest of this article, we will dig into what RAM you need to buy to maximize the performance of the Intel Core i9-119000k.
The Best RAM for i9-11900k
|The Best Overall
|Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO
|The Runner Up
|G.Skill TridentZ RGB
|Best RAM for Extreme Overclock
|Crucial Ballistix MAX RGB
|Best RAM for Most i9-11900k Users
|Corsair Vengeance LPX
|Best i9-11900k Budget Ram
1: Corsair Vengeance PRO – The Best OverallAmazon product
When it comes to high potential, Corsair knows what it’s doing to support high-grade processors. While the i9 only supports up to 3200 MHz, overclockers will be able to use this RAM to reach the very limits of that. The overclocking optimizations give this RAM the opportunity for speeds up to 4700 MHz.
The addition of an aluminum head spreader also allows for reliable memory cooling. You will find this to be a must-have when pushing your PC to its limits. Overheating doesn’t typically happen with Corsair, which is necessary when working with the fastest available single thread speed.
Also, it has lifetime support from Corsair’s customer services. The available warranty also lasts a lifetime, but it is somewhat limited.
This RAM is also easy to install with support for Intel XMP 2.0, allowing for one setting. With no additional need for extra cables, this is a smooth transition. The RGB features also sync with other Corsair products if you are into creating a uniform RGB experience.
- 3600 MHz and overclocking ability makes this very suitable for use with the new i9
- Customizable RGB lighting profiles between all Corsair products
- XMP 2.0 provides for easy one-setting installation and compatibility with Intel motherboards.
- Aluminum heat spreader gives this fantastic ability to overclock, so you don’t have to worry about overheating.
- RGB may not appeal to all audiences.
- RAM is too tall for some smaller cases.
2: G.Skill TridentZ -The Runner UpAmazon product
As the runner-up, the 3200MHz matches our expectations with the standard speed of the new i9. With this in mind, the two are incredibly compatible when it comes to frequency. All of this comes with latency sitting at 16-18-18-38 at a 1.35V. If it weren’t for the lower megahertz and weaker heat sink, this could well be the best RAM for i9-11900k.
Support on this starts at the Intel Z270 level, offering ample support for anything newer. This support makes G.Skill’s RAM more than capable of handling overclock. It has a custom ten-layer PCB, which offers excellent signal stability.
Much like the Corsair models, you can expect ample support for RGB settings. G.Skill’s lineup doesn’t sync quite as easily with other items there. Regardless, the unique design is still intense for those who like that.
When you install this RAM, you may need to look at the XMP profile to make sure this is set up correctly for your system. If you are uncertain of how you can do this, we will dig into how the XMP profile affects your RAM later.
- It has 32GB Ram (16×2) in a pretty small package.
- It has excellent latency at 16-18-18-38.
- It has a beautiful design with a full range of RGB support.
- It has excellent signal stability from ten-layer PCB.
- RGB lighting doesn’t sync well with other systems.
- May require you to check the XMP profile.
3: Crucial Ballistix MAX – The Best For Extreme OverclockAmazon product
The Ballistix MAX boasts itself as one of the most effective RAM options for extreme overclocking. With speeds among their top line at 4000MHz. At least one RAM model from Ballistix has higher MHz, but the new i9 will find a great deal of effectiveness taking advantage of this RAM’s power.
As you might expect, the much higher megahertz means that this RAM is a bit pricier. If you are willing to drop a couple of hundred dollars extra dollars, that won’t be a problem. It also returns to the XMP 2.0 support, making this easy to install with intel products.
You can customize timing parameters from the XMP profiles. It has a substantial aluminum heat spread, which is a necessity for items like this. It’s also compatible with various RGB systems. The thin design is a nice change when compared to our number one options.
It also allows for a precision temp sensor to ensure you don’t overheat. Given that extreme overclocking isn’t for everyone and the price is a bit high, this one finds a substantial number three slot. If your highest priority is the overclock potential, you can’t get much better than this.
- The 4000MHz option is ridiculous compared to other available options.
- It has an aluminum heat sink, which is pretty useful.
- It is best for those who are extreme overclocking enthusiasts.
- Cool RGB features that sync well with other options.
- Necessary 16×2 memory storage capacity.
- A bit expensive for most budgets.
4: Corsair Vengeance LPX – Best For Most i9-11900k UsersAmazon product
If you aren’t looking for anything too crazy, your best bet is to return to the king of RAM producers: Corsair. Corsair’s LPX focuses on good RAM’s best features: Low clearance, a solid aluminum heat displacer, and support for Intel XMP 2.0. The 32mm clearance fits a lot of tiny builds.
While style isn’t the highest priority here, you can select RAM color to match your style. You should not expect that style to be RGB. Depending on your preference, the lack of RGB might be a fresh breath of air.
The LPX is 3200MHz, which matches compatibility with the standard features of the i9. Just don’t expect this model to be an ultimate beast at overclocking.
Corsair still offers the option of high performance overclocking. This power comes from a custom PCB, an efficient heat spreader, and solid memory ICs. You might expect a price change from this, but it is relatively similar to the Corsair model in our number one slot.
- Great for cases that have space limitations.
- Compatible with XMP 2.0, allowing easy integration with Intel.
- 3200MHz matches with the new i9 system.
- It has no RGB (for people who like it).
- Little price change compared to models that have RGB.
- It isn’t the most effective RAM for overclocking enthusiasts.
5: OLOy DDR4 RAM – The Best Budget RamAmazon product
OLOy doesn’t have the pull that comes with the Corsair brand of RAM. If you want proof, compare the number of reviews on Amazon between the two groups. Regardless, OLOy is still a company that produces great and cost-effective RAM.
Shaving more than $50 off the price of other comparable RAMs, this model has the same frequency as the new i9. It does this with the same 32GB DDR4 features, making it similar to our number four option. It also is compatible with the latest Intel processors. Don’t forget to enable XMP to ensure it clocks above 2133MHz.
The design is unique, but don’t expect it to be very customizable. There are no RGB features that come with this. That means it can save a bit on energy, sitting at 1.35, which is similar to other RAM options on this list if you don’t consider overclocking.
XMP 2.0 provides the automated overclocking tech, and it has superior heat protection through significant gaps on the top. It also has a limited lifetime warranty, but their customer service doesn’t have as much support as some larger names. Regardless, OLOy offers a great product worth mentioning.
- It is the most cost-effective RAM on this list.
- The 3200MHz frequency matches your needs with the new processor.
- It has a unique design.
- It has a lifetime warranty.
- It lacks any design customization.
- It has less customer support than larger brands.
- It is not for overclocking enthusiasts.
In the rest of this article, we will go through some common questions you may encounter when buying RAM. Our goal is to make sure that you are ready when the new RAM comes out.
What does single thread performance mean?
Single thread performance tells us the amount of work required to complete a single thread of instructions. The faster the application’s response time, the better your CPU is on performance.
According to CPUBenchmark, the new i9-11900K processor has the highest single-thread performance compared to all other models available at this time.
How do you use XMP profiles?
XMP, otherwise known as Extreme Memory Profiles, is a technology introduced by Intel that provides you multiple profiles to change memory settings. For overclocking enthusiasts, this allows them to switch multiple settings in memory to start overclocking easily. For some RAMs, you must set up XMP profiles to take advantage of the advertised MHz.
How do you set up an XMP profile?
- Download CPU-Z, a freeware system that allows you to view your RAM timings. This program does not allow you to change settings; it only allows you to see that your RAM runs at expected settings.
- Reach your computer BIOS by hitting F10, F2, or another key. You will see the required button needed to access your BIOS with your computer’s boot screen.
- Search for XMP in the BIOS and look at the section that refers to profiles. Typically, all you need to do is switch to the other profile to match your requirements.
- Make sure that XMP is also set to “enabled.”
- Check CPU-Z to be sure your changes appear in the RAM.
Is it bad to enable XMP?
In many cases, XMP profiles bring your RAM to run at the advertised frequency. However, XMP profiles can also assist you in overclocking your PC.
Anytime you overclock, you allow your PC to run at better performance. However, that higher performance comes with the potential of instability.
With many of these advanced RAMs, you will easily take a look at their temperature. If the temp gets too high, you may want to pull back your overclocking a bit.
How do you manually overclock your RAM?
Follow the steps listed above to reach your computer’s XMP settings. You will also want to download CPU-Z for this so you can track the timing tables to see the increased speeds.
Once you enter your BIOS, you will want to look for something called the AI tweaker. Start by following the steps above to ensure XMP is enabled and the profile is at your RAM’s advertised levels.
Perform a stress test on your RAM to ensure that this setting is stable. It will allow you to test the stability and quality of your RAM before you begin overclocking.
Once this is all done, you can change by increments:
- You should increase DRAM voltage in increments of .015v. You will see this setting in the BIOS.
- It would be best to increase your CPU VCCIO Voltage and CPU system agent by increments of .05v.
- Make sure that the timings listed before stay at the same settings.
With each increase in voltage, you will want to test for stability before moving to the next voltage level. Do not try and skill voltage levels, as you may end up breaking components in your PC.
As a reminder, our favorite RAM option for the new i9-11900k is the Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 32GB DDR4 3600MHz. With a beautiful RGB package and powerful aluminum head displacer, this RAM is the best overall option across the board.
Powerful overclocking brings the potential of this RAM power of the i9. If you are on a budget or need more overclocking, various other options are available on this list. Whatever your priority is, chances are we can help you out.