When considering the amount of RAM to buy for your upgrade or custom build housing your AMD Ryzen 5 1600 CPU, the basic working memory for most productivity tasks and gaming applications is currently recommended at 16 GB. Don’t start with anything less and more is usually better, however do not be drawn in by the temptation to buy RAM boards with clock speeds higher than recommended by AMD for its CPU.

There are several good reasons for this and we will outline them here for you, but first let’s talk about the Ryzen 5 architecture and what makes it a great chip. The Ryzen 5 1600 is a 6-core design with 12-thread processing that is very power efficient.

It is marketed as a gamer CPU, delivers smooth performance, and is adept at multi-processing. This is a strong suit of AMD architecture with its emphasis on multi-thread operations.

FREE GUIDE: CUSTOM BUILD YOUR OWN GAMING PC

Get your step-by-step guide below.

Keep in mind that many games utilize single-cores for application code, which is why in some benchmarking tests Intel Core chips outperform AMD designs. This performance shortfall will soon be over, as many games and productivity application designers are transitioning to coding for multi-thread processing to take advantage of the performance potential of newer CPU designs.

Comparison Table of the Best RAM for the Ryzen 5 1600

PRODUCTFEATURESLATEST PRICE
1. G.SKILL TridentZ Neo G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2666 (PC4 21300) Desktop Memory Model F4-2666C18D-16GTZR
  • Tested Latency: 18-18-18-43
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
  • RGB bling
Check Price
2. Ballistix Sport LT Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2666 MHz DDR4 DRAM Desktop Gaming Memory Kit 16GB (8GBx2) CL16 BLS2K8G4D26BFSEK (Red)
  • Tested Latency: 16-18-18-38
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
Check Price
3. TeamGroup T-FORCE Delta RGB TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 16GB (2x8GB) 2666MHz (PC4-21300) CL15 Desktop Memory Module ram TF4D416G2666HC15BDC0 - White
  • Tested Latency: 15-17-17-35
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
  • RGB bling
Check Price
4. Mushkin Enhanced Redline Mushkin Redline Series – DDR4 DRAM – 16GB (2x8GB) Memory Kit DIMM – 2666MHz (PC4-21300) CL-16 – 288-pin 1.2V Desktop RAM – Non-ECC – Dual-Channel – FrostByte G3 Red Heatsink – MRA4U266GHHF8GX2
  • Tested Latency: 16-17-17-36
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
Check Price
5. G.SKILL Ripjaws V G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2666 Desktop Memory Model F4-2666C15D-16GVR
  • Tested Latency: 15-15-15-35
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
Check Price
6. Corsair Vengeance LPX Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2666MHz (PC4-21300) C16 Memory Kit - Black
  • Tested Latency: 16-18-18-35
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
Check Price
7. Patriot Viper Elite Patriot Viper Elite Series DDR4 16GB PC4-21300 2666 MHz Memory Module (Black/Grey)
  • Tested Latency: 16-17-17-36
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
Check Price
8. G.SKILL Aegis G.SKILL Aegis 16GB 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2666 (PC4 21300) Desktop Memory Model F4-2666C19S-16GIS
  • Tested Latency: 19-19-19-43
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
Check Price
9. TeamGroup Elite Plus TEAMGROUP Elite Plus DDR4 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) 2666MHz PC4-21300 CL19 Unbuffered Non-ECC 1.2V U-DIMM 288 Pin PC Computer Desktop Memory Module Ram Upgrade - Red & Black - TPRD416G2666HC19DC01
  • Tested Latency: 19-19-19-43
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
Check Price
10. OLOy Hummingbird Gaming OLOy DDR4 RAM 16GB (2x8GB) 2666 MHz CL19 1.2V 288-Pin Desktop Gaming UDIMM (MD4U082619BGDA)
  • Tested Latency: 19-19-19-43
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
Check Price

That means that very soon AMD CPUs are expected to begin consistently outperforming on all fronts their Intel counterparts, which excel at single-core operations but are not as performance-competitive when it comes to multi-task operations. Ryzen 5 chips also have performance advantages with their proprietary SenseMI Technology, which is an in-built machine intelligence code to optimize CPU performance under differing load conditions.

Regarding power efficiency, it has long been noted that AMD designs use less power and run cooler than Intel chips. Compared with the closest competitor to the Ryzen 5 1600, the Intel Core i5-7600, the AMD design consistently uses around 40% less power in several performance indices including video encoding.

The memory specifications for the Ryzen 5 1600 are RAM boards that are dual-channel, DDR4 288-pin boards with a clock speed of 2666 MHz. You can buy faster RAM boards, but this may not yield the performance gains you might expect and, in some cases, may actually work against the motherboard to produce reduced performance.

When asking yourself how much RAM can I use in my build, which clock speeds will be compatible with my CPU, what kind of power requirements do I need and other questions, it has less to do with your CPU and more to do with your motherboard. That is why our list of best memory boards for the Ryzen 5 1600 plays it safe and sticks with the recommended 2666 MHz clock speed (see more on this below).

The maximum amount of RAM you can house in your build has nothing to do with the CPU and everything to do with the motherboard architecture and its chipset. The chipset on your motherboard dictates how much RAM you can use based on the number of memory addresses it will recognize.

If you decide to go all-out and install 256 MB of RAM, but the motherboard chipset only can see 64 MB, then the remainder is wasted and depending on the memory board design and layout (two boards or four boards), even the recognized memory addresses may cause conflicts. Beyond addressing issues, memory clock speeds need to be compatible with your motherboard architecture and in many cases, there really is no easy way to tell other than expensive trial and error.

You might buy three different 16 MB memory boards with identical clock speeds in excess of that recommended for the CPU and find that only one of the three is stable, another of the three will work for a while before a system crash, and the third one will not even allow a boot. It all comes down to electronic voodoo, so we listed here only memory boards with clock speeds that are guaranteed to be compatible with the Ryzen 5 1600.

As such, staying with a 2666 MHz memory board will guarantee, with few exceptions, that it will play nicely with your motherboard and operate stably. Noting all this memory weirdness, AMD has taken the initiative to produce their own line of Ryzen-compatible motherboards (Ready for AMD Ryzen) using the AMD chipsets to ensure good cooperation among system components.

Memory clock speed-motherboard incompatibility can result in the motherboard forcing the RAM to down-throttle to fallback clock speeds (which are lower than the stock speed of the RAM chips) to prevent system crashes. For example, installing 3600 MHz memory boards on a motherboard that either will not permit speeds faster than 2666 MHz (without a hack) or does not recognize 3600 MHz as one of its set of accepted memory clock speeds will result in the motherboard running the RAM at the lower fallback speed (i.e., safe mode), perhaps even less than 2666 MHz (like 2133 MHz).

For example, TridentZ and Ripjaws V 3200 MHz chips will not run at 3200 MHz in an MSI X370 motherboard. They will only run at most at a clock speed of 2933 MHz and beyond that are not stable.

You can think of this problem like designing aircraft, which requires a balance between engine weight, engine thrust, and fuel capacity. You could build a long-distance plane with a huge fuel tank and engines that cannot lift that weight off the ground when the tanks are full, requiring you to fly with only a quarter tank of fuel (so, what’s the point?).

In the same vein, you could upgrade a plane with a larger engine producing more thrust, but find that the aircraft now performs poorly due to the increased weight. In the end, it’s all about balance and for the Ryzen 5 1600, 2666 MHz RAM chips are guaranteed to work regardless of motherboard every single time.

In optimizing your gaming build, unless you do a lot of mass data transfers or compress and decompress large data files routinely, boosted memory clock speed will not make large improvements in system performance. If you have some extra cash, buy a good CPU, a good GPU, and a good motherboard before you invest in high-end RAM boards.

Here, we have listed our picks for DDR4 288-pin, 2666 MHz memory boards, all of which are 16 GB boards. With these recommendations, you should be able to install them alone or in sets with enough flexibility to ensure proper operation of the Ryzen 5 1600 CPU.

Our Best RAM for the Ryzen 5 1600 Reviews and Comparisons

1. G.SKILL TridentZ Neo

Product Highlights

The TridentZ Neo line by G.SKILL are high-performance memory boards for people who have a need for aesthetic features. The TridentZ Neo is an AMD RAM design and has on-board rainbow-colored RGBs that can synchronize to the system operations, but uses the Intel ENE IO Driver provided by MSI.

The boards feature an appealing dual-tone design with a beveled edge and triple fins for heat dispersion (though these are mainly aesthetic). With 10-layer PCBs, the chips possess a lot of computing power in a small package.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 18-18-18-43
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
  • RGB bling

What We Like About G.SKILL TridentZ Neo

The G.SKILL chips are widely available and reasonably priced for a fancy chip with RGB lighting. Heat control is very good and overclocking potential is high. Uses Intel XMP (extreme memory profiles) optimizations to suggest higher clock rates and voltage adjustments for memory overclocking.

G.SKILL provides a limited lifetime warranty (meaning no overclocking outside their recommended parameters). The manufacturer claims the boards are optimized for Ryzen 3000 series CPUs, but see our discussion above.

What We Don’t Like About G.SKILL TridentZ Neo

You can find chips with just as high an overclock rate potential for less money.

PROS

  • Straight timings
  • Low-latency (CAS 16)
  • Striking aesthetics
  • Affordable for RGB

CONS

  • You pay a lot more just for RGB lighting

2. Ballistix Sport LT

Product Highlights

Compared with the G.SKILL board above, the Ballistix Sport LT by Crucial is true gaming RAM without the RGB additions. Crucial is a long-standing manufacturer of RAM boards and has a solid reputation for quality and great customer service.

The boards feature simple aluminum heat spreaders on front and back and come in three colors: white, black, and red.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 16-18-18-38
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered

What We Like About Ballistix Sport LT

The boards are XMP 2.0-enabled with the option to use pre-made overclocking profiles that have been tested for stability. The board design is great for tight spaced builds with its low-profile.

Overclocking and latency reduction was comparable to similar boards in its price class but does come out on the bottom end of the performance range. However, Ballistix Sport LT is top-ranked compared with similar boards for bandwidth with XMP settings but runs mid-pack in latency tests.

Overclocking past XMP settings with a CPU-intensive game such as Civ VI reduced frame rate times 9.4%. The same settings applied to Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation reduced frame rate times by 12%.

What We Don’t Like About Ballistix Sport LT

Ballistix Sport LT seems to excel over its main competitor (Team Group boards) on non-Asus motherboards.

PROS

  • Overclocking potential is good
  • Latency tuning potential is good
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Does not really outclass similarly-priced boards

3. TeamGroup T-FORCE Delta RGB

Product Highlights

T-Force Delta boards by TeamGroup are RGB-adorned fast gaming RAM with great thermals on board. The aluminum alloy heat sink is attached with high-conductive thermal paste or excellent heat dissipation.

RGB features are driven by software provided by Asus and can be configured to stream, scroll, or present with color-chasing effects. The boards are XMP-enabled to make use of overclocking presets with guaranteed stability.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 15-17-17-35
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
  • RGB bling

What We Like About TeamGroup T-FORCE Delta RGB

Bandwidth and latency of the Delta RGB are middles of the pack among the competition. Performance on F1 2015 was very good at default settings and gave acceptable boosts under XMP settings.

What We Don’t Like About TeamGroup T-FORCE Delta RGB

Availability of the Delta RGB is occasionally limited

PROS

  • Affordable for an RGB board
  • Lights are configurable
  • Overclocking potential is good

CONS

  • Other boards by TeamGroup are better performers (faster RAM, but check for compatibility issues)
  • Default timings are so-so

4. Mushkin Enhanced Redline

Product Highlights

The Enhanced Redline RAM board by Mushkin is a gamers product with a long-standing reputation with that crowd and built with overclocking in mind. The boards come with an excellent aluminum alloy heatsink with spiral ridged fins for effective thermal exchange (the FrostByte G3 heatsink).

Features

  • Tested Latency: 16-17-17-36
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC

What We Like About Mushkin Enhanced Redline

We feel that the Enhanced Redline boards by Mushkin are a dependable value as far as RAM boards go. Heat mitigation on these boards is excellent with the new heatsink design.

The Mushkin boards fared well in comparisons against other boards in JEDEC mode (but falls short inn XMP).

What We Don’t Like About Mushkin Enhanced Redline

Attempts to re-clock the Enhanced Redline boards met with difficulty. Adjustment of tRCD and tRP timings could only be reduced by one and resulted in unstable CAS.

Stick with XMP settings.

PROS

  • Somewhat affordable
  • Excellent thermals
  • Great appearance

CONS

  • Modest performance requires XMP set use
  • Overclocking potential is limited

5. G.SKILL Ripjaws V

Product Highlights

The Ripjaws V line by G.SKILL is currently an extremely popular RAM board with gamers, may of whom swear by them as the absolute memory boards to use. Transfer speeds are fast and build quality is excellent.

These are rather shortboards (42 mm) to accommodate compatibility with aftermarket cooling systems and CPUs with oversized heatsinks.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 15-15-15-35
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC

What We Like About G.SKILL Ripjaws V

Ripjaw V boards are power efficient, using a full 20% less voltage than DDR3-based boards, and make full use of XMP 2.0 overclocking presets. Their heatsink covers are aluminum alloy with two sets of three fins for excellent heat dissipation.

Memory bandwidth beat most of the direct competition boards and memory latencies were also low. Benchmarks on PassMark Performance Test 8 was also high as well as for 7-Zip unpacking scores.

There is also a modest room for manual overclocking. Overall, a good value in a RAM board.

What We Don’t Like About G.SKILL Ripjaws V

Overclocking was a bit touchy. Stay with the presets.

PROS

  • Very affordable for an XMP-enabled board
  • Good value balance between price and performance

CONS

  • Manual tuning is limited
  • Lack of mid-range fallback settings on manual tuning

6. Corsair Vengeance LPX

Product Highlights

Vengeance LPX RAM boards by Corsair are non-RGB memory boards with a respectable performance for a great price (about 65% of competitor prices). Covered with an anodized aluminum heatsink with a simple, low profile fin design, they do a good job at heat dissipation while remaining compatible with aftermarket CPU coolers.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 16-18-18-35
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC

What We Like About Corsair Vengeance LPX

Vengeance LPX is a great choice for motherboards using older chipsets, such as the B360 or H370 chips, due to compatibility limits at the 2666 MHz clock speed. This also allows the Vengeance LPX to bring XMP-enabled optimization to newer generation CPUs using these older chipset motherboards.

This of this board as a type of workaround for those older, still useful motherboards. By using older integrated circuits, Corsair has been able to assemble affordable boards with tight timings.

For these boards, overclocking is actually achieved mostly by boosting voltage, just like the old days, instead of relying solely on altering timings. Timings were able to adjust safely, however, with CAS reduction by three cycles and tRP and tRCD reductions by four cycles.

What We Don’t Like About Corsair Vengeance LPX

The price-performance index is not as competitive as it could be, with G.SKILL boards falling into the same ranks with more flexibility.

PROS

  • Dual-rank DIMMS provide performance boost
  • Affordable performance

CONS

  • Fallback speed is only 2133
  • Secondary XMP is lacking for motherboards with 2400 limits

7. Patriot Viper Elite

Product Highlights

Viper Elite by Patriot is the other, extremely popular gaming memory board on the market. Performance in the category of boards reviewed here is tight and the Viper wins out over other boards in the minds of gamers because of its appeal aesthetics.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 16-17-17-36
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC

What We Like About Patriot Viper Elite

Stock timings are average, but performance is great and outperforms other boards with similar timings. Viper Elite runs near the top of the pack in terms of memory bandwidth, which accounts for the observed performance.

Memory latency scores were average but still provide dependable response times. PassMark Performance Test 8 scores were among the highest compared with direct competitors.

What We Don’t Like About Patriot Viper Elite

No real room for overclocking, though some can be achieved

PROS

  • Visually-appealing
  • Runs on standard DDR4 voltage
  • Reputation for quality

CONS

  • Performance at 2666 is average
  • Setting even 2666 requires XMP

8. G.SKILL Aegis

Product Highlights

The Aegis line by G.SKILL is marketed in their budget gaming segment (about half the price of their other gaming RAM boards) but is a solid performer in its own right. These boards are know for power efficiency and good stability.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 19-19-19-43
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC

What We Like About G.SKILL Aegis

If you are on a tight budget, Aegis boards are an excellent choice for dependable RAM. All G.SKILL integrated circuits are selected by hand and tested through their in-house validation process, which is rigorous.

This means you can expect quality. The boards are also power-efficient and are XMP 2.0-enabled for overclocking. Overclocking for these boards has been reported as high as 3200 MHz.

What We Don’t Like About G.SKILL Aegis

Timings are not as high as other boards on this list, but that comes with the discount price. Also, the thermals consist of metallic decals instead of actual metal heatsinks.

PROS

  • Great overclocking potential
  • Very affordable
  • Dependable build quality

CONS

  • Lack of real metal heatsink

9. TeamGroup Elite Plus

Product Highlights

The Elite Plus line by TeamGroup is one of our budgets picks for good performance and great price. The timings on the Elite Plus boards are similar to the Aegis line above by G.SKILLS and are direct competitors.

These are the same price as the G.SKILLS Aegis boards but have a metal heatsink. The Elite Plus boards covered with an aluminum alloy heatsink and come in two colors: red/black and gold/black.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 19-19-19-43
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC

What We Like About Product Name

The Elite Plus is a very affordable memory board that looks like it should cost a lot more, owing to the presence of a metal heatsink and availability of a couple of color options. The lowered timings are what makes the boards cost-competitive in the budget gaming segment.

Overclocking potential for these boards is surprisingly good for their price, with reported stable performance gains of up to 3200 MHz without the need to adjust timings or boost voltages.

What We Don’t Like About Product Name

For this line of boards from TeamGroup, they used cast-off IC boards from SpecTek (a division of Micron), but they appear to work just fine. Timings are a bit low, but it’s a budget memory board.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Metal heatsink
  • Great overclocking potential

CONS

  • Slow timings

10. OLOy Hummingbird Gaming

Product Highlights

OLOy Hummingbird Gaming memory boards by Chunwell are our true budget gaming RAM pick, often found at prices about 40% of the top boards on our list. These boards are manufactured from integrated circuit boards purchased from other companies that fell short of their quality control set-points.

That means the discount is passed along to the consumer, but performance will be less than seen with native boards produced by the mainstream makers. The boards come in two color schemes, black with either orange or hot pink, and the heatsink is a flat metal plate with no fins or extensions.

Features

  • Tested Latency: 19-19-19-43
  • Tested Voltage: 1.20V
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC

What We Like About OLOy Hummingbird Gaming

OLOy is a recent entry into the memory board field with the company being only a year old and is a subsidiary of Chunwell, itself only five-years-old. We do not yet have a feel for long-term build quality, but the overall structure and performance of the Hummingbird Gaming boards were acceptable.

What We Don’t Like About OLOy Hummingbird Gaming

Some users report that their motherboards will not identify the Hummingbird Gaming boards. Some boards were non-functional when received or caused electrical problems, damaging the motherboard chipset.

PROS

  • Super affordable
  • Speed-competitive with budget gaming boards

CONS

  • Some reported compatibility and quality-control problems

Final Verdict

The G.SKILLS Ripjaws V is our pick for a balanced and affordable RAM board if you are not into RGB bling, otherwise, the G.SKILLS TridentZ Neo with RGB bells-n-whistles is a great show board.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments