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The 5 Best Low-Profile RAM Kits for Maximum Clearance

Written by Azzief Khaliq
Last updated Sep 9, 2021

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best low-profile RAM

RAM clearance isn’t something most of us think about often. But what if you’re building in a small form factor (SFF) case or rocking a particularly huge tower cooler? In both situations, RAM clearance definitely becomes an issue. A flashy kit with tall heat spreaders won’t work, which is where the best low-profile RAM kits come in handy.

Sure, low-profile kits aren’t as eye-catching. But what you lose in aesthetics, you gain in compatibility with cramped cases and big CPU tower coolers. The best part? It comes at no cost to performance. If you’re after low-profile memory for your rig, this is the list for you.

Our Picks for Best Low-Profile RAM

1. Corsair Vengeance LPX

Best Low-Profile RAM Overall
RAM Height33.5 mm / 1.32 inches
Speeds• 2133 MHz CL13
• 2400 MHz CL14 / CL16
• 2666 MHz CL16
• 3000 MHz CL15
• 3200 MHz CL14 / CL16
• 3600 MHz CL14 / CL16 / CL18 / CL20
• 4000 MHz CL16 / CL18 / CL19
• 4266 MHz CL19
• 4400 MHz CL19
• 4600 MHz CL18 / CL19
• 4866 MHz CL18
• 5000 MHz CL18
• 5133 MHz CL20
Capacities• 4 GB (1x4 GB)
• 8 GB (1x8 GB / 2x4 GB)
• 16 GB (1x16 GB / 2x8 GB / 4x4 GB)
• 32 GB (1x32 GB / 2x16 GB / 4x8 GB)
• 64 GB (2x32 GB / 4x16 GB)
• 128 GB (4x32 GB / 8x16 GB)
• 256 GB (8x32 GB)

Corsair’s Vengeance LPX kits are the epitome of substance over style. Behind the unassuming all-black, RGB-less aluminum heatsinks lie RAM that offers performance on par with the very best RAM you can get in 2021. The fact that this performance comes in a package that’s only 33.5 mm (1.3 inches) tall makes this an easy choice for the best overall low-profile DDR4 RAM kit right now.

The highlight of Corsair’s Vengeance LPX range is the sheer variety of speeds you can get. From lowly 2133 MHz RAM all the way up to bleeding-edge 5133 MHz, there’s a RAM speed for every requirement in the range. CAS latencies are excellent, too, although you’ll definitely be paying a premium for some of the lower-latency kits.

Admittedly, not everyone will need RAM that runs at 5133 MHz CL20. But if you do, Corsair’s Vengeance LPX is your only option for those sorts of speeds in a low-profile form factor.

Corsair vengeance LPX RAM

Source: Corsair

We also like Corsair’s decision to release 128 and 256 GB kits for high-end desktop (HEDT) users. Yes, building with an AMD Threadripper 3990X likely won’t be hurting for case clearance. But low-profile RAM is still handy for RAM compatibility when using big tower coolers like the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4 (one of the best Threadripper coolers).

The only thing that the Vengeance LPX RAM lacks is aesthetic appeal. While we like the low-key look and appreciate the decision to go with black heat spreaders, it’s certainly not a kit designed for showing off. But that’s par for the course with low-profile RAM and not a failing unique to the Vengeance LPX.

Overall, we like the Vengeance LPX kits a lot. They’re priced competitively and offer excellent performance that rivals other high-end kits. We think they’re worth considering even if you don’t specifically need low-profile RAM modules. Definitely start here first.

2. Kingston Fury Beast

Also Great
RAM Height34.1 mm / 1.34 inches
Speeds• 2666 MHz CL16
• 3000 MHz CL15
• 3200 MHz CL16
• 3466 MHz CL16
• 3600 MHz CL17
• 3733 MHz CL19
Capacities• 4 GB (1x4 GB)
• 8 GB (1x8 GB / 2x4 GB)
• 16 GB (1x16 GB / 2x8 GB / 4x4 GB)
• 32 GB (1x32 GB / 2x16 GB / 4x8 GB)
• 64 GB (2x32 GB / 4x16 GB)
• 128 GB (4x32 GB)

Kingston’s Fury Beast DDR4 RAM is an excellent high-performance, low-profile kit that competes directly with Corsair’s Vengeance LPX RAM. It’s slightly taller than the Corsair RAM, but 34.1 mm (1.34 inches) is still well within “low-profile” territory.

The Fury Beast kits have a comparatively more limited selection of speeds and latencies, but what’s available covers the mainstream essentials. The range starts with 2666 MHz CL16 RAM for lower-end Intel chipsets and goes up to 3733 MHz CL19 memory, ideal for the latest Ryzen 5000 series CPUs.

Unless you’re a hardcore overclocker aiming to eke out that final 10% of performance in a benchmark, the speeds available in the Kingston Fury Beast range should be perfectly adequate. Kingston doesn’t offer a pre-packaged 256 GB kit, but nothing’s stopping you from buying two 128 GB kits if you need to spec out a HEDT rig. Not ideal, but definitely doable.

Kingston Fury low-profile RAM

Source: Kingston

As with other low-profile RAM kits, the Kingston FURY kit isn’t nearly as flashy as RGB-equipped RAM. But Kingston has tried to add some visual flair, with the slightly more angular lines and edgy design helping it stand apart from its competitors.

Pricing-wise, Kingston’s FURY Beast RAM is generally priced on par with Corsair’s Vengeance LPX offerings. There really isn’t much difference when comparing like-for-like, so buy whichever RAM is currently cheaper (or on sale) when you’re shopping. The Corsair kit is your only choice if you want speeds above 4000 MHz, but mainstream gamers will be OK with either brand.

Also, to avoid confusion, we should point out that this is the same RAM that used to be sold under the HyperX branding. HP acquired the HyperX brand in early 2021, but Kingston retained its RAM products and now sells RAM with the Fury brand.

3. Teamgroup T-Force Vulcan Z

Best Mid-Range Low Profile RAM
RAM Height32 mm / 1.26 inches
Speeds• 2666 MHz CL18
• 2800 MHz CL16
• 3000 MHz CL16
• 3200 MHz CL18
Capacities• 4 GB (1x4 GB)
• 8 GB (1x8 GB / 2x4 GB)
• 16 GB (1x16 GB / 2x8 GB)
• 32 GB (2x16 GB)
• 64 GB (2x32 GB)

Teamgroup might not be the most recognizable name on this list, but the company’s T-Force Vulcan Z RAM is a low-profile RAM kit that offers mainstream performance at a mainstream price.

Looking at the available speeds, we can say that Vulcan Z RAM is definitely more suited for mid-range Intel rigs. Newer AMD processors—especially APUs like the Ryzen 7 5700G—demand faster and lower-latency RAM. Only the 3200 MHz kit really fits the bill for Ryzen. Even then, we’d recommend ponying up for a 3600 MHz CL16 or CL18 kit if at all possible.

It does have one advantage over the Kingston and Corsair RAM, though: its height. At 32 mm, it’s the shortest kit on our list that still includes heat spreaders. If you’re hurting for space but still want your RAM to add a bit of bling to your rig, then this is the lowest you can go before you have to settle for bare modules without heat sinks.

T-Force Vulcan Z low-profile RAM

Source: Teamgroup

Beyond the relatively limited speeds, we don’t really have anything negative to say about the Teamgroup RAM. The wallet-friendly pricing makes it a solid if unspectacular low-profile memory for mid-range Intel and first-gen Ryzen rigs. We don’t recommend it over the Corsair or Kingston RAM, but it’s still a decent option if you want to save some money and don’t need anything faster than 3200 MHz.

Need any old low-profile DDR4 RAM for a simple system? This is probably the kit we’d start out with. Unlike the other RAM on this list, Teamgroup sells the T-Force Vulcan Z RAM in two colors: red and gray.

4. G.Skill Aegis

Best Mid-Range Alternative
RAM Height31.2 mm / 1.23 inches
Speeds• 2133 MHz CL15
• 2400 MHz CL15 / CL17
• 2666 MHz CL19
• 2800 MHz CL17
• 3000 MHz CL16
• 3200 MHz CL16
Capacities• 4 GB (1x4 GB)
• 8 GB (1x8 GB / 2x4 GB)
• 16 GB (1x16 GB / 2x8 GB / 4x4 GB)
• 32 GB (2x16 GB / 4x8 GB)
• 64 GB (4x16 GB)

If you need some of the lowest profile RAM available right now, G.Skill’s Aegis is the RAM for you. At just 31.2 mm (1.2 inches in height), the Aegis kits are perfect for SFF gamers looking for mid-tier performance without breaking the bank. G.Skill achieves this impressively short size by forgoing heat spreaders on the Aegis RAM.

Instead, the company uses a heat-spreading sticker on the Ageis modules. Unfortunately, the company also opted for a red-and-black color scheme for the stickers. If you’re hoping to build a color-coordinated system, the Aegis kits might prove slightly challenging to integrate. After all, there isn’t even any RGB lighting to help hide the sticker colors.

Aesthetics aside, though, the G.Skill Aegis kits offer a wide range of speeds and capacities. We like that G.Skill offers 4×4 GB and 4×8 GB kits for 16 and 32 GB, respectively. Admittedly, there’s little to no real-world benefit from quad-channel RAM, but the option’s nice to have.

G.Skill Aegies low-profile RAM

Source: G.Skill

The only significant issue we can see is the inconsistent CAS latency numbers across the range. 3200 MHz CL16 is perfectly fine, but some of the slower kits don’t have particularly impressive specs. The 2400 MHz CL17 and 2666 MHz CL19 kits, in particular, are ones we’d avoid.

But the real-world performance impact will be minimal at best, so they’re still valid options if you’re on a tight budget. We’d still recommend aiming for 3200 MHz CL16 if you can afford it, though.

Overall, G.Skill’s Aegis RAM can’t compete with the company’s flashier, higher-end offerings. But it’s still a decent range of RAM that will satisfy anyone shopping in the mid-range seeking maximum compatibility over outright performance.

5. Patriot Signature DDR4

Best Budget Low-Profile RAM
RAM Height31 mm / 1.22 inches
Speeds• 2133 MHz CL15
• 2400 MHz CL17
• 2666 MHz CL19
• 3200 MHz CL22
Capacities• 4 GB (1x4 GB)
• 8 GB (1x8 GB / 2x4 GB)
• 16 GB (1x16 GB / 2x8 GB)
• 32 GB (2x16 GB)
• 64 GB (2x32 GB)

Like G.Skill’s Aegis RAM, Patriot opted to do without any sort of heat spreader on its Signature series of DDR4 RAM. This means that Patriot’s Signature DDR4 RAM is just as low-profile as the G.Skill RAM, coming in at 31 mm or 1.2 inches.

The central appeal of the Patriot kits compared to G.Skill’s offering is the slightly lower pricing. Patriot’s RAM tends to be roughly $10 more affordable across the range. It’s not a huge difference, so we’d only recommend this Patriot kit if you’re on a real tight budget and need to scrimp and save everywhere you can.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with Patriot’s DDR4 RAM at all. You are missing out on 2800 and 3000 MHz speeds, and the timings are definitely worse than G.Skill’s Aegis RAM. But unless you’re running heavy-duty productivity tasks or chasing super-high framerates, you likely won’t feel the difference in daily use. If you are, then you probably shouldn’t need to consider this kit at all.

Patriot Signature DD4 RAM

Source: Patriot

Don’t worry about the lack of heat spreaders, as Patriot has specced its kits to run at 1.2 volts. This comparatively lower voltage (high-end kits run at 1.35 volts or more) means that temperatures are kept in check. The lack of heat sinks won’t be an issue in normal use.

Patriot’s Signature DDR4 RAM is a decidedly no-frills affair at a wallet-friendly price. Sure, you won’t get blazing-fast RAM with low latency and tight timings, but consider that you’re paying less than $70 for a 16 GB 2666 MHz kit. At that price, timings and memory speed really aren’t a big concern.

Before You Buy

You don’t have to know everything there is to know about RAM, but there are still a few factors to consider before checking out that Amazon cart of yours.

Physical Compatibility

Arguably the most crucial part of choosing RAM is ensuring it fits alongside your other components. Or, more specifically, whether there’s room for it under that gigantic tower CPU cooler you’re running. No point buying high-performance RAM if it just won’t fit in your rig, after all.

Manufacturers will often list the maximum RAM height that a CPU cooler will support in the default fan configuration. Let’s take Noctua’s NH-D15 as an example. The company lists a 32 mm / 1.26-inch maximum height for RAM modules. That’s restrictive, even by the standards of this list, but you can raise the front fan to give some extra room for taller modules.

However, it then becomes a balancing act between RAM clearance and the total height of your CPU cooler. Raise the front fan too high, and the Noctua may end up being too tall for your case. But if you keep the fan low, you might not be able to install your RAM. That’s where low-profile RAM modules come in.

tight RAM clearance example

RAM clearance in Mikevrpv’s PC Build

The RAM kits on our list stick close to (or come in under) the Noctua’s standard 32 mm clearance. With these, you’ll only have to move the fan up a couple of millimeters at most to accommodate even the tallest kit on our list. Those extra couple of millimeters shouldn’t be an issue in most PC cases.

Of course, RAM clearance is only a problem if you’re using a tower cooler. AIO liquid coolers only have a small pump block over the CPU, leaving the RAM slots entirely free for even the tallest RAM kits.

Motherboard Compatibility

Beyond making sure your RAM fits, it’s also important to buy the right RAM for your motherboard. Not all motherboards support the same maximum RAM speeds, so you should check the specs to make sure you’re not buying a kit that’s too fast for your rig.

For example, Gigabyte’s B550 Aorus Pro AC supports up to 5400 MHz RAM, so you can buy almost any kit and have it run at its maximum speed. But a lower-end Intel motherboard like an ASUS Prime B460-Plus will be limited to 2933 MHz, so there’s no point wasting money on a high-end kit there.

Gigabyte QVL example

Source: Gigabyte

Motherboard manufacturers also release Qualified Vendor Lists (QVL) of RAM kits that are guaranteed to work with the particular model you have. We’ve not had any issues using non-QVL memory ourselves, so the list isn’t all that critical. But if you’re after maximum compatibility and reliability, it might be worth sticking to a tested kit.

Closing Thoughts

RAM height is, of course, the prime characteristic when choosing the best low-profile RAM kit for your rig. But once you start dipping under 35 mm (1.38 inches), factors such as speeds, latency, and capacities start coming into play once again. However, unlike most other gaming PC components, you’re not going to see drastic performance differences between brands or RAM kits as long as the specs are the same.

So, your priority should be RAM that has the right height for your rig and is available at the speed that you want. You’ll probably have the most luck with Corsair’s Vengeance LPX due to the sheer range of speeds, latencies, and capacities. Still, each kit on our list is a capable product and well worth investigating.

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