For some time now Intel and AMD have been competing head to head against each other but from the past few years AMD had been gaining the upper hand after they released their cutting edge Ryzen 5000 chips. However, more recently Intel, in opposition to AMD, released their new line of 12th Gen processors that really pushes the limits of what CPUs are able to do. Of these 12th Gen processors the Core i5-12600K is a good mid-range option that’s suitable for all types of users including gamers and multitaskers.
But this leads to the ultimate question: what RAM is the best for the i5-12600K? Seeing as the Core i5-12600K supports both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, that decision becomes a pretty daunting one to make. Most of the general public is split between the older DDR4s that are less expensive but are using the older RAM technology and are slightly slower and the DDR5s which are 14-20% faster but still come with a huge price tag.
Fortunately for you, we’re here to make that decision easier with our list of the best RAMs for Core i5-12600K which contains the top DDR4 and DDR5 RAMs going around today. Adding to that, we’ll also be including a few buying tips to make you aware of the essential features you should look for in a RAM.
So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Shopping Tips
- 2 Best RAM for Core i5-12600K You Can Buy Today
- 2.1 CORSAIR Vengeance DDR5 32GB
- 2.2 G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB DDR4 3200
- 2.3 Crucial RAM 32GB DDR5 4800MHz
- 2.4 Patriot Viper 4 Series Extreme Performance DDR4
- 2.5 G.Skill 32GB DDR4 Trident Z Royal Gold 3200Mhz
- 2.6 Thermaltake TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4 3600MHz 16GB
- 2.7 CORSAIR Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 32GB
- 2.8 Crucial Ballistix 3600 MHz DDR4 16GB
- 2.9 XPG DDR4 D60G RGB 16GB 3200MHZ
- 2.10 G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5 RGB Series 32GB
- 3 Wrapping Up
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Quick Shopping Tips
Buying the right RAM, which is compatible with your processor and motherboard, is extremely important. So how does one determine which RAM is best? Well, that’s simple, you just have to know what features you want from your RAM. And luckily for you, we’ve come up with a list of the most important features you should look for when choosing the most optimal RAM for your system.
Capacity: Perhaps the most important aspect of a RAM is its capacity because it’s directly related to the speed of your system. You can find this piece of information at the forefront of most product descriptions. The latest models of RAM are almost exclusively 32 GB or 16 GB kits with enhanced compatibility with Intel 12th gen processors.
However, that does not mean that’s the only capacity of RAM you can opt for. In fact, most PC users, who dabble in gaming and do a little multitasking, don’t require a 32 GB or 16 GB RAM and can even make do with an 8 GB RAM. On the other hand, passionate PC builders require the latest and greatest RAMs the world has to offer. We do have to admit though that with how graphics heavy the newest games are, 16 GB RAM has become the bare minimum.
Thus, the important thing to know while choosing capacity is the requirements of your system and how you intend to use it. Additionally, capacity also plays a huge role in determining the price of a RAM.
Frequency: If you look closely at a RAM kit you’ll see that there’s often a number written on the front right next to the type of the RAM, something like: DDR4-3200. This number is actually the frequency of the RAM and can be used to determine the rate of data transfer between the CPU and RAM. So, you can just imagine how important a feature it is to consider. And with DDR4s and DDR5s both being readily available in the market the frequency of RAM has reached an enormous level.
The fastest DDR4s can run at a maximum of 3600-4000 MHZ frequency, whereas a peak performing DDR5 can reach up to 5600-6000 MHZ frequency, although at a significantly higher price tag. While gaming, after a certain point it becomes very difficult to distinguish the faster frequencies with the slower ones when you’re actually using the RAM in your PC. Hence why most regular PC owners are opting for slower DDR4s just because they’re cheaper in price.
Whatever your decision though, just make sure you buy a RAM of a frequency that matches the requirements of your processor.
Timing: The rate of data transfer in RAM depends on a lot of different things. We discussed one of those things earlier when we discussed frequency. And just like frequency, the lag or latency timings also have a huge impact on the speed of data transfer by determining the time it takes for data transfer to occur. Thus, the basic rule when buying RAM is to opt for the one with the lowest timings meaning the lowest amount of lag.
So, that’s something that every RAM buyer should keep a special eye out for and use to differentiate between a good RAM and an excellent one. One thing to note though is that some RAMs even offer you a choice to manually change the latency timings from your settings to what you prefer.
However, only a small few have that option available, so look out for those as well.
Dual Channel or Single Channel: Another feature that affects the rate of data transfer is if the RAM is single channel or dual channel. You must be wondering what these channels are? Well, to put simply, these are the paths between the RAM, and CPU, specifically the memory controller, through which data transfer occurs.
Now you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to put together that a dual channel RAM would be significantly faster than a single channel RAM. In fact, due to it possessing double the number of channels, the rate of data transfer is also doubly faster than a single channel RAM.
Best RAM for Core i5-12600K You Can Buy Today
CORSAIR Vengeance DDR5 32GB
Best Overall RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: CMK32GX5M2B5200C40 | Capacity: 2 x 16 GB | Data Rate: DDR5-5200 | Timings: 38-38-38-84 | Voltage: 1.25v | Warranty: 4 years
The CORSAIR Vengeance DDR5 is the latest in CORSAIR’s long standing Vengeance series that have become the first option for many seasoned PC users out there. And it’s our top pick as well when it comes to the latest generation of DDR5s. Why? Well there are plenty of reasons. First of all, the RAM is accompanied by CORSAIR’s patented ICUE software which has become more famous than the RAM itself!
Jokes apart though, the ICUE software really sets CORSAIR RAMs apart from the rest. Not only does it allow you to create your own custom intel XMP 3.0 profiles to lower latency timings, it also carries out onboard voltage regulation which leads to lower power consumption and more stable overclocking. It may not be the most sparkling RAM on the market with bright RGB lighting but the value for money it offers is still outstanding.
Most importantly, this newer generation of CORSAIR RAMs are fully compatible with Intel 12th gen processors, specifically the i5-12600K and the Vengeance DDR5 is no different.
- Contains onboard voltage regulation.
- Corsair’s patented ICUE software allows enhanced overclocking.
- Carefully hand sorted and screened memory chips means consistent high frequency performance.
- ICUE software contains built-in XMP 3.0 profiles and allows users to create custom profiles.
- Built-in heat spreaders are too thin to properly dissipate heat.
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB DDR4 3200
Best 32 GB RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: F4-3200C16D-32GVK | Capacity: 2 x 16 GB | Data Rate: DDR4-3200 | Timings: CL16-18-18-38 | Voltage: 1.35v | Warranty: 5 years
We’ve talked about the best DDR5 in the market right now, but what about the best DDR4? Well that honor goes to G.Skill’s RipJaws V DDR4 due to its high frequency performance and excellent latency timings of 16-18-18-38. What’s more is that its attractive streamlined design and beautiful black color makes it a perfect addition to any PC. However, the feature that stood out the most for us was its dual channel for data transfer which is something PC enthusiasts have come to expect from G.Skill RAMs.
It should be said that G.Skill has plenty of flashier and colorful RAMs but due to how cheap it is compared to other DDR4s with the same features we ranked this one as the best for i5-12600K. Speaking of the Core i5-12600K, this specific RAM is a hybrid and is compatible with both the latest AMD and Intel processors. We reckon that should be enough to convince you, but in the event that you’re not we should also tell you that this RAM contains an underrated heat sink as well.
This aluminum heat spreader dissipates all heat from the ICs and PCB towards the cooler of the PC, effectively allowing the RAM to run at peak performance for long stretches of time.
- Incredibly low latency timings.
- Dual Channel RAM which means lightning fast data transfer speeds.
- 42 mm module height means it can easily fit into even the smallest cases.
- No RGB lights.
Crucial RAM 32GB DDR5 4800MHz
Best 4800 MHZ RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: CT2K16G48C40U5 | Capacity: 2 x 16 GB | Data Rate: DDR5-4800 | Timings: 40-39-39 | Voltage: 1.1v | Warranty: 3 years
Crucial in our mind is one of the most underrated RAM manufacturers in the world, mostly because of the simple design of their RAMs. And their simple designs can be attributed to the fact that they’re one of the oldest RAM makers out there. But with time also comes experience and as of today Crucial has made a name for themselves as one of the most reliable companies to exist.
So, actually when you buy a Crucial RAM you’re paying more for the brand than anything. For those of you who understand that, we present you the Crucial DDR5-4800 RAM. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s lacking in any way, in fact it’s quite the contrary. On top of reaching blazing speeds due to its 4800 MHZ frequency, it’s one of the least power consuming RAMs in the world with a voltage level of just 1.1v!
Which is quite an achievement keeping in mind that it’s a part of the first wave of DDR5s to hit the market. Furthermore, when compared with more recent DDR5s the RAM still holds up and has efficient latency timings which are even better than some of the newer RAMs. All in all, if you’re a budget PC builder and you’re looking for nothing too bright and shiny, this is the perfect RAM for you.
- One of the best RAMs in terms of power consumption.
- Efficient latency timings.
- Amazingly high frequency of 4800 MHZ which is 1.5x more than a DDR4.
- Design is too simple for gaming PCs.
- No ECC support.
Patriot Viper 4 Series Extreme Performance DDR4
Best Budget RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: PV416G320C6K | Capacity: 2 x 8 GB | Data Rate: DDR4-3200 | Timings: 18-18-36-75 | Voltage: 1.35v | Warranty: 4 years
Even though the Crucial DDR5-4800 is a good choice when it comes to budget options, the best budget RAM for i5-12600K is still the Viper 4 DDR4. In fact, for any and all Intel 12th gen processors, the Viper 4 DDR4 is a suitable option if you want to save money. Now let’s discuss why it’s such a viable option. Well, firstly, the people at Patriot are very efficient in screening and testing all their RAMs to make sure they’re running at the listed frequency.
Secondly, this specific RAM contains built-in XMP 2.0 profiles to ensure your overclocking needs are fulfilled. And lastly, the entire Viper 4 series was made keeping in mind specifically their compatibility with Intel 12th gen processors so that concern is removed completely. So in conclusion, if you’re looking to build a kickass PC with fast and efficient RAM but not go too over budget this is the kit for you.
- Hand tested ICs for peak performance.
- Built-in XMP 2.0 profile for extreme overclocking.
- One of the least expensive DDR4s out there.
- Users have complained about having to manually input CAS latency timings.
G.Skill 32GB DDR4 Trident Z Royal Gold 3200Mhz
Best DDR4 RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: F4-3200C16D-32GTRG | Capacity: 2 x 16 GB | Data Rate: DDR4-3200 | Timings: 16-18-18-38 | Voltage: 1.35v | Warranty: Lifetime
G.Skill is known for making some of the most colorful and vibrant RAM’s out there with customizable RGB lights. However, even for their standards it was quite a bold decision to introduce a royal gold RAM with crystalline RGB lights but that’s exactly what they’ve done with their new Trident Z royal gold DDR4. Apart from the color of this RAM though there’s nothing else that surprises us about it because it follows the tried and tested G.Skill formula of consistent high frequency performance and ridiculously low latency timings.
On top of that, it also contains a built-in aluminum heat spreader that ensures heat is dissipated from the ICs and PCB towards the PC cooler to ensure the RAM stays running at peak performance for a long time. As a bonus, it also comes with a lifetime warranty. But it’s obvious unique feature are its crystalline refracting gold RGB lights coupled with its royal gold color which is certainly a bold but beautiful choice for any users and especially PC gamers. Thus, if you’re looking to stand out from the rest then this DDR4 is a must.
- Amazingly low latency timings for a DDR4.
- Available in an absolutely beautiful Royal gold color with crystalline RGB lights
- Comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Actual frequency may be quite lower than that advertised.
Thermaltake TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4 3600MHz 16GB
Best 3600MHZ RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: R009D408GX2-3600C18B | Capacity: 2 x 8 GB | Data Rate: DDR4-3600 | Voltage: 1.35v | Warranty: 4 years
Thermaltake is probably a name most of you wouldn’t have heard before because it’s just not as popular as a CORSAIR or G.Skill. However, in terms of speed and capability we’d wager that their RAMs are equal to or even better than some of the best CORSAIR and G.Skill RAMs in the market today. As a matter of fact, in our opinion this specific RAM kit has the most beautiful design in the entire list.
With 3 bright customizable LED RGB lights and an overall arching design, the Thermaltake DDR4-3600 TOUGHRAM takes the cake for the most beautiful RAM in the list. It’s not behind any RAM in terms of functionality either. Keep in mind that this is one of only two RAMs on this list that has a frequency rating of 3600 MHZ. That’s because we’ve carefully tested and researched numerous RAMs to bring you only the ones that accurately reach the frequency they’re rated at and the Thermaltake RAM is one of them.
It’s additional features though are a thing to behold and basically what convinced us to include it in the list. Basically, the RAM is accompanied by a TT RGB Plus software which in addition to controlling and customizing the RGB lights, allows the user to pair with an Alexa device and even other weather applications. Furthermore, the RAM can even be paired with a Razer Synapse 3 to sync the RGB lighting effects with the game you’re playing to give you the full experience.
- Customizable 3-way synchronized RGB lights.
- Intel XMP 2.0 ready with superior overclocking ability.
- TT RGB Plus software allows you to pair with an Alexa device and even check current weather conditions in your location.
- RGB lights may start fading after a few weeks of use.
CORSAIR Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 32GB
Best CORSAIR RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: CMT32GX5M2B5200C40 | Capacity: 2 x 8 GB | Data Rate: DDR5-5200 | Voltage: 1.25v | Warranty: 4 years
CORSAIR is a giant in the RAM industry and has built numerous high-end and extreme performance RAMs that have taken the world by storm. So, you can imagine how excellent the CORSAIR Dominator 32 GB DDR5 is for us to claim it as the best CORSAIR RAM and that includes the DDR4s they’ve created as well. But what makes it such a powerful RAM? To begin with, like all CORSAIR RAM kits, this one comes with the patented ICUE software which all PC lovers would be well acquainted with already.
But in the case that you’re not, the ICUE software allows users to fully customize the simple but sleek looking RGB lights on the Dominator to a wide range of colors and patterns depending on the user’s preference. In addition to that, it also enables users to create their own custom Intel XMP 3.0 profiles which they can use to increase the RAM’s already amazing overclocking ability. Other than the ICUE software, the RAM kit itself is a marvel of technology with its hand sorted and tightly screened memory chips which ensure that the RAM maintains the highest data transfer speed possible for as long a period as possible.
A small downside though is that the Dominator DDR5 is probably the most expensive RAM kit on the list but that shouldn’t deter the people who want the latest in PC technology.
- Accompanied by the patented CORSAIR ICUE software which allows you to create custom XMP 3.0 profiles.
- ICUE software also allows you to customize the built-in RGB lights to a massive range of colors and patterns.
- A high-end aluminum heat spreader dissipates all heat from the ICs and PCB allowing the kit to maintain high frequency performance.
- Might be a little too expensive.
Crucial Ballistix 3600 MHz DDR4 16GB
Best CRUCIAL RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: BL2K8G36C16U4B |Capacity: 2 x 8 GB | Data Rate: DDR4-3600 | Timings: 16-18-18-38 | Voltage: 1.35v | Warranty: 4 years
To all our PC lovers, we’re proud to present to you the best Crucial RAM by far and the second of our DDR4-3600 RAMs, the Ballistix 16 GB DDR4. Trust us when we tell you that this is one of the best RAMs for the i5-12600K sheerly due to its low price and high profile performance. To go into further detail, the Ballistix DDR4 has built-in Intel XMP 2.0 support which instantly unlocks stable overclocking ability and a way to further decrease latency timings.
Furthermore, it also possesses an aluminum heat sink that effortlessly drives all heat out of the ICs and PCB and towards the PC cooler. It also helps that the RAM in black color looks almost like a claymore mine, which if you pay attention to the overall look you’ll understand is a pretty intentional design choice. Hence, all these reasons should make it clear why we rate the Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3600 so highly and we have no doubt that if you decide to buy one it will serve you well for some time to come.
- Consists of a modern aluminum spreader available in multiple colors that dissipates all heat created in the ICs and PCB.
- Built-in Intel XMP 2.0 Profiles for extreme overclocking.
- Compatible with the latest AMD and Intel systems.
- May not be dual rank memory as advertised.
XPG DDR4 D60G RGB 16GB 3200MHZ
Best RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: AX4U320038G16A-DW60 | Capacity: 2 x 8 GB | Data Rate: DDR4-3200 | Timings: 16-20-20 | Voltage: 4.0v | Warranty: 3 years
XPG created by ADATA has only one mission, of providing fast, reliable and efficient RAMs to the general public and especially to the PC gamers and performance enthusiasts who need it the most. The unique thing we learned about this RAM which made it irresistible for us to put it in this list was its gorgeously designed RGB surface which can even be customized to different colors and designs!
Some high-end RAMs go with RGB lights to make it look appealing to the customers but XPG made the bold decision to go with an entire RGB lit surface. And we have to say it paid off because the kit looks mind-blowingly pretty. It doesn’t lack in terms of functionality either as it has a 3200 MHZ frequency, built-in Intel XMP 2.0 support for generous overclocking and manually screened memory chips to maintain that high frequency performance for a consistently long time.
Available in beautiful white color, the XPG DDR4-3200 is one of the best DDR4s for i5-12600K and all of the features detailed above should prove that to you. A small drawback though is its power consumption which is much higher when compared to other DDR4s with the same frequency.
- Gorgeously designed RGB surface which can be customized to a range of different colors and designs.
- Supports Intel XMP 2.0.
- Manually screened chips to ensure high frequency performance.
- Power consumption is a little high compared to other DDR4s.
G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5 RGB Series 32GB
Best G.Skill RAM for i5-12600K
(image credit: Amazon)
Model: F5-6000U3636E16GA2-TZ5RS | Capacity: 2 x 16 GB | Data Rate: DDR5-6000 | Timings: 36-36-36-76 | Voltage: 1.3v | Warranty: 5 years.
G.Skill prides itself on being one of the top RAM manufacturers in the world and consistently pushes through high quality RAMs that push the boundaries of what RAMs can do. And with the introduction of their newest DDR5, the Trident Z5, they’ve done exactly that. With one of the lowest latency timings in modern day DDR5s and a high frequency of 5600-6000 MHZ, it truly is a state of the art RAM that experienced PC users and gamers will appreciate.
Their clean looking design with simple but elegant RGB lights also complements its white color beautifully which makes it one of the most sleek looking models G.Skill have come up with. On top of that the lights are customizable and the software is much less complicated to use than for example the CORSAIR ICUE software which is a big plus. Like most high performing DDR5s, it’s XMP 3.0 ready and the built-in XMP profiles give it superior overclocking capabilities.
However, after testing it thoroughly, the aspect we loved most about it was how quickly it adapted to the Intel Core i5-12600K and actually increased its efficiency and speed. Something to note though is that if you do decide to buy the Trident Z5 then make sure to manually set the latency timings as many users have complained about the timing being greater than the listed value.
- One of the rare dual channel DDR5s on the market today.
- Built-in XMP 3.0 profile for high frequency performance which sometimes even reaches 6000 MHZ depending on your CPU capability.
- Designed specifically for Intel Z690 and newer.
- No ECC support.
- Latency timings may be a little off from the advertised value.
The introduction of Intel 12th Gen processors has completely changed the landscape of the PC world as AMD now has a worthy competitor for its incredibly popular Ryzen series. Due to this shift, RAM makers everywhere have had to adjust as well, and we have to admit, they’ve done it beautifully.
Which is evident from our list of the best RAMs for i5-12600K. Hopefully you think that as well and liked our choices for this list. Now based on this knowledge it is up to you to pick out a RAM for yourself either from the ones we’ve listed or some other from somewhere else. Happy hunting!