Question 3200 MHz RAM with i3 10th gen

Marky000

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So, I know this question has been asked several times but I'm looking for a more detailed answer I haven't found

Consider the following two RAM choices:

https://www.gskill.com/specification/165/184/1536040024/F4-2666C15D-16GVR-Specification

https://www.gskill.com/specification/165/184/1536110676/F4-3200C16D-16GVKB-Specification

The RAM will be combined with an i3-10100 CPU and a -Gigabyte B560M DS3H motherboard.

When considering the specifications of the CPU and motherboard, it is fair to say that the max RAM frequency to be expected is 2666 MHz. I realise some B560 boards allow higher RAM speeds with i3 processors but apparently this motherboard isn't one of them (at least with the current BIOS).

So bearing that in mind, can people please advise me of any downsides from purchasing the 3200 MHz sticks? They are easier to get and would offer better upgrade potential down the line.

My understanding is that if I use the 3200 MHz sticks, I should set the XMP profile ( CL16-18-18-38 1.35V ) and then manually lower the RAM frequency to 2666 MHz.

This then leads to my main question. Wouldn't the timings still be CL16-18-18-38 after I manually down clock the RAM frequency? If so, it seems I would be better off buying the 2666 MHz sticks which have timings of CL15-15-15-35 .

At the end of the day, I am ok with buying the 3200 MHz sticks but I would expect to get timings of CL15-15-15-35 and an operating voltage of 1.20V. Is this possible , preferably without manual adjustments?

Last few years I have been building i3 systems using stock RAM so I don't have much experience when it comes to down clocking RAM. Now that the B series boards will be allowing some overclocking of memory, I need to get a good handle on this.

Thanks
 

Tioym

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The higher you increase your frequency, the worse(higher) your timings get. A stick that runs 3200CL18 can probably run 3000CL17, 2800CL16 and 2666CL15 but no one can know for sure, it depends on the motherboard and the sticks and sometimes even the CPU. One thing is for sure, as long as your motherboard allows you to change the RAM timings, 3200CL18 can be downclocked to 2666CLX, where X would be a tighter(lower/better) timing.

Do keep in mind that messing with RAM timings and frequencies can cause issues and should only be done if you're ready to spend a large amount of time.
 

Marky000

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Do keep in mind that messing with RAM timings and frequencies can cause issues and should only be done if you're ready to spend a large amount of time.
Exactly and it is going to be a workstation for a client but some folks over at another forum were saying I should use 3200 if same price. Mainly because the integrated graphics could benefit from faster RAM on a potentially unlocked B560 board. But the board I am likely to get seems to cap i3 at 2666 anyway.

Like I said, I am ok to use 3200 if it as simple as setting the XMP and then manually adjusting the frequency. I am not keen on manually adjusting timings (potential instability) but running any stick at 2666 CL16 seems sub-optimal.

So, it seems I have two choices, go the safe route and buy 2666 guaranteeing CL15 (never seen a Ripjaws that didn't hit its XMP timings) . Or, I buy the 3200 and simply copy the timings from the 2666 stick XMP profile. That's assuming I can even manually adjust them, one would think the B560 could at least do that with an i3.

Kind of surprised there is so many underclocking memory threads out there but few address the issue of sacrificing timings.

There is also the question of voltage since 3200 runs at 1.35V whilst 2666 can run at 1.20V.

With all this in mind, buying 2666 is the better option?
 
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Tioym

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Exactly and it is going to be a workstation for a client but some folks over at another forum were saying I should use 3200 if same price. Mainly because the integrated graphics could benefit from faster RAM on a potentially unlocked B560 board. But the board I am likely to get seems to cap i3 at 2666 anyway.

Like I said, I am ok to use 3200 if it as simple as setting the XMP and then manually adjusting the frequency. I am not keen on manually adjusting timings (potential instability) but running any stick at 2666 CL16 seems sub-optimal.

So, it seems I have two choices, go the safe route and buy 2666 guaranteeing CL15 (never seen a Ripjaws that didn't hit its XMP timings) . Or, I buy the 3200 and simply copy the timings from the 2666 stick XMP profile. That's assuming I can even manually adjust them, one would think the B560 could at least do that with an i3.

Kind of surprised there is so many underclocking memory threads out there but few address the issue of sacrificing timings.

With all this in mind, buying 2666 is the better option?
Yeah go for 2666. Even if you manage to get 2666CL15 on the 3200MHz stick, getting it completely stable will take a while and you dont want your client to experience the myriad of problems that come with unstable memory.
 

Marky000

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Yeah go for 2666. Even if you manage to get 2666CL15 on the 3200MHz stick, getting it completely stable will take a while and you dont want your client to experience the myriad of problems that come with unstable memory.
Thanks, as you posted, I made an edit mentioning the different voltages as well. All the posts I have read say easiest way to down clock is to set XMP and then manually down clock the frequency to 2666. Then I wonder, if the voltage stays at 1.35V, that is higher than necessary, especially if latency is loose e.g. CL16

If latency and voltages don't adjust downwards automatically in response to the lower frequency being set, it doesn't make so much sense to me as to why several folks would suggest getting 3200.
 

Tioym

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Thanks, as you posted, I made an edit mentioning the different voltages as well. All the posts I have read say easiest way to down clock is to set XMP and then manually down clock the frequency to 2666. Then I wonder, if the voltage stays at 1.35V, that is higher than necessary, especially if latency is loose e.g. CL16

If latency and voltages don't adjust downwards automatically in response to the lower frequency being set, it doesn't make so much sense to me as to why several folks would suggest getting 3200.
The more voltage you give, the easier it is too increase the frequency and/or decrease the timings. I for one had 3000CL16@1.35V and I was able to overclock it to 3200CL15@1.4V. Staying at a higher voltage while dropping the frequency will allow you to more easily tighten the timings, The 3200MHz kit may run at 2666CL15@1.2V if you're lucky but you may need more voltage to be fully stable. Ofcourse overclocking depends on a lot of things and voltage higher than 1.45 can cause serious degradation.
 
It matters little.
Performance will not be significantly different whichever ram you pick.
Since the 3200 is easier to come by, I would go with that.

All DDR4 ram is essentially 2133 speed and 1.2v.
Better chips can be overclocked to run at higher speeds and nigher voltages like 3200 or more and 1.35v or more.

Since your motherboard and cpu limits you to 2666, that is what you can get. There may be an xmp setting in the ram to select that speed.
But, you can also set the speed and timings yourself
 

Marky000

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Thanks guys

My main concern was the fact that with 3200 stick, I won't be able to set the XMP profile as I normally would. Although, as I mentioned, others have suggested I still load the XMP but then drop the frequency to 2666.

I have been looking around for RAM and I can't really find any CL15 2666 RAM. There was one from G.Skill I was hoping to get but they did a revision on it and now that almost identical stick has CL16. My guess is that since the market is now aimed at 3200, those latencies have carried through to the 2666 sticks as well.

So it looks like my best bet is to purchase 3200 RAM with decent timings. Then , I should think those timings would be preserved with the down clock. I might be able to drop the voltage a little manually.

Be good if RAM manufactures were loading more XMP profiles. I know they can load 2 but usually only have one. I say this because moving forwards, memory overclocking is likely to be more commonplace but there will be situations where RAM will be down clocked until all motherboards embrace the potential of chips like the B560.

A 3200 stick running at CL16 should in theory be able to run at 2666 CL15 quite easily. I say this because the CL16 is higher since higher frequency means more RAM cycles. So, there should be a quick and easy way to set a CL15 for a lower frequency but that would require testing on the manufacturer's end. I have seen that the Kingston Fury 3200 sticks have two XMP profiles, one for 3200 and and another for 3000 but nothing as low as 2666.
 
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Thanks guys

My main concern was the fact that with 3200 stick, I won't be able to set the XMP profile as I normally would. Although, as I mentioned, others have suggested I still load the XMP but then drop the frequency to 2666.

I have been looking around for RAM and I can't really find any CL15 2666 RAM. There was one from G.Skill I was hoping to get but they did a revision on it and now that almost identical stick has CL16. My guess is that since the market is now aimed at 3200, those latencies have carried through to the 2666 sticks as well.

So it looks like my best bet is to purchase 3200 RAM with decent timings. Then , I should think those timings would be preserved with the down clock. I might be able to drop the voltage a little manually.

Be good if RAM manufactures were loading more XMP profiles. I know they can load 2 but usually only have one. I say this because moving forwards, memory overclocking is likely to be more commonplace but there will be situations where RAM will be down clocked until all motherboards embrace the potential of chips like the B560.

A 3200 stick running at CL16 should in theory be able to run at 2666 CL15 quite easily. I say this because the CL16 is higher since higher frequency means more RAM cycles. So, there should be a quick and easy way to set a CL15 for a lower frequency but that would require testing on the manufacturer's end. I have seen that the Kingston Fury 3200 sticks have two XMP profiles, one for 3200 and and another for 3000 but nothing as low as 2666.
I personally would get the faster ram and manually set it to 2666 CL15 timings, to help make up for the lost potential performance. There is also the possibility that the motherboard may automatically set 2666 so you wont even need to mess with ram timings. You can always buy an 11th gen i5/i7/i9 in the future for a "cheaper" upgrade when prices come back down.

If you can increase your budget, you might want to consider other CPU options or maybe look at a Z series motherboard if you want to really want to overclock ram but not change CPUs. The i5-11400F had been $180-190, but now it's $220+ and I had been seeing some 11400 listings for around $200-220 on amazon and newegg. If you have a microcenter near you, you can get an 11400 for $170 in-store pickup only.
 
Since B560 motherboards allow ram overclocking, there will be options to explicitly set speed and timings in your bios.
XMP is a convenience that ram makers provide in their ram.
It contains the settings tested to work for achieving different speeds.
At initialization, those parameters are set automatically.
If you do not find a xmp selection to your liking, all it takes is a bit more work to set them explicitly yourself.

Ultimately, do not obsess about this.
Without a synthetic benchmark, you will not notice any meaningful performance difference regardless of the setting.
 
On that motherboard, specs say
10th Generation Intel® Core™ i5/i3/Pentium®/Celeron® processors:
Support for DDR4 2666/2400/2133 MHz memory modules

There will be bios settings at least for speed selection.
Likely, there will be settings for timings too.

Much adoo about nothing.
ram speed on 10100 is largely irrelevant.
As a side comment, I have used a i3-10100 in two builds.
It is a very quick chip.
I used 2666 ram.
Integrated graphics ran a 4k monitor @60hz using displayport connection.
 

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