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[SOLVED] Confusing RAM stats and what to look for

bumblebee953

Distinguished
Aug 15, 2011
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I'm getting really confused with the stats to look for in what's considered good RAM...

There is speed and latency and timings, how does that all work together and which stat is worth more? I thought in general I just want to pick the highest speed with the lowest latency, but then the timings come in and makes everything confusing. And sometimes just because the RAM specs say it's 3200mhz, it doesn't actually run at that speed and I have to mess with BIOS settings?

For a RAM module with 16 latency for example, but its timings are 16-18-18-36... what does that even mean? Do I need to pick one with those timing numbers as close to each other as possible?

Also what is XMP?
 
Aug 26, 2020
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When looking at ram timings, I'd mainly look at the first number. In the example you gave, this would be 16. If by 'highest speed with the lowest latency' you mean the highest speed with the lowest timings, this is the correct thing to do. I would personally say that the speed of the ram is more important, but you should still care about the latency. In gaming, IIRC 3600mhz at CL18 would be slightly better than 3200mhz CL16. As for messing with the bios settings, all you really have to do is enable the XMP/DOCP profile in the bios of your motherboard. This is because out of the box the ram sticks run at the default speed for DDR4 and not the speed that they actually say on the sticker. While companies such as Intel say that this voids your warranty, they really have no way to know if you don't tell them you enabled it. The extreme memory profile (also known as the direct overclocking profile on some motherboards) sets your ram to the rated speed that the manufacturer has tested the ram at (This is the speed that you purchase and the speed that is on the sticker.) If you don't enable this, your ram will run at 2133MHz /2400MHz.
 
Reactions: CountMike
Aug 26, 2020
14
3
15
2
When looking at ram timings, I'd mainly look at the first number. In the example you gave, this would be 16. If by 'highest speed with the lowest latency' you mean the highest speed with the lowest timings, this is the correct thing to do. I would personally say that the speed of the ram is more important, but you should still care about the latency. In gaming, IIRC 3600mhz at CL18 would be slightly better than 3200mhz CL16. As for messing with the bios settings, all you really have to do is enable the XMP/DOCP profile in the bios of your motherboard. This is because out of the box the ram sticks run at the default speed for DDR4 and not the speed that they actually say on the sticker. While companies such as Intel say that this voids your warranty, they really have no way to know if you don't tell them you enabled it. The extreme memory profile (also known as the direct overclocking profile on some motherboards) sets your ram to the rated speed that the manufacturer has tested the ram at (This is the speed that you purchase and the speed that is on the sticker.) If you don't enable this, your ram will run at 2133MHz /2400MHz.
 
Reactions: CountMike

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