Help with strategy to increase memory speed by lowering CL


Feb 28, 2014
I have a Ryzen 7 2700X build, ASUS Crosshair VII MB, G.SKILL FlareX 3200 RAM build. RAM is spec'd at 14-14-14-34. I have a very stable OC with a 42 multiplier on CPU, 13-13-13-22-36 timings, and standard voltages on CPU and RAM. Prior to this, all efforts to run the system at higher memory frequencies failed (3333-3466, with higher timings and voltages) - meaning that after a day or so of torture with Prime95 and AIDA, one or more threads would stop with the nondescript "hardware error". This failure led me down the path of extremely tight timings at 3200. Windows will not post with 12-12-12 type timings, but I do not understand why. I have seen other posters successful at the tighter CL timings at 3200 (1600 for the purists), but I just can't get there. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


You are going the opposite. Normally a higher memory speed has higher timings. Sometimes you get lucky and can do lower timings with a higher speed.


The DDR4 3200 has lower timings than the DDR4 3600. Its part of the trade off. Some higher end memory out there can get lower timings with a higher memory speed but normally the spec that the manufacture gives is the timings that that memory will be guaranteed 100% stable at the rated frequency.
I think you need to research OC ram a little more. From what you've said you're pushing the timings of (already) OC'd ram but at stock voltage!? Is that right? If so, therein lies your main issue. To get them to work at faster than rated timings/speed, you need more juice. With the DIMMS already OC'ed and maxed out you have very little room to manoeuvre. Sadly it's a trial and error thing. But as jimmysmitty pointed out, its rated for it's designed speed. You're pushing the timings too low.

Also, if the purpose of your exercise is to get more performance from the memory subsystem (infinity fabric) once you go beyond 3200mhz, or CL16 the benefits apart from in benchmarks are tiny. You won't get any more FPS by lowering the timings so much, and having instability! For Ryzen systems faster ram can have a big affect, but most of that gain is between 2400-2933mhz. between those speeds the increase can be substantial, like 5-15% task dependant. But once you go beyong 2933 the effects diminish and the gains drop down to margin of error level, specially at 3200mhz+ speeds.

Stick with the DIMMS at stock. Enjoy your system. If you need more performance in 6 months, get some new faster DIMMS and sell the old ones to offset the costs.
You could try bump the SOC voltage a notch or two, but I wouldn't push that too much. Try one thing at a time, either tighter timings or faster speeds.
Increase the stock voltage up a notch, and try a speed increase. Test with memtest and ensure it's stable (use memtest86+ for 4 passes - just to gauge it). Then work up slowly.

Try speed first, see how far you get. Then try timings after that. Keep in mind, if you push the voltage to far, you risk damaging the DIMMS.