Question Is putting in RAM with a higher speed different to overclocking the processor or the same thing?


Jul 23, 2018
I was suggested to put into my potential build 3600 ram instead of 3200 ram on a Threadripper 3960x system to lower latency but is this overclocking or would it force it as opposed to changing the voltage settings on the processor?

Can you overclock with 3200 ram in the system?

Can you not be overclocked with 3600 speed ram.?

Do you need both to adjust the processor and have higher speed RAM?

Does faster ram force over clocking?

Whats the connection?


Anything above DDR4-2133MHz is an overclock so you're overclocking the rams to get to DDR4-3200 or 3600MHz.

The IMC will be taking care of your overclocks, mind you.

No, you don't.

It's an overclock on the rams and the necessary memory controller.
Strange I thought on the new Gen 3 Zen 2 Threadripper TRX40 processors like the 3960x and 3970xstandard ram speed was 3200ghz.
It may be (it is for Ryzen 3000 CPU's) but I believe the 2133 spec is DDR4 official supported max clock speed for the RAM's themselves to attain DDR4 certification. Of course RAM manufacturers shoot for more but it's up to the binning process the DIMM manufacturers implement to identify the RAM chips suitable to build kits capable of higher speeds.
Jan 6, 2020
Overclocking is at your own risk.

To answer your question. Yes and No. yes its different to overclock Ram, but no you have to overclock the processors infinity fabric to use the little potential of ram overclock on ryzen cpus. Thats the one of the main differences compared to intel cpus which still uses a monolitic design)

On Ryzen systems you should try to balance the infinity-fabric clock with the ram clock. (1:1 ramspeed values are mentioned with their double rate so it looks like IF 1:2 RAM )
for example if you want to use 3600 ram you should use an infinity fabric clock of 1800 to get the best performance.

for example a infinity fabric clock of 1600 with an 3200 ram clock is fast, but a 1666 infinityfabric clock is way slower with an 3200 ram clock (even IF1800 is slower with 3200Mhz ram). and reducing the infinity-fabric under 1600 is making your performance slower as well.

So not changing the infinity fabrics 1600 when using 3600mhz ram is making your system not using its potential and possibly making it slower.

2nd thing, be aware that different programs/games need lower cl rates over ram clock speed or vice versa.

the financial sweetspot for zen2 seems to be infinity fabric 1800, ram speed 3600 with cl16 at the moment.
Some say there is a sweetspot at 3733 ram speed with infinity fabric at 1866, but the price difference for 2ns is way out of bounds.

be aware more speed means more heat on ram and cpu (infinity fabric).

dram calculator is a good tool to sharpen your subtimings.

The best performance for bucks guy will go for 3200Mhz ram cl16
The normal overclocker for 3600Mhz ram cl16
the enthusiast ..... +++++
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Nov 23, 2019
Decent RAM is a big deal with Ryzen. This review will help a little. Ryzen 3000 Memory Benchmark & Best RAM for Ryzen (fClock, uClock, & mClock)

The main issue with RAM overclocking is that there is a performance hit due to not running the mclock (memory clock), uclock (memory controller clock), and fclock (infinity fabric clock)at 1:1:1 ratio.

With memory speeds greater than 3600MHz (mclock > 1800MHz), fclock caps at 1800MHz and uclock switches to a 1:2 ratio with mclock. Enabling 2:1 mode crosses clock domain boundaries, imparting a DRAM latency penalty of approximately 9ns that may be overcome with additional memory clocks, higher CPU frequencies, or sub-timing adjustments.” In other words, 2:1 mode hurts performance, but not so badly that it can’t be made up for elsewhere.

You can still set a fclock frequency above 1800MHz, but there is a hard wall at 1917MHz. This is why everyone is an IF1900 and using 3800 RAM maximum. They are trying to avoid the latency penalty of running outside of 1:1 and IF is at maximum no more than 1900. This then limits RAM frequency to 1900 as well or DDR4 3800.

The most performance will come from tightening RAM timings of good samsung b-die RAM. If you are luckly samsung b-die kits at CL16 3600, can be overclocked to DDR4 3800 RAM and have timings tightened to CL14 at 1.5Volts. This is why a normal overclocker will target DDR4 3600 CL16. If you can't get IF1900 stable you can at least try for IF1800 and DDR4 3600.

DDR4 3800 CL14 kit, very expensive but good for a normal overclocker who does not have a lot of time to tweak or research.

An enthusiast will bin for the best CPU and RAM possible. Then sell the dross on ebay or in the systems they build for customers. 4174MHz 12-12-12-28-1T on 2x8GB Patriot Viper Steel 4400C19 this is at 2 volts for the DRAM. If you were to do the same at DDR4 3800 with 2 volts DRAM. Then over 12k time spy cpu is possible (all core 4.4-4.5GHz). Don't put 2 volts into b-die 24/7.

Gigabyte Ryzen RAM overclocking

RAM overclocking: 2x8GB Patriot Viper Steel 3866 CL18 (Hynix ICs) on MSI X570 Godlike with 3700X

RAM OC results: Patriot Viper Steel 3866 CL18 on Asrock X570 Taichi with 3700X
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