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I am thinking about upgrading the RAM in my desktop. I currently have 16 GB (4x4 GB)of Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 RAM. I paid a bit extra for this model last year as it was lower latency (8) as compared to the 9 or 10 standard of that speed.

My motherboard (Asrock 990fx Fatality Pro) supports up to DDR3-2100, but the timings are higher on those faster RAM specs and I don't see low latency models for those speeds.

So my question is: would there really be a performance difference in slower, lower latency RAM vs. faster, higher latency RAM? Does it really matter, or would I not be able to tell any difference?

CPU is AMD FX8350 (if that matters at all). I do gaming, some video editing/encoding, and lots of multimedia and multi-tasking.

asked Feb 21 '13 at 01:08

Simba's gravatar image


edited Feb 21 '13 at 17:51

Fogarty's gravatar image

Fogarty ♦♦

You're not going to see a difference. You're already at the top of the threshold and you're only making a minor increase. This is an upgrade for the sake of upgrading and isn't really adding much benefit vs the cost.

answered Feb 21 '13 at 12:28

IamTechCrazy's gravatar image


If you have more than 16GB installed in your system, your most likely bottleneck would be your CPU (amount of cores and speed) and is only recommended if you have an insane amount of things running at one time on your PC, or you are planning on using the extra space as a RAMDisk (which is pretty useful if you want to look up what it is). The main thing to remember, too, is that CPUs can easily become bottlenecks with large amounts of memory installed, because all of programs you cram into the memory all take away resources from your CPU too.


answered Feb 21 '13 at 02:58

hyderpotter's gravatar image


What? o.O I agree running lots of programs can be an issue for the CPU, but that happens regardless of how much RAM is installed

(Feb 21 '13 at 03:37) Tim Fontana Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

@hyderpotter.... actually, the biggest bottleneck in computers now a days is hdd's...not cpu.(Pirillo agrees)Hard drives haven't changed in many years.

Getting an ssd is the best thing you can do for any computer to increase the noticeable user experience.I went ssd and it is so painful for me to use a computer that does not have one.

and i am not asking about the amount of ram...16gb is more than enough...I am asking about the physical function and frequencies and timings...

(Feb 21 '13 at 04:46) Simba Simba's gravatar image

There really isn't much difference, although, I have heard that if you're using the integrated GPU on a Bulldozer/Vishera CPU (FX-XXX0) series, you want to be running the fastest RAM you can for the best performance.

In any other system, 1600MHz is the sweet spot for price at the moment.

answered Feb 21 '13 at 03:38

Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

Tim Fontana

I have an ssd and my cpu is the current top of the line AMD cpu (FX8350)...and, their isn't a gpu in the fx series cpus, that's the APU series of cpus.

Actually...ram, doesn't run at the full 1600mhz...it is actualy 2 banks of 800mhz chips acting as one..so they label it 1600mhz...why" They just do...they always have...that's why cpuid or other SPD identification tools report the frequency of your ram as such.

(Feb 21 '13 at 04:49) Simba Simba's gravatar image

Because it's dual channel, and 2x 800MHz = 1600Mhz, it's always been the way

If you have that CPU and are using the intergrated graphics then get the fastest RAM you can, if you're using a discrete GPU then you're fine with what you have

(Feb 21 '13 at 12:26) Tim Fontana Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

when it comes to overall performance after DDR3 1600 you really don't notice any performance boost unless you are using all other top end components (eg top end core i7 and top of the line videocard)

If you are using an AMD APU (onboard video), then you notice improvements right up to the fastest available DDR3 memory.

answered Feb 21 '13 at 14:18

Razor512's gravatar image


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Asked: Feb 21 '13 at 01:08

Seen: 3,226 times

Last updated: Feb 21 '13 at 17:51