Whenever people lookout for a new laptop or decide to build a new gaming PC, RAM is one of the most essential factors that everyone pays attention to. There is no doubt, there are so many good options out there with high RAM capacities such as 8GBs or 16GBs.
However, is the capacity of the RAM enough to judge the overall performance of any PC. Apart from the capacity, you should know that every RAM unit runs at a specific speed? And, when you are looking to build a powerful PC for RAM-hungry tasks like gaming, always check and spend your hard-earned money in the right place.
In this article, we will be discussing everything related to RAM speeds and how it can make a difference in your PC’s performance while you game.
So, if you are about to purchase a new laptop or build a new gaming PC for yourself, don’t make your next move until you read this guide until the end.
What is Memory Speed?
Just like other components in your computer such as a CPU or Storage disk, RAM units also run at a specific speed. We understand that you’re a gaming enthusiast and want to do every possible thing to maximize the gaming performance of your PC.
Well, it’s quite obvious that the RAM running at a higher speed will definitely be a better pick for any PC. But, what’s the right amount of speed you need from your PC’s RAM?
For that, you need to understand what kinds of RAM variants are available out there, and what’s suitable for your gaming needs.
RAM speeds are usually measured in Mega Transfers per second (MT/s) or MegaHertz (MHz) as well. Whenever you look at the specs of any RAM, you will definitely find it mentioned there. Moreover, several advanced RAMs are even capable of overclocking, which means the speed of the RAM can be increased to some extent.
Although choosing RAM with higher speed seems viable to extract the best possible performance, it’s only partially true. How? Well, since RAM works in accommodation with the CPU, a RAM with fast speed will actually pass on information to the CPU quicker. So, if you are playing a game that is much more CPU-intensive, fast RAM could help in increasing the performance.
What is Memory Latency – CAS Latency or CL Timings
Well, if you want to dive into the research and pick the absolute best RAM option, you should definitely have knowledge about the CAS Latency and CL timings of the RAM, apart from memory speed. In simple words, memory latency is the time that the RAM takes to initiate sending output to the CPU.
So, the lower the latency is, the better is the performance. Don’t get confused in these two terms, CL Timings basically stands for CAS Latency Timings only, so both typically signify the same thing. When you look out for RAM, the latency is usually mentioned as CL18-19-19-39, CAS 18, CL18, etc., all are basically the same.
So what does this CL18 signify? It simply means that it would take around 18 RAM cycles for your RAM unit to initiate the output and send out information to the CPU. So, always keep in mind that a lower latency RAM unit usually performs better.
Memory Speed or Latency – What Matters More?
When you start your research to look for the best suitable RAM unit for your PC, what should you be giving more preference to, the Speed or the Latency? We would suggest checking both things and finding the right balance.
You will find various options out there, some having low latency but poor speeds, and some with excellent speed but higher latencies. Our main aim is to pick the best RAM that is not only good in terms of speed but also has decently low latency.
To make things even easier, you can divide the process into two parts:
- Check what RAM speeds are supported by your computer’s motherboard and make a list of all the RAM units you think are suitable for your PC. Make sure to pick the ones that have the best memory speeds.
- Now, all you need to do is pick the option which has the lowest latency. See, how simple it is!
Does RAM Speed Matter in Gaming?
When it comes to gaming, RAM does play a crucial role, but most of the performance actually depends on the capacity of the RAM. There should be enough RAM available while you run games, so we believe 16GB RAM is the best spot.
However, when it comes to speed, if the game is GPU intensive, increasing the RAM speed might not be much effective. On the other hand, in the case of CPU-intensive games, using high-speed RAM can definitely increase the performance up to 5-10fps.
We hope you have good enough knowledge about RAM speed and its other factors if you have read this article until this point. In all, upgrading to high-speed RAM can improve your gaming performance if the game is CPU intensive. However, if the game totally relies on your GPU’s power, there might not be a noticeable difference in the performance. Still, apart from gaming, a higher speed RAM is simply a better option for any PC in general.