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Is my RAM bottlenecking my CPU?

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February 26, 2014 12:53:50 PM

Hi,

I have an AMD FX-8350 (4 Ghz). The CPU and motherboard supports 16 GB RAM at 1866 Mhz.

My RAM, however, is 16 GB (8x2) 1600 Mhz CL9.
In my mind this means the CPU is communicating with the RAM at 1600 Mhz.

If I would like to improve the overall performance of my PC, should I get faster RAM (16GB, 1866 Mhz, CL9) or would it make more of a difference to simply overclock the CPU (to, lets say 4,4 Ghz)?

Best Regards, Fredrik

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February 26, 2014 1:00:04 PM

Your RAM is definitely not bottlenecking your CPU.

Any RAM speed update would not even be noticeable for the most part.

OC'ing the CPU would give more of a performance boost.
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February 26, 2014 1:00:30 PM

Upgrading your RAM (especially from 1600-1866) will yield a very small amount of a performance increase. In about 100% of the cases, it's not worth it to upgrade your RAM, especially seeing as you have CL9 RAM already.

The snappiness of your system can be attributed to your CPU, HDD (SSD greatly improves the snappiness of your system), and well, the GPU handles all the graphically intense portions.
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February 26, 2014 1:20:29 PM

fredrik831 said:
Hi,

I have an AMD FX-8350 (4 Ghz). The CPU and motherboard supports 16 GB RAM at 1866 Mhz.

My RAM, however, is 16 GB (8x2) 1600 Mhz CL9.
In my mind this means the CPU is communicating with the RAM at 1600 Mhz.

If I would like to improve the overall performance of my PC, should I get faster RAM (16GB, 1866 Mhz, CL9) or would it make more of a difference to simply overclock the CPU (to, lets say 4,4 Ghz)?

Best Regards, Fredrik


RAM doesn't work that way. While RAM speed is related to CPU speed, its a bit more complicated than you're assuming. Your processor gets to its 4 GHz speed from its base clock (I think its called a bus speed on AMD boards) multiplied times a number. In this case, 200 MHz * 20 = 4000 MHz. Similarly, RAM speed is derived from the CPU's base clock times a separate DRAM multiplier: 200 MHz * 8 = 1600 MHz.

In other words, your 1600 MHz RAM is normal and a perfectly good speed to be using today.
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February 26, 2014 1:58:01 PM

oxiide said:
fredrik831 said:
Hi,

I have an AMD FX-8350 (4 Ghz). The CPU and motherboard supports 16 GB RAM at 1866 Mhz.

My RAM, however, is 16 GB (8x2) 1600 Mhz CL9.
In my mind this means the CPU is communicating with the RAM at 1600 Mhz.

If I would like to improve the overall performance of my PC, should I get faster RAM (16GB, 1866 Mhz, CL9) or would it make more of a difference to simply overclock the CPU (to, lets say 4,4 Ghz)?

Best Regards, Fredrik


RAM doesn't work that way. While RAM speed is related to CPU speed, its a bit more complicated than you're assuming. Your processor gets to its 4 GHz speed from its base clock (I think its called a bus speed on AMD boards) multiplied times a number. In this case, 200 MHz * 20 = 4000 MHz. Similarly, RAM speed is derived from the CPU's base clock times a separate DRAM multiplier: 200 MHz * 8 = 1600 MHz.

In other words, your 1600 MHz RAM is normal and a perfectly good speed to be using today.

Thank you for a quick and filling answer! :) 
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