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How to read RAM latencies?

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August 21, 2007 12:20:39 AM

How do you read them?

Im planning to buy 2 sticks of 1GB OCZ DDR2 800 MhZ
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

The latency is 5-5-5-12

Is this good? What do those numbers mean? And lower is better?

Thanks!

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August 21, 2007 12:32:52 AM

crazlunatic said:
How do you read them?

Im planning to buy 2 sticks of 1GB OCZ DDR2 800 MhZ
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

The latency is 5-5-5-12

Is this good? What do those numbers mean? And lower is better?

Thanks!


CAS Latency, the first RAM timing setting (number 5) is the most important. The frst 4 timings you listed are the important timings. The lower the timing, the more responsive the RAM becomes within the system. The higher the timing number the more 'flexible' or loose the RAM's timings become when communicating with the processor for example. This holds true for all the RAM timings including the minor settings. A simple answer to your question, What do those numbers mean? The numbers are the four most important RAM timings. I think since you are asking the question you are asking, I suspect you could not tell the difference should you buy CAS 5 or CAS 4 rated RAM. I think experienced users definately experience the difference.
August 21, 2007 12:39:12 AM

what do you mean the more flexible / loose? What is CAS latency?

Thanks for your explanation, it makes things a bit clearer. Clearly the lower the more responsive, the better.

Can you also tell me what each one means?
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August 21, 2007 12:48:58 AM

crazlunatic said:
What is CAS latency?


CAS latency is the time that elapses between the memory controller telling the memory module to access a particular column in the current row, and the data from that column being read from the module's output pins.

so yea, you pretty much have to have a general understanding of how RAM works in the first place in order to understand what the timings mean and how they work.

Oh also just thought i'de throw this in there: the ram you chose in your original post has somewhat high latencies, 4-4-4-12 would be better, however the actual difference you would see would be minimal. plus, if you intend on overclocking, you could just manually adjust the latencies.
August 21, 2007 1:38:48 AM

You can check out the article on wikipedia to give you a start on understanding what these things mean. Give it a read if you want to get the basic technical start

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAS_latency
!