Memory Timings - The most efficient balance.

It is time for me to build my new computer and i am looking at some memory timings (going on the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula mobo)

From my understanding, the lower the latency and numbers on the memory timings the better. But.. that raises a question.

If that were the case, comparing DDR3 1333 Corsair dominator memory at pc3 10,666 with a timing of 7-7-7-20 would be much faster in responce than, lets say DDR3 2000 at 16,000 with a timing of 9-9-9-24 correct? thats a pretty big difference in CMD. (im undecided on memory, i just picked those two to compare)

So, the 1333 memory would respond quicker to requests than the 2000, but as soon as the 2000 is ready to go, its 16000 transfer rate will be much faster than the 10666 rate of the 1333 correct? or would the quicker response time give it enough of a head start to finish the request faster or near the same time?, so which would be better for games? From how im understanding it.. comparing this to how a turbo works (generally speaking), smaller turbo = quicker spool but not as much power, bigger turbo = slower spool but more power) - does that comparison work in the same concept?

I suppose my main question is, what is the best balance between memory timings and clock speed for todays latest games and applications? I know this isnt taking into consideration the graphics card, but on strictly a memory standpoint.

Im pretty newbish when it comes to memory timing, still learning on it so i hope i make enough sense here.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Hello.

    Contrary to what you would believe RAM speed does not mean an increase in performance. Generally there will be no noticeable performance difference by running at 1333MHz compared to 1600MHz.

    Memory timings are the what increase your performance, there is not much difference in the prices of 9 to 7 timings anyway but go with what you can afford.

    So with that said you may be asking "Why do people buy higher speed RAM?". The reason for this is Overclocking. As you overclock the CPU the RAM speed also increases, after a while it may have to be OCed to get the CPU to a higher speed. Generally though 1333MHz can provide enough OCing head room however if you are really going for it then you may need 1600MHz RAM to make sure your not limited.

    Hope that helps.
  2. Hi.

    In the specific case that u haveu will see the same performance on both 1333 and 1600 since the 1st one has good times but the 2nd one has better speed.

    Here are a good RAM for ur needs G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 has a very good relation CL and speed.
  3. Thanks for your help. I was actually comparing 1333 to 2000 but your explanation helps me understand the need for faster memory clock. i was not aware the memory clock actually speeds up with a cpu overlcock, but that does make sense, and im sure more cores/speed = higher required memory clock to compensate.. I do plan on running AMD Phenom II X6 at 2.8ghz, overclocked to is a 6-core and the board i chose does like ddr3 2000 so i will probably pick that up for the build. I found some GSkill with 6-9-6-24-2n timing, which is the best i see available. It will prob run much hotter overclocked along with my video cards comparing to what i had in my old computer and what it ran in temp....Im not doing a watercooling system on this build, but air conditioning does wonders.

    Thanks for the help punkinato and saint.
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