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Memory Overclocking on X399 Colfax: What RAM Speed Do You Need?

Memory Pricing and Conclusion

A Quick Look At Memory Prices

Having 32GB of memory sounds like overkill but is a good starting point on HEDT systems considering the nature of the workloads that are put through them. It provides enough breathing room for using many demanding applications simultaneously or when you're working with very large projects. For this exact purpose, we'll take a look at the pricing for 32GB (4x8GB) quad-channel memory kits.

In this day and age, there is no reason to pick up DDR4-2133 memory kits unless you live in a country where there is a big gap in pricing. On this side of the globe, the difference between a DDR4-2133 and DDR4-2400 is usually a couple of dollars. With the current memory pricing, you can still get decent memory kits as high as DDR4-2800 for under $200. However, if you're pursuing maximum performance, the faster memory kits like DDR4-2933 and above span from $200 to $300 depending on the brand and where you shop.

Memory KitMemory FrequencyMemory TimingsMSRPPricing
G.Skill Flare X F4-2133C15Q-32GFXRDDR4-213315-15-15-35$129.99G.Skill Flare X F4-2133C15Q-32GFXR
G.Skill Aegis F4-2400C15Q-32GIS DDR4-240015-15-15-35$124.99G.Skill Aegis F4-2400C15Q-32GIS
G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2666C15Q-32GVRDDR4-266615-15-15-35$154.99G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2666C15Q-32GVR
G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2800C15Q-32GVRDDR4-280015-15-15-35$199.99G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2800C15Q-32GVR
G.Skill Flare X F4-2933C14Q-32GFXDDR4-293314-14-14-34$269.99G.Skill Flare X F4-2933C14Q-32GFX
G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3000C14Q-32GVKDDR4-300014-14-14-34$219.99G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3000C14Q-32GVK
G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3200C14Q-32GVRDDR4-320014-14-14-34$289.99G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3200C14Q-32GVR
G.Skill Trident Z F4-3333C16Q-32GTZBDDR4-333316-18-18-38$239.99G.Skill Trident Z F4-3333C16Q-32GTZB

Although you might be tempted to grab the fastest memory kit, it's important to remember that the IMC inside your processor has the final word on whether the you'll be able to run the memory kit. AMD guarantees support up to DDR4-2933, so if you want the best plug-n-play experience, that's the safest memory speed to get. Running memory above AMD's specifications can require some tweaking time, or in a worst case scenario, you're forced to run the memory modules at a lower speed than the advertised. With that in mind, it's highly recommended to pick up a single kit of the capacity that you're looking for and avoid mix and matching single memory modules, which could save you money but give you a lot of headaches afterwards.

Conclusion

AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2000-series processors perform noticeably faster in certain situations when paired with fast memory kits. Starting with office and productivity, the difference between the DDR4-2133 C15 and DDR4-3200 C14 is around 7.56%. If we look at encoding and compression workloads, DDR4-3200 C14, on average, speeds up system performance by up to 11.8% and 13.08%, respectively. The only area where we find DDR4-3200 C14 losing out to DDR4-2933 C14 is in the rendering section of our tests. Even then, the difference is less than 2%, and largely negligible in most scenarios.

If you plan to use your work system for a bit of leisure activity, having fast memory inside your rig can help increase your average framerates. If you game at 1280x720, which we hope you're not, your average frames per second can increase as much as 20.52% with DDR4-3200 C14 in comparison to DDR4-2133 C15. The performance gains at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 are 14.38% and 7.56%, respectively. Lastly, as we've known for some time now, the impact of memory speed on 4K gaming is practically null.

In conclusion, the DDR4-3200 C14 configuration yields the most benefits overall. That's the memory speed that you should be shopping for provided that you're a performance seeker. If you're looking for something easier on the pockets, a DDR4-3000 C14 memory kit should fit that description quite well since it doesn't fall far behind the DDR4-3200 C14 standard in terms of performance.

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware

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