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Memory Overclocking on X470 Pinnacle Ridge: What RAM Speed Do You Need?

Memory Pricing and Conclusion

A Quick Look At Memory Prices

Given its volatile nature, memory pricing can change from one day to another. According to the latest trend, memory prices are falling and will probably continue to drop. Currently, there is a sizeable difference in pricing between slower and faster memory kits. Nevertheless, this gap can decrease in the upcoming months.

Examining the different 16GB (2x8GB) memory kits on the market reveals that lower-tier memory kits, like DDR4-2133 and DDR4-2400, are similarly priced. If that's the case where you live, it makes sense to pick up the faster of the two. The same can be said for DDR4-2666 and DDR4-2800 memory kits, which you can practically purchase for under $100. As expected, the pricing increases exponentially as we go up the memory speed ladder. For example, memory kits above DDR4-2933 typically start at $140.

Memory KitMemory FrequencyMemory TimingsMSRPPricing
G.Skill Aegis F4-2133C15D-16GISDDR4-213315-15-15-35$69.99G.Skill Aegis F4-2133C15D-16GIS
G.Skill Aegis F4-2400C15D-16GISDDR4-240015-15-15-35$69.99G.Skill Aegis F4-2400C15D-16GIS
G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2666C15D-16GVRDDR4-266615-15-15-35$84.99G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2666C15D-16GVR
G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2800C15D-16GVRBDDR4-280015-16-16-35$87.99G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2800C15D-16GVRB
G.Skill Flare X F4-2933C14D-16GFXDDR4-293314-14-14-34$139.99G.Skill Flare X F4-2933C14D-16GFX
G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3000C14D-16GVRDDR4-300014-14-14-34$139.99G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3000C14D-16GVR
G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3200C14D-16GVKDDR4-320014-14-14-34$144.99G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3200C14D-16GVK
G.Skill Trident Z F4-3466C16D-16GTZKWDDR4-346616-18-18-38$139.99G.Skill Trident Z F4-3466C16D-16GTZKW

Faster memory kits are more expensive because manufacturers bin the memory modules to run at the marketed speed without hiccups. Basically, you're paying for that plug-n-play higher-speed experience. Alternatively, you can save a few dollars by purchasing a slower memory kit and overclocking it to a higher speed. However, you'll be at the mercy of the silicon lottery draw. There's no guarantee you'll be able to achieve your desired speed. Something else to take into consideration is that memory speeds above AMD's reference DDR4-2933 are considered overclocking. Even with all the processor and motherboard advancements, sometimes a bit of manual tweaking is required to get high-speed memory kits to play nice on AMD's platform.

Conclusion

The level of impact that memory speeds have on an AMD X470-based system depends greatly on the nature of the workloads that you plan to execute. In some instances, the difference in performance can be noticeable, and at other times, it's negligible.

If you're building a daily or office system, the speed of memory shouldn't be a major concern. We saw little benefit in the majority of everyday tasks. Nevertheless, if Adobe programs are your daily bread and butter, you can boost your productivity by up to five to six percent with high-speed configurations like DDR4-3466 C16 and DDR4-3200 C14, respectively.

With more specialized workloads, memory speed can yield some benefits. If you run rendering tasks on your system, the DDR4-3466 C16 configuration is probably the best. Nevertheless, the results show that not every software behaves the same. For instance, memory speed has little to no impact on POV-Ray, V-Ray, and Blender while LuxMark, which is based on Luxrender, benefits considerably with faster memory. When it comes to encoding workloads, DDR4-3200 C14 is the way to go. However, the boost is mostly specific to encoding video files as audio encoding is pretty much immune to faster memory. On the X470 platform, compression jobs with 7-Zip or WinRar truly take advantage of memory that's operating at very high clocks. Once again, DDR4-3200 C14 is the performance king in this segment. Unfortunately, decompression gets zero benefits from running higher memory speeds.

The chances that you'll be gaming these days at 1280x720 resolution are pretty slim. If you're part of that almost extinct crowd, memory speeds above DDR4-2666 can improve your gaming experience. If you game at higher resolutions, such as 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, you can opt for configurations like DDR4-3200 C14 and DDR4-366 C16 as they can boost your average frames per second by up to 10.22 percent and 6.77 percent, respectively. At 4K (3840x2160), you don't have to worry about memory speeds as the graphics card is most likely the bottleneck.

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware

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