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Ask the Experts Question: Do RAM sub timings make much of a difference to system performance?

Do RAM sub timings make much of a difference to system performance?

Ben wants to know if memory sub timings make much of a difference to performance

Question by Ben from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Tyler Bernath in RAM | Jan 18, 2020 11:20 pm CST

I bought my AMD Ryzen 7 3900x and GIGABYTE x570 Aorus Elite yesterday. Searching for the best memory, I was told that the sweet spot is 3600 CL16. I found a decent deal on a G Skill Trident Z Neo RGB, but found the people saying that the sub timings suck.

So, I'm wondering, how much of a difference do the sub timings make? Does using an XMP harm the memory or CPU?

Hi Ben,

I'll do my best to help! You are correct, 3600MHz CL16 is quite popular with Ryzen and really syncs up well when running your FCLK at 1800MHz. If this is a daily driver build, I wouldn't worry too much about sub-timings - just find a kit you like and make sure its on the list of compatible kits in your motherboard manual.


On the other hand, if you plan to do some overclocking, finding memory kits with the best timings often leads to more headroom.

XMP is simply a "cheat code" or profile memory vendors use that loads a tested memory clock and voltage for your kit. AMD calls it DOCP and it may be labelled that way in your Aorus motherboard.

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