Per the above block diagram, where PCIe (peripheral component interconnect express) is responsible for the communication between your CPU, chipset, and the various accelerators, slots, and ports on your motherboard, AMD’s Infinity Fabric functions much the same between separate integrated circuits within their processors. What’s even cooler than that is it looks like we’ll eventually see Infinity Fabric extend beyond the bounds of the motherboard socket to provide a unified interconnect protocol for CPUs and GPUs.
The CCS transmit data between each other with a Cache-Coherent Master (CCM) and between discrete components with an I/O Master/Slave (IONS), which are the only two interfaces able to send and receive DRAM requests from the Universal Memory Controller (UMC). It is this multiprocessing capability that’s eventually going to be expanded to GPUs as Infinity Fabric continues to grow into an almost entirely unified interconnect protocol.
These settings, in addition to your CAS latency timings, all significantly impact Zen2 system performance across both production and gaming workloads. You’ll see benefits like higher FPS in most games, faster storage transfer speeds, and shorter completion times in workstation programs.
That said, it’s important to note that most platforms, even the most expensive enthusiast-class motherboards, tend to hit a wall anywhere between 1800-2000MHz FOLK, which is when you start running into stability issues. It’s relatively rare for people to achieve a stable 1900MHz+ FOLK, so always remember, you’re not just playing the silicon lottery with your CPU, but with virtually every PC component in your system, including the motherboard itself.
Although, that might be liable to change as more builders scoop up the new 3000XT CPUs and begin testing things like how much more memory overclocking headroom we might have now. For the more confident overclocked out there, you must also consider your budget, because when you start looking at DDR4 kits faster than ~3600MHz CL14 and larger than 16 GB, prices begin rising sharply.
Most options in that range offer the flexibility for almost any capacity with the potential to overclock manually in place of default XMP profiles. The maximum advertised speed supported for Zen2, across the board, is only 3200MHz, but if you’re itching to overclock any Ry zen 3000X or 3000XT CPU, the rated 14 CAS Latency here will easily allow you to do so.
For builders who already know, they’re going to be doing an even split of gaming and photo/video editing, rendering, code compilation, or otherwise, we suggest the 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) G. Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3200 memory kit. Here you’ll start with a sufficient amount of RAM to leverage as much productivity performance as possible while having more than enough for general use, gaming, and extreme multitasking across multiple displays.
Out of the box, you meet the maximum advertised speeds supported by Zen2 processors and 14-14-14-34 CL timings with the default XMP profile. This RAM is an excellent choice if you’ve decided to build around a Ry zen 7 3800XT, and should result in a powerful combination that allows you to tackle anything you can throw at your machine.
No fluff, no wacky designs, no RGB lighting, just beefy heat spreaders, and the highest advertised speed, and lowest CAS Latency, with the default XMP profile. If you’ve got deep pockets and a burning desire for the most incredible consumer desktop CPUs ever released, to date, then you’re going to want a set of 128 GB (8 x 16 GB) G. Skill Trident Z Royal DDR4-3200 memory.
Even with the cheapest Ry zen Thread ripper 3960X costing over $1300, there’s no room for the word “budget” for a system with 24 cores, at minimum. With the Trident Z Royal kit, you’re filling out every DIMM slot with the highest advertised speed, 14-14-14-34 CL timings, and you still have room to overclock it from there.
The diamond-esque RGB lighting and rose gold finish on the heat spreaders might be a bit much, but honestly, what isn’t when it comes to Thread ripper? When it comes to the best memory performance at every price bracket, G. Skill dominates the market with a shocking number of CL14 kits in nearly every relevant size combination.
Not ideal though. At the higher speeds, it's definitely going to be smaller jumps and will depend entirely on the workload(s)... Not a lot of benchmarks out there comparing right now.... but what I have seen: AMD were pitching 3600-3733MHz, depending on the source..... but from what I've seen, 3200MHz seems to work just fine.
Performance from the faster memory has to be compared to the price of a 3200MHz kit and a 3600MHz to really make a call. On the face of it, from those 3 options, the 3600MHz CL15 would be the best option.....loosening to CL17 almost certainly isn't worth the trade off. New ram is coming from Skill Neo.
Based on this review it seems that 3600cl17 is also a viable option but in some cases tighter timings do help. AMD were pitching 3600-3733MHz, depending on the source..... but from what I've seen, 3200MHz seems to work just fine.
Not ideal though. At the higher speeds, it's definitely going to be smaller jumps and will depend entirely on the workload(s)... Not a lot of benchmarks out there comparing right now.... but what I have seen: Due to upcoming increase in RAM prices, I was forced to make a decision so I bought the G. Skill Sniper X 3600CL19 the cheapest option. Also based on reviews it seems to be capable of doing 3600CL17.
Jamming the Bertram for gaming into your PC is just about the easiest upgrade you can make. (Image credit: Future)But our short and sweet guidance is this: If you just want to make a straightforward pick based on rough speed and capacity, then 16 or 32 GB at 3,200MHz should see any Intel or AMD CPU perform admirably.
If you want to make a more informed decision, you'll find below a list of kits tested by us, at differing price points, that will help you spend your money well. We recommend a minimum of 16 GB for most serious gaming PCs (it's what we use in our high-end PC build) but it isn’t too costly to upgrade to 32 GB these days thanks to a recent pricing crash.
Whatever your specific needs may be, we’ve chosen some of our favorite options for PC gaming below. With a CAS latency of 14, the Team Street kit leads the way in low-latency RAM favored by gaming PCs, especially AMD Ry zen rigs.
Not all that long ago a kit as well-rounded on both price and performance would've been a distant dream. However, a recent DRAM price crash and an increasing process maturity in DDR4 production means kits such as this can often be found for far less than they would've been only a couple of years ago.
Its sleek exterior, patented AHX cooling technology, and unrivaled performance have made it a formidable flagship over the years, often topping our Bertram for gaming list. Now, the iconic Dominator Platinum is back with a stealthy new design and Corsair's new Capella LED technology.
The price doesn't differ too much from the original, non-RGB Dominator Platinum, but you’re still paying a hefty premium compared to some other kits mentioned in this guide. Similar to the overall performance of your Ry zen PC build, the Trident Z Neo offers fantastic bang for your buck.
You can get a 32 GB kit for under $200, which means you can also easily upgrade your machine to an (admittedly unnecessary) 64 GB of high-speed DDR4 memory down the road. Each module comes equipped with five individually addressable RGB LEDs that can light up any PC build beautifully.
Best suited to high-performance Intel builds, such as those built around the Core i9 10900K, the Trident Z Royal makes for the perfect high-speed pairing. This kit will keep your CPU fed with the data it needs at a rapid rate, and it comes out among the top in every benchmark we could throw at it.
We managed to push it to 4,400MHz without an increase in voltage, although we were forced to lower the latency a touch for the kit to capitulate to our OC demands. Whereas you may want to choose a slower 3,600MHz kit for AMD Ry zen, the Trident Z is a great option for most other high-end PC builds.
The G. Skill Ripsaws V is the second generation of DDR4 memory from G. Skill, and it's clear the company listened to the feedback and criticisms from the customers. Immediately, without any overclocking, the Ripsaws V did exceptionally well in our benchmarks, beating several kits in the 2, 400MHz range.
With a reasonable price, whether running stock or overclocked, G. Skill Ripsaws V is hard to beat. The Patriot Viper Elite 8 GB may not be the cheapest DDR4 memory bundle you can find, but in our opinion it holds the best value when you're on a budget.
This dual-channel kit is priced lower than competitors like the Hyper Fury and Corsair Vengeance LPG while also offering similar levels of performance. And unlike cheaper kits, the Viper Elite features decent heat sinks and overclock ability.
For those looking to take full advantage of what the Viper Elite has to offer, simple overclocking pushes its performance to match that of much more expensive options. One of the awesome things about DDR4 is that it generally operates at 1.2V, and even the slightest voltage increases can give you quite a bit more clock speed while still remaining cool.