Hi Speed DRAM

A few months ago. I had a DAW PC to build for a customer
At that time most businesses in the UK were closed, or operating with very limited staff, because of Covid restrictions.
Not to hold up a customer build, I robbed 16GB of DDR4 out of my main PC, leaving me with 16GB.

Both my main PC and my DAW PC had very low latency 3200MHz DDR4, with DRAM modules based on Samsung B-Die. Well known to be very stable and fast (screenshot below).

Anyway, I have been waiting for the same DDR4 to come back into stock to get my main PC back up to 32GB. They did come back into stock but with a big price increase. I decided to cut my loses and buy a new 32GB kit, and would move the remaining 16GB of DRAM in my main PC to my DAW machine which has identical DRAM and thus boost my DAW machine to 32GB.

I was going to splash out and buy a 4400MHz kit, but the prices are very expensive, Plus going above 3600MHz will get you diminishing returns in performance gain over a low latency 3600MHz kit. What you gain in DRAM frequency you lose by having considerably higher latency.

Recently I had heard very good things about Micron E-Die modules. If you want very good quality, you really have to buy Crucial. After all, Micron is Crucial’s parent company. I also decided to buy a 2X 16GB modules rather than 4X 8GB modules.
Two modules are much easier to optimise than four.

With the US to UK exchange rate, and when you factor in customs duties. DRAM is very expensive in the UK.

32GB of DDR4 3600MHz DRAM based on Samsung B-Die is around £258.
32GB of DDR4 3600MHz DRAM based on Micron E-Die is £166.
The timings on the Micron modules were also slightly better than the Samsung 3600 MHz B-Die modules.

Of course, never having used Micron based DDR4 introduced some risk. Would it even work at all? Would it live up to the current hype that Micron E-Die modules are getting?
With Amazon’s return policy. I decided it was worth trying.

Here is the kit I got.

I have already had them clocked to 4400MHz, but as I said earlier. Lower latency is better than high frequency with loose timings, and very high speed DRAM all tend to have loose timings.

Here is my result with the kits default XMP profile. Having tested them all evening. They are very stable at this setting.
My advice would be. Don’t waste your money on DRAM with speeds over 3600MHz. Instead go for a 3600MHz DDR4 kit with tight timings.

2 Likes

Thanks Dee

Really good to know :grinning:

Thanks for sharing your experience. RAM clock speeds have become a ridiculous arms-race among marketing departments in the last few years. ‘If the number’s bigger, it must be better’. :roll_eyes:

The advice not to waste money on RAM clocked above 3600MHz DDR (1800MHz actual clock) is especially true for Ryzen processors, as 1800MHz is usually the maximum stable Infinity Fabric clock speed. (Although the new Zen 3 processors may be good for 1900MHz, according to some early reports.) Higher RAM clock speeds require running in asynchronous mode, with Infinity Fabric at half the RAM clock speed with a significant performance hit.

P.S.
A big thank you to you & the other staff for keeping this forum going. You work is greatly appreciated.