RAM Speed: Latency and Frequency

So I originally was gonna slap this alongside with how to pick out the right kind of RAM but I just really wasn’t feeling it and I felt like this explanation was pretty long and deserved it’s own spotlight because it’s pretty interesting.

Okay, so I promised earlier that I’d explain more about rule 6. If you haven’t read about my rules I think you should go read about my rules in my previous post called Picking out the Right Kinda RAM (just click it to send you there). Anyways, there’s two additional and different things when it comes to buying RAM. Most people who aren’t really familiar with RAM will either just point blank skip this rule or will go and spend a lot more money than they have to. I also feel like this might be a complicated question to some if it comes up.

So, RAM has something called RAM speed which has something called RAM latency and RAM frequency. I’m really not gonna go into what they specifically do (frequency is how much stuff/data can go on the RAM “pathways” at a time and latency is how fast it can do stuff with that data that came from the pathways) because again, it really makes no difference, it’s confusing, and you probably only wanna know what to put into your computer. Now, if you’re shopping you may look around and see all these fake articles telling you to buy more frequency or more latency or whatever (you know how companies wanna make you buy unnecessary stuff), but you shouldn’t listen to that. Frequency and latency are like a seesaw. When you increase your latency, your frequency decreases in its effectiveness and the same goes the other way around. Yet, the prices go up when you choose to increase one or the other.So now you’re probably asking, “okay so if it works like a seesaw, what is the best ‘balance’ of  frequency and latency?”, well, again it really just doesn’t matter. There’s only a handful of circumstances when latency and frequency do matter, like:

  • Overclocking, but you shouldn’t be doing that if you don’t know how to build a computer, some may disagree but that’s just my opinion.
  • If your graphics card sucks (I will make a post about GPU’s shortly) but like I previously said, you shouldn’t be thinking about updating RAM if your GPU sucks. But even that, when I had my old computer, my GPU was not the best and everything ran fine so I don’t see what the big hubbub is about but whatever.
  • Integrated cards, these are also affected more by speed and latency, I don’t really know the effects too much because I’m just a teenage girl, not a computer engineer. But honestly, I’m not a fan of integrated cards because they’re for like every day use and not really gaming and you can’t really upgrade them (you should always plan for the future because new parts come out all the time and requirements for processes increase as these new parts come out).

Lastly, you should care about RAM latency and frequency if you have a warranty on your CPU. Now, yea you might need to care about the numbers, but even in this instance, it’s not how the numbers will affect your computer, game, or your process, it’s more of how the numbers affect your warranty. So yea, it doesn’t matter and that’s my little additional talk about latency and frequency, some may disagree and that’s just the world of computers. But yea bye and have a nice day!



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