Memory Timings, So you’ve bought some shiny new ram sticks for your computer,
You’ve made sure that they’re the right speed and they’re the right voltage, and you even paid extra for that sick RGV lighting, bro.
But when you furiously rip off the packaging and are just about to insert the modules into your motherboard, you notice a strange sequence of numbers on the stickers and start wondering what those mean.
Is there some crucial specification you’ve missed before buying your RAM?
These numbers here are called memory timings and they are one of the factors that determine the performance of a DRAM module.
But how do Memory Timings work?
Doesn’t ram frequency and megahertz already Tell us how fast it goes? Not quite.
Well, the clock speed can tell us how much data your RAM can send and receive per second. It doesn’t tell us anything about latency.
The delay between operations which you can learn more about up here. That is where timings come in.
They give you information about how quickly memory can be accessed before the data starts flying around.
Let’s start with the first number in the string.
This is called CAS latency.
This is the time it takes for the RAM module to start responding to a request for data measured in clock cycles.
In general, this means that lower-class latency is better. But because different RAM modules run at different speeds, you have to consider them together with the frequency to find the total real-world latency in nanoseconds using this formula.
So check this out. Slower Clarkes RAM can effectively be quicker if it has lower-class latency.
Something to keep in mind when buying your memory, though. Remember, your speed is still going to be more important, generally speaking.
But what about those other numbers?
The second Number
The second is a mouthful row address to call them address delay or TRC D you see, RAM is set up in a grid and your computer needs to access a particular row before finding which column of that row has the piece of data that it wants.
So this number expresses the small delay between row and column access.
The third number
The third number is row recharge time, or TRP, referring to the latency involved in opening a new row.
And the fourth
And the fourth is Row Active Time or TRAS. The minimum number of clock cycles that a row must stay open to ensure that data is read or written properly.
That’s why this one is longer than your other timings. And how does all of this affect the way that you configure your RAM modules when you first slot them into your motherboard.
Most modern bosses will have a preloaded XMP profile that you can enable to ensure that these modules are running at their rated speed, voltage, and timings.
But if you want to get the fastest speeds possible(Memory Timings),
You can actually lower or tighten your timings, then run a stress test like mem test 86 plus.
To validate that your changes aren’t causing any system instability, I would recommend changing each of the first three numbers by an increment of one and then validating in between,
Perhaps giving your RAM or memory controller a bit more voltage if things look unstable. But to be sure,
Check Intel or AMD has recommended voltages to make sure you’re not going too high. Once you’ve done that,
Adjusts your TRAS accordingly and you’re pretty much done once you’re RAM is stable.
Although it’s been a while since tightening timings has given a noticeable real-world performance boost in most applications,
Early reports are indicating that ram speeds matter far more with AMD’s new Ryazan chips than on the Intel side.
So, if you really want to dive into the world of enthusiasts tinkering and you’ve got a rise in the base system, you might want to give adjusting your timings a shot.
At the very least
It’ll be something else to experiment with. If you’ve ever gotten tired with playing with the RGB effects on your computer.
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