Tips: Know and Detect the PC’s RAM Speed Appropriately

Posted on

Recognizing the speed of the installed components accurately is the first step to know Overclocker. Speaking of components, one component that sometimes invites confusion in the reading of the speed variable is memory, or better known as a RAM (Random Access Memory).

This is reasonably reasonable, given that the RAM component has multiple variables that will determine the speed, unlike the processors commonly known as one important variable, its Mhz value. In this article, we will talk about some variables that determine the RAM speed itself, let’s be listened to!

Note: The RAM we cover in this article is the current type of RAM, DDR3 and DDR4. It does not close the possibility that the same reading can be applied to previous types of RAM.

My Favorite RAM Speed Reader Tool: CPU-Z

My Lovely tool in Windows 10, As with processor speed detection, a tool commonly used to perform RAM speed detection is CPUID CPU-Z.

The following readings are commonly obtained from the ‘ Memory ‘ section tab:

cpu z ram

As you can see, the memory speed reading will show the number of variables, which simply determines the ‘ speed ‘ of a memory in general is memory frequency, and memory timings.

Note: RAM size can sometimes also determine the speed of the system, but in many common usage scenarios that can be found daily, the RAM size of 8-16 GB is generally already meet the needs of most PC users, so the frequency and timing of this memory can be more important than the size, except for special usage scenarios.

You can clearly see that the RAM is on top of this:

  • Has a total size of 4GB, with DDR3 type
  • Currently running in dual-channel mode
  • Has a frequency of 803.2 Mhz (or precisely DDR3-1606Mhz)
  • Operates on timings 11-11-11-28 (CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS)

Frequency: Between ‘ Real ‘ vs ‘ effective ‘
At the top, you can see that on the DRAM Frequency ‘ band ‘ 803.2 Mhz ‘. Frequencies that are read by CPU-Z is I/O Clock (a ‘ real ‘ Clock) from the RAM chip that is running, but because this RAM is a ram with a DDR type (Double Data Rate), this RAM will have a ‘ transfer ‘ Rate twice its clock, making this RAM effectively operates at 1606Mhz.

This is finally called DDR3-1600Mhz. So, make sure you read this RAM frequency correctly, and do not reverse between the ‘ real ‘ RAM frequencies, with the ‘ effective ‘ frequency.

Timing: Complex, but needs to be understood
RAM frequencies are still relatively easy to understand, but Timing variables (a. k. a Latency/Delay) sometimes make users reluctant to dive deeper into the RAM for complexity. This Timing itself is a set of parameters that determine how fast the memory is to be accessed by the memory controller.

Timing is generally represented in 4 numbers as can be seen above (11-11-11-28). Although the timing parameters in the memory are actually many (more than 10!), there are generally only 4 timings mentioned on the CPU-Z, namely:

  • CL/CAS Latency
  • tRCD/RAS-to-CAS Delay
  • tRP/Row Precharge Time
  • tRAS/Row Active Time/Active to Precharge Delay

There is one more time that is also usually mentioned, namely CMD Rate/Command Rate, – which is generally the value is 1T or 2T. Of the three timings above, generally CL, tRCD, and tRP have a considerable effect on RAM performance, while the tRAS sometimes only affect stability, and the effect is small.

Although rarely mentioned, the timing unit is the clock cycle.


Toned RAM: Great frequency and Tight Timing

In general, RAM performance will be more toned when:

RAM frequency figures are getting BIGGER (also known as ‘ loose ‘/’ loose ‘), 933Mhz is firmer than 800Mhz
The number of RAM Timing is getting SMALLER (also known as ‘ tight ‘/’ tight ‘), 9-9-9-28 is more toned than 11-11-11-28.
But in fact, it will be difficult to get RAM that runs with large frequencies as well as small/tight timings.

Generally, RAM with high frequency will ask for great Timing/loose. Conversely the RAM with a low frequency allows us to setting the timings small/strict.