Glossary

RAM speed

What is RAM speed?

When we talk about RAM, we're usually considering RAM capacity: how many MB, GB, or TB of random access memory a system has. In a nutshell, RAM is a short-term memory vault for quick data accessing and processing. The more, the merrier. Now, when it comes to RAM speed, are we also looking for more? In short, yes. But keep in mind that your needs and the needs of server computers are most likely not the same.

Also known as RAM frequency, RAM speed is measured in megahertz (MHz). It's associated with performance because it indicates how many processing cycles can be run – therefore, how much data can be accessed – per unit of time. When it comes to product names and descriptions, RAM frequency information usually follows the random access memory's DDR version (the higher the version, the better). As an example, 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM runs at a 3,200 MHz frequency.

If you must choose between more capacity and more RAM speed, we recommend that you first focus on your capacity needs. Once you're where you want to be, you can benefit from faster RAM – well, provided that your motherboard can keep up with it. The reason is that motherboard frequency caps RAM speed.

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