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Ryzen, RAM frequency and gaming.

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Xaltar View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Apr 2017 at 2:11pm
There has been a lot of chatter around Ryzen pretty much since launch regarding gaming performance vs intel. In a very short space of time we have even begun to see myths spring from the internet. The most prevalent myth is that high RAM frequencies are going to give you tons of FPS in games....

So, lets clarify that tidbit here on the forums once and for all.

On an ultra high end system paired with at least an Nvidia GTX 1080 you will see significant FPS gains in some titles with higher RAM frequencies at?1080p and possibly 1440p.?

This is where the myth has come from. While the above is true it means very little to the average user running a mid range GPU. Even in an ideal scenario at 1080p using a 1080ti/TitanXp/XP it has been shown that the sweet spot is DDR4 2666 with DDR4 3200 providing some gains but not enough to warrant the greater cost. This is the primary reason AMD kicked up a fuss about testing methodology when early reviews showed such large deltas between intel and Ryzen in gaming. While they were wrong in trying to tell reviewers how to review a product the reasoning was sound, if you have a $500+ GPU you are not likely to be gaming at 1080p and if you are gaming at 1080p you will not likely have a $500+ GPU. Reviewers do this on purpose to highlight any potential differences between products. The problem is that the general public chose to take this at face value rather than see it for what it is. When reviewing a product it is the reviewers job to find a perfect scenario to compare products that highlights strengths and weaknesses. In many cases that scenario is not a realistic one as is the case with Ryzen and gaming. If you are running the kind of hardware most reviewers tested with you will likely be running at 1440p minimum on the highest possible settings. Any performance deficits between intel and Ryzen in that scenario will be title specific and due to absent/poor optimization for the new Ryzen architecture. ?

Recent Ryzen benchmarks have shown that using a GTX 1060/RX 480 there is virtually no benefit in using high frequency RAM with even the GTX 1070 and GTX 980 ti showing only slight gains in a select few titles, again, in the testing environment I mentioned above. Furthermore, Ryzen gaming performance has improved significantly with recent windows (10) updates. As games are patched and new titles come out this will only improve.

So what does all this mean?

If you are an enthusiast with the best possible hardware across the board then by all means get the fastest RAM you can and push it as high as you can because, well, that's what being an enthusiast is all about.

For every one else, if you are not using a GTX 1080+ @1080p do yourself a favor put the extra money you would have spent on expensive RAM into another aspect of your system. If you feel the need to get as much out of your system as possible try for DDR4 2666 otherwise even bog standard 2133 will do you fine with a mid range GPU.

Since launch we have seen countless people trying every possible BIOS update (sometimes disastrously with a bad flash) in order to get those few extra mhz from their RAM. The fact is, it isn't anywhere near as important as the rumor-mill has made it seem. Faster RAM does improve gaming performance but only in a very specific scenario with only the fastest GPUs available on the market today. You don't have to take my word for it, google it for yourself and look at the volume of reviews and benchmarks that illustrate my point. So for all of you building Ryzen systems, do yourself a favor and avoid all the headaches. DDR4 2133 or DDR4 2666 should be more than fast enough to get the most out of a mid range GPU, I would even argue that DDR4 2666 is unnecessary but if you feel you must shoot for more then that should be the target.

Enjoy your new Ryzen systems guys/gals?Thumbs Up?

Edited by Xaltar - 02 Jan 2020 at 4:14pm
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