DDR4 3200 vs 3600 RAM: Which one is better?
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RAM is one of the most important parts of a computer. Without RAM, your computer can’t do anything! This is because you need memory to store information on the computer. It’s usually best practice to buy the most RAM available for your budget.
However, not all types of RAM are made equal. There are very distinct differences between different types of RAM, especially with DDR4 RAM. DDR4 3200 MHz vs 3600 MHz is an example of such a difference.
So you want to buy some new RAM for your computer? Great! But do you know what type of RAM to get? DDR4 3200 MHz, or DDR4 3600 MHz? What’s the difference, and which one is better for you?
In this blog post, we’ll compare DDR4 3200 MHz and 3600 MHz RAM, and help you decide which one is right for you. Stick around, and we’ll help make sure you make the best purchase possible!
Let’s start with a little history lesson
Around 2005-2006, DDR2 RAM was the standard for almost everybody. There were several different speeds of DDR2 chips, ranging from PC6400 (DDR2 800 MHz) to DDR2 1066 MHz. DDR3 was released as the new standard in 2007, with speeds from PC8500 (DDR3 1333 MHz), all the way up to DDR3 2133 MHz.
Finally, in 2013 came DDR4 technology. Memory manufacturers have been making 4GB DDR4 RAM sticks that run at speeds from PC4-17000, which is a DDR4 2133 MHz stick. However, 4GB sticks of this speed are pretty expensive, with most retailers selling them for $50 or more.
As is often the case when something new comes out, people want to push their new components to the limit. This means overclocking RAM.
Overclocking RAM is achieved by increasing its frequency (the speed at which it operates). A motherboard will support a certain amount of RAM. Usually, that amount is around 8 GB, but more expensive motherboards can support 16 GB, 24 GB, or even 32 GB of RAM.
For instance, a motherboard might support speeds up to 2400 MHz (DDR4 2400 MHz). But say you want to overclock your memory further than that — what can you do? You can buy two 2400 MHz memory sticks and put them into the motherboard.
This will allow you to achieve a higher frequency of 2800 MHz (DDR4 2800 MHz). In this case, since your RAM is running at a higher frequency, it’s operating more quickly than originally designed.
This means that it also runs hotter. So you’ll want to buy some good heatsinks and fans, so your computer doesn’t burn up.
So you want to know what’s the difference between DDR4 3200 MHz and 3600 MHz? Let’s find out!
DDR4 3200 vs 3600: What’s the Difference?
As we mentioned above, there is a difference between DDR4 3200 MHz and DDR4 3600 MHz. The biggest difference is that the latter has a higher maximum frequency (and thus, better overclocking potential).
Some motherboards only support speeds up to 2666 MHz, or perhaps even 2400 MHz. If you buy a stick of 3600 MHz memory to replace your 2666 MHz memory, the motherboard will only use the 2666 MHz maximum.
As far as real-world differences go, there aren’t that many. If you’re buying a bunch of memory sticks to put into your computer, it might be worth it to spend an extra $20-30 dollars each time you buy one.
This will allow you to eventually upgrade your CPU or GPU, if necessary. You know what they say — “Two is one, and one is none!”
So now we know what’s different between DDR4 3200 and 3600 MHz RAM! The biggest difference is that 3600 MHz has a higher maximum frequency than 3200 MHz, so it overclocks better.
As far as real-world differences go, there aren’t that many. If you’re buying a bunch of memory sticks to put into your computer, it might be worth it to spend an extra $20-30 dollars each time you buy one. This will allow you to eventually upgrade your CPU or GPU, if necessary.
So which one is better? That’s really up to the individual! There isn’t a huge difference between DDR4 3200 MHz and 3600 MHz RAM, so most people probably won’t even notice a performance difference.
However, with overclocking potential in mind, it’s probably worthwhile to spend more on the 3600 MHz variety — especially if you want some future-proofing on your purchase!
Memory Capacity of DDR4 3200 vs 3600 RAM
Although 2400 MHz is the current default frequency, manufacturers are finding issues with hitting this speed.
Samsung found that it was only able to produce 3200 MHz and 3466 MHz memory, but not 3600 MHz. It’s possible that faster frequencies such as 4000 MHz won’t be accessible until an alternative material is found, allowing higher speeds.
Is 3600MHz worth it over 3200?
Keeping it short and to the point, if you’re looking to buy new memory for an AMD Ryzen machine I would say it is worth considering getting 3600MHz over 3200MHz if you’re buying multiple sticks of memory. The price difference is only $20 to $30 per stick, so just buy the faster one.
While the speed difference between 3200 and 3600 might not seem like a lot, it allows you to easily overclock your memory on an AMD chip without dealing with any complicated profiles, which Ryzen isn’t exactly fond of.
Another way to look at this question is basically what would you rather have in the future, an extra $30 or a bunch of headaches trying to figure out how to overclock your memory with Ryzen? If you’re building a new system from scratch, I would say go with the 3600MHz if the price difference isn’t that big.
Is 3600MHz RAM overkill?
At this point, it seems like 3600MHz is the de facto “go to” standard for all new Ryzen-based motherboard platforms.
That said, I wouldn’t say that 3200MHz is inadequate in any way; but if you’re looking at higher frequency RAM (which can make overclocking easier), I would go with the higher frequency option.
Also keep in mind that different motherboards may have different limitations, so where one might support all speeds up to 3600MHz, another might not.
Is 3200MHz RAM good for Ryzen 3600?
Having read this article, it is clear that the best choice of ram for Ryzen is DDR4 3600 MHz. The reason is that at lower frequencies, you’ll encounter more issues with Ryzen maintaining higher frequencies.
Also, in the long run, 3600 MHz RAM will be better for overclocking in general. There really is no downside to going for 3600 MHz RAM if you’re building a Ryzen system at this point in time and it will be a while before faster speeds become a requirement.
Is 3200 RAM good for Ryzen 3700x?
If you plan on overclocking your Ryzen 3700x then it is best to be using DDR4 3600 MHz RAM. However, if you’re not overclocking, DDR4 3200 MHz RAM will be just fine.
If you’re building a Ryzen system and want to save some money, you could purchase DDR4 3200 MHz RAM. It might be worth the extra money to buy DDR4 3600 MHz, but it really depends on how much you want to save.
Can 3200MHz RAM run on 2666mhz motherboard?
Because the motherboard is a limiting factor, it comes down to what speed your RAM happens to be. With that being said, the memory controller on the Ryzen processors is DDR4/2400, which means that it’s limited to 2400 MHz officially.
3200 MHz RAM should work fine on your motherboard, but it will be limited to 2400 MHz because of the memory controller. If you want faster speeds, then I’d recommend looking into getting 3600 MHz RAM.
Can I use 3200MHz ram on a 2400mhz motherboard?
You can technically put DDR4 3200 MHz memory on a DDR4 2400 MHz motherboard.
However, you will only get the speed of 2400 MHz because that is how fast the memory controller can run on your Ryzen processor.
I wouldn’t recommend getting DDR4 3200 memory for an older motherboard with a slower memory controller, but it will work.
To conclude, we can say that DDR4 3600 MHz is better than 3200 MHz because it allows the user to overclock easily and thus helps in a better performance.
However, it is better to have DDR4 3200 MHz memory as compared to 2400 MHz memory for Ryzen processors as 2400 MHz memory has a slower memory controller.
So, if you’re going to buy a DDR4 3600 MHz as compared to 3200 MHz, make sure your motherboard supports 3600 MHz. In case it doesn’t, then go for 3200 MHz as 2400 MHz may cause issues with the Ryzen processor.
I hope this article helped you make a solid decision.
By Sam Rhodes
Hi, I’m Sam Rhodes, a passionate tech reviewer, and gamer. I started Geekyslug with the motive of sharing my knowledge about tech gadgets like gaming laptops, tablets, graphic cards, keyboards, and whatnot.
I also share troubleshooting guides, helping people resolve issues with their gadgets. When I’m not writing, I prefer playing Valorant, Call of duty, GTA5 or outdoor activities like skateboarding and off-roading on my bike.