When building or upgrading a gaming or work PC, you will likely want to maximize the PC's overall speed. You might be curious if particular RAM will improve overall performance.
This article will discuss whether the G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) RAM, model F4-3600C16D-32GVKC, is good for gaming and professional tools.
There are also various factors in choosing memory for your PC. A single type of memory isn't suitable for every PC build, so we discuss the additional considerations to help you choose the best RAM for your computer and use case.
The G.Skill Ripjaws V (F4-3600C16D-32GVKC) RAM has an effective frequency of 3600 MHz and a capacity of 32 GB (2 x 16 GB).
The model F4-3600C16D-32GVKC has a latency of 9 ns, based on 16-19-19-39 (CL16) timings and the module's clock rate.
Overall, the effective frequency, latency, and capacity of this G.Skill Ripjaws V RAM are good for gaming and professional tools.
|Effective Frequency||3600 MHz||Good|
|Capacity||32 GB (2 x 16 GB)||Excellent|
|CAS Latency||9 ns (CL16)||Excellent|
Learn More Below:
The G.Skill Ripjaws V (F4-3600C16D-32GVKC) RAM includes the Intel XMP 2.0 profile when using the effective frequency of 3600 MHz and 16-19-19-39 timings.
RAM usually runs at a lower clock rate out of the box. You will need to enable the Intel XMP 2.0 profile in your motherboard's UEFI/
The G.Skill Ripjaws V (F4-3600C16D-32GVKC) RAM runs at 1.35 volts with an effective frequency of 3600 MHz and 16-19-19-39 timings.
The voltage refers to how much power the RAM is using. RAM voltage typically ranges from 1.1 to 1.5 volts but varies depending on the DDR version. Higher voltages produce more heat and require more power to run, but they are needed for lower timings and higher frequencies for some models of RAM. It's best to follow the recommended voltage profile given by the manufacturer and ensure your motherboard supports the RAM's specifications.
- What Is RAM
- DDR Versions
- Module Speed
- Memory Timings
- Memory Capacity
- Memory Form Factors
- Which CPUs Support DDR5
- Other Considerations When Building a PC
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a PC component that stores temporary data. It is used for just about everything you do on your computer. Games and browsers use RAM to store a game's current state or webpage. They also keep graphical assets, textures, and content loaded in RAM because computer memory is faster to access than a storage device. The more applications you have open, the more RAM you need to keep your system running quickly.
DDR (Double Data Rate) SDRAM is the memory used in nearly all computers today.
With each version of DDR, faster memory speeds become available.
What Is DDR5?
DDR5 is the latest generation of PC memory. DDR5 SDRAM is short for Double Data Rate 5 Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory.
DDR5 provides twice the bandwidth and density of DDR4 while reducing power consumption. Higher bandwidth translates to faster processing for memory-intensive applications such as games, video and image editors, 3D tools, and browsers.
Additionally, all DDR5 memory will have on-die ECC, which provides error detection and correction before sending data to a CPU. DDR5 ECC is expected to improve reliability and reduce defect rates.
DDR3 vs. DDR4 vs. DDR5
|Max UDIMM (Unbuffered) Capacity||16 GB||32 GB||128 GB|
|Bandwidth||6400–17067 MB/s||12800–25600 MB/s||38400–57600 MB/s|
|Transfer Rate||800–2133 MT/s||1600–3200 MT/s||4800–7200 MT/s|
|Base Frequency||400–1067 MHz||800–1600 MHz||2400–3600 MHz|
|Effective Frequency||800–2133 MHz||1600–3200 MHz||4800–7200 MHz|
|Voltage||1.5 V||1.2 V||1.1 V|
Because DDR4 and DDR5 are not backward or forward compatible, you must decide which one you want to go with before selecting a motherboard.
DDR5 memory is currently more expensive than DDR4.
However, it offers up to double the stock data rates of DDR4. Overclockers could push this limit even further.
Additionally, DDR5 supports higher-capacity UDIMMs (128 GB vs. 32 GB).
DDR5 may experience slower timings at initial release but should be much better than DDR4 as the technology matures. However, keep in mind that the timings scale inversely with the clock rate (frequency). The timing values are in units of clock cycles, but more cycles are happening per second with DDR5. For example, DDR3-2133 CL10 has nearly the same latency as DDR5-8400 CL40. So don't let the CL40 latency of DDR5 scare you away; the number just looks bigger!
The G.Skill Ripjaws V (F4-3600C16D-32GVKC) RAM is DDR4-3600 with a CL16 latency.
DDR module speeds, also known as "data rates," are measured in megatransfers per second (MT/s). MT/s measures how fast data can be read and written per second to and from RAM.
This same number in units of MHz is called the "effective frequency." The effective frequency is the base frequency times two because it is double data rate (DDR) RAM.
For example, DDR5-5600 has a data rate of 5600 MT/s, an effective frequency of 5600 MHz, and a base frequency of 2800 MHz.
Faster PC memory can improve game performance and frame rates, but using the fastest RAM may have less impact than upgrading your CPU and graphics card or adding more RAM.
Suppose you do not use your computer for memory-intensive games or video processing applications. You may see little benefit in using the fastest memory in that case.
Look up the motherboard model on the manufacturer's website to determine which speeds are supported. Price typically scales with the memory speeds, so choose one in your price range that meets your needs.
The G.Skill Ripjaws V (F4-3600C16D-32GVKC) RAM has an effective frequency of 3600 MHz.
Similar and related to memory speed, memory timings can also impact performance. Timings measure how many clock cycles it takes to perform an action. Manufacturers often reference timings as a series of numbers, such as 16-18-18-38. Assuming memory sticks have a constant memory speed, lower timing values indicate a shorter time between commands. Because timings are measured in clock cycles, they scale down as the memory speed increases.
While memory timings can impact performance, they are typically less critical than speed and capacity.
The G.Skill Ripjaws V (F4-3600C16D-32GVKC) RAM has 16-19-19-39 (CL16) timings.
The CAS latency, CL16, is the first number of the timings and is one of the main factors in determining the latency and overall speed of RAM. CAS latency is how quickly the RAM can deliver data to the CPU.
DDR ram capacities are measured in gigabytes (GB).
The G.Skill Ripjaws V (F4-3600C16D-32GVKC) RAM has a capacity of 32 GB (2 x 16 GB).
What Happens if You Run Out of RAM?
Many people underestimate how important it is to have enough memory (RAM) in their computer. When the amount of memory your applications need is more than the amount of memory available, your computer may slow to a crawl. Typically, in this case, the computer (operating system) will begin swapping data back and forth between your memory and virtual memory. Virtual memory is a large chunk of space on your storage device (SSD or hard drive) used to store data that can't fit in RAM. Because RAM is much faster than an SSD, your experience can quickly become unpleasant once you run out of free RAM (available memory).
How Many Programs Do You Want Open at Once?
One strategy for dealing with a low amount of memory is to have only a few applications open at a time. Basically, instead of having your operating system swap an idle program's data to virtual memory, you are manually closing the application. This strategy will likely reduce the amount of memory your computer needs. However, it would replace it with a potentially slower workflow. For example, whenever your computer starts to get slow, you'd have to decide which applications to close.
I am a fan of leaving many applications open and switching between them as my work or focus requires.
Shared Dependence on RAM
Most people don't have a problem with one application or process consuming all their RAM. Instead, it's the cumulative effect of many applications fighting for a scarce resource.
If your OS and applications are not using your memory, adding more will not improve your experience. However, once you reach the capacity of your system, all applications can slow to a crawl when you switch tasks. Your OS has to decide which data to copy to and from virtual memory once there is no more free memory.
While it may not bother you that your browser slows down when you're low on available RAM, you probably don't want that to interrupt your Zoom video call.
How Much RAM Do You Need for Gaming?
To run games smoothly while having a few apps open in the background, such as a browser window or music, 16 GB is generally the recommended minimum amount. Newer games are beginning to list 16 GB as the recommended amount.
Suppose you want the flexibility to do even more with your computer while playing games. Perhaps you want to host a live stream or play high-resolution YouTube videos and Twitch streams. In that case, 32 GB may be beneficial. 32 GB of memory would give you the flexibility to open multiple apps without worrying about closing some to free up memory resources.
How Much RAM Do You Need for General PC Usage?
Even if you are not an enthusiast PC user, I recommend at least 16 GB of ram. This amount of RAM will allow you to keep several browser windows, video streams, and documents open simultaneously without worrying about your computer slowing down.
Suppose you use more memory-hungry software, such as Adobe graphics products, 3d or physics tools, or high-resolution video editors. In that case, you might consider 32 GB of memory for peak PC performance. However, you could likely get by with 16 GB of memory if you are okay with closing some applications before opening others.
Look up the motherboard model on the manufacturer's website to determine which memory capacities and module sizes are supported. Also, refer to your motherboard's documentation for guidance on which slots to use.
Memory is typically purchased in a pack of two or four modules (sticks). Make sure to use the same speeds, capacities, and timings. The lowest values will be used if multiple speeds or timings are used. If multiple sizes are used, you may need to use single-channel mode, which will be slower.
The easiest way to get matching sticks for peak performance is to buy them together in a pack.
Precautions When Selecting RAM Speed
When overclocking, you may be able to exceed speeds that are officially supported by CPUs. Motherboard specifications will indicate their supported overclocked-memory speeds. To be able to overclock DDR memory, your motherboard chipset needs to support memory overclocking.
RAM can also be underclocked to achieve compatibility. Underclocking can be used when you purchase memory that is faster than the maximum speed supported by the CPU or motherboard. However, precise underclocking also requires a motherboard that supports memory overclocking. Without this support, the memory may fall back to a slower speed than the maximum supported memory speed. To achieve the maximum memory speed without overclocking support, use the maximum speed supported by the motherboard and CPU.
By looking up a motherboard's specifications, you can verify whether it supports a particular speed. Additionally, the motherboard manufacturer's website will typically indicate which memory kits have been confirmed to be compatible.
When purchasing RAM, ensure that you get the correct form factor (i.e., physical size) for the device to ensure compatibility.
- DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module)
- DIMMs are larger memory sticks made for desktop computer motherboards.
- SO-DIMM (Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module)
- SO-DIMMs are smaller memory sticks made for laptops and some mini-PC small form-factor motherboards.
If you'd like to customize your PC to look a bit cooler, consider using RAM sticks with LED lighting. With some fancy RAM sticks and a compatible motherboard, you can choose the LED color or lighting animation.
- At an effective frequency of 5600 MHz, this memory hits the fastest DDR5 speed supported by Intel's 13th Gen CPUs without overclocking.
- 32 GB provides ample memory for gaming and multitasking.
- Optimized for Intel XMP 3.0.
- At an effective frequency of 3200 MHz, this memory hits the fastest supported stock DDR4 speeds.
- It is also available in other (effective) frequencies for overclockers, including 3600 MHz and 4000 MHz.
- Lower-speed versions are also available on Amazon, in various capacities, including DDR4-2933 (affiliate link), DDR4-2666 (affiliate link), and DDR4-2400 (affiliate link).
- The low-profile form factor ensures that the heat spreaders don't get in the way of other devices, including your CPU heatsink.
Intel's 12th and 13th generation Core processors, code-named "Alder Lake" and "Raptor Lake," support DDR5.
AMD introduced support for DDR5 with their Ryzen 7000-series processors in Q4 2022.
Learn more in my article Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support DDR5?.
Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:
- CPU Coolers:
- Graphics Cards:
- Power Supplies: