What is The Difference Between 3200MHz and 3600MHz RAM? A detailed discussion.

If you are planning build a PC or upgrading the old one then you must preferred to upgrade the RAM. Suppose you are going for 8GB RAM or maybe 16GB DDR4 RAM, but what speed of RAM should you prefer. This can be overwhelming for you. So in this article we will discuss What is The Difference Between 3200MHz and 3600MHz RAM, and what should you opt for better value for money. I will try to explain all the important aspects without using vast number of technical terms. Hopefully you will get the sufficient information about making the perfect choice.

How the RAM works

When a operation is about to get performed in your PC, the CPU fetch all the necessary data from the SSD or HDD, and it stored in the RAM. RAM is more faster than SSD or HDD, so those data, for the particular operation is temporarily stored in RAM. Then CPU can access those data faster to complete the essential task. More the RAM size more the data it can hold for the operation. The speed of a RAM module, expressed in megahertz (MHz), indicates how quickly it can transfer data to and from the computer’s processor

Now lets see what does it mean by 3200MHz and 3600MHz RAM. If a RAM has 3200MHz then it can performs 3.2 billion cycles per second, same goes for 3600MHz RAM speed. 3.6 billion cycles per second.

What is The Difference Between 3200MHz and 3600MHz RAM?

Price and Compatibility

If we compare the overall price of 3200MHz and 3600MHz of RAM there is only a maximum difference of $10. Now here comes the compatibility issue. First of all, let me clear it up, 3600MHz RAM was released in 2019. So if you have built your PC after 2019, then probably you have a 9th or 10th gen Intel processor or newer. Then compatibility will not be an issue. But, if you have a 1st gen or 2nd gen of Ryzen processor then 3600MHz will not function properly with your CPU. 3200MHz will be a much safer option for you.

This is also true for the 3rd gen of Ryzen CPU installed in 300 or 400 series motherboards. Now if you have a 3rd gen or 4th gen of Ryzen CPU installed on a 500 series motherboard, then 3600 will function properly in it. Intel’s RAM support is generally better than AMD’s, with it’s XMP feature. All RAM work properly with a Intel CPU. So if you want to utilize the full potential of a 3600MHz RAM then you should at least have the 7th gen or newer gen Intel CPU with the 200 series or newer Intel motherboard.

What is The Difference Between 3200MHz and 3600MHz RAM?

What is the CAS Latency (CL)?

Column access strobe (CAS), Latency indicates how fast a RAM can process commands from the processor and give output. It includes the clock cycle time, so the lower the latency, the better the performance. Also, other factors, like your processor, motherboard, and SSD can affect the latency.

Also check out How Does Frame Generation Work.

Difference Between 3200MHz and 3600MHz RAM (Side by side comparison)

Here’s a tabular comparison between a 3200MHz RAM and a 3600MHz RAM in terms of technical specifications:

Specification3200MHz RAM3600MHz RAM
Frequency (Speed)3200MHz3600MHz
CAS Latency (CL)16 to 1914 to 16
Transfer Rate3200 MT/s3600 MT/s
BandwidthCalculated as (Frequency * 8) / 2Calculated as (Frequency * 8) / 2
VoltageStandard voltage (1.2V for DDR4)Standard voltage (1.2V for DDR4)
PerformanceGenerally good performanceImproved performance
Overclocking PotentialModerateHigher
CompatibilityWidely compatibleCompatible, but may require specific motherboard support
PriceTypically lower costGenerally higher cost

Note: CAS Latency (CL) is not always directly correlated with RAM speed, and it’s essential to consider both frequency and CAS latency for a comprehensive assessment of RAM performance. The information provided here is a generalization, and actual specifications may vary between specific RAM modules and manufacturers.

Performance Impact on CPU and GPU Limitations

It’s essential to know that increasing RAM speed won’t necessarily boost performance if your CPU or GPU is the limiting factor. If your CPU or GPU compute speed is the bottleneck, the advantages of higher RAM speeds might not be fully realized. Simplify it this way: if you’re using a 4GB 3200MHz RAM at 50% consumption, upgrading to a 6400MHz 4GB RAM would only drop the RAM consumption to 25%. Performance will remain same.

Also check out Best Graphics Card Under 20000 in India.

Final Verdict

If you are planning to upgrade your PC, then upgrade RAM speed instead of RAM size. You will get better performance. If you are using an Intel 10th gen CPU or Ryzen 5000 / 7000 series CPU or newer, with a compatible motherboard, there is no need for high-speed RAM. So don’t spend any extra money on a 3600MHz RAM, If you are getting a good deal on 3200MHz, go for it.


Q: Can I mix 3200MHz and 3600MHz RAM in the same system?

  • A: While technically possible, it’s recommended to maintain uniform RAM speeds for optimal performance.

Q: Is faster RAM always better?

  • A: Not necessarily. The benefits of higher RAM speed are most noticeable in specific use cases, and the cost may not always justify the marginal performance gain.

Q: Does RAM speed matter if my CPU or GPU is the limiting factor?

  • A: If CPU or GPU compute speed is the bottleneck, increasing RAM speed might not have a significant impact on overall system performance.

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