So I’m about to build a new PC, my 1st. I plan on buying a Ryzen 5 2600X. The thing is that I want to pair it with 16GB, 3200MHz of RAM. The specs of the CPU say that the system memory is 2933MHz and from what I know (which is not much) the motherboard dictates the maximum speed at which RAM runs.

I have read a few forums and they confused me more than helping.

They claimed that the ram will be reduced to the 2933MHz and I also saw something about overclocking; as in its possible to use the full extent of the RAM even if exceeds the specified limit.

Again from what I know the motherboard is responsible for what the RAM does I just don’t know/understand what that 2933MHz of the CPU means in the context of the RAM.

  • 4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory Dual channel memory architecture
  • Support for DDR4 3600(O.C.)/3466(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/2933/2667/2400/2133 MHz memory modules
  • Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
  • Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules
  • Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

That is what the datasheet of the motherboard says, now, its obvious that the motherboard can take it, but the CPU's datasheet says:

"System Memory Specification 2933MHz"

Now, it might have nothing to do with RAM and I might just have misunderstood, if that’s the case then please explain what those 2933MHz refer to.


The 2933 MHz is the native speed that the CPU officially supports.

Nothing stands against being able to use faster sticks with no drawbacks. For faster speeds you just need a motherboard that can support the desired speed. In your case your motherboard and support 3200 MHz if it's overclocked just a bit.

In the event you don't overclock, your RAM would be basically the same speed. The speed reduction comes down to less than a nanosecond. To calculate the speed difference of the RAM you want, take the CAS Latency/MHz then multiply that by 1000. That will get you the time in nanoseconds.

  • Just figured out i can just replay directly to a certain comment.So you mean that by overclocking my cpu just a bit would make the whole think work as i want it to? Again im a total newbie so i thought that overclocking the cpu changes only the clock speed, not that knew that there is a system memory, i kinda just found out when i was looking for 2 sticks of ram. – Andrei Nov 13 '19 at 21:45
  • @Andrei it's not overclocking the CPU, but the memory. It's a few settings in the BIOS that you can tweak and increase. The small performance gain really isn't worth the hassle in my opinion. Your board has native support for 2933 Mhz. I would just get that speed and don't worry about the 3200 Mhz. With a CAS latency of 12 you're looking at 4.09 nanoseconds for 2933 Mhz and 3.75 nanoseconds for 3200 Mhz. – DrZoo Nov 13 '19 at 21:54
  • Yeah, i dont think its that much of a difference, i keep being told that some games demand more ram than others, but now that i think about it i dont know if they mean the speed at which the ram is written or the MHz, because in the end those GB of RAM are just that, storage, or at least i that's what i think it is. – Andrei Nov 13 '19 at 21:57
  • @Andrei when they say a game "demands more RAM" they are referring to the amount of RAM, not the speed. With 16 GB of RAM you'll be just fine. – DrZoo Nov 13 '19 at 21:59
  • You see its kind of difficult for me to understand why a game would require so much RAM memory, i understand that the game is not the only process using RAM but it just seems like a lot, don't know much about RAM either. The short term memory is not enough of an explication if you ask me. – Andrei Nov 13 '19 at 22:04

Think of 3 people:

  1. English-speaker/CPU
  2. Spanish-speaker/RAM
  3. Translator/motherboard (MOBO)

Now RAM/Spanish-speaker talks fast (3200MHz), but our MOBO/translator is quick (supports 3200MHz) so hears it all. MOBO/translator speaks to CPU quickly (3200MHz), but English/CPU says please slow down (2933MHz) so he can understand so they agree at that slower spech. Basically they are all reliant on each other & while one part of the chain |---|---| may go quick they all have to wait on the slowest part (common denominator)

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