Any good text about computer hardware will tell you that, the smaller the RAM timings, the best, since, in theory, the memory access will be faster.

However, as we already proved in our “Does dual-channel memory make difference in gaming performance?” article, increasing the maximal theoretical speed of the memory not always reflects as a practical performance speed. This happens because the effective performance of a computer on a certain program depends on several factors, like the CPU architecture and clock, video card architecture and clock, speed of the buses, among other factors.

The results obtained in our tests were clear: on the programs we tested, using lower RAM timings did not affect the performance.

Thus, our conclusion is that, for most users, there is no advantage to buying more expensive memory modules just because they have lower timings.

The only case that may prove worth buying memory modules with superior specifications is when you are into overclocking; in this case, higher priced memories will probably handle better with higher clock rates.


Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.