RAM plays a fundamental role in the overall performance and functionality of a computer, or any other system for that matter. RAM serves as a temporary data storage area that allows the CPU to access and manipulate data quickly, enabling the computer to carry out various tasks efficiently.
One of the primary reasons RAM is essential is its fast access times compared to other storage mediums, like hard disk drives, HDDs, or SSDs. RAM provides much faster data access, making it possible for the CPU to rapidly retrieve and modify information needed to run programs and perform tasks. This speed is critical for multitasking, running applications, and overall system responsiveness.
However, there are different types of RAM technologies, each with its own set of advantages and use cases. The most common types are Dynamic RAM (DRAM) and Static RAM (SRAM). Since most users buying RAM are not aware of these options and how they differ in terms of performance and application, we are offering this helpful guide to tell you everything you need to know about DRAM. So, make sure you read this guide until the end.
What is DRAM Frequency?
DRAM Frequency refers to the speed at which the Dynamic Random Access Memory or DRAM operates, and it is a critical factor in determining the overall performance of the computer’s memory subsystem. The DRAM frequency is measured in megahertz (MHz) and indicates how many cycles the DRAM can perform in one second. It represents the number of data transfers that can occur between the RAM and the CPU in a given time frame. Generally, higher DRAM frequencies result in faster data access and better system performance.
But, you should know that the DRAM frequency mentioned is not the actual speed at which data is transferred within the RAM itself. Instead, it is a representation of the number of cycles the RAM can complete in one second. The actual data transfer speed within the DRAM is about half of the stated frequency due to the way data is transferred in both the rising and falling edges of each cycle. For example, if the DRAM is rated at 3200 MHz, the actual data transfer speed is approximately 1600 MT/s.
In contrast to DRAM, which is fast and suitable for real-time task management, storage devices like SSDs and HDDs are considered static memory. While they store data persistently, their access times are significantly slower than DRAM. This makes them unsuitable for real-time tasks that require rapid data retrieval and manipulation.
Also, It’s important to distinguish DRAM from the SPD or serial presence to detect the speed or tested speed of the RAM. The SPD speed represents the standard and most stable frequency at which the RAM is guaranteed to work without any issues. All manufacturers set this speed in the design of the module and it is the default configuration for the RAM module.
How Can We Check DRAM Frequency?
There are several different options to check the DRAM frequency of your RAM module. Here’s how you can easily check the DRAM frequency of your memory right now.
- Task Manager (Windows): On Windows 10 or later, you can use the Task Manager to check the DRAM frequency. Right-click on the taskbar, select “Task Manager,” and go to the “Performance” tab. Under the “Memory” section, you will find the “Speed” field, which indicates the current DRAM frequency.
- System Information (Windows): Another way to check DRAM frequency on Windows is by using the System Information tool. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog, type “msinfo32,” and press Enter. In the System Information window, navigate to “Components” > “Memory.” The “Speed” field will display the current DRAM frequency.
- Third-Party Software: There are several third-party software applications available that can provide detailed information about your computer’s hardware, including the DRAM frequency. Some popular options include CPU-Z, Speccy, HWiNFO, and AIDA64. Download and install one of these programs, and it will display various hardware details, including the DRAM frequency.
How Can We Change DRAM Frequency?
Changing the DRAM frequency involves adjusting the memory settings in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware. But, keep in mind that altering the DRAM frequency can have implications on system stability, and it’s essential to proceed with caution.
Here’s how you can try to alter the DRAm frequency on your computer:
- Restart your computer and look for the key to access the BIOS or UEFI during the boot process. Common keys include Delete, F2, F10, or F12, but it may vary depending on your motherboard manufacturer.
- Once you are in the BIOS/UEFI settings, look for options related to memory, DRAM, or overclocking. The specific location and names of these settings may differ based on your motherboard’s BIOS.
- Once you have located the setting that controls the memory frequency, you can find the available options that can help you alter the DRAM frequency,
- Depending on your requirements and the capabilities of your RAM modules, choose the desired DRAM frequency. You can select the default SPD speed or any other supported frequency. Be aware that not all combinations of frequencies are stable, and setting the DRAM frequency too high may cause system instability or crashes.
- In some cases, changing the DRAM frequency may also require a slight adjustment to the memory voltage. If your system becomes unstable after changing the frequency, you may need to increase the memory voltage slightly within safe limits.
- After adjusting the DRAM frequency and any related settings, save the changes and exit the BIOS/UEFI.
If you are not sure about the suitable frequency range for your DRAM, you can refer to the following table and choose the most optimal solution based on the generation of your memory module.
|DRAM Generation||Frequency Range|
|DDR1||200 MHz to 400 MHz|
|DDR2||400 MHz to 1600 MHz|
|DDR3||800 MHz to 2133 MHz|
|DDR4||1600 MHz to 5333 MHz|
|DDR5||3200 MHz to 6400 MHz|
DRAM Frequency – FAQs
Ans: No, DRAM is not faster than SRAM. In fact, SRAM is faster than DRAM and also the fastest memory technology to date. The primary reason for this speed difference lies in the underlying technology and the way data is stored in each type of memory. DRAM works by storing data in capacitors, which require constant refreshing to maintain the stored charge. This refreshing process adds a delay to the data access, making DRAM relatively slower compared to SRAM.
Ans: Yes, DRAM frequency is important for the overall performance of a computer. A higher DRAM frequency generally results in faster data access and transfer rates. This means that the CPU can retrieve data from RAM more quickly, leading to improved system performance and responsiveness. Applications, games, and multitasking will benefit from faster RAM, as it reduces loading times and improves overall system speed. Also, with higher DRAM frequency, the computer can efficiently handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
Ans: Yes, the DRAM frequency can affect the CPU’s performance, but the impact is indirect. In some situations, a significant difference in DRAM frequency can create a bottleneck in the system’s performance. If the CPU is very fast, but the DRAM frequency is relatively slow, the CPU may have to wait for data from the RAM, leading to performance degradation. On the other hand, When the DRAM frequency is pushed beyond the manufacturer’s specifications, it can put more strain on the memory controller and the CPU.
Ans: The best DRAM frequency is one that is compatible with your motherboard and CPU. Before purchasing memory modules, check the specifications of your motherboard to see what frequencies it supports. Also, ensure that your CPU can handle the desired frequency. Some older CPUs may have limitations on the supported memory speed. But, the default SPD speed of the RAM is the most stable and guaranteed frequency at which the memory should work without issues. It’s a safe choice if you’re not interested in overclocking or if your CPU and motherboard do not support higher frequencies.
In this guide, we have discussed the importance of DRAM and how it affects the performance of a system regarding its speed and capabilities. A higher DRAM frequency leads to quicker data transfers and improved overall system responsiveness. It benefits multitasking, gaming, content creation, and other memory-intensive tasks. Ultimately, the right DRAM frequency choice depends on striking a balance between performance needs and hardware capabilities. If you are not sure about any of the points explained in this guide, you can reach us via the comment section below. We will try to reach out to you right away with a solution to your query.