© Petr Svoboda/Shutterstock.com

Random access memory (RAM) serves as a short-term memory bank where your computer keeps the information it needs to access quickly. RAM makes information readily available, so your processor can swiftly access it and carry out urgent operations without first accessing long-term storage.

RAM enables your computer to carry out many routine operations, like opening apps, using the internet, editing spreadsheets, and playing the newest games. By remembering where you left off in one task when you switched to another, memory also enables you to transition between various jobs rapidly. Generally speaking, the greater your memory is, the better.

When most people hear about RAM comparisons, they will quickly point out that 2666 RAM is superior to 3200 RAM. The reason is that single-channel is never superior to dual-channel. It is because, every time, a 2x8GB RAM operating at 2666MHz performs better than a 1x8GB RAM at 3200MHz.

Performance is increased by 0.1 to 0.5 percent when using 16 GB of RAM at 3200MHz as opposed to 2666MHz. At 3200MHz, you are getting around 101 or 102 frames per second (FPS) if you typically get 100 FPS in a video game running at 2666MHz. This is not just relegated to using it for video games, but to carry out other operations with your laptop, system, or P.C.

When looking at 2666 and 3200MHz and comparing them to higher RAMs, like 4000MHz-5000MHz, it seems they are nothing in comparison. There is no specification of the CPU or the number of slots present. Assuming your CPU is an Intel CPU that is non-K, an example is i5 9400 on a budget board. You can, alternatively, grab a budget 2666 x 16 GB.

Assuming it has an AMD. b450 board, you should acquire 2666 RAM, and it depends on your ability to afford the latency of lowest caps, in addition to how crucial it is or the skill. It will probably be able to reach up to 3000 even when you buy a 2666 RAM, depending on how you can configure it to 2800, which is deemed as plenty for a 2xxx Ryzen CPU.

Many people mistakenly think a Ryzen 2XXX with 3200MHz+ RAM has the same as a Ryzen 3XXX with 3200MHz+ RAM. If money is limited, you’re looking at a gaming machine that runs at 60 or 75 Hz and has an rxRX 580 or a comparable graphics card. You are also looking at the capacity you want your device to run.

Let’s break down these two RAM sizes for a deeper comparison.

3000MHz RAM vs. 2666MHz RAM: A Side-by-Side Comparison

3000MHz RAM2666MHz RAM
EfficiencyEnhanced efficiency, which increases your FPS Great for games that use a lot of CPU, easily accessible
Kit Configuration2 x 16GB2 x 16GB
SpeedPC4-25600 (3200MHz)PC4-21300 (2666MHz)
Memory TypeDDR4DDR4
Error Correction (E.C.C.)Non-ECCNon-ECC
Voltage1.35 V1.2 V
Computer memory RAM DRAM SRAM
Keep in mind that your computer’s RAM is only as good as the systems you are working with.


What’s the Difference Between 2666MHz and 3200MHz?

Most of the time, the difference is insignificant. The difference between 2666 MHz and 3200 MHz may be roughly 8 FPS. The main difference is in gaming, and it won’t be apparent unless your other gear is also having trouble. It is greatly influenced by the different elements you are working with.

For instance, AMD’s Ryzen CPUs are worthwhile to examine since AMD’s subsystem, “Infinity Fabric,” works with memory speed at a 1:1 ratio, unlike Intel CPUs, which do not benefit from a difference in RAM speed.

Anything above 3600 MHz DDR is mainly useless and inefficient since disappearing return happens at that frequency.

One of the most crucial aspects to consider while playing video games is RAM speed; the quicker the RAM, the more frames per second you’ll get. Although there are exceptions, like A.A.A. releases with expansive open-world experiences and editing video, it’ll render faster.

Also, the difference between 2666MHz and 3000MHz is negligible; however, if dual-channel, it will be above 668MHz, which is around 10 to 20FPS for A.A.A. games while having little effect on small titles.

The way the computer operates is another significant distinction. Many people don’t know that the default setting for 3200MHz RAM is 2666MHz, which is actually 2667. This is so your computer does not crash when you are developing it since specific older CPUs can’t handle fast speeds, and you do not want to lose your system in a bid to upgrade it to function better.

Turning on XMP in the BIOS requires you to configure it to the claimed speed manually. It is worth noting that various motherboard manufacturers might call it different names. So, the answer is yes, and you don’t even need to try to configure it.

The CPU’s rated speed is the fastest speed at which your RAM can operate while using a CPU that is an Intel model with a chipset that isn’t Z/X. Intel CPUs that are 8th and 9th generations have a maximum DDR4 speed of 2666MHz, while older CPUs have a lower top-rated DDR4 speed (2133MHz).

There is a possibility of your RAM not being stable at 3200MHz if your CPU is AMD, such as one from the Ryzen family; instead, it will probably run at 2133MHz by default.

The motherboard could handle 2666 and 3200MHz but not concurrently. As was already said, combining speeds will cause problems but won’t harm your motherboard.

The sticks will operate at 2666 MHz over 3200 MHz, but they should still function. Dual-channel will also be disabled if you buy two bars with different sizes (8 and 16 GB), significantly impairing performance. The decision is left for you to make. So, you have to think critically.

Better than 3600MHz CL16 RAM is 3200MHz CL14 RAM. Ryzen’s RAM is fast, but that’s about it. The performance boost at 3200MHz will probably not be enough to offset the higher latency.

4 Must-Know Facts About 2666MHz vs. 3200MHz RAM

  • The motherboard can handle both 2666 and 3200MHz, but not concurrently. The reason is that combining speeds will result in problems but won’t harm your motherboard.
  • To use the dual-channel, they have to be matched in a pair, which they are not. Most likely, they are being throttled for stability by the motherboard. When their timing difference is considered, the modules have trouble operating; if they performed at a faster speed like 1333Mhz, Windows may crash often. To prevent this, the memory modules have to be matched to use a dual-channel.
  • 1×8 G.B. of RAM at 3200MHz will never outperform 2×8 G.B. of RAM at 2666MHz. If you use 16 GB of memory at 3200 MHz instead of 2666 MHz, your performance will rise by 0.1-0.5%. With 3200MHz, you’ll obtain around 101 or 102 FPS in a 4game while you typically get 100 FPS with 2666MHz.
  • For all low-cost systems, 3,200MHz RAM (with the usual timings of 16-18-18) should be considered the standard. If you have a high-end P.C. and enjoy playing competitive first-person shooter games on a high refresh rate display, you should choose high-speed 4,000MHz+ RAM.

Which One is Better? Which One Should You Use?

RAM 3200 and 2666 are pretty comparable to one another, which makes it sometimes difficult to settle on one. Other than benchmarks, there is no noticeable difference between 2666MHz and 3200MHz RAM for gaming and general uses.

3200 RAM is better because it has faster memory which undoubtedly would be useful for programs and jobs that primarily rely on RAM. Also, depending on what apps you plan to utilize, your RAM determines the difference, and it has been seen to be better functioning with 3200 RAM.


2666 vs. 3200 RAM: What’s the Difference? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What if my motherboard can't handle my RAM's speed?

The CPU’s memory controller limits the speed of the memory. The chip can be harmed by overclocking, which involves operating the memory controller in the CPU at faster rates.

The RAM will gladly operate at a reduced speed in traffic, much like a racecar. Reset the memory clock if you’re experiencing issues. It heavily depends on the motherboard; typically, only 2133MHz is supported by B150 and H170 motherboards. While most boards support 3200MHz, some less expensive ones only support up to 3000MHz.

Any RAM 2400 or above has (oc) next to itif you look at the motherboard specs. I think there are two interpretations to this.

Is the difference between a 2666 Mhz RAM and a 3200 Mhz RAM noticeable?

The default speed is 2666, although it may be increased with a straightforward overclock. Purchasing 3200 MHz RAM that will only operate at 2666 MHz is pointless because the Ryzen CPU has better memory technology and will make everything work more smoothly.

Is 3200 MHz RAM still functional?

DDR4 memory is developing well. A solid DDR4-3200 kit was formerly considered high-end, but as time goes on, 3,200MHz is now the standard for a good gaming P.C.

About the Author

More from History-Computer