Many people get confused when they plan on buying a speed RAM like 3000MHz or higher when the CPU they already bought says 2400MHz. Because of this a lot of people wonder if the high speed will work or be compatible with their CPU.
I am here to clear that thought out of your mind so you know what memory you should go for and to know if your motherboard can run at the speed your RAM says it could. Most DDR4 processor says they need a RAM speed of 2133MHz or 2400MHz.
First of all, yes, RAM with 3000MHz speed will work with any DDR4 processor that says it supports 2400MHz or 2133MHz provided your motherboard also supports that RAM speed. When it comes to RAM speed, the motherboard has to support it before the RAM can run at the advertised speed.
RAMs run at the lowest frequency but the motherboard helps overclock it through a feature called XMP for Intel and Expo for AMD. So, if your CPU can run the RAM at 2400MHz, your motherboard will help overclock it to 3000MHz as the RAM was advertised for.
XMP or EXPO are technologies that help change the voltage and the timing of a RAM to support a higher frequency and maintain its stability.
You could set the timing and voltage yourself though but it will take some trial and error, however, with this technology, it set it for you, so all you have to do is go to your BIOS settings and enable it.
If you don’t go and enable it in the BIOS settings, the RAM will run at the lowest speed indicated by the CPU.
What happens if my motherboard doesn’t support my RAM speed
When deciding to build a PC, you have to do your research to know the RAM you wish to buy and then buy a motherboard that will support that speed, if you buy a motherboard that doesn’t support the speed of the RAM, then the RAM will run at the highest frequency the motherboard supports. So, if the motherboard’s highest frequency is 2400Mhz, that’s the speed your RAM will run regardless of it advertised speed.
This means you have wasted money buying high-speed RAM but you can’t run at that speed. Most DDR4 motherboards support up to 3600MHz RAM speed while most DDR5 support up to 8400MHz, so check to make sure your motherboard supports the speed of your RAM.
Can I mix DDR4 2666 and 3200 together?
Yes, you can mix DDR4 2666MHZ and 3200MHZ RAMs together but know there is a caveat, both RAMs will run at the lowest frequency which is 2666Mhz in this case. This is because a 2666MHZ RAM can’t be overclocked to run at 3200MHz but a 3200MHz can be downclocked to run at 2666MHz. So, make sure you buy the same pair of RAM to benefit from the speed they offer.
Yes, a 3000MHz or high-speed RAM can run on a 2400MHz CPU, but the RAM will run at 2400MHz if your motherboard doesn’t support the RAMs speed, however, if your motherboard supports a higher frequency, the RAM will run at 3000MHz as advertised.