G.Skill is updating its popular Trident Z Neo memory to 4,000MHz (effective) speeds, which places it right in the so-called 'sweet spot' for AMD Ryzen 5000 processors (opens in new tab). With a bit of luck, you'll be running at the optimal 1:1 ratio across memory, Infinity Fabric, and memory controller in no time.
The new chips from AMD launched today, and we've already taken a long ol' look at the Ryzen 9 5900X (opens in new tab) to see what it's made of. It packs a punch in gaming, I can tell you that much, and it's already basically sold out everywhere. Ah, not so good.
At least you can prepare yourself for the chip's triumphant return by purchasing everything else you'll be needing for a great AMD gaming PC, including speedy low-latency RAM. G.Skill recently launched some 'extreme low-latency' memory (opens in new tab) across its various ranges, which features timings as low as CL14, but today we're looking at something that hits a decent balance of speed and latency for AMD's new Zen 3 chips.
G.Skill's Trident Z Neo memory will now be available in DDR4-4000 CL16 configurations, which will offer a decent blend of speed and latency for AMD Ryzen builds. G.Skill is rolling out in both 16GB and 32GB capacity kits. If you want 64GB, you'll have to settle for lower latencies at CL18.
All kits are built with Samsung B-die chips.
AMD Zen 3 will support up to 4,000MHz memory (opens in new tab) at a 1:1 ratio. That last bit is the important part. That ratio applies to the memory clock (mclk), the memory controller clock (uclk), and Infinity Fabric clock (fclk), and it's best if you keep all operating at an even beat. Hence the desire to maintain a 1:1 ratio.
AMD uses Infinity Fabric as a communication bus between chiplets on its AMD Ryzen Zen 2 and Zen 3 CPUs.
But there is one drawback: Not all of AMD's latest chips are running at maximum Infinity Fabric speeds (opens in new tab) for the perfect 1:1 ratio, and you may find instability at 2,000MHz fclk—as did our Alan in his review. Further AGESA updates may help optimise, but there's no guarantee from AMD for all chips.
It's also possible to increase memory speeds beyond 4,000MHz on Ryzen, but you may actually find that latency increases cause worse performance in some cases as a result. You can find out more in our RAM speed for gaming deep-dive (opens in new tab).
So with your memory in hand, you'll need a compatible AMD gaming motherboard (opens in new tab). The B550 or X570 chipsets are your best bet, or you can wait until January, 2021 to hear about BIOS updates for 400-series boards.
Now just to get your hands on a chip. Good luck.