Over the past few weeks, memory makers have been pinging the market with RAM kits optimized for AMD's third-generation Ryzen processors, though none have been more desirable than G.Skill's recently introduced Trident-Z Neo line. On paper, its DDR4-3600 Neo kit looked like the best RAM for a high-end Ryzen build. If I was building a top-tier Ryzen PC today, however, I'd be eyeballing G.Skill's newest DDR4-3800 kit.
Ryzen builds typically respond well to higher frequency memory, to an extent. Typically, however, higher frequencies also mean looser (and therefore lower performing) timings. That does not matter a whole lot as it applies to real-world performance, but G.Skill's latest DDR4-3800 kit hits the target on both fronts anyway.
Not only is it a higher frequency kit than the DDR4-3600 package that rolled out a few weeks ago, but the timings are nearly as tight at 14-16-16-36, versus 14-15-15-35.
"At this point, it's well-known that memory performance with the new AMD Ryzen 3000 processor series is best when Infinity Fabric being tied to the memory clock at a 1:1 ratio. The G.Skill R&D team is dedicated to push the performance boundaries even further and developed a high-frequency, low-latency memory kit at DDR4-3800 CL14-16-16-36 in capacity configurations of 8GBx2 and 8GBx4, reaching a superb memory bandwidth performance under the optimal 1:1 ratio," G.Skill says.
Some of this is academic. Particularly for gaming, a faster GPU or CPU will have a much larger role in overall performance than opting for a faster and tighter-timed memory kit (see our article on whether RAM speed and capacity matter for gaming). That said, if splurging on a high-end Ryzen PC, this latest Neo entry looks like a great option. There's also nothing preventing anyone from slapping this kit into an Intel setup, but it may or may not be able to hit the same frequency + timings combo.
G.Skill is offering this RAM in 16GB (2x8GB) and 32GB (4x8GB) kits. We have not tested this RAM ourselves, but G.Skill said it achieved memory bandwidths of 58GB/s for reads, 56GB/s for writes, and 58GB/s for copies when pairing it with a Ryzen 9 3900X processor in an MSI Meg X570 Godlike motherboard.
Unfortunately, G.Skill does not typically announce pricing for its RAM kits, because of the fluctuating costs. So, it's not clear how much the new DDR4-3800 kits will cost when they become available.
Also be careful when shopping the Neo line in general. Not all kits are created equal, as shown in the above chart. As G.Skill has done with its slower speed Neo kits, it's entirely possible that the DDR4-3800 ones will be offered in a variety of timings, at various price points.