Is RAM speed important in Cubase 11 performance?

So that’s the question, does the speed of RAM these days make any difference when it comes to using Cubase 11?

I’m thinking of upgrading my memory and I’m between buying memories of 2666 or 3200mhz speeds…

With so many myths on the internet, I don’t know which one to go for, I understand this can worth for games, but what if the computer is just used to produce music? what would be the difference between one speed and the other? is there a real difference or null?

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I didn’t make any comparison tests, but in this case, I always take faster RAMs. It’s important, how fast can the processor communicate with RAM and write/read the data. Of course it makes sense only of the mother board supports it too.

thank you for the reply! If you don’t mind, can you tell me what’s the speed of your actual RAM and how much do u have?

Processor type matters…
The motherboard matters…

It doesn’t do much good to get faster ram if the mother board and processor can’t take advantage of it.

Other things matter too, such as: Do you overclock?

Different ways to bench mark RAM as well. For some things tighter timings at slower frequency clocks might be better, or vice verse.

It’s a very complicated topic, and the answers for one platform or generation of cpu and motherboard combo can be quite different for another.

Also, some processors and motherboards support different sorts of channeling modes. Is it better to have 4 16gig SIMMS in some kind of fancy quad channel mode? Or two 32gig SIMMS in dual channel, or a single 64gig SIMM in single channel…with room for future expansion in the other slots?

Might be loads of options…

There’s also the question of which is more beneficial for your needs. MORE RAM, or FASTER RAM?
If you can get 32gig simms a little slower for a similar price to faster ultra tuned OC ready 16gig simms with cool heat sinks…well, which one is better for your needs? MORE or FASTER?

Good luck!

I think the main thing is…if what you have is working well in daily application, don’t throw away money on it, or try too hard to push ‘bench-marks’ that you’ll probably never notice in real world usage :slight_smile:

If you are building a brand new system from the ground up…
Personally I’d go for the fastest RAM supported by the processor and motherboard if you can find SIMMS in the ‘size’ you want and all fits the budget. If you have a way of testing it first to make sure it’ll work, or know someone who can…it might even be worth it to go a step or two faster than your motherboard/cpu states is the max (can take the RAM into newer system builds or upgrades).

If you know over-rated RAM will work in your build…You can almost always run RAM at slower speeds than the max rating, but it’s really difficult or impossible to reliably run it faster than it’s top rated speed. It also gives you a little head-room for growth and expansion. Maybe you upgrade the processor at some point that can use the faster speeds, then the RAM you already have might hold you longer for upgrades and future system builds until it’s necessary to upgrade that as well.

Before buying a motherboard, read all the fine print about RAM, and support for your processor. Look for any astrix or red print! Stuff like, “X Speed not supported with model Y processors.”

On the question of MORE. If you trigger lots of samples and stuff (big rack based sampler plugins) directly from RAM rather than D2D, then obviously you’ll want MORE RAM over SPEED if you are forced to ‘choose’.

You should put your system in your sig so people can see and give you a more informed answer.

RAM speed can matter but it depends a bit on processors and the platforms. The recent Alder Lake platform by Intel for example is very different in some DAW tasks when running DDR 5 versus DDR 4. Speed and bandwidth makes a difference there, plus they function a bit differently.

With AMD the “infinity fabric” that moves data between cores and between cores and the i/o die and the outside of the CPU (RAM etc.) is actually tied to the DRAM. So the fabric (a bunch of connections basically) runs in sync with the RAM. It runs at the same speed up to a maximum of 3733MHz. Above that the fabric runs at half the speed. So on new AMD setups it’s better to run the memory faster, but only up to that limit, and above that performance drops again.

So it depends.

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To be honest, the best you can do is to ask specialists, whose are building PCs to the studios, to build a computer for you. They know, which components exactly fit together. At the end, you will safe money, because you will not buy any expensive component, which you wouldn’t have a profit from because of other components incompatibility.

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Thanks for all replies and recommendations guys,

My actual gear is:

Motherboard: PRIME Z390-P, that supports 64GB RAM
and Intel(R) Core™ i7-9700 CPU @ 3.00GHz 8664, level: 6, 8 logical processors, active mask: 255

My graphic card is old, an EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570, which I will upgrade later.

My actual RAM is 32GB 2666mhz ddr4 in Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB modules, I want to sell those modules and buy two modules of 32GB to get the 64, but not sure if worth to get the 3200mhz or 2666mhz again… In this SYS case what do you guys think?

Quicker RAM speed would only make a difference if RAM speed is actually a bottleneck in your overall system performance. If not, the difference would be null.

Even if there is a difference at all, 20% quicker RAM will not give you 20% better performance overall. For real-world application performance you would actually not find much of a difference (if any).

You actually have the exact same memory modules that I have. If I would go for 64 GB, I would not exchange them but simply buy 2 more of the same modules (totally 4x16 GB = half cost compared to buying 2x32 GB new). You have 2 free memory slots, you know?

I would not mix different memory modules, but using the same if possible (they need to be compatible). If you have 2 modules at different speed, they will operate at the lower speed anyway. Not sure about how 2+2 setups will operate regarding that.

Are you doing orchestral work/using big sample libraries; do you actually need 64 GB? If not, just save your money. If yes, just buy 2 more modules of what you already have. I see no reason to throw them out.

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That’s right, as well as other genres that take up a lot of memory, as much that sometimes 32 is not enough as I am starting to experience the problems of running out of memory… That’s why I need more memory, otherwise I wouldn’t have thought about it.

And the reason why I find myself in the dilemma between one speed and the other, is because it turns out that for some strange reason this days the 3200mhz are a little cheaper than the 2666 in a store of my country, lets say the difference is just 20 or 25 USD, I guess it’s some discount with the brand and that’s one reason why I was thinking to upgrade all the memories for two modules of 32GB each, instead of implement two more modules of 16GB each…

On the other hand, I’ve been reading that various 16GB modules that add up to 64GB, have better performance than just two 32GB modules that add up to 64GB… I don’t know if this is true or only in games, which I’m not interested in because I don’t use the computer for games.


Your system is newer but similar to mine, (I have a Prime X299 Deluxe II with an i7-9800x @ 3.80GHz, with 32 GB of Ram @ 2666). I’ve configured a few DAW systems for my studio and Ram speed isn’t something I worry about, as long as you’re not maxing out Ram storage changing to a different config or higher speed shouldn’t matter. For Cubase performance I always start with getting a processor with a high single-core processor speed, that’s where critical performance gains are made. Other things like what type and how many Hard Drives you have can help speed things up. My current system has (3) M2-NVME drives that have their own dedicated bus lanes to the Processor. One drive holds the OS and Cubase SW, another Drive is just Projects, and the third is all Samples and VSTi Libraries. Spreading out the SW and Data across a few Drives helps Cubase process things smoother and reduces bottlenecks.

Hope this helps.

One thing I noticed in the past is that convolution based plugins, if you use lots of them, do benefit from ram speed. Like convolution reverbs and accustica audio plugins.

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