• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

G.Skill Trident Z RGB F4-3600C16D-32GTZR | Correct CL16 timings for Ryzen 3950x?

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


Sep 30, 2020
Hi everyone,

Because the last time I build a system, the RAM wasn't able to run at its full speed, this time I'm really trying to do research. To check my findings, I'd like to see what you guys think.

I'm coming from (current):
CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950x
Motherboard: MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB - DDR4-3200 CL14 - (F4-3200C14D-32GTZR, CL14-14-14-34 1.35V) - 32GB (2 x 16GB)
+ Water cooler (360) and Be Quiet! 850W PSU.

My new system will be used in dual boot mode. Two Windows installations. One fully dedicated to work (heavy video editing), the other for a more personal use (inlcuding gaming).

New specs:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3950x (might become a Ryzen AMD Threadripper 3960x
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS XTREME (rev. 1.1)
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB - DDR4-3600 CL16 - (F4-3600C16D-32GTZR, CL16-16-16-36 1.35V) - 32GB (2 x 16GB)
+ Water cooler (360) and (most likely) Be Quiet! 1500W PSU.

I was never able to get the RAM in my current system above 2133 MHz without booting problems. The memory should've been able to reach 3200, the CPU was able to handle up to 2667, the motherboard was able to handle up to 3600.

Since my recent research, I got to learn about B-Die being of importance while trying to overclock your RAM. Now the thing is: I'm not an overclocker. I'm an ex-IT guy, so I should've been able to get things to work with the information that was available at the time. For some reason it didn't. So after a week of trying by the end of 2017 I just let it rest at 2133 MHz.

The funny part is: My current RAM is being labled as B-Die verified. Looking online, I don't seem the be the only one having issues with that specific kit. That's why I still went with the same line of RAM for my newer system. Hoping you guys could shed a light on it and let me know if this is a smart move.

By now you should expect that newer lines of motherboards should be able to cope with situations like this. Which is why I'm aiming for a monster motherboard. Not just that, also because of the many features, like 3x M2 slots, a little space beneath the top PCIe 4.0 port, Wi-Fi, many USB ports etc.

Some things of importance on this new system:

1. The most important thing for me is that every component works together in the best possible way. Not just gathering some hardware and put them together because supposedly it gives you really good results. Especially software like Adobe (video editing) benefits from hardware being aligned in the best possible way and to adjust timings.

2. The motherboard is pretty much not negotiable. I heard MSI has a better BIOS, but this newer Gigabyte has better features. The CPU, for now, is aimed at the AMD Ryzen 3950x, but chances are I might change my mind and go for an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960x. However, with a new 5000 series being announced in two weeks, I'm very curious about a release date. The idea is to buy all (or most) components by the end of November (hoping Black Friday will do any good). I still have an AORUS 1080 ti graphics card in my current system, so I'm aware I will have to switch that card into my new system for a while as I'm not expecting an overclocked ASUS RTX 3080 or AORUS XTREME anytime soon.

Which leaves it basically up to the RAM. From looking around at forums, websites and YouTube, comparing things (mostly) to the AMD Ryzen 3950x, I've learned a couple of things:

a. 3600 CL16 seems to be the best option
b. Tweaking the timings down to 3600 CL14 seems to be the best and most affordable option (I want to run 3600 in CL14)
c. The motherboard has only 4 DIMM slots. As I want to be able to (eventually) run at least 64GB (4k editing), I need to work with 16GB RAM sticks.
d. I need to have B-Die verified memory to at least have a chance to be able to tweak the timings effectively

Does anyone have an idea/advice on what memory to get? If my own G.Skill set should be able to work? Even though the 3950x (and 3960x) recommends to work with RAM up to 3200 MHz?

Thanks! :D
1st gen ryzen wasn't great with memory... but should be good to 3000...that said........

1. You don't need a fancy arse mobo to reach the clocks you want to reach. You're overpaying for little returns as boards that cost half that much will have the features you listed. Also, threadripper clearly won't fit in an X570 board. So those are two different discussions, really.
2. The problem is getting 32GB to do it...but should easily be attainable with some tweaking if setting XMP doesn't work. Be sure the memory is on the motherboard's support list.

A - 3600 CL16 is a sweetspot, indeed.
B - You can tweak it, but to what end? Make sure the ends justify the means as I doubt you'll see significant improvement dropping the CL rating.
C - Good luck running 64GB+ at those speeds. The IMC likely can't handle it.
D - Nope.

As for what memory to get, stick to the QVL list for best results.
Your motherboard should handle memory above its specification. Simply on Ryzen 3000 optimal is DDR4-3600 and no matter what timings. Better if lower but it's not really a must as the performance is mostly coming from memory clock and infinity fabric clock. The optimal is memory clock to infinity fabric ratio 1:1. The 1:1 ratio for Ryzen 3000 can officially go as high as up to 1800MHz so DDR4-3600 (as it's '2x1800MHz' so effective 3600MHz) and IF frequency 1800MHz.

DDR4-3600 CL16-16-16 were only released using Samsung B IC. No matter what, other brands were not in mass production at such tight timings. You don't need any special websites to check that. The same with DDR4-3200 CL14-14-14. Only Samsung B runs at these timings.

As long as your motherboard has no issues with memory support then your memory should run at XMP settings at DDR4-3600 CL16-16-16 1.35V and everything else at auto. If it doesn't work then check if there is any new BIOS.

Micron or Hynix 32GB modules run up to 4000+. You may look for Micron B like HyperX Fury DDR4-3200 CL16-20-20. My 2x32GB kit, depends on the motherboard, can make between 4133 and 4500. Expect that 32GB modules will run at CL16 up to DDR4-3600 and above that more like CL18 and more relaxed additional timings. For example Micron runs like 4000+ CL18-22-22 and up to 18-26-26 1.35-1.50V.
@EarthDog Thanks for your reply!

It's good to hear that it might've been mostly because of the 1st gen Ryzen series. I did try a bunch of things to get it to work back than, but it became such a pain in the *** that I left it at 2133 MHz (not really worth to still keep looking into that right now).

1. As mentioned, the choice for the motherboard is 50% based on 'it needs to have the most recent upgrades to be able to really work with other components in the best way' and 50% based on it's physical options in terms of connections at the back panel and available slots. Come to think about it, I think 'the most available' connectivity options is more important. The AORUS XTREME does have a lot of these, in combination with the 3x M2 slots.

The alternative option to (maybe) upgrade to 3960x (or even a 5000 series CPU) is really an alternative thing I'm looking at. In that case, as you mention, I'd also have to look at another motherboard. I haven't really looked into sTRX4 motherboards in greater detail, but as for now my eye was leaning towards a GIGABYTE AORUS TRX40 AORUS MASTER or the GIGABYTE TRX40 DESIGNARE.

2. You mean normally 16 GB has more chances of working or are you talking about the timings? I did notice that the G.Skill RAM wasn't listed in the motherboards CVL. From what I read online, is that people said that in that case you'd have to make sure to check the CVL from the RAM manufacturing company. The AORUS XTREME was listed on the CVL from G.Skill. That might not be 'enough'?

B. In this setup, it does seem to have 'some' effect to use a latency of CL14, compared to CL16. Even if it's just a few percentage, in terms of rendering and encoding video, it's worth spending a little bit more effort. Especially with Windows slowing down over time anyway.
C/D. In terms of the IMC, it has been mentioned in many places that for the Ryzen 3000 series, B-Die has the best chances to 'work' when aiming for 3600 MHz. Which is why at first I was about to pick up 32 GB. If that turns out to work at 3600/CL14, the plan was to upgrade to 64GB and see if that would work as well. Getting the 32GB 3600/CL16 to run at 3600/CL14 would be an achievement on its own, lol.

1. As mentioned, the choice for the motherboard is 50% based on 'it needs to have the most recent upgrades to be able to really work with other components in the best way' and 50% based on it's physical options in terms of connections at the back panel and available slots. Come to think about it, I think 'the most available' connectivity options is more important. The AORUS XTREME does have a lot of these, in combination with the 3x M2 slots.
So do boards that cost half as much. Do as you wish, but your requirements can be found for less. :)
@Woomack Thanks for your reply!

(also to everyone else): I do realize that the difference between 3600 and 3200 or the difference between CL16 and CL14 isn't really noticeable. In terms of 4K editing, video playback improves just a tiny bit and encoding might improve a few seconds. In terms of gaming however, you can gain about 10 percent of FPS. I know, I know... also not that big of a deal, but looking at this system to be worthwile to last till 2023/2024, I'd really like to achieve the best results without squeezing out every last drip.

Which is why I think that running my RAM at anything above 3600 MHz 'really' doesn't show much of an improvement and all it might 'cause' is more trouble to get it to work at all. Unless you can lower the timings in 4500 to CL14 or CL16. But than again: Will the Ryzen CPU be able to handle such a speed? And won't the motherboard be ready to jump out of its case during heavy 4K rendering?

As EarthDog mentions, the IMC might be the biggest task to win over. From what I'm getting, increasing speeds over 3600 MHz probably won't be the best thing out there. Especially if I would like to see if 64 GB is a stable option in the near future. I actually was coming from the idea to look at 128 GB of RAM, but given the fact this motherboard only has 4 DIMM slots, I dropped that idea. As it turns out now, that might've been a smart decision.

I just realized on my current system, the Motherboards QVL doesn't list the G.Skill memory kit I have. It does have the ones with different colors (which differy by 1 letter), but not the exact model name. The other way around, G.Skill doesn't have a QVL list no more, but a configurator. This now shows that the kit I'm currently having isn't adviced for the current MSI motherboard I'm having. Which might explain the issues above 2133 MHz. Which is weird, because I do remember G.Skill having a QVL back than and it did mention the motherboard.

As for now, with the newer system, the motherboards QVL doesn't list the G.Skill memory, but the memories QVL/configurator does mention the Gigabyte motherboard. Which I found out people say is 'enough'?


- - - Auto-Merged Double Post - - -

@EarthDog Thanks! I will definitely look into a wider range of motherboards to see if I can lower the price. I'm from Europe. The cheapest AORUS XTREME I found will cost me €622, which is about $730. I agree I like to aim more towards the $400 range, but I really made it my 'mission' to get things right this time :D There is nobody who I will/can show this system to (non-interest), so it's most definitely not a bragging competition or anything, lol.
Woomack is our memory guru, so I'll let him help on that front.

As far as the motherboards.....

MSI MEG X570 Ace, MEG Unify
Giga Aorus Master, Aorus Ultra
ASRock Taichi, PG X

All six of those have 3 M.2 slots for storage, Wi-Fi and a slew of USB ports.... for half the cost. ;)
@EarthDog Thanks again!

I've scrolled through these motherboards real quick. I did initially look into the other Aorus boards before, but the amount of 3.0+ USB-ports + sata + M2 (and just making sure that I'd have the least issues with getting the RAM right this time), made me fall for the XTREME.

I will for sure look into these boards again. I might have to get an extra PCIe card with USB 3.2/USB-c ports and some extension in terms of air flow at the bottom of the case (which is a large tower by the way).

I think all boards listed have at least 6 SATA ports and six USB 3.2 Gen1/2 ports (8+ TOTAL). Some have Type-C Gen2x2 if you need that bandwidth. Alll have 3 M.2 slots. Def. take a look again. ;)

GL! Keep us posted!
I'm not sure where people get 10FPS more or pretty much any other things that show 5%+ improvements (not counting synthetic bandwidth or latency tests) because of memory timings. Maybe if someone plays at 1080p and lower details then can see that in titles that already have 150FPS+. In most tests and games the difference because of memory timings is about 0-1% (counting you don't have CL22+ and move to CL14). You can achieve more by playing with sub-timings than main. The difference is significant if you switch from DDR4-2666 to DDR4-3600 and then it's up to 10%, but not because of timings but memory+imc+cache settings together. Rendering benchmarks like Cinebench are showing ~1% difference between various memory settings. Of course there is software that can use it better but don't count on anything significant and for sure if you use it for work then don't waste your time and possible errors during work because you want to shorten the process by single seconds.

I see you think about the upgrade anyway so set your memory at 3600 XMP and live like that for the next month. In about a month will be Ryzen 5000 and it will run at 4200-4400 with IF 1:1. Then you can pick something at a higher frequency which even at more relaxed timings will bring additional performance because of much higher IF clock.
Samsung B 16GB modules should run fine at 4000 CL18-18-18 1.35V and maybe will reach 4200. Depends on voltages etc can go down to CL16-16-16 (at 4000+). Here is my thread with Team Group 2x16GB Samsung B. Test were made on Intel but you can expect the same on AMD - https://www.overclockers.com/forums...on-2x16GB-DDR4-3600-CL16-TDPPD416G3600HC16GBK I wanted to run some tests on Ryzen 4650G but so far I had no time.

One thing. The higher memory density, the more relaxed timings you have to set (or motherboard will make it for you). If you want a bit better results then maximum will be 16GB Samsung dual rank modules (so what you already have). If you want 32GB modules then get Micron B as it works at tighter timings than Hynix and Samsung has nothing good on the mass market.
@Woomack Thanks again for you answer.

I've based my findings on both written and screenrecorded reviews rather than going by what calculations would say. As mentioned I do agree there is are no life changing differences between the timings, but let's say you need to encode a series of videos which would usually take you up to 6 hours... taking of 10-30 minutes would already be very welcome. Similar (less important) with gaming. Or just being able to render video the most stable while gaming, even if that only saves you a handful of percentages.

On the other hand, I didn't want to make it sound like I'm questioning the things you say. I just want to stay future-proof and while at it, make sure I have the best possible scenario in terms of stability, without literally seeking the outer edge. Which is what I thought going higher than 3600 MHz would be, but according to the info you're showing, it might be possible to go up to 4000 'safely'? Not just in terms of voltages and motherboard compatibility, but also in terms of stretching out Ryzen's 'advice' to stick with 3200 MHz?

If there's one thing above anything else, I've always learned that the latency timings on RAM are the one thing that can 'really' affect things. Which is why I've always aimed for CL14 modules and was thinking about now stretching it up to a max of CL16 (if really necessary). It would be like buying a 3090 RTX card, but run it on a Ryzen 1st gen CPU with 8GB of RAM. The 'Not benefitting the most of your GPU' aspect. Which is why I'm really curious if 4000 CL18 modules (tweaked down to CL16) would be similar to 'native' CL16. Would you say there is any noticeable difference between a 3600 CL16 (tweaked to 'non-native' CL14) and a 4000 CL18 (tweaked to 'non-native' CL16)? In overall performance? It might really be worth looking into if the newer Ryzens aren't too expensive and released not long after October/November.

I mean, for sure running my RAM at CL16/4000+ MHz sounds great, but I always thought that above 3200 MHz, the differences weren't too noticeable. Which is why 'risking' things always sounded less interesting :D

Do you have any knowledge (in short line to save you time explaining things) about these timings compared to 16 cores vs 8 cores vs a Threadripper? Do you think there are things (about speeds/timings) to keep in mind while choosing one over the other? Or does it basically not matter? Maybe in terms of the voltages (like in your test).

I don't have any new hardware yet, so for the next month I'm just sticking with my current system. It still works fine. For now I will definitely be looking forward to AMD's new announcement to determine if the 5000 series are really worth picking over a 3950x (or maybe even 3960x).

As mentioend before in this thread, 16 GB seems to be the advice over 32 GB. Do you mean as a total or in terms of each module? I wasn't necessarily aiming for 32 GB modules. The idea is to run 2x 16 GB modules and maybe extend it to 4x 16 GB. From what I understand you're saying that what I already have (the G.Skills of this specific model) would be fine to achieve 3600 (and posssibly 4000+)?

I know in general it should, but it might be that you know about something (regarding the type of CPU for example) which makes you say something different :D

Thanks again!
Ryzen 3000 was since the beginning advertised as optimal to work with DDR4-3600 and even above that. There are graphs made by AMD with memory clock above DDR4-3600 and recommended speed for gaming of DDR4-3600. However, the same as Intel, also AMD officially says that memory clock is lower. For AMD it's DDR4-3200 and for Intel it's DDR4-2933 right now. If you put your CPU on a motherboard with locked memory clock then it won't go past DDR4-3200. If you pick a laptop with Ryzen, then if it doesn't support XMP and manual memory adjustment, then will run at max DDR4-3200.

Personally I see that various reviews are trying to cover Ryzen memory settings but most of people who write them are pretty clueless. I'm not saying that all but some are clearly a joke. Worse is that most readers can't see that and spread info because "what is on the internet, then has to be true". I'm not saying that you, just in general. Believe me, even some reviewers from top websites have no idea how to test RAM right.

Timings affect the performance and you can get some nice gains because of memory tweaking. However, on new platforms more depends on memory controller. This is also because of large and fast CPU cache. First you push your RAM and memory controller to the max frequency and later play with timings. On Ryzen everything is tied with infinity fabric so a higher clock gives more than tight timings. Also, higher clock = lower latency. It's a bit different situation than on Intel.
Check this review and you will see in at least AIDA64 how memory bandwidth is scalling on Ryzen 4650G. Ryzen 5000 will be scaling about the same.

On dual channel platforms you go for maximum clock first as it's easier to set higher clock and can achieve more because of that. On quad channel platforms memory bandwidth is already high so you work more on latency/timings but keep the balance between both.
There is a long list of timings. On Samsung there is a "trick" which makes it easier if you don't have any timing list provided by anyone else. First you set auto/SPD so for Samsung B it's 2133 (sometimes 2400 but GSkill keeps 2133). Then you check what motherboard sets - it should be greyed out on most motherboards. Then you switch to manual mode and use the same timings but also set a higher clock. Samsung can work at about the same timings up to about 3600 and above that are starting some problems. This timing list will give you pretty much the tighest stable timings in the "easy way". If it won't be stable then you know the lower limits and can go back to XMP and one by one lower each timing. Work on main and secondary timings, everything else can be left at auto. If you aren't sure about something then also leave it at auto as the motherboard should adjust it based on other timings.
On Ryzen you may notice that for example going down by 300 with tRFC can give you more than lowering CL from 16 to 14 (typical DDR4-3600 has something about 650 tRFC). Some timings are helping with the performance, some are just for synchronization and won't really affect the performance but still may improve stability.

With memory capacity it's not always so clear. 2x8GB will overclock the best but 16GB in total is getting not enough even for a typical gaming PC. 2x16GB is already good but it won't overclock as high, usually not more than DDR4-4500 on the best sticks. Then if you need higher capacity then can go 2x32GB or 4x16GB and here is the problem. Better 2x32GB modules may overclock higher but at more relaxed timings. 4x16GB will probably run at lower clock but can set tighter timings. In both cases DDR4-4000 is more than possible at CL18 but 16GB modules will give you lower latency so at least for your needs it's a better option.
There is one exception - single sided 16GB Micron modules. This memory will run at higher frequency but it's good only if you won't manually adjust timings because it won't really run at much tighter timings than the motherboard set.
In short your idea about 2x/4x 16GB modules is good and if you get a second the same G.Skill kit then it should be optimal for everything on the current or new platform. I don't expect there will be any better IC for 4000-4200 clock and tighter timings. Most manufacturers go for higher capacity rather than tighter timings.