Well, my friends, it seems like we did it again. And for some of you, I think the phrase “third time’s a charm” might be just right, since not everybody has a Ryzen 9 3900X or a high-end X570 motherboard. And of course, I wouldn’t have been fully satisfied if I simply left things as they were and not test an affordable combo. After all, the third generation Ryzen brought goodies for everybody, no matter if you only have 199 USD or over 800 USD to spend on a CPU. The gaming performance is similar and the RAM compatibility is now better than ever, so we simply had to test how the most popular IC’s of the moment behave with a Ryzen 5 CPU and a B450 motherboard.
And with some notable exceptions, I would simply say… amazing. Of course, first of all we have to address the bad, which is what we see when we take a look at 2 x 16GB and 4 x 8GB memory kits. Yes, you can still use them for DDR4 3200 CL14 or DDR4 3600 CL16 configurations, in some cases even DDR4 3800 1:1. But the behavior is significantly worse than what we saw in the case of the X570 + Ryzen 9 3900X combo, so when it comes to B450, DDR4 3600 is the safest bet at the moment if we are talking about 32GB of RAM.
On the other hand, the performance of the 2 x 8GB kits tested by us was pretty amazing and clearly better than what I was expecting. Yes, we can “only” reach DDR4 4333 with our B-Die and Hynix CJR kits, not DDR4 4400 like we did with X570, and we can reach DDR4 4733 with our Micron E-Die kit, as opposed to the clocks we managed to reach on our X570 platform (DDR4 4800) with the same kit. And in most cases, when we pass DDR4 3600 we usually need 0.05v or 0.1v extra vDIMM in order to work with the same timings, or reach higher clocks. In fact, for anything over DDR4 4000 we used 1.45-1.55 vDIMM and 1.2-1.25 vSOC for all kits, but that is not what matters most here.
The most important thing is that for all 2 x 8GB kits we could run DDR4 3800 1:1 using the same main sub-timings like we did on X570, and the performance difference between the two combos (Ryzen 9 3900X + X570 and Ryzen 5 3600X + B450) is on par with the difference between the 2 CPU’s, with the platform having little or almost no impact on that. And yes, even this time, the 2 x 8GB B-Die kit still has a slight lead on the 2 x 8GB Micron E-Die kit, with the Hynix CJR kit coming in on third, but the differences are pretty small in AIDA, which means that they might even be insignificant in most real life applications.
This time however, for the platform we are using (AMD Ryzen 3600X and MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX motherboard), the clear winner is the Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 3000 CL15 kit, which retails for ~ 77 USD, taking the price for our combo at a total of 456 USD (CPU, Motherboard and RAM) – just make sure you look for the Crucial kit with “AES” in the serial number, in order to get Micron E-Die and not older Micron IC’s.
That being said, for most mainstream users a good B450 motherboard and a Ryzen 5 CPU, together with a 2 x 8GB Micron E-Die or Hynix CJR kit, can offer pretty strong performance for a very attractive price, so if you cannot afford or do not need the bigger siblings, this might be a combo worth investigating. Rest assured, the RAM performance is pretty close to what we can see in the case of the big boys, so that should be one concern off your list.
As always, thank you all for reading and please excuse my english, which is obviously not my native language. I really hope these 3 articles helped you better understand RAM behavior with third generation Ryzen CPU’s, be it on X570 or B450, and I hope we provided a bit of assistance in helping you find the right RAM kit for your AMD needs. And of course, if you have any suggestions, opinions or thoughts, don’t be shy and let us know, here, on Reddit, Facebook or anywhere you feel comfortable.