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Does RAM Frequency affect system latency? – PC System DPC Latency Test (Fall 2021)

Who we are: Orbital Computers LLC, founded in 2013, is a high performance professional workstation manufacturer that specializes in high-end desktop and laptop PCs tailor-made for each and every one of our customers. All of our systems are built and supported entirely in-house from our Mukilteo WA USA facility. We run extensive tests on our hardware with every single application that we support in order to ensure that our customers receive excellent custom-built PCs, expert advice, and lifetime support specific to any of their needs, present or future.

Disclosure: Orbital Computers LLC does not have any partnership or agreement with any component manufacturer, including AMD or Intel. All opinions are our own and are rooted in providing our customers with the most reliable, highest performance workstations at the lowest prices.

Table of Contents

TL;DR

RAM Frequency does not have a measureable impact on DPC latency. We recommend using the highest memory frequency supported by the CPU without overclocking for maximum stability.

Introduction

Today’s topic is DPC latency. In windows, DPC refers to a Deferred Procedure Call and in simple terms it essentially describes what your system does when it’s taking too long to process a task. Some times raw power is not the bottleneck in your PCs performance, and your CPU is waiting around the other components to let its work be processed. High DPC latency is often caused by a delay in processing from a problematic driver, but it also takes into account the speed of the system as a whole. DPC Latency is relevant to both trading and audio PCs because both involve a robust system to be able to handle real-time data as quickly as possible, without the possibility of stutters. Traders need financial data to be processed as quickly as it comes in and musicians need to be able to play in real-time, without a delay between when they’re playing and when what they are hearing is played back to them. Of course, there are many fields where latency is relevant but trading and audio are the two areas where we receive the most questions about reducing latency.

The Test Environment

Testing was conducted by modifying the memory’s operating frequency through the BIOS settings and then recording the results of the latency that is polled through a program called DPC Latency Checker.

Test Platform

Components


Brand / Model
CPUIntel Core i7-11700KF
RAMG.SKILL Ripjaws V 32GB (2x16GB, 3200 MHz base)
CoolerCorsair H115i Pro XT
GPUNvidia Quadro P620
SSDSamsung 980 Pro
MotherboardGigabyte Z590 UD AC

Results

Takeaways

The result of the test was the modifying the operating frequency of the memory modules did not have a measurable impact on DPC latency. For this reason, we set RAM to operate at the maximum frequency that is it set to operate. In our case the factory RAM speed was 3200 MHz. Running RAM past it’s maximum factory frequency (i.e. overclocking the RAM) drastically reduces the PCs overall stability and opens the door for freezes, crashes, blue screens, etc. that are more likely to waste your time than any time you would save from RAM overclocking. There are negligible performance gains that can be achieved, especially with regards to audio and trading PCs.

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