3200 Mhz CL16 vs 3600 Mhz CL18 RAM: Which is Better in 2022?

RAM speed, size, latency, and type determine RAM performance. Moreover, motherboards can only support up to a certain type of RAM speed. If you plan on upgrading or building your own gaming PC.

RAM is one of the most important components to consider. However, there are so many types of RAM making it difficult to choose.

We clear things up in this blog post. Know which RAM is better for your PC: 3200 Mhz CL16 vs the 3600 Mhz CL18 RAM.

What is CAS Latency?

CAS latency is the number of milliseconds it takes for a data connection to finish. CAS latency depends on the type of RAM and the motherboard that it is being used on.

For example, DDR2 has a CAS latency of 8 ms. DDR3 has a CAS latency of 10 ms. DDR4 has a CAS latency of 16 ms.

This means that when you are trying to access data from a memory card that has a CAS latency of 8 ms, the data will be delayed by 8 ms before it can be read.

The same goes for DDR3 with CAS latencies of 10 and 16 ms respectively.

4000MHz RAM
4000MHz RAM

Other Factors Affecting RAM Performance

RAM Type

There are two types of RAM: DRAM and SRAM.

DRAM is the most common type found in computers and laptops. These are the DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, DDR5, etc. 

RAM Frequency

The RAM frequency is a key factor that affects the speed at which your game can run. A higher RAM frequency will allow your PC to access your data more quickly, resulting in faster performance.

You might also be interested in knowing what type of RAM is compatible with your motherboard and whether it has both DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5 slots.

RAM Size

The size of RAM is important as it refers to how much information a stick can store. RAM sizes come in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, etc.

Which Is Faster CL16 Or CL18?

CL16 is faster than CL18 because it has a lower CAS latency. This means it will process information and data faster than CL18 leading to overall better gaming and system performance.

CL16 takes on average 16 cycles to process data whiles CL18 takes on average 18 cycles to process data.

3200 Mhz CL16 vs 3600 Mhz CL18 RAM

CAS latency and speed play a big role in determining RAM performance. Comparing the 3200 Mhz CL16 RAM to 3600 Mhz CL18 RAM. You can see why choosing one is difficult. Do you go for the lower latency or higher RAM speed?

Always go with high frequency than latency. Because higher frequency means faster data transfer. CAS latency is how long it takes for the RAM to start transferring the data.

But, it doesn’t really matter which you choose because both will have similar performance. Because of higher frequency – lower latency and vice versa. 


Unlike AMD where RAM frequency affects performance. Intel gaming PC builds will do fine with either 3200 Mhz CL16 or the 3600 Mhz CL18 RAM. 


AMD gaming PC builds tend to benefit a lot from high-frequency RAM sticks. The 3600 Mhz CL18 RAM will be a better option than the 3200 Mhz CL16 RAM.

Is There A Big Difference Between 3200 Mhz And 3600 Mhz?

Yes, there can be major differences between 3200 Mhz and 3600 Mhz RAM. First the RAM speed, 3600 Mhz is faster than 3200 Mhz. Next, you have the RAM type that is whether it’s a DDR3 or DDR4. This also plays a big role in determining RAM performance.

If both RAM has the same size, type, and latency. The RAM with a high frequency is going to be faster. In short, the 3000 Mhz RAM is going to be faster provided they are of the same latency and type.

DDR4-3200MHz vs DDR4-3600MHz – Does RAM speed Matter?

Summary: 3200 Mhz CL16 vs 3600 Mhz CL18 RAM?

To be honest, there is little performance difference between the 3200 Mhz CL16 and 3600 Mhz CL18. Both are almost equal in performance.

However, if we had to choose, we will go with the higher frequency RAM. Anything higher is diminishing returns, especially on AMD gaming PC builds. 

You Might Also Like

As a lover of technology. Kelvin spends most of his tinkering with stuff and keeping up to date with the latest gadgets and tech.

Get our Free eBook When You Signup

Our ebook contains everything you need to know about laptops. It only takes 15 minutes or less to read! Also, get the latest updates in tech.