I am thinking of upgrading my RAM for my computer and I am struggling to choose the Mhz and GB's. How different would it be if I had a 4 computers, one with 2666 Mhz 2 x 16GB, 3000 Mhz 2 x 16GB, 3200 Mhz 2 x 8GB, 3600 Mhz 2 x 8GB. The 32GB of RAM is around £40 more and I know that is overkill for playing video games, however, I might start to dabble in video editing or 3d animation. They are all crucial Ballistix desktop gaming memory.

Edit: My computer runs Windows 10. I have a Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8400T CPU @ 1.70GHZ. It has 6 cores (6 logical processors). I have an Intel(R) UHD Graphics 630.

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  • The motherboard make and model and CPU make and model must be capable of running memory at the faster clock speeds to make a difference. Without providing that information, no answer will be realistic. Also, which operating system do you intend to use? That also would make a difference.Please click edit and add that vital information to your question so all the facts we need are in the question. Please don't use Add Comment, since that's our channel to you. All facts about your system should go in the Question with edit – K7AAY Apr 17 at 23:51
  • Also, please take a look at hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/13306/… and superuser.com/questions/1542226/… for some good background information. – K7AAY Apr 17 at 23:55
  • Does your update mean that you are actually using integrated graphics, even for gaming? – user13807 Apr 18 at 14:32

Let's get the obvious out of the way first: you need a CPU and motherboard that can handle higher memory transfer speeds like DDR4-3600 MT/s for this to matter at all. Intel currently supports up to DDR4-2933, AMD up to DDR4-3200. Higher transfer rates are possible through overclocking, but you need a CPU and motherboard that support memory OC.

Next on the list is memory capacity: it depends on your workload. If your workload requires e.g. 32GB or RAM, you need 32GB of RAM. No amount of memory speed can ever make up for a lack of total memory. My rule of thumb is: when in doubt, get more memory, not faster memory.
On the subject of "32GB is overkill for gaming": we are currently at the tipping point where some games start to benefit from more than 16GB of memory. And memory consumption will continue to grow in the future. So unless you are on a tight budget or want to upgrade in 1-2 years anyway, 32 GB can be justified, even for a PC that is exclusively used for gaming. And as soon as you do other stuff like 4k video editing, I would consider 32GB the minimum when buying a new PC.

Which brings us to memory transfer speeds: you might have guessed it already, it depends.
Workloads commonly encountered in video editing or 3D animation show very little uplift from higher memory frequency. When given the choice between 16GB DDR4-3600 or 32GB DDR4-2666, the latter is almost a no-brainer for this kind of application.
Games are a different story, and the answer is twofold. In GPU-limited scenarios (high resolution, ultra details, weak graphics card...), memory performance does not matter too much. You just need enough of it to avoid stutter.
In scenarios that are not enirely GPU-limited, memory performance can have a huge impact. Especially on frame time performance, often reported as 1% or 0.1% lows in benchmarks that do not only report frame rate averages. The current sweet-spot for price/performance is somewhere around DDR4-3600. Most current higher end consumer CPUs (AMD Ryzen 3000/Zen2, Intel core 9th gen) can handle it on the right motherboards, it is not yet in the realm of diminishing returns, and memory rated for even higher speed gets really expensive.

In conclusion: I would recommend you get 32GB if you can afford it, even if that means lower than DDR4-3600 transfer speed.
As a side-note, memory can be overclocked beyond its rated frequency, and further optimized with tighter timings. Assuming the motherboard supports memory OC. Most lower end DDR4 memory can be bumped up in frequency quite a bit, without applying unhealthy voltage levels. The default DDR4 voltage is 1.2V. Many higher frequency memory modules simply bump the voltage to 1.35V in order to achieve higher frequencies, which is perfectly safe. And something you can easily do yourself, without paying the memory manufacturer for it.

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It all depends on what you need. I would recommend the 3000 Mhz 2 x 16GB to you. Gaming and creative tasks (3D Animation, Video editing, i'm sure you get it) usually just need to be able to R/W quickly to RAM in general, however, creative tasks are very big memory hogs. 3D rendering is actively displaying a 3D scene, and video editing needs to be able to quickly read raw footage while rendering.

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