please refer to noted comments below also Is it better to have a faster speed processor/CPU or memory/RAM clockspeeds? For instance, I have a HP Z2 G5 i7-10700 2.9ghz that runs at about 2904mhz (per sysinfo) and came with 1x16gb 3200 (Micron), but I have 2x16=32gb 2400 (Micron) that I tried and didn't seem to run any slower that I could notice. Or should I just spring for another 16gb 3200? Also I read that these units can run multiple speed RAM sticks, so in essence I could still use the 3200 with a 2400 or 2666 without issue. Also I wonder if it'll overheat the RAM sticks if they're slower than CPU. I also have several 2666 of varying makers, but I like to use same exact maker/specs with my RAM sticks. I'm running Windows 11 (rather 10 tho but that'll be phased out soon) Also, I'm not a gamer, but I likely will do light video editing like clipping and cropping few videos. System has Nvidia Quadro T1000 with 2gb RAM (maybe 4gb). *MIGHT try some online gaming like Battleship or something. Nothing graphics intensive.

** PLEASE NOTE ** ** I should point out this particular unit is designed to be dual channel capable for the 2 RAM slots per manufacturer manual. I'm just stuck in the past with some of my logic. System sku is included if anyone wants to look it up.

Per sysinfo..

HP Z2 Mini G5 Workstation

System SKU


Images attached.. enter image description here enter image description here

1 Answer 1


So let's get one thing out of the way here, CPU clocks vary. That 2.9Ghz is the base clock (and knowing HP also probably the max clock). This is unrelated to the memory clock, since the CPU get's it's data from cache. There is a second part of the CPU which is generally unlisted on the main spec sheet, the memory controller, and for the RAM only that clock speed matters. Normally the memory controller and the memory will match their speed, but in the case of that failing (like if two sticks have different maximum speeds) it will select the slowest possible speed for DDR4 (2133Mhz) or the speed of the slowest stick, depending on the motherboard model. The job of the memory controller is to fill the cache so the CPU can use that data or if the cache is too small get data directly to the CPU.

And about RAM overheating if it's slower than the CPU (let's say memory controller since we have already established CPU clocks are unrelated to memory clocks), that's total nonsens. In that case the memory will just have to wait one cycle, which does not use any more power than reading or writing one cycle, and in the case of computer parts that don't have moving parts it's power in = heat out. So since it doesn't use more power it does not output more heat, and since the cooling is passive, the temperatures are actually lower

  • Adding a note about mixing RAM speeds too. Combining 3200 Mhz with 2666 Mhz DDR4 will cause both to run at 2666 Mhz or whatever lower speed they share support for. The memory controller runs all sticks at one universal speed and that speed is usually the one of default JEDEC speeds (that all memory must support) when sticks don't match.
    – Romen
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 17:51
  • The specs on this model say it can run dual speed RAM sticks to optimize each at its potential best. I read it. Now normally I'd concur, and being in IT for so long, my old school brain wants to run 2 sticks of exact same. But specs say I can use both. Also I only really do Internet stuff, and don't run more software and programs. Maybe better to just use a good smartphone as pc.
    – Mike713
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 3:53

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