Intel Coffee Lake RAM Speed Matters for Gaming? See The Results

Intel Coffee Lake gaming - Does faster RAM matter?

We know that RAM speed has a big impact on AMD’s Ryzen performance. Users see higher scores as they overclock their memory. Games benefit equally from a faster RAM. But, what about Intel’s Coffee Lake RAM speed? Does it matter for gaming?

Intel 8th Gen desktop processors are now available to consumers. Reviews are generally positive showing impressive performance for a competitive price at every level. A Reddit user went through Coffee Lake reviews from a number of different of websites and compiled data to show how RAM speed impacts gaming performance.

Coffee Lake RAM speed and gaming performance

Let’s start with the flagship Intel Core i7-8700K. The performance numbers come from PCPure, which coupled the CPU with ASUS GTX 1080 ROG Strix Gaming OC. They used DDR4-2133 MHz and DDR4-3200 MHZ to compare the results.

In Battlefield 1, the 8700K hits a minimum of 158 fps using DDR4-2133 MHz. Tuning up the RAM to DDR4-3200 MHZ increases the performance to 192 fps, which is indeed a significant increase. We don’t see such a huge difference in Crysis 3 though, where the faster RAM offers an increase of just 7 fps.

Moving to Dishonored 2, the 8700K maintains a min of 86 fps on 2133 MHz RAM, which jumps to 103 fps when using the faster DDR4-3200. Next up, we have Deus Ex and Fallout 4, where the faster RAM boosts the performance by 22 fps and 10 fps respectively.

Core i7 8700K + GTX 1080 OC2133MHz
DDR4
3200MHz
DDR4
Battlefield 1158 (Min)192 (Min)
Crysis 3112 (Min)119 (Min)
Dishonored 286 (Min)103 (Min)
Deus Ex77 (Min)99 (Min)
Fallout 462 (Min)72 (Min)

The next three frame rate comparisons are courtesy of Digital Foundry. The tests were performed at 1080p using Intel i7-8700K and Titan X Pascal OC, with RAM speeds clocked at 2.13 GHz and 3.0 GHz.

The 8700K ran Far Cry Primal Ultra at an average of 133.2 fps using DDR4-2133 MHz. That number went up by just around 7 fps on 3000 MHz RAM. Same is the case with Rise of the Tomb Raider DX12 at Very High preset which saw a small increase in fps when using the faster RAM.

The memory speed, however, has a greater impact on the flagship Coffee Lake in The Witcher 3. The CPU achieves a performance gain of 27.8 fps when running the game at Ultra settings with No Hairworks.

Core i7 8700K + Titan X Pascal OC2133MHz
DDR4
3000MHz
DDR4
Far Cry Primal133.1 (Avg)14 (Avg)
Rise of the Tomb Raider DX12133.2 (Avg)140 (Avg)
The Witcher 3142.8 (Avg)170 (Avg)

Similarly, we see mixed results for the mid-range Intel Core i5-8400 and the entry level Core i3-8100 processors. They are detailed below:

Core i5-8400 + GTX 1080 OC2133MHz
DDR4
3200MHz
DDR4
Battlefield 1147 (Min)175 (Min)
Crysis 364 (Min)67 (Min)
Dishonored 273 (Min)87 (Min)
Deus Ex71 (Min)94 (Min)
Fallout 449 (Min)58 (Min)
Core i3-8100 + Vega 64 LC2400MHz
DDR4
3200MHz
DDR4
F1 2017151 (Avg)166 (Avg)
Battlefield 1124 (Avg)137 (Avg)
Ashes of the Singularity73 (Min)81 (Min)

As is obvious from the results, the RAM speed impact is big in some games, while it’s negligible in others. In other words, Coffee Lake memory performance does vary from game to game.

Also, the impact may not be noticeable in some situations, for instance, in case of the GPU bottleneck. But, as soon as you play CPU intensive games, faster RAM becomes more important. Same is true for high refresh rate monitors which require more CPU power to push more frames per second.

What do you think of the Coffee Lake RAM speed and its impact on the performance? Will you buy a faster RAM for gaming? Do tell us in the comments below.