DDR3 1866 Vs 1600- What’s the Bigger Twist?

But when deciding the bus speed, you or I may fall for the puzzling question: What is the difference between 1866 and 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM? No doubt, the DDR3 1866 will provide you with more performance speed than 1600. But there are some other considerations too that make people stick to the 1600 DDR3.

In today’s techno-advanced world, we want to enjoy maximum performance. The same goes for choosing your computer memory unit-RAM. Though DDR4 is already in the market, DDR3 is the finest alternative for generals.

Here, we’ll disclose the entire gist between DDR3 1866 vs 1600 RAM. Stay tuned till the end to see the battle.

Hurry? Our Top Pick from DDR3 1600 & 1866-

Crucial DDR3 1600 MHz 16 GB Kit (2x8GB)

Why Buy It?  
Improves in system responsivenessRuns apps faster with multitasking load capabilityConsumes 1.35/1.5 Voltage power Non-ECC type smooth performance with less latency
Check Prize

DDR3 1866 Vs 1600 Frequency RAM Differences

DDR3 1866DDR3 1600
Performance Speed
Faster than  1600 MHzAverage to cope up with the faster performance
Clock cycle Speed
Data Transfer Rate
3,727 times per second wave with 1866 MHz frequency3200 times per second wave with 1600 MHz frequency
CAS Latency
8 to119 to 13
Memory Bandwidth
Best Use
Best for APUs & overclocking performanceBetter Enough for modern high-end configuration CPUs

See Top 7 Market-Winning DDR3 RAM of 1600 and 1866 Frequency Speed-

BrandFrequencyMemoryCAS LatencyCheck Prize
Crucial SO-DIMM-Bang for the Price1600 MHz16GB(2x8GB)11Details on Amazon
Patriot Viper III UDIMM Ideal for XMP 1.3 Overclock1866MHz16GB(2x8GB)10Details on Amazon
Kingston HyperX FURY with Stylish Heat Dissipation1600MHz8GB (2x4GB)10Details on Amazon
Crucial x4Gb based Innovation for Multi-tasking1866 MHz16GB(2x8GB)13Details on Amazon
Timetec Unbuffered Non-ECC RAM Ideal for Perfect Gaming1600MHz16GB(2x8GB)11Details on Amazon
A-Tech RAM Reliable with Maximum Compatibility1600 MHz16GB(2x8GB)11Details on Amazon
Patriot- Highly Cost Effective RAM1600MHzSingle 8GB11Details on Amazon

Major Difference Lies in Performance Speed

The more considerable difference when you are looking in between 1866 vs 1600 DDR3 ram comes to the frequency speed. With the 8 bursts deep prefetch buffering ability, DDR3 RAM can be reliable for performance speed.

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Yes, the 1866 MHz frequency speed undoubtedly can offer more data transfer speed than you can have with the 1600 MHz of frequency speed.

The more the frequency rate is, the faster the data transfer rate the memory has!

But clash does not end here. A DDR3 ram with 1600 MHz data transferring speed is much ideal for modern high-configured gaming and graphics editing.

For your concern, the all-time hit Crucial RAM 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 never seems to lose performance speed.

You won’t feel the subtle difference unless you take a close look at the performance benchmark that clearly shows 1866 RAM running at a faster data transmission than the 1600 ram.

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Memory Bandwidth Also Significantly Differs

Memory bandwidth in a ram is another crucial feature for faster performance response. When you are multitasking or playing on your Xbox, the memory bandwidth can help with a faster shooting response.

The DDR3 1866 has a memory module classification of PC3-12800, which tells you that this ram has 12800 megabytes per sec. or 12.8 gigabytes per sec of a peak data rate of memory bandwidth.  

It means an 1866 MHz of DDR3 Ram can transfer 12.8 GB of data per second on average data peak module rate.

On the other side, the 1600Hz DDR3 ram has the memory module of PC3-14900 memory bandwidth, which is around 10% more data transfer bandwidth than the DDT3 1600.

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However, a DDR3 1866 RAM can transfer 14900 MB/sec. or 14.9 GB/sec of peak data on average data bandwidth peak rate.

If you always need a faster response with high-end graphics work or multitasking, 1866 can be considerable.

But DDR3 1600 does not give you a lower data transfer peak rate at all.

CAS Latency Is another Considering Part

CAS (Column Address Strobe) latency refers to the clock cycle that a ram signal crosses to complete a command given by the input system.

In modern DDR Rams, the CAS Latency impacts in faster response rate. The lower this CAS latency is, the faster the performance speed you can enjoy.

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The DDR3 1600 has 9 to 13 CAS latency, whereas the DDR3 1866 has 8 to 11. By the way, recently, the TEAMGROUP Elite DDR3L 16GB(2 x 8GB) 1600 with 11 CAS and lower voltage consumption is getting peoples’ attention.

A DDR3 1866 RAM can transfer a wave of data 3727 times per second in 0.525 ns. Contrarily, a 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM takes 0.625 ns to send signal data 3200 times per second.

So, you see, the difference is pretty slight to consider. But when you want a game to load fast at a time with some other tasks running behind, a DDR3 1866 MHz RAM can be beneficial for you to load them at a faster speed.

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Well, for general editing and playing, 1600 MHz Ram can work too.

Motherboard Compatibility for 1866 Vs 1600 DDR3

RAM compatibility with the motherboard is your primary concern to check first. If you get RAM that your motherboard does not offer, the slot all goes in vain.

Then again, if you insert a DDR3 RAM in an older model motherboard that does not support the DDR3 version, then also you can’t experience the real game-changing effects.

In most cases, the DDR3 1600 RAM is more available for various motherboards. However, the 1866 DDR3 Ram can cost you higher with faster performance benefits though.  

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However, if you’re switching from DDR2 RAM that your PC motherboard supported, then DDR3 RAM may not give you the option to insert them in the slot because the slots for DDR2 don’t support the DDR3 RAM. So, you need either a different slot or a different motherboard.

Modern all the PC motherboard has compatible slots for DDR3 and DDR4 RAM connection. Generally, you can insert a DDR3 Ram on the motherboard with 240 pins or a 204 pins laptop.

So, make sure your motherboard is compatible with the RAM you’re getting.

However, the Corsair Vengeance Pro Series DDR3 1866 MHz 16GB (2 x 8GB) makes such an excellent DRAM that works fantastic on AMD CPUs and Sabertooth motherboard with smooth performance.

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So, if it’s about the APUs (AMD-based Power Unit), then no doubt, go for the DDR3 1866 if you tangle in between 1600 and 1866. With an Intel CPU, the difference is gonna very tiny to observe.

Difference Considering Your Build Purpose

Unless you’re not dealing with heavy performance speed and loads of work, the difference between 1866 MHz RAM and 1600 MHz RAM is negligible.

But if you plan to overclock the memory cycle, then DDR3 1866 is suitable for you. Again, if you use integrated graphics and your purpose is to achieve the graphics that your system does not support, an 1866 MHz DDR3 can aid you in huge.

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However, if you play games with your dedicated graphics and have no plan for overclocking also, then no point in spending the extra for a slightly higher clock cycle speed.

DDR3 1600 Vs 1866 for Power Consumption

Since DDR3 (Double Data Rate 3rd gen) RAM stepped into the industry, the lower power consumption case has also been inserted for fast load with a lower Voltage source.

With 1.5V of Voltage consumption, DDR3 RAM can show its performance benefits without lagging. Some brands are able to make RAMs with lower voltage consumption also.

For example, the Apple-certified Corsair 16 GB (2×8 GB) DDR3 1600 RAM for a laptop consumes only 1.35 V of power.

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For a 4GB DDR3, it needs 4W power, and for each 8GB RAM, it can consume around 8W of power.

If you look for an inexpensive one, the Leven DDR3 16GB(8GB×2) 1866 with Non-ECC 1.35/1.5V power consumption features can be ideal for you that many find.


What is the difference between DDR3/1600 and 1866?

Practically, there is no visible difference when comparing side by side. The only difference you can feel is in the CAS latencies. But if you are a hard-core gamer, you can notice the difference yourself.

Can you mix DDR3/1600 DDR3 1866?

Yes, you can mix it and install it as it’s in your hand. However, there will be no it depends on the system you will run to run

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What Should You Pick?

Unless you’re using an APU, this clash of DDR3 1866 Vs 1600 does not necessarily call for. But if you are fond of serious overclocking and works with integrated graphics performance, the 1866 MHz DDR3 RAM is ideal for you.

However, for an average performance speed with modern compatibility support, 1666 MHz DDR3 RAM is better enough and cost-effective too.

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Michael Oliver

The blending of his writing savvy with long-term technological practices with IOS and MAC programs always tickle him find out a quick fix to the problems. So, he wishes to share his fixes and discovers with all through these fixing guides. Also! He has won the market with his entrepreneurial spices backed by spurring paces to meet new challenges.

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