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Ryzen 4000 RAM Guide: Picking The Best RAM For Your Laptop
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Choose the best SO-DIMM memory kit for your AMD Ryzen laptop.

I
ntel had long dominated the laptop scene before the launch of AMD's Ryzen 4000 (codename Renoir) mobile processors. If you were on the market for a high-performance laptop, you ultimately ended up with an Intel-powered device. While AMD's competing mobile chips were good, their performance just wasn't up to par compared to Intel's offerings. The Zen 2 microarchitecture changed the picture, pushing the Ryzen 4000 processors to the top of both performance and value rankings. Thanks to Zen 2, consumers now have ample options to choose from when shopping for an everyday laptop, gaming laptop or mobile workstation.

Ryzen 4000 processors have a flexible memory controller that supports both DDR4-3200 or LPDDR4X-4266 memory. In the latter case, there really isn't a path for future upgrades because the memory is soldered to the motherboard. However, there are laptops with dual SO-DIMM slots that allow you to freely swap out the memory, and some others leverage a mixed design with a fixed amount of LPDDR4 memory and one empty SO-DIMM slot for expansion.

Buying a laptop isn't nearly as complicated as putting together a desktop PC, and no one can argue that. The customizable laptop options usually come down to the processor, memory, storage, and panel selections. 

However, there is room for tuning. It has been known for some time now that APUs favor fast memory, and in this article, we'll see whether that tendency still stands with Ryzen 4000. Additionally, we'll look at the impact that memory ranks have on AMD's 7nm Ryzen Mobile chips.

XMG Core 15

The XMG Core 15 is a lightweight gaming laptop that doesn’t compromise on performance for portability. AMD's very capable Ryzen 7 4800H processor resides at the heart of the XMG Core 15. The octa-core chip rips through workloads with its eight Zen 2 cores that come with simultaneous multithreading (SMT) to expose 16 threads of computing power. The Ryzen 7 4800H operates with a 2.9 GHz base clock but has a boost clock that tops out at 4.2 GHz.

The XMG Core 15 is equipped with two DDR4 SO-DIMM memory slots, converting it into the perfect mobile platform for memory testing. The gaming laptop supports up to 64GB of memory, while the Ryzen 7 4800H provides native support for memory frequencies up to DDR4-3200.

In a gaming laptop, the graphics card is just as important as the processor. Although the Ryzen 7 4800H has a capable iGPU, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 Refresh (110W) graphics card takes care of all the graphical workloads on the XMG Core 15. With its 1,920 CUDA cores and 6GB of GDDR6 memory, the Ampere-powered graphics card delivers decent framerates across the laptop’s beautiful Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS panel that flaunts a speedy 144 Hz refresh rate.

G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4 SO-DIMM

G.Skill is widely considered a fan favorite when it comes to high-performance desktop memory. What many might not know is that G.Skill also has a formidable SO-DIMM portfolio. In fact, the Ripjaws SO-DIMM series of memory kits is easily one of the most balanced and pocket-friendly lineups in the memory market. 

G.Skill offers the Ripjaws SO-DIMM memory with frequencies that span from DDR4-2133 up to DDR4-3200 with very decent timings and capacities ranging between 16GB and 64GB. The memory is available as a single module or in a dual-channel package, both of which come backed with a limited lifetime warranty.

Memory Scaling

Boosting memory throughput leads to tangible performance gains. Moving from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-3200 netted an overall performance gain of up to 5.3%. We also saw more significant individual performance boosts, depending on the workload. In Microsoft Office, for example, DDR4-3200 delivered up to 6% more performance than DDR4-2133.

We recorded 7.6% more performance in Photoshop with the Adobe application suite but only recorded a 4.9% gain in Premiere by stepping up to DDR4-3200 over DDR4-2133. In 7-Zip compression workloads, DDR4-3200 offered a 7.9% increase in performance. Surprisingly, memory frequency didn't influence encoding workloads substantially as the performance boosts were below 4%.

In the memory-intensive y-cruncher application, bumping speeds up to DDR4-3200 helped decrease calculation times by 14.3%.

Overall, memory frequency had a small impact on gaming performance, at least with our test configuration (Ryzen 7 4800H + GeForce RTX 2060), image settings (High), and resolution (1920 x 1080). Jumping from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-3200 only gave us a 3.1% increase in average framerates. 

Faster memory does become more of a factor in CPU-intensive titles, though. Take Far Cry New Dawn, for example. With DDR4-3200 memory, framerates jumped 10.4% over the DDR4-2133 configuration.
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